MARKNetwork Blockchain: Blockchain for marketing

Will blockchain make your marketing effort worth it in 2019?

Short summary of the article:

“Do not get left behind”

»With globalization, internet became the prime medium of marketing. While it widened the selling opportunities, it came with its own challenges too. Frauds, double spending and data misuse is impacting the popularity of this new medium of marketing. «


From the humble beginnings as Persuasive communication to the blend of strategy and technology, marketing has come a long way. Post the first industrial revolution in 18th century, as the markets got saturated because of competition, the product manufacturers started using sophisticated approaches to informing customers about their products.

With the evolution of the internet, marketing techniques transformed from billboard and TV commercials to a panacea of digital tactics. While marketing over digital platforms widened the horizon of marketing, the digitization negatively impacted the attention span of customers.

According to a seasoned social media analyst, the social media prominence for marketing has gone up significantly. Because of this, the attention span of average internet customer has dropped down from 12 seconds to 3 seconds in last one decade.

A digital marketer today has only 3-5 seconds to make an impression on the buyer.


Customers of today are overloaded with marketing messages causing a misalignment between marketing effort and the sales happening. Gartner’s Digital marketing spending study of 2018 reflects companies are spending close to $100 billion per year on digital marketing. All these dollars spent on marketing are confusing the average buyer as today 11.4 pieces of content are consumed before a purchase decision is made. The pressure is increasing on digital marketers to identify right platforms, demographics, and audience to be targeted. But they are hand-tied with traditional tools.

Result: Despite 90% of internet buyers making a mind about the brand after searching online, only 40% of the organizations are able to prove the ROI of their digital marketing effort.

The list of challenges is long!

MarketingSherpaSurvey’s last study on digital marketing revealed even today customers hold more trust in traditional advertising over digital advertising. While the results are staggering, the customers are not the ones to be blamed. When digital customers got to know what Facebook was doing with the customer data, around 10% of the American’s deleted their Facebook account impacting the digital marketing strategies of millions of business across the globe.

The blockchain protagonists believe it can fit appropriately in the current marketing set up to bridge the gaps by imbibing trust and interoperatbility in the system.

Handing over data control in buyers hands

Users have been suspecting their personal information is being sold by social media platforms for commercial gains of advertisers. Around 50 million Facebook profiles were doubted of being harvested by Cambridge Analytica in 2018 to target them with political ads.

While both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica deny harvesting the user data, Britain’s Channel 4 News conducted a sting operation in March 2018 that revealed that data harvesting must have been used to direct political campaigns for Trump elections and the Brexit vote. April 2019 came with a big shocker when Google admitted that the voice commands issued by users of Google, assistance apps are being reviewed by human reviewers.


These scenarios are magnifying the distrust of the digital platform and product users. Blockchain promises to bring around data anonymity for the existing setup. This would do no harm to either the customers or the companies. While the companies will still have access to organic data of real customers, they cannot misuse the data as impenetrable anonymity of the customers would be maintained using blockchain layers. The blockchain will ensure the customer data is encrypted using cryptographic hashes so that the companies cannot use the data without the permission of the customers. Such an ecosystem will fortify the trust of digital customers profoundly.

Project Killi, is a blockchain based initiative to circumvent the data breach challenges. It gives back customers the control of the marketing data they generate. It prevents data hacking attempts by adding an encrypted protection layer to the customer’s personal data.

It also offers customers a monetization opportunity who can sell their data or offer survey opinions to the organizations look forward to harvesting consumer data in an ethical manner.

Gift Cards on Blockchain

Persistence Market Research reveals the international market for gift cards is expected to grow phenomenally to $698 billion by 2024 which would be almost 100% growth over the current market stance. But if we go by the gift card sale trend over the last decade of growth percentage has been lingering between 5-10% and it is because the system is prone to issues like double spending, card information leaks, spending deadlines, and frauds. Apart from this the card receivers feel stuck with cards of a particular brand as interoperability between the gift card providers is completely missing from the landscape. Every year around $1 Billion worth gift cards expires unused. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 50% of the small businesses last more than 5 years, if the business collapses, the gift card holder may lose all his credit.

Gift cards have proved to be a potential marketing strategy as studies reflect 65% of the gift card recipients tend to spend 38% more than the face value of the gift card. The gift card industry is in need of a technology platform that promises fraud prevention as well as facilitates exchange between different gift cards.


The existing technology platforms have not been able to solve the challenges of the gift card ecosystem. The card buyers and users are emphasizing on the greater choice in how the gift cards can be used across merchants. Many traditional platforms facilitate cross merchant usage of gift cards but the fees they charge is pretty high and the time taken for exchange is long.

This is where blockchain can pan in and take care of all the challenges the setup is facing. Blockchain can offer tokenization of multiple gift cards that makes the exchange of card credits quick and at near zero fees. The gift card holders can accumulate the tokens and choose to spend them with any merchant of choice for an appropriate product. Blockchain not only offers interoperability to the gift card holders but also promises cryptographic security, fraud prevention and solution to double spending problem.

Tokky is one such blockchain project that is redefining the gift card industry. The platform offers a built-in gift card resell market where the platform users can interact in a peer-to-peer fashion to sell unwanted cards. It eliminates the need of a third party facilitator of sale who takes a share out of the sale without actually adding value to the chain. The platform also brings multi-merchant cards so that the gift cards can be used for redemption with multiple merchants of Tokky platform. Using blockchain it supports shared card management without exposing the card balance to any kind of risk.

Promising human engagement

Digital marketing channels aided sales by personalizing the advertisements. But since the bot proliferation, the sales figures may appear inflated known as ad frauds. The ad fraud botnet “Chameleon” is costing advertisers over $6 million a month by generating human-like click rate. According to Juniper Research, the business has been losing around $19 billion in 2017 due to bot ad frauds and if this is not tapped, the number could surpass $ 44 billion in few coming years.

Blockchain is capable of offering transparency to a framework which is built upon it. And that is what blockchain protagonists are trying to achieve for the marketing and advertising channel. The current system of the digital marketing supply chain does not offer detailed metrics of where the money is going and how the campaign is proceeding.

Marketing and advertising fraud have been major problems for brands. The metrics are being intentionally tweaked to allure the advertisers. Amidst this not-so-transparent setup, ad frauds by programming bots that emulate human behavior lead make it difficult to verify real-traffic and to develop appropriate strategies that would yield results.

Innovative Blockchain projects have come up with platforms that would execute a whitelisting process to verify the legitimate websites that have real traffic so that companies looking for advertising can pick the right one. As the companies will have access to immutable data direct from the internet, they can rely on such advertising websites. Lately, major players like Nestle and AT&T have been signing up with blockchain solution providers to have transparent insight into what they must expect when they pay for their digital ads.

One of such blockchain enabled decentralized ad network is that allows transparent engagement metrics to the platform users. The platform offers a global marketplace where advertisers and opinion leaders can interact in a peer-to-peer model. It uses Ethereum blockchain and its escrow payment advantage so that the payments are processed in an automatic and undisputed manner using the smart contracts. The companies can promote their brand and have access to transparent engagement metrics. As the engagement is recorded on the blockchain, the data is immutable and no bots can manipulate it.

To wrap:

Marketing is a much broader term than it used to be. Over time it evolved into a strategic segment of business growth that can flourish only when it has access to correct data. Blockchain can be one element of the marketing ecosystem that can ensure marketers and organizations that their ad effort reaps the right results. We at MARKNetwork intend to transform the marketing landscape by developing innovative blockchain solutions that address real-time issues.

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