Blockchain in digital marketing: More consumer trust – and new ways of advertising

Topic: Blockchain in digital marketing: More consumer trust – and new ways of advertising

Digital marketing is facing concerns relating to online activities, be it cyber security, data protection or transparency. Blockchain can help to consolidate customer trust in the digital world. It can give more online ad authenticity, brand transparency, support cross-promotion with influencers and reward customers for data sharing.

Platform businesses like Facebook pose challenges to many market players in digital marketing as they hold monopoly or duopoly. Furthermore, data scandals caused skepticism about the digital advertising scene. Both users and advertisers feel that control over their data is slipping out of their grasp. Blockchain provides marketing organisations with new options to operate more autonomously in the advertising market, and to increase the authenticity of their product and corporate communications.

How? The main characteristic of the blockchain is that it stores data on decentralised servers at several locations rather than in one centralised repository. These distributed data records (blocks) are inseparably linked into a chain. Every computer (peer) in the network receives the same copy of the unalterable data. This has the advantage of no more central repository that all market players have to trust – and therefore no central point of attack for cybercriminals or vulnerability to technical malfunctions. The principle is akin to an online document stored at a decentral location that can be simultaneously updated across several computers. In digital marketing, this lays the foundation for more transparent, secure and trustful solutions.

Brand and product transparency

Sustainability is a defining element of every marketing agenda. Many companies claim to be sustainable. But how do they prove it? Blockchain technology can boost brand transparency within the supply chain management process, i.e. by verifying that products have been sustainably packaged or transported – two key criteria when your products are organic.

Therefore, an Industrial Control Systems (ICS, e.g. T-Systems) writes all data into a blockchain that is synchronised for all participants, such as the manufacturer, shipping agent, and retailer. This process enables consumers to get data on product origin and tracking information.

In practice, the cloud2cloud integration of the Cloud of Things (T-Systems) and the SCP (SAP Cloud Platform) use Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and machine learning to monitor the supply chain of the apples that are used to make a smoothie (use case of T-Systems, pdf). With the help of IoT data, supply data and origin data, consumers can follow the path and origin of the organic apples – and make a reality check on the brand’s value proposition. This allows companies to market their products as sustainable with far more credibility.

Topic Discussed: Blockchain in digital marketing: More consumer trust – and new ways of advertising

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