Joshua Q. Israel Satten, Blockchain Practice Lead and Evangelist – North America, Wipro Limited
Beyond the blockchain hype lies its true potential, leading to new pathways towards implementation and real usage of the underlying technology set (most notably distributed ledger, smart contracts, crypto-assets, and encryption). These are being realized across supply-chain, financial services, and manufacturing with potential adoption in digital marketing prime to become the next key example. The opportunities and areas where key issues are being sought for remediation, as well as market enhancements, are best discussed in three buckets: (1) digital marketing companies advertising to potential consumers on behalf of their corporate clients, (2) corporate clients looking to market to consumers and optimize their spend on digital marketers, and (3) the consumers themselves.
Many companies who frequently face a twofold issue related to how their marketing companies typically hire a plethora of third-party companies to ensure the content gets to consumers, and further, must then ensure that those consumers are good potential customers, and more critically, that they are real people. A rise of bots over the past few years, combined with a glut of websites and services setup purely to produce clicks and views to drive digital advertising revenue has created an incredible minefield of unreliable data for many large corporate clients who can’t quantify their actual marketing ROI as a result.
Distributed Ledger (DLT) could allow communications professionals to track and authenticate consumer data as the technology enables secure and trusted transactions between parties, thus creating much more scrutiny around the need and role of third-party data-mining vendors. Where verifying data becomes easier, the benefits of decentralization will beget workflow changes and the very nature of marketing teams and their metrics, while the touchpoints by which marketers track consumer interactions and metrics will be altered by blockchain’s transaction management, interoperability, and data verification capabilities. With these workflow changes, marketers will see long-term benefits in working with higher quality and more verifiable data by working directly with consumers versus third-party data-mining vendors.
Today, consumers are expected to log their personal data (name, number, email, password, etc.) with every company they engage with online for account verification and this year we saw some of the largest and most damaging consumer data breaches which could have been better mitigated through decentralization and encryption. Distributed networks with encryption protocols support decentralized digital records of secure transactions meaning that each digital transaction is securely logged across several locations across an entire distributed network with the data fully masked with blockchain acting as the consumer’s personal identification and authentication key to unmask or access said data.
Distributed ledger’s value of transparency could allow consumers to double-check the status, condition, lineage, or authenticity of a product they purchased. Foods claiming to be organic and locally sourced, medicines requiring temperature-controlled storage, unique artwork, and high-end luxury goods like diamond jewelry are all examples of product areas where we’ve begun to see this radical movement towards customer accessibility that implicitly compels companies to be held accountable. This increased transparency works in two ways because as brick and mortar stores become eCommerce platforms, they are at a growing risk of counterfeiters selling fraudulent products and hackers breaching their consumer databases. These vulnerabilities put corporate profits, reputation, and consumer confidence at risk.
At the end of the day, to fully realize the potential of blockchain in digital marketing, marketers will need to embrace the fact that in essence, all marketing is becoming digital marketing, while blockchain hype brought an influx of people, ideas, and experiments and its initial impact has been fragmented – what’s left are real-life and sustainable solutions to current needs and problems.
About the Author: Joshua Q. Israel Satten is the Director for Wipro’s Blockchain Practice and the leader of the Blockchain Financial Services practice in North America. With over 15 years of global diversified experience, Joshua has been instrumental in creating, managing, and scaling transformational growth for several top-tier financial services companies over the past decade. In his current role, Joshua holds a dual position – one he serves as the leader and evangelist for Blockchain for Financial services in North America. As part of this, he closely works with our financial services business unit, various consortia and partners, advising and leading the blockchain journey for Wipro’s financial service clients. Two, he is responsible for Wipro’s global Blockchain Center of Excellence team (COE). In this role and as a face to the industry, he represents Wipro in various industry forums, builds connections with Business / IT Leadership across industries and geographies, and works with Industry Analysts to gain mind-share in the global blockchain ecosystem.