A user’s access to the “free” internet is actually paid for in their highly valuable personal data. Everything you post on social media or look up on a search engine is a meaningful characteristic that platforms can gather about you and use to create profit. The “free” use of internet browsers, social media platforms, and search engines is actually paid for with our personal information. In return, we get targeted ads for products that don’t actually give with our real needs and desires.
While companies like Google have enviable infrastructure, their system doesn’t create the most efficient marketplace for advertisers and users. Companies and marketers are pouring money into advertising that doesn’t help them achieve their goals, and the user has his privacy violated and data compromised, as in the many Facebook breaches in the news lately.
At BitClave, we talk a lot publicly about the many problems of the current online advertising system for the user, because it’s currently unfair and blockchain will change this system for the better. We also think a lot about how a system built on blockchain can work to the advantage of companies and marketers, who would no longer be beholden to middlemen in a decentralized ecosystem. Centralized online advertising as it stands today is incredibly inefficient and unproductive for marketers. Billions of dollars are wasted annually, and users feel oversaturated with poor content that doesn’t align with their interests. Here are the biggest areas where innovation, especially through blockchain, can make online advertising more effective, powerful, and meaningful for marketers:
CTRs are Bad News
In your online marketing campaign,you probably aren’t reaching your target audience. Only eight percent of internet users account for 85 percent of click-throughs. We can imagine that these people, however curious they are, are not ready to make consumer decisions on the website they reach.
Fewer than half of the ads placed online ever get viewed by the user. Savvy internet users have trained themselves not to pay attention to the vast, vast majority of ads, or placement and design are very poor.
About 20 percent of paids clicks are fake, driven by bots or competitors driving up traffic and marketing costs. This can drive up marketing costs with no reward for your company.
You have no idea if the person served your ads is really interested in your product, or ready to make a purchase.
Online advertising as it stands is a blunt tool. As an advertiser, you throw money at the internet, and all you can do is hope that your content isn’t placed alongside hate speech, pornography, or (last and least) your competitor’s advertising.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Targeted ads can be effective, and mutually beneficial to internet users and to the advertisers’ clients. The problem in the scenario above is the power dynamic of centralization that takes advantage of users (and their valuable data) instead of empowering them to choose privacy on their own terms.