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How blockchain affects the digital marketing industry

31/10/2017
How blockchain affects the digital marketing industry

You will probably have heard about the “blockchain[1]” and how it is perceived that it will bring revolutionary change to all industries and impact all walks of life. For digital marketing specialists, who already know the importance of keeping up to date with changes in technology and digital marketing platform updates, this is no exception. In fact, blockchain technology and cryptocurrency markets are directly relevant.

Blockchain can be viewed as an accounting system, an asset, a payment method, a currency or an investment opportunity, the choice is down to the individual. Rather than delving into the technological details, which can be sourced from other locations1, let’s take a look at some of the emerging research and facts.

How popular is the blockchain technology?

It is estimated that just under 0.23% of the total world population, or one out of every 438 people, owns a Bitcoin - which is registered in the public blockchain ledger. This can be calculated simply by getting the world population 7.5 billion[2] and dividing that by the number of digital wallet users, which currently stands at 17,109,469[3].

Looking at graphs available online3, we can analyse and highlight the growth and popularity of blockchain technology. Blockchain usage is constantly increasing. As time passes, individuals and businesses are beginning to understand the actual benefits of Bitcoin as a digital currency and blockchain as a technology. This knowledge or realisation, has served to increase momentum and value of blockchain and digital currencies.

Digital marketing industry is growing with blockchain and vice versa

Google is now accepting Bitcoin payments with the Developers Payment API[4]. “You can pass in any three characters and it will be treated as a valid currency code. The reason for this is that it allows support for future currencies. For example, Bitcoin can be supported with its currency code 'XBT'[5].”

This Google payment update is good news to investors and suggests better results for businesses and individuals who mine Bitcoin or own it in their digital wallet. It is widely believed that blockchain technology will be universally adopted by many digital channels over the next few years, as businesses seek to leverage its technological advantages. At the same time, cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Ethereum or Dash will also benefit from indirect promotion of the decentralised trusts mechanisms that blockchain enjoys.

Looking at the last two years as a timeframe, many digital marketing companies and organisations have been relying on blockchain technology. For example the Display Network Channel and online payments being made available in cryptocurrencies. Several digital ad exchanges have been created where ad inventory is managed. An ad exchange is a digital marketplace that enables advertisers and publishers to buy and sell advertising space, often through real-time auctions. Sellers and buyers use the inventory network to promote and advertise products or services. A small percentage is gained by the ad exchange from the various payment methods such as CPM (cost-per-mille), which is a thousand impressions and CPC (cost-per-click). Most initiate a cost of 0.00000399 Bitcoin per click, which is equivalent to €0.01 of the current bitcoin price. With this in mind we can calculate and expect that a total of 250626 clicks will result in one Bitcoin earned. It’s even more impressive when one considers that the clicking is taking place in the public domain at an incredible rate. In 2012, Google AdWords had an average of 237,914,225 clicks per day. When you consider that there are approximately 6,586,013,574 searches a day worldwide today, real-time validation technology such as is provided by blockchain makes sense in an ad exchange environment.

What is the future of the blockchain in digital marketing

As already mentioned, it is only a question of time when more individuals and businesses will start using the technology. The potential is definitely there. Back in 2014, a Facebook employee sent a screenshot of testing payments to Bitcoin Boards[6] and received the reply: “At this moment you can pay for advertising with a Creditcard, Paypal and FB Ad coupons. It is not yet clear when the option to pay with Bitcoins becomes available for the public, but this confirms that they are at least very interested in the crypto currency, and willing to integrate it into their website.” While we will never be sure if Bitcoin payments will be accepted by Social Media platforms, the time certainly seems ripe for integrating Blockchain technology as a payment mechanism in digital marketing platforms.

 

Simeon Kirilov is a digital marketing specialist at Deloitte Digital. For more information, please visit www.deloittedigital.com.mt