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Tips & Guides — 27 May 2021
What the Future Holds for Blockchain and Partner Marketing?
Blockchain has become a buzzword both in corporate and everyday life. The main reason for the hype around it is the incredible growth of Bitcoin, a blockchain-based cryptocurrency, which went up to $58,000 since its invention in 2007.
However, blockchain use cases go far beyond mining Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other cryptocurrencies. Blockchain platforms and solutions can be used for securely sharing data, getting advertising insights, tracking various kinds of activities, creating content, and more.
In this article, we’ll unpack the major benefits and outcomes blockchain technology drives for partner marketing. Let’s start with sorting things out and exploring what the term blockchain means.
Understanding blockchain technology requires us to get a bit nerdy and delve into theory. Blockchain is based on distributed ledgers — decentralized databases that can be managed by various participants. While usual databases imply storing all the data on a server somewhere in Malibu, distributed ledger technology (DLT) allows exchanging information across several points directly. So, blockchain ecosystems let participants exchange data without processing it through the central server.
However, blockchain technology stands out from other DLT solutions. First of all, it has a specific structure — a chain consisting of separate blocks. Each of these blocks contains certain records, or transactions, which are secured with a cryptographic signature called a hash.
When someone is trying to make a transaction, a blockchain platform creates a new block and notifies each participant of the network about it. When all participants validate the operation, a platform adds the new block to the chain and executes the transaction.
Thanks to these principles and structure, blockchain technology has the following advantages:
With all these benefits, blockchain technology provides an enticing opportunity to streamline processes and boost efficiency in various areas of business. Modern startups offer blockchain solutions for healthcare, eCommerce, fintech, digital marketing, and more. For instance, social media platform Steem uses blockchain technology to build communities and incentivize users for sharing content. Chances are partner marketing will adopt this technology too.
As with many other new technologies, blockchain is believed to have the potential to revolutionize the industry. Let’s explore what issues in partner marketing blockchain solutions can tackle and how businesses troubleshoot them now.
Digital marketers try to acquire as much customer data as possible to provide the personalization buyers want. Meanwhile, traditional technologies imply dozens of intermediaries, which collect all information about the user activities on the web. The involvement of these third parties increases the odds of data breaches.
Blockchain technology can take customer privacy protection to the next level. Using blockchain-based web browsers allows users to keep their data encrypted and protected instead of letting brands store the information on servers.
Eventually, blockchain solutions will make acquiring customer data more challenging for you and your partners. On the other hand, you can make your customer data and privacy protection your advantage. It will work in your favor, especially if you do business in the B2B sector.
Customer privacy protection is nothing to sneeze at, so businesses can’t wait for the spread of blockchain technology. Companies already take measures to protect their users’ and partners’ data by all means. These measures boil down to following GDP rules and regulations, testing possibilities for data breaches, and improving protection techniques.
Check how Affise ensures safety of customer data
Another possible consequence of blockchain technology implementation is the increased transparency of partner marketing. Though modern software solutions allow companies to obtain the information, there is always room for improvement. By further increasing transparency, businesses can completely eliminate unfair rewarding for partners and a partner engagement and satisfaction drop.
Blockchain-based solutions for partner marketing can help businesses make their relationship with partners more transparent. Here’s the smart contracts feature that comes in handy. Smart contracts are signed between partners and performed automatically if triggers are set. Both parties gain access to all the activities and transactions that have taken place. Thus, blockchain technology allows businesses to track each conversion precisely and attribute it to a specific partner.
Now, businesses use partner management software to maintain transparency in partner marketing. These solutions allow companies to track sales partners and affiliates, as well as handling interactions with partners: expanding the network, making offers, checking potential partners, track performance, and more.
Blockchain technology could lead to a revolution in digital advertising. The thing we could face sooner than we think is the disappearance of monopoly in digital advertising. At the moment, most of the display advertising inventory is controlled by the two giants — Google and Facebook. Still, there are already blockchain-based alternatives.
Some startups, such as The Brave browser, allow consumers to choose which ads they want to see. Better yet, they let viewers receive compensation in the BAT cryptocurrency for viewing ads. Part of this compensation users can donate to publishers. Adopting this model leads to a bundle of consequences for all parties of partner and affiliate marketing.
Users could vote for more relevant and high-quality offers. This would turn the tables and challenge advertisers to come up with the finest creatives. However, by crafting better content and targeting it more accurately, businesses up the chances to reach their firsthand audience, boosting conversion rates and cutting the advertising expenses. Finally, publishers in such a crypto advertising system could receive commissions from both advertisers and consumers. Thus, blockchain solutions for digital advertising may be a win-win for all parties.
Fraud is a pain in the neck for businesses that employ affiliate and partner marketing. According to Juniper Research, advertisers will lose nearly $100 billion to fraudulent activities by 2023. The worst thing, fraudulent schemes are sophisticated and hard to spot, unexperienced digital marketers may lose a fortune without noticing it.
Thankfully, you can successfully combat fraud with various prevention technologies and tactics. Learn how to protect your partner marketing activities in our guide on fraud prevention in affiliate marketing.
However, blockchain-based solutions would probably address the problem of scam in partner marketing too. The technology has a potential to reduce many types of partner marketing fraud, including cookie stuffing, IP spoofing, and creative fraud. Blockchain technology enables better control over publishers. Advertisers can monitor their traffic precisely and see advertising-related activities, such as the authentication of clicks.
Better yet, blockchain technology reduces the odds of using device emulation software, which is used to fake application installs. To protect advertisers, blockchain platforms will assign customers to authenticated and verified profiles in the blockchain space.
Payouts to publishers is another area that blockchain technology can shift. Thanks to the use of smart contracts, payments could be issued automatically. Thus, advertisers will save time and effort on processing payments, while affiliates can count on getting their commissions in time.
Better yet, blockchain is a way to reduce costs. Advertisers spend a significant share of their budget on processing payments, especially when they pay in multiple currencies. Switching to payouts in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies will help eliminate 1-2% of processing costs. This, in turn, allows to raise commissions and not attract more potential publishers.
However, you don’t have to wait for the advent of blockchain, as modern partner marketing solutions allow automated timely payments in cryptocurrencies as well. For instance, Affise lets you make payouts in any currency you wish, including cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain puts customers in the driver’s seat and challenges advertisers to become more inventive in obtaining buyers’ data and targeting prospects. On the other hand, this technology allows product owners to get better results in terms of customer acquisition and retention. Moreover, blockchain-based solutions may be used for further improvement of fraud prevention and transparency in partner marketing.
However, advertisers and publishers don’t need to wait for blockchain to achieve incredible transparency, fraud prevention, customer privacy protection, conversion rates improvement, etc. All of these benefits are accessible with well-thought-through modern software solutions.
Consider using Affise to take your partner marketing to the next level. Our platform allows you to expand your partner network with no effort, streamline key processes, automate tasks, and track performance. Our built-in features and integration opportunities provide high transparency, advanced fraud prevention, conversion rate optimization, and more.
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