How Will Blockchain Transform the Adtech Industry in 2018?

It is blockchain – not social media, robotics, or big data - that is the harbinger of change in digital advertising.  The decentralized digital ledger of secure web transactions is complicated on its face but simple in its mission, and will be responsible for overhauling much of what we know about, and how we operate, in the advertising industry.

Any seismic impact to an industry like blockchain technology will have a seismic impact on the advertising industry, cracking open areas of opportunity and demanding that issues be reviewed and straightened out.

Performance marketers have a vested interest in understanding how blockchain will affect the adtech industry, as the technology will affect the way that they deliver high-intent users to businesses worldwide and drive the entire advertising industry forward.

Blockchain Technology Is Demolishing Ad Fraud

Fraudulent advertising has cost businesses a whopping USD 16.4 billion in 2017 alone, because of programmatic adtech’s growing ubiquity. It is abundantly clear that neither advertisers nor marketers can afford these kinds of losses, making blockchain perfectly positioned to enter the industry.  Because of the technology’s transparent nature that allows anyone to see the full transaction thread, advertisers will be able to identify and disregard all ad fraud moving forward.  It will be all but guaranteed that ads are being viewed by human eyeballs, not bots.

As ad delivery pricing reaches sky-high peaks, the blockchain, specifically ad delivery auditing, is a practical solution.  It saves every event, making validating ad impressions and identifying the root cause of the ad fraud, simple. Blockchain can source indicators like non-live browsers to see if the ad delivery is real, allowing advertisers to see the referring URL to understand which domain the impression came from.  It is only the beginning – catching and preventing ad fraud in real-time becomes a real possibility with blockchain. 

Ending ad fraud decreases ad spends, making it more effective and accountable to manage advertising budgets.

Improving Data Security

One of the things most widely understood about blockchain – even for the newcomers – is that the technology is immutable.  Every transaction is recorded, encrypted, and timestamped -  that entails a multi-user verification.  A single user can get away with manipulating data for literally nano-seconds before other users connected to the transaction see that something is awry.  All this amounts to better data security and the ability to operate with full transparency and smart contracts.

A smart contract works entirely on blockchain technology, making it impossible to annul a contract until a new one is presented. It holds us all accountable to mutually agreed upon terms - a conflict-free work environment without third-party representatives.

Blockchain Ensures Accurate Segmentation & Tracking

Performance marketers feel the pain of not having data in real time. After all, data is a performance marketer’s lifeblood.  Blockchain’s ability to provide all relevant data when a marketer needs it is the epitome of what the technology can do for adtech.  No longer faced with the guesswork of whether an ad has reached its audience, performance marketers can see exactly what is going right and what needs to be corrected to meet its targets. 

Aside from providing real-time insights about campaigns, blockchain will give marketers a complete history of client preferences.  Because of the transparent nature of the technology, marketers will be able to see what kind of patterns and tendencies clients have applied to targeted audiences, platforms, and channels. Once that is understood, marketers can begin tracking and segmenting audiences more accurately, based on their page visits and preferred content.  This information is gold to those who know how to use it – it's like handing the keys of the castle to a performance marketer who is working to deliver the best possible results to the client. 

Solving Privacy Concerns

Privacy concerns around data collection are reaching a fever pitch with major tech companies bracing for legislative change in the coming months.  Users are advocating for control of their data, and rightly so.  Once blockchain’s technology becomes widely accepted and deployed, users will be able to decide on the data that gets shared and with who.  Changing the inherent nature of data collection, and making it visible to all, is a blessing for marketers who must be compliant with GDPR requirements.

Cutting Out the Middleman

Once blockchain becomes a visible, widely accepted tool for transactions, there will no longer be a need for brokers to facilitate deals between advertisers and publishers.  The money saved will be tremendous. In 2017 alone, Google made a hefty USD 74 billion profit from just its Display Network.  It is one of the most heavily used intermediaries because its brand has become trusted, reliable and forward thinking.  All the heavy lifting of bringing verified traffic and clicks will fall on the blockchain, data exchange will become direct, and publishers and advertisers will work directly with each other, avoiding fees by third parties.

Bottom line

While we’re still at the very early stages of implementation, and there will be significant challenges to adoption such as a knowledge gap and scaling, blockchain holds too much promise to disregard and is likely to have a significant impact on adtech in the year ahead.

This is a contributed article from Webpals Group. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect CDOTrends' own opinions.