Online Advertising has been the most successfull way for brands to reach their target audience ever created. Even though their reach is massive, the problems that come with them are nearly as widely spread. Fraudulent advertisements not only annoy customers and hurt the image of companies, they can even cost them horrend amounts of money. Just in the last few years, the amount of money of money marketers have lost on fake ads have surpased 6,5 billion dollars.
Since service providers are constantly striving to market their products to their target audience, it is also in their interest, to build up trust with their potential customers. At the same time, customers that are annoyed and untrusting of a constant stream of online advertisements, would greatly benefit of a better regulated market. The shift of online advertising towards blockchain might just prove to offer a possible solution for many problems online marketing still has.
Ways blockchain can be used in advertisement
Blockchain technology is a decentralized system of tracking information, while keeping any recorded data public. For the shift of online advertising towards blockchain, this could not only mean an easier way discern fraudulent ads, but also provide a way for websites to track the origin of those.
Advantages for companies
Advertisement as we know it, is not only used to reach potential customers, but also to collect data. Service providers can treat it as a source of information and feedback from their target audience. Tracking possible feedback can be quite expensive and has to be done through a middleman as of now. Digital display ads are nearly exclusively controlled by the companies Meta and Google right now, making them a part of any transaction. Through the use of blockchain, companies could take away nearly any influence from middleman that are needed for nothing but the display of ads.
Advantages for customers
According to a recent study, almost 7.6 percent of all the ads and displays were fraudulent in 2017. Customers are in the right if they are cautious towards online ads and many even choose to generally use add-ons like Ad-Block to remove any chance of getting scammed.
Having a transparent way of tracing the origins of any ad would allow users to consciously decide, which ads to take a closer look at. There already exists a browser, that gives its users the choice on which ads to see displayed from where, even paying them in tokens for their choice to actively look at advertisements. Some experts even think, that blockchain can be used to reward customers for watching an ad instead of paying middlemen to bombard users with unwanted banners and videos. Whether advertisement will ever be voluntary is doubtful though, although the possible transparency can be seen as a huge step forward.
One of the most important benefits blockchain is imparting to online advertising is transparency. The biggest providers of digital space for advertistements are Google and Meta, yet through the blockchain those middleman might not be needed again in the future. They still are unable to control fradulent advertisements, thus not only causing businesses to lose money but also the trust of potential customers.
The ledger system used by blockchain could play an important role in providing much needed transparency for all parties involved.
Customers would be able to see what service an ad is truly offering, where it comes from and who is providing the platform. Since any transfer of data in the blockchain is public knowledge, as well as immutable, consumers might gain more insight into ads presented to them.
Businesses do also gain an insight into their ads and where they are presented. Not only that, but through the transparent ledger system, companies can get an easy insight into any interactions with their ads and verify their integrity.
Blockchain offers effective Ads
Blockchain can help in providing a more effective advertisement enviroment, by giving consumers a choice on which ads they want to see. While blockchain probably won’t be used widely for that purpose, there already are some offers that explore those prospects. Brave browser for example already uses blockchain to give users a choice on which ads they want to see. Users are rewarded with BAT or similar token systems, for each ad viewed on purpose.
Companies could give customers a choice on which ads they want to see and even reward them for watching them. This form of voluntary advertising would reduce the invasiveness of advertisements, yet would also greatly reduce the range of ads. Companies will have to decide and research how profitable this way of reaching consumers could be.
What the future may bring
The shift of online advertising towards blockchain is transforming the online advertising through its effective strategies. It is coping with the requirements of the customers in terms of security and privacy. The use of a decentralized structure for advertising could mean the redistribution of power in the virtual world. While the big players Amazon, Google, Meta and Apple could lose influence, they are not asleep either. Google is already investing into the research of blockchain and its possibile uses. Blockchain will bring a shift in the way ads in the virtual world are presented, that is for sure, what that will be is to be seen.
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