In the recent past, we have been reading about debates and scandals surrounding the increasing number of hacking, breaches and data leaks. This has made data and privacy a major concern, especially where money is involved, since people are increasingly safeguarding the information they share online. However, the solution to this dilemma is very simple – Blockchain technology.
Blockchain is a recent advent to the world of digital technology. Developed in 2008 by combining existing technology and applying it in a new, unorthodox way, this seemingly fancy word has taken the world by storm and appears to have extended itself to all essential and supplementary spheres related to technology.
And now is a better time than ever to incorporate Blockchain into the Indian industries. The reason? There are many industries that could benefit from using Blockchain.
For instance, the PNB scam could have been resolved with Blockchain, if it had been implemented.
Blockchain works by a system where in the information is stored in a centralised location which can be broken down into different blocks spread across the chain. Anyone can access it and it is not held by a single entity. One of the best analogies describing how Blockchain technology works is comparing a Microsoft Word document to a Google Doc. Anyone who understands Google Docs can understand Blockchain.
How databases work today is that a person sends a copy of the file and waits until the recipient makes the required alterations. The obvious problem with this is the time constraint besides other factors like increased cost, reduced efficiency etc.
Blockchain was created to solve this problem and it has certainly succeeded to a great extent in achieving the same.
But the question is, how can Blockchain be used in Digital Marketing?
In the current Digital Marketing model, the people are completely under the oversight of the marketer. They have little to no control over their personal data.
The information from the usage habits of online consumers is stored and made available to marketers and businesses for later use. Imagine the privacy concerns of people who have already witnessed widespread misuse of information and other cybercrimes such as data-theft, identity-theft, cyber-terrorism etc.
The concerns that marketers face are equally alarming with prominent heads of companies and high-level businessmen calling out marketing firms for their widespread misuse of information and inadequate measures taken to protect it in the first place.
With such an escalating concern over digital marketing methods and practices, marketers have started looking for alternatives.
The current business model uses a mediator (such as Facebook or Google) between the consumer and the marketer. Blockchain can act as an involuntary regulator which can help in eliminating the middle-man.
There are applications such as Brave and Blockstack which use Blockchain technology to give more autonomy to consumers. With Blockstack, the purchaser can hide his identity from the seller, thus controlling how, when and how much of his personal info is used.
Even though the consumer will have the higher advantage, marketers will definitely enjoy higher quality leads despite the decrease in number.
This can lead to potentially insane conversion rates, reduce marketing expenses and also streamline the whole marketing process since the transaction takes place between just the marketer and the customer.
Some areas where Blockchain can be used:
• Finance: Thanks to Blockchain, the accessibility of funds will be instantaneous and devoid of disputes during transactions. Cryptocurrency is the product of Blockchain technology, that can help to promote cashless banking in a big way.
• Marketplace: Blockchain institutes validity and agreement of both parties, even before a transaction occurs. Thus, fraudulent transactions in the marketplace can be eliminated virtually, thanks to Blockchain.
• Social Media: Since social media is a dominant space in the digital world where users connect with their circles, brands have transformed social media as a main channel to reach their target group. Thus, incorporating Blockchain into social media can not only radically change the advertising and marketing strategies, but also enhance the trust of users in terms of social media usage.
Here are a few ways through which Blockchain is already transforming Digital Marketing:
• The “Tiny Human” is a song by British singer Imogen Heap which was released on Ujo Music – a Blockchain powered site. It lets the users not only buy the song but also the tempo, key, and stem of the track via the Cryptocurrency Ether.
• NYIAX recently developed a Blockchain based Ad Exchange platform in partnership with NASDAQ.
• BitClave, a Blockchain based start-up is an example of decentralized Search Engines that offer Blockchain based privacy to its users.
• Steem, a social media platform based on Blockchain technology promotes its users to generate and craft content by offering reward payments for the best content. This has proven the best way to engage users on social media.
Actualizing Blockchain technology is probably going to lessen the rate of Ad frauds and prompt advertisers to get the actual value for the investments. This could save millions for the ad industry.
Coming back to the PNB scam, here’s how Blockchain could have resolved it. Smart Contract is a key feature that can help prevent and detect fraud. In the context of banking, smart contract or Blockchain contract or digital contract, is a program capable of digitally facilitating, verifying and enforcing the negotiation or performance of a contract.
Blockchain and connected smart contracts, if integrated to the bank’s ecosystem can help keep track of all the information and any changes made will leave a paper trial for easy auditing. Hence, no transactions could be carried out illegally or secretively.
The Path Ahead
Evaluating the advantages of Blockchain suggests that it going to play a major role in digital technology arena in the future. However, the question arises – when?
Whether Blockchain has been widely adopted by the marketers or not, is no longer a concern now. Because, smart marketers have realized that the success of any digital marketing strategy in the future relies on the early adoption of Blockchain technology.