by Eloisa Marchesoni

Many think of Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies in general when speaking about blockchain, but this powerful technology is much more than just that: it has the potential to positively transform many existing business areas.
Among the areas designed to take full advantage of the thriving technology, a major one is advertising and marketing, especially influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is used by brands to get their messages to a wider audience, while blockchain technology provides the necessary regulation for transactions between brand and influencer, ensuring transparency and ultimately providing security to all stakeholders.

Influencers are people with a big number of active, loyal followers on social networks, in the blogosphere and on other media on the Internet. They often recommend products and services and their audience usually responds positively, looking for and buying the same products and services. It is that positive response that marketers seek. The right influencer can bring huge dividends to a brand, but the trick for marketers and advertisers is finding just that influencer for their products and services.

Certainly, while social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter continue to dominate, influencer marketing is proving to be one of the most powerful tools that a marketer can employ to reach the target audience, but there are still various obstacles to surpass, such as the complicated and often untransparent payment system that is used. This can, of course, lead to price instability, serious inflation and missed payments, often because a customer is not satisfied with what the influencer had advertised.

This is where blockchain-based platforms may come into play. For example, usage of smart contracts that define the terms and prices of the services could be beneficial. Through a smart contract, fees can be kept under warranty until the obligations set out in the intelligent contract are met and any subsequent changes to the obligations will be automatically added. Once the project is completed, the agreed-upon payments are then carried out, guaranteeing the interests of both parties. Nonetheless, such a technology can be enriched by peripheral services for decentralized dispute resolution component, in which users of the platform are voting to resolve disputes over controversial cases.

Blockchain technology can also reduce the time needed to launch marketing campaigns, help eliminate the current difficulties in measuring their effectiveness and address the problem of scams and frauds, which many marketers believe to be the biggest problem in the industry today. It will be possible to do so by bringing together on one integrated platform influencers, advertisers and marketers, providing tracking and analysis tools and implementing KYC procedures.

The call for such a reform recently came from the top 10 big spenders in the Advertising world. They are concerned that they are pouring most of their money into inactive media, and that their ROMI could get noticeably reduced due to issues such as ad fraud, poor user experience and a complete negation of trust among multiple players in the digital advertising ecosystem.

Today’s blockchain solutions involve putting the shared, transparent ledger on top of the existing OpenRTB ecosystem, acting as a trailing audit that publicly records and stores all steps in the process. This will progressively eliminate discrepancy and fraud issues, as well as make the whole market much more transparent, not just for the publishers but for the audiences too. Another upside for the audiences is that the attention that they pay to nay advertisement will be tracked and they may even choose to get directly paid for it.

Nowadays, consumers and legislators are uniting in the demands for a better advertising experience, especially one that is GDPR compliant. Hence the need for a system that incorporates user privacy, to the point where fraud financially becomes infeasible for the businesses.

One may say: “Too much talk and no action” … yet! We need to watch out for the disruptors that will be able to break through the protocol and solve the speed, scale and standardization challenges. The best practice solution may be just around the corner.

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