How Blockchain Is Restoring Value And Transparency In Online Search

How Blockchain Is Restoring Value And Transparency In Online Search

In today’s digital age, the timely retrieval of information

is critical to human functioning. This reality means millions, even billions, of users coalescing around internet search. Information dependency has created an impossibly rich online concentration of potential prospects. Businesses cannot ignore search engine marketing and digital advertising. They have to be where people are.

Now, the primary objective of a search engine is simple: deliver trustworthy, authoritative and timely information in response to a query. As searchers query, click and learn, they naturally interact with businesses. These interactions can be enriching to both sides. Consumers want answers to questions, while businesses want to provide solutions to problems they are positioned to solve. When working, it’s a virtuous cycle of meaningful digital engagement at scale. Unfortunately, because of the outsized influence had by search engine platforms and their advertising network intermediaries, the experience is rarely this idyllic.

The Sad State Of Search

"Assume you know little about wine but you are nevertheless interested to purchase some good quality wine online. … But how can you search about something you do not really know much about? … Unfortunately, as any search will show, what you end up getting are results based mostly on popularity and semantic context. The little-known wine producer in Italy with the right wine for you has no hope of ever reaching you with his digital content if you just type 'red wine' in the online search field. … What you are most likely to get from any agnostic query are results from those who had a big budget to spend on digital marketing. In other words, the global digital media landscape today is a very uneven field that favors the rich and powerful." Consumers lose in a search environment unduly influenced by spend. They contribute valuable, actionable data with every click but don’t reap any reward from this contribution. Nor are they sure about the efficacy of the results they browse.

For businesses — even those with big budgets — the situation is perhaps bleaker.

For every dollar of digital advertising spent last year, $0.40 went to Google and $0.37 went to Facebook. Literally, every other participant on the world’s most ubiquitous online social channels (think: Snapchat, Twitter, Amazon) battle for leftovers. The utter non-competitiveness does little to promote transparency and innovation or return control to advertisers and consumers. Jeremy Epstein, CEO of the blockchain marketing company Never Stop Marketing, recalls the conversation he had with Stacy Huggins, CMO of MadHive. According to her, for every $1 you invest in digital advertising, you only get $.44 of value.

For years, these advertisers’ efforts to secure authentic, valuable connections with consumers have been stymied. Opaque data, convoluted campaign terms and fuzzy metrics are inhibitors. Nineteenth-century retailer John Wanamaker’s iconic line, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half” represents a fundamental question about digital ads altogether. It represents the growing unease about dubious tactics and tepid returns offered by leading search engines.

Emerging Technology And The Evolution Of Search

At BitClave, we’re solving the problem from both the consumer and business side. We believe mutually incentivizing and establishing a direct connection between businesses and customers is the paradigm shift the search and advertising vertical needs. Principally, customers find what they are looking for and businesses provide the right offer to the right question from the right consumer. Within the ecosystem, these interactions are managed in a decentralized way, leveraging the security and immutability of blockchain. As user information is generated, businesses enjoy precise levels of user targeting, maximizing ROI on advertising spend, regaining campaign control and answering search queries. Customer and retail activity information gets stored on the decentralized ledger. This satisfies users’ desire for relevant search results while driving a safer, more efficient transactional experience.

In the U.S., digital ad spend is expected to be $83 billion in 2017. Of this, roughly $37 billion will be from search. As Google and Facebook’s stranglehold tightens, sub-optimal experiences for users and advertisers will continue. These middlemen have moved from simply owning the platforms for search and commerce to meddling in the actual engagements. They are dictating results and using this influence, in the form of ad placements and click-through rate performance, for exorbitant gain.

The too-big-to-fail search and advertising middle should be accountable. Their currency is data and dollars — the very things that consumers and advertisers provide. Irritation is growing among consumers and advertisers alike. AdBlockers app downloads are surging. The vagaries of digital ad ROI have spurred blockchain-based companies bent on disrupting the vertical — and conditions are changing.

Alongside BitClave, martech industry observers note some early leaders:

• AdChain
is an open protocol that uses blockchain technology to improve the digital ad supply chain and prevent ad fraud.

• NYIAX
 is the world’s first exchange to trade advertising contracts. Developed in partnership with Nasdaq, NYIAX enables publishers and advertisers to buy, sell and re-trade high-quality advertising inventory with its financial matching engine.

• AdShares
offers programmatic advertising in a decentralized, peer-to-peer marketplace. The platform brings together publishers and advertisers by cutting out the middleman.

A View Of The Future

Our conviction is that mechanisms to deliver value to buyers and sellers, not middlemen, need to be at the center of search.For years, these advertisers’ efforts to secure authentic, valuable connections with consumers have been stymied. Opaque data, convoluted campaign terms and fuzzy metrics are inhibitors. Nineteenth-century retailer John Wanamaker’s iconic line, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half” represents a fundamental question about digital ads altogether. It represents the growing unease about dubious tactics and tepid returns offered by leading search engines.

Emerging Technology And The Evolution Of Search

At BitClave, we’re solving the problem from both the consumer and business side. We believe mutually incentivizing and establishing a direct connection between businesses and customers is the paradigm shift the search and advertising vertical needs.

Principally, customers find what they are looking for and businesses provide the right offer to the right question from the right consumer. Within the ecosystem, these interactions are managed in a decentralized way, leveraging the security and immutability of blockchain. As user information is generated, businesses enjoy precise levels of user targeting, maximizing ROI on advertising spend, regaining campaign control and answering search queries. Customer and retail activity information gets stored on the decentralized ledger. This satisfies users’ desire for relevant search results while driving a safer, more efficient transactional experience.

In the U.S., digital ad spend is expected to be $83 billion in 2017. Of this, roughly $37 billion will be from search. As Google and Facebook’s stranglehold tightens, sub-optimal experiences for users and advertisers will continue. These middlemen have moved from simply owning the platforms for search and commerce to meddling in the actual engagements. They are dictating results and using this influence, in the form of ad placements and click-through rate performance, for exorbitant gain.

The too-big-to-fail search and advertising middle should be accountable. Their currency is data and dollars — the very things that consumers and advertisers provide. Irritation is growing among consumers and advertisers alike. AdBlockers app downloads are surging. The vagaries of digital ad ROI have spurred blockchain-based companies bent on disrupting the vertical — and conditions are changing.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
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