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How blockchain technology helps digital advertisers discover new customers

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on July 05, 2018

The technology has become large enough to have merited a global trade body named Blockchain in Technology Alliance which strives to develop common standards in blockchain use   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

Marketers campaign to make ads more appropriate

The new advertising tool for small businesses, outlined by Google, is to take the help of machine-learning technology of Google Ads to yieldresults. Google’s cloud computing business is also working on a blockchain-related technology, while Amazon Web Services, the cloud arm of the e-commerce giant, has also stepped up development of blockchain.

The emergence of blockchain technology for advertisements has immense potential, say experts, since the ability to capture and analyse massive amounts of structured and unstructured data is helping digital advertisers discover new customers.

Every piece of data has value – both to the end-user, who supplies it – and to the advertiser, who uses it for targeted advertising, points out Ashik Ashokan, Digital Planner at VML, a marketing and ad agency. By making advertisements more targeted and appropriate, marketers are now looking to ensure that their campaign will result in an elevated return on investment.

Enter Kind Ads, a blockchain visionary. A decentralised ad network platform that seeks to make the online ad experience more pleasant, “Kind Ads come with a vision to bridge the gap between publishers, advertisers, users and app providers”, Ashokan told BusinessLine. “The end goal is to create an ecosystem with a balance of power and value for everyone.” Consumers, too, stand to benefit, since users who opt to share their data with advertisers get to see targeted ads. A recent study by Experian on Digital Consumer Insights showed 51 per cent Indians saying they are willing to share their personal data to avail various offerings.

Commenting on the duopoly of Facebook and Google in the adtech ecosystem, Ashokan says “these giants are effectively siphoning users’ attention to an area where it can be sold to advertisers”.

Intrusive and irrelevant

However, with about 615 million devices worldwide using ad-blocking software, consumers still tend to perceive online advertisements as intrusive and irrelevant and take great pains to block them. The rise of ad-blocking behaviour, and the social outrage over data breaches like the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, are powerful indicators that consumers want a greater say in the data economy, adds Ashokan.

In the current system, though, “it is not possible for users to manage complex data themselves. So they rely on the duopoly to do it for them, relinquishing not just any opportunity for incentive but also transparency over their data”, he adds.

Since blockchain has entered the equation “together with tools that simplify data, we are able to create a better system, one with greater transparency that gives users control over transacting their data and also a choice if they want to view ad content”, says Ashokan.

Published on July 05, 2018

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