Many believe that bitcoin is a fad at best and a dangerous bubble at worst. However, most agree that what’s really fascinating about the cryptocurrency is the technology behind it: blockchain.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is essentially a public ledger of transactions and information that can be edited (but not copied) by all of its users. Think of it like a Google Doc that’s hosted by millions of computers at once, making it completely decentralised – which means all the transactions or values it records are easily verifiable.
It’s still early days, but if the technology becomes more widely adopted, it could transform marketing—and even the internet itself.
How can blockchain be used in marketing?
Blockchain has countless applications for marketing, including the potential to remove the middleman from transactions.
Let’s use digital ad placement as an example. At the moment, if a marketer wants to place ads on a website, most do so through Google because the search giant is trustworthy, well-known, and reliable.
Google uses its algorithms to select a website to show your ads, and pays the owner of the site accordingly.
Blockchain provides an opportunity to directly connect the marketers with the websites, instead of letting Google play matchmaker. Sites could be verified as trustworthy by other blockchain users, and marketers could connect with them directly to complete a transaction, create a contract and make payment. The advertiser would then be able to see the clicks they’re receiving, the transaction would be recorded and verified, and the website owner would be paid directly.
Google offers a useful service, but we all know that cutting out the middleman means lower costs.
Provide transparency and build trust
That’s not all though. Using blockchain guarantees a certain degree of transparency: between advertisers and website owners, as well as between companies and their consumers.
As the whole supply chain is recorded, users can access it and see where their products are really coming from. Walmart recently used this method to show the origins of their food products, to great success.
We’ve discussed just two potential uses for blockchain technology in marketing and PR, but there are thousands more. As modern technologies like blockchain, AI, and AR and VR develop and becomes widely adopted, smart marketers should consider ways that they can use them to streamline and improve their offerings.