COMMENTARY

Will the blockchain revolutionize outdoor advertising?

Will the blockchain revolutionize outdoor advertising?

By Rob Thomas, inbound marketing executive, Open Media 

Originally posted on Open Media Reposted with Permission.

Blockchain, blockchain, blockchain...the word is almost inescapable in today's media frenzied world. The technology has the capability to bring enormous changes to the way global business is conducted, but how will it affect outdoor advertising?

DOOH and location-based advertising

The out of home industry is experiencing somewhat of a mini-revolution. The premiership of static and conventional banners is now no longer enough to attract a loyal and long-lasting consumer base. In an increasingly digital and internet orientated world brands are preparing to take the next step in order to create not only noticeable but receptive, engaging and influential outdoor advertising strategies.

Regardless of what you may have already heard about it, one thing is for certain – blockchain has the potential to transform the digital outdoor advertising landscape. Blockchain can enable a brand to gain a big data insight into their customer demographic by facilitating and encouraging consumers to engage with their digital location-based advertisements (e.g. taking a picture and sharing it on their social profiles) in return for a customer reward - a process known as tokenisation.

Leveraging location-based data can make a big impact for digital out of home advertising. Fundamentally, allowing brands to tailor their campaigns to a specific audience, at a specific time and with a specific purpose really makes a difference.

However, location-based advertising is not without its shortcomings. Tangible privacy issues arise when businesses harness consumer data to shape and adjust their advertising efforts. Furthermore, it is often considered to be a slow and ineffective way to target consumers as the data which can be mobilized is limited and does not necessarily lead directly to increased sales.

Smart Contracts, tokenization and OOH advertising

Essentially, Blockchain is a decentralized record-keeping technology which facilitates secure and transparent peer to peer financial transactions without the need for centralized third-party administrators. These peer to peer exchanges are monetized and executed by an encrypted digital currency known as a crypto-currency.

The technology which has an estimated worth of $175 billion by 2025 [Gartner] goes one-step further than current location-based advertising. In regards to digital signage, one of the most attractive possibilities is that Blockchain permits a form of mutually beneficial tokenization to occur between a brand and its consumers.

For instance, imagine digital display which promotes users to interact with it by taking a picture and promoting the advert on their social media handles in return for a fixed amount of digital (crypto) store credit.  In return this would allow a brand to create micro-targeted adverts as they would acquire specific and invaluable data about their consumer demographic.

This form of tokenization between business and consumer can be actioned by a smart contract. A smart contract in its simplest definition is a piece of computer code which controls future exchanges between parties on the blockchain when certain conditions become triggered. For instance, a trigger event could be when a consumer engages with an outdoor advertisement by sharing a photo on their social media profiles. In turn, this can cause the contract to execute itself and they would be seamlessly and transparently rewarded with store crypto-credit from the advertising brand.

Moreover, consumers can ensure that their information is secure because the distributed ledger technology is powerfully encrypted. As the name suggests; each transaction represents a 'block' and all the blocks are connected to the next creating a chain. Since this chain is distributed to every peer in the network and not controlled by a central administrator it would make it incredibly difficult for any hacker or third party to interfere with the data.

It goes without saying that the future of digital out of home advertising is certainly an exciting one.

Image via Istock.com.


Topics: Blockchain, Retail, Software, Trends / Statistics


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