Why Blockchain Has The Potential to Change the Advertising Industry Forever
Everyone’s been talking about blockchain and how it affects x. However: at the risk of sounding like a total bandwagon hopper, I am a strong proponent for blockchain and its potential to revolutionize advertising. I believe that, if embraced, blockchain will eventually dominate the underlying technologies that power the buying, selling and serving of advertising. Not only will blockchain change the game for advertisers, but there may even be a consumer value component as well. Here’s how I see blockchain eventually changing the advertising industry:
Media buying and selling
The primary component of blockchain is an immutable and (sometimes) decentralized ledger. In some instances, it also includes a currency component to represent denominations of value. In both the ledger and the currency, there is an opportunity to bake in smart contracts — an automated clearing house of sorts.
Imagine a media buy that uses a smart advertising crypto-coin. Instead of an IO (insertion order), or even a series of automated bids through a DSP (demand-side platform), you can have $100k worth of ads, purchased using $100k worth of x-coin. In addition, the ads include details of the formats, prices and targeting--all baked into the actual transaction in a smart contract.
When a campaign is running, the same coin is then used in a truly viewable (and recorded) transaction — no coin is paid to the publisher unless the impression was viewed. Again, all of these interactions are baked into the same coin.
Ultimately, you have the DSP, the clearing house on transaction value and viewability - all conveniently stored in one smart piece of technology. The best part is, the technology isn’t controlled by any single body along the value chain. That’s what I call democratization!
At Kiip, we firmly believe in the consumer’s value when it comes to the advertising equation. Too often, the tech and value stack is “advertiser pays publisher,” and it ends there. Consumers get a poor ad experience and often, their data is taken advantage of with little to no benefit for us or them (a pop up to swat away is typically what we get).
Blockchain creates an opportunity to take a piece of the pie and give it back to the consumer. If Facebook or Google makes money from consumer data, you should get a piece of that value back in the form of a coin.
An additional benefit is that the coin can be used to buy value-added services in other digital products —perhaps all owned by the same company, or across a coalition of apps.
Consumer ad engagement
Perhaps the most important element of advertising is whether or not the end consumer cares or engages with your ad. After all, if they don’t want your ad, it has inherently lost most of its value.
There will be a way to use a coin to track your ad activity as a consumer - almost like a step counter. The coin can also be used to verify that you as the consumer engaged or viewed an ad (the term we use in our industry is viewability). There could perhaps be a case where the coin can then represent your data value (advertisers buy audience data that are built off consumer data to help target their ads better).
We see a world where you could, for instance, explore a VR experience, watch a video, take a quiz or use a branded filter. Whatever your level of engagement, blockchain can help show you how much value you have as a consumer in the ad that was just served to you.
Ultimately, this could lead to a consumer seeing a digital wallet with a coin balance that helps them understand their true value in the advertising equation. It demonstrate why they are able to use an app, website, or digital service for free, without paying - and can ultimately reveal that the value exchange is what helps the digital ecosystem continue to thrive and grow.
Loyalty, CRM and media
It goes without saying that these coins can be leveraged in lieu of points in most loyalty programs. Because all consumer ad engagements and digital transactions and the like are recorded on the blockchain, the “wallet” where this coin is stored replaces a digital loyalty card. Instead, loyalty “points”/coins live in the CRM, through the economics and mechanics of the coin economy, that came from the original media dollar.
At Kiip’s labs, we have recently developed a private blockchain dubbed “Kiipcoin.” The intention is to compensate consumers for their ad engagements and their data, pay publishers fairly and to receive orders for media from brands and agencies in a seamless and integrated fashion. We are putting these theories to work and are more than excited to share it with you in the coming months!
We have also joined a coalition effort by Kochava on their XCHNG (http://xchng.io) project, which is also simplifying the media and advertising industry through the use of blockchain. We’re hoping to make both tokens interchangeable and open source.
Media dollars that already flow in advertising can now also fund and create the appropriate mechanics to make a consumer facing and publisher facing media coin worthwhile. An industry built on a technology that encourages transparency and automation is a progressive one, that will attract more talent and investment. I’m looking forward to seeing how this innovation will shape our industry in the years to come!
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