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  • Melanie Brown

Blockchain Technology for Advanced Advertising

So, now that we’re all basically familiar with the idea behind blockchain (if you’re not, see my previous post here), it’s time to get into the ways in which blockchain can be applied to the media industry.

Quick Recap

Data is increasingly becoming a crucial piece of the advertising puzzle. The shift into advanced advertising has brought attention to big data and all of the additional attributes it can contribute to audience targeting.

Over the past few years, everything from retail purchases to types of vehicles owned, number of kids in the household, and internet browsing data has been collected, distilled, and segmented for targeting on digital and mobile platforms. Now that television is starting to lean more towards digital, and execution becomes more unified, advertisers are chomping at the bit to transact on the same data across all platforms.

Walled Gardens

Even though the availability of a virtual goldmine of data has increased, the walled gardens that house that data are still hindering the process of unified execution for the media industry.

What’s a walled garden, you ask? Walled Gardens often come with the territory of data ownership. Essentially, a walled garden is an ecosystem that is controlled by the ecosystem operator. Companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and the like house massive stores of information of all kinds. Purchase behavior, search behavior, social media engagement behavior; just name it.

This data is immensely useful in ad targeting, but is subject to overseeing by the company that controls it. So you can play in the gardens of Amazon, Google, and Facebook, but only the game that those companies will give you the rules for.

Where Blockchain Comes In

The ad industry’s holy grail is unification of campaigns across channels. Transacting on one audience across all platforms. The key to unification is identity resolution, wherein a person is tied by an anonymized identifier to every single action they take: their TV viewing behavior, online browsing behavior, app purchase and activity, search history, online purchases, location data, offline purchases, income data, the list goes on.

Here’s the thing: all of this data exists and is usable in the context of advertising and marketing strategy/planning. Here’s the other thing: it all exists behind a series of walled gardens that are as numerous as the data points collected, require owner permissions to access, and are not easily tied to identifiers in another data source. So unification requires a lot of laborious process and repetitions for the sake of one data-driven media campaign.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could house all consumer data in one decentralized location, where everyone could safely access it and transact on it?


In fact, one of those decentralized places exists! Part 3 will dive into what's out there for the media space.


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