Artificial intelligence and virtual reality are overrated
When two months ago the exchange rate exceeded 4 thousand dollars, no one probably predicted that the valuation of the most popular cryptocurrency in the world would ever surpass 17 thousand dollars (and this is more or less the rate at the time of writing these words)!
There are still dramatic voices warning against speculation and a bubble that may burst with a big bang, but on the other hand we can see a visible change in the attitude of many banks and financial institutions, as well as some consulting companies, expressed in the official interest in cryptocurrencies. The day before yesterday bitcoin debuted on the Chicago exchange, and last week the Polish branch of Deloitte presented a report on the use of blockchain and VATCoin cryptocurrency for tax purposes.
While the only sure thing in this world is taxes, it blockchain can have many applications other than tax, But before I talk about them, let me remind you what it is and what characterises it. The operation of blockchain technology is based on the concept of P2P network, i.e. Peer-to-Peer, where all computers assigned to one network have equal rights, as there is no central administrator. Transfer to each other all the resources and data available on the P2P network, without the need for a central server, and the main purpose of such a solution is to enable – in real time – the direct cooperation of network devices. Transmission of data is done in encrypted form, which allows for identification of its senders and recipients. If a user wants to add any information to the collection, it has to be accepted by the other.
Each block is equipped with a unique identifier ("hash") – a kind of digital fingerprint – linking the blocks into a string. Modification of stored information is impossible without changing it in all blocks, which provides users with full transparency and makes it virtually impossible to falsify data based on the consensus mechanism.
The main disadvantages of blockchain technology are the relatively long transaction execution time, low efficiency, and high costs, which will be affected by the long implementation time and system revolution. According to a July 2016 Gartner report, blockchain technology is near the peak of user interest and expectation, and should become massively popular within 5-10 years.
Blockchain and marketing
In an article in Ad Age magazine we find more than 20 possibilities for marketers to use blockchain. Here is a list of the most interesting ones (in addition to the practical examples mentioned in my previous column):
1. Controlling the ad impression process to confirm that live people (and not bots) saw the ad for the time required by the standards; Measuring audience engagement and evaluating the effectiveness of ads; Limiting the number of impressions of the same ad to one person and ensuring optimal frequency of impressions.
2. Paying publishers, technology companies, agencies or other entities a fee for creating, delivering or impacting advertising
Rewarding consumers for enriching advertising campaigns with additional content;
Paying consumers to use the so-called "blockchain. soft data (behavioral or psychographic);
Rewarding consumers for sharing hard data about themselves, their interests and purchase intentions.
3. Provide the consumer with full access to information about the advertiser's use of their data. Providing consumers with insight into how marketers use aggregated data.
4. Verification of the influence of influencers and the requirements set for them by marketers. Checking whether the fans of influencers are real people or bots.
5. Acceptance by relevant parties of advertising content or editorial content before publication.
6. Verifying votes for contestants of award shows according to the principle „one voter-one vote”.
7. Creating new consumer loyalty programs in a way that makes it difficult to fraudulently collect points.
8. Controlling the terms of contracts e.g. Ads;
Controlling the legality of political ads with authentication required before the ad is released.
9. Providing marketers with the ability to fund new products or services through so-called "crowdfunding. ICO in exchange for investors' shares in the venture.
10. Storing digital assets on the blockchain (an alternative to cloud hosting).
11. Purchase rights or licenses from content creators (music, video, photos) to use their work in marketing campaigns.
12. Verify the employment history of job applicants and the credibility of references and other information given to them.
13. Shift from measuring time spent on a campaign, to measuring business results and their effectiveness (as recommended by Google, I wrote about it in the previous text).
This is just the beginning of the blockchain adventure. In the 90s. in Poland, the Internet was associated with only one or two portals. Few dreamed of search engines, social media or smartphones. And today? The scale of diversity and choice simply knocks you out.
However, the whole world has gone blockchain crazy. Artificial intelligence and virtual reality are in the shade. Some say blockchain will have as much impact on marketing as the internet once had on it.