NEW YORK: Blockchain technology could help marketers in areas where trust and verifiability are major concerns, according to Rolfe Swinton, director/data assets for North America at research firm GfK.

While there is significant buzz surrounding blockchain technology, it can be difficult for brand custodians to identify where it could have a long-term, meaningful impact for their day-to-day activities.

“At the heart of this, what is blockchain really?” Swinton asked on a WARC webinar that was co-hosted with GreenBook. “Fundamentally, it is about trust.” (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Where is blockchain technology going – and how can brands prepare?)

The strength of blockchain tools results from the fact they deliver a ledger that is modified in real time, is accessible to every participating member, and which offers a tamper-proof record of transactions, data exchanges, and so on.

Register here to access the second part of Rolfe Swinton’s blockchain webinar: Blockchain in 2018: Challenges and Opportunities for Marketers Part 2, taking place today at 12pm EDT, 5pm BST.
More specifically, Swinton argued, the problems of verifying who someone is – not to mention having confidence when making payments and engaging in other digital interactions – have long plagued digital media.

Given this backdrop, the challenge has always been to “lower uncertainty in order to exchange value,” he asserted. “And this is really very much at the heart of what the blockchain seeks to do.”

In demonstrating how this proposition is taking shape for brands, marketing researchers and media owners, he referenced a range of fledgling activations that involve this technology.

Alongside identity verification, they include data “wallets” that allow people to monetize their personal information, content platforms, retail applications, market-research properties, and predictive tools.

The depth and breadth of innovation, Swinton argued, means a test-and-learn ethos, where brands partner with enterprises that are exploring this space, is perhaps the best way to get a feel for a nascent industry.

“Which of these models work is not really so important right now for all of us. The fact is these guys – and many, many more players – are coming to market,” he said.

“But all these guys are experimenting with building decentralized systems which ultimately help secure data to help facilitate exchange, and do this in a decentralized way.”

The second part of WARC’s blockchain webinar series taking place today is designed to walk marketers through specific actions they can take to develop their own blockchain plans and pilots.

Sourced from WARC