The idea of a cryptographically secured chain of blocks that would later become blockchain was originally proposed by a group of researchers in 1991 with the main purpose of applying digital timestamps on documents, stamps that could not be changed later. Meanwhile, the idea has evolved into a complex technology that creates virtual coins, safe electoral systems, data protection systems, proving to be the foundation of a wide range of applications in medicine, economy and security. As the concept development is still in its infancy, more and more industries are joining the trend. Blockchain technology is booming and will most likely reach maturity, as will the new generation of students born in a digital world. While the first thing we think of when we hear the term “blockchain” is cryptocurrency, that is only one of the industries blockchain will most likely have an impact on.
From tech to fashion
The new technology is actually a system that stores and distributes “blocks” of information, every block being resistant to modification or copying of the data. This may prove to have a large applicability in digital marketing, because it provides more transparency, certainty and responsibility for brands and advertisers. Blockchain technology might be one of the ways used by brands to upgrade their relationship with consumers and media. Perhaps even more important is the fact that companies may soon be required to prove the value of their brands and products by adopting and adapting blockchain technology to their needs.
The new technology found its way into the fashion world when Babyghost teamed up with Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) and BitSE to create a new way for clients to avoid counterfeits. They provided Babyghost customers with the ability to scan clothing tags to check if they were genuine or fake. The new software used a mix of new technologies like blockchain, NFC and AR to create FashTech. This in turn allows customers to verify clothes on the blockchain through NFC or by scanning the QR code on the label. Using the new technologies, Babyghost developed and improved its customer interaction and provided the customers with the ability to actually “read” the story of their clothes.
All about data control
A Western European study has revealed that consumers may be willing to exchange personal information in order to receive personalized offers based on their online search history. But the same studies demonstrated that consumers may also be suspicious about other services brands and advertisers use. Marketers may provide customers with better products and services if they adapt to new privacy concerns and prove their brand value by showing respect for their clients’ needs. As a result of these concerns the European Union is set to enforce a new directive in May, one that will help its citizens protect their personal data by forcing marketers to obtain consent for all information they gather and manage.
This new directive will demand companies to provide high levels of privacy protection for their customers, under the threat of heavy fines if they fail to do so. Blockchain technology was originally created for data protection and might, therefore, provide a new GDPR adaptable usage model through which customers allow companies to access a limited amount of data. This in turn provides the customer with control, allowing them to choose whether or not to receive personalized offers based on online search history or other data. Ad blocking software may become obsolete as power will be restored into the hands of the clients, while still making it possible for brands and advertisers to efficiently promote their products.
Security and transparency
Blockchain technology may also improve the way marketers develop and release their ads. In the digital world of today, ad values are hard to assess. A marketer will often find it impossible to estimate the number of clicks coming on a certain ad and even harder to guess if these are made by real customers or bots. Blockchain technology is easily adaptable for this purpose, providing advertising companies with the chance to find out if the people viewing their ads are the real target audience or not. Furthermore, blockchain technology may also provide marketers with the tools to eliminate intermediaries and fraud, when working with artists, influencers or content writers.
Blockchains are successions of linked blocks containing encrypted information that cannot be decrypted. Every blockchain is a digital register in which any information entered is encrypted in mathematical formulas and each mathematical formula authenticates and validates another mathematical formula that contains other encrypted data in turn. Blockchain technology provides better security and transparency for companies and clients alike and may just be the new buzz in digital marketing.