The past decade has seen a revolution in how marketers think about and communicate with consumers. The game-changing factor, arguably more powerful than any other, has been the rise of the algorithm-based marketing, powered by big data and mobile technology. As each person inputs thousands of data points into their mobile devices each day, their preferences can be learned, and marketing algorithms can target recommendations that are most suitable to each individual.
However, the era of big data and algorithm-based marketing is plagued by flaws and inefficiencies which can hurt all parties involved. For marketers, the data they collect are often isolated in “data silos,” as each data source collects only a small piece of the full individual’s profile. There is also insufficient data to determine if and how algorithm-based targeted marketing actually leads to sales conversions. This lack of a “closed loop” makes it very difficult to accurately determine the ROI of a marketing investment.
For content publishers and creators, they are then unable to fully determine their influence, and therefore struggle to monetize their work. For the users themselves, they frequently have little-to-know control over their data, or knowledge as to how it is used.
Despite the advancements that algorithms and big data have brought to the world of marketing, it is still a sub-optimal situation for most parties involved.
Digital marketing, on the blockchain
The solution to digital marketing’s current conundrum may come from blockchain technology. Proton Chain is a public blockchain project that provides the underlying infrastructure for effective digital marketing by connecting every level of digital marketing data. This, according to Proton Chain’s founders, ensures information records are permanent and that the data cannot be tampered with. It uses unified user IDs to implement data storage, collaborate and confirm advertiser’s launch data and to log user’s behavior data as well.
So, how would it work, and how would it change how things are currently done?
Currently data from one app has limited access to data from others. The example given by Proton Chain’s representatives is tourism booking. When a user browses a tourist destination of interest, they may then open a browser to search for other relevant information, then finally close the browser to open a booking APP for preparation. Although the final order was processed through the booking app, how the user came to make the decision goes unknown, as the data from the browser they used is siloed, separated from the data of the booking app.
When that is done through Proton Chain, however, that data is all placed in a closed loop. The real advantage of Proton Chain, according to founder and CEO Hanson Lee, lies in its consensus mechanism to ensure that the data cannot be tampered with, preserving its value. This allows a clear, transparent, and verifiable way to determine rights of data possession, user rights, income rights and disposal rights.
By using blockchain technology, the transaction process and each engagement a user has with an advertisement will be recorded on the chain. The end result is that the advertiser gains data ownership and usage rights, while the media and platform are designated the revenue rights. This would open up whole new worlds of monetization possibilities for content producers and platforms, and enhanced targeting capabilities for advertisers.
While this offers clear benefits to marketers, platforms, and content producers, Hanson Lee believes it will bring the greatest benefit to individual users, who will have full control over their data. “Since the data rights are confirmed, users can finally have the choice to dispose of their own data if they choose, or to provide it to advertisers improve their data, or to keep it private,” explained Lee. “The awakening of users’ own rights and interests of data will really bring about great changes, and the ownership of data rights will be a precondition for unlocking the huge potential of blockchain’s true value.”
In a time when there is greater concern than ever over online privacy, Proton Chain seeks to provide a solution.
Beginning to gain traction
Currently, Proton Chain has received financial investment totaling ten million US dollars. In June, global digital currency trading platforms BCEX, Coin Tiger, Lbank and DDEX had added Proton Chain.
For those interested in issues related to blockchain, big data, and marketing, this project may be worth keeping an eye on.