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Monthly Archives: February 2020

Multiverse virtual worlds will be healthier for society than our current social networks

February 29, 2020 No Comments

The basis of the classic James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies” is an evil media mogul who instigates war between the U.K. and China because it will be great for TV ratings. There’s been a wake-up call recently that our most popular social networks have been indirectly designed to divide populations into enemy camps and reward sensational content, but without the personal responsibility of Bond’s nemesis because they’re algorithmically driven.

(This is part five of a seven-part series about virtual worlds.)

The rise of “multiverse” virtual words as the next social frontier offers hope to one of the biggest crises facing democratic societies right now. Because the dominant social media platforms (in Western countries at least) monetize through advertising, these platforms reward sensational content that results in the most clicks and shares. Oversimplified, exaggerated claims intended to shock users scrolling past are best practices for individuals, media brands and marketing departments alike, and social platforms intentionally steer users toward more extreme content in order to captivate them for longer.

Our impending cultural shift to socializing equally as often through virtual worlds could help rescue us from this constant conflict of interest between what we recognize as healthy interactions with others and how these social apps incentivize us to behave.

Virtual worlds can have advertisements within them, but the dominant monetization strategies in MMOs are upfront purchase of games and in-game transactions. Any virtual world that gains enough adoption to compete as a social hub for mainstream society will need to be free-to-play and will earn more money through in-world transactions than from ads.


Social – TechCrunch


Relativity Space expands its rocket-printing operations into an enormous new Long Beach HQ

February 29, 2020 No Comments

Building a rocket is a big operation, even when you’re printing them from the ground up, like Relativity Space . The launch startup is graduating from its initial office, which is a bit cramped for assembling rockets, to a huge space in Long Beach, where the company will go from prototype to first flight.

We recently visited Relativity at their old headquarters, which had the scrappy (literally — there were metal scraps everywhere) industrial feel you’d expect from a large-scale hardware startup. But except for the parking lot, there didn’t seem to be anywhere to put together… you know, a rocket.

So it was no surprise when co-founder and CEO Tim Ellis said that the company was just starting the process of moving to a gigantic new open-plan warehouse-style building in Long Beach.

Relativity CEO Tim Ellis is obviously excited about the new HQ.

“It’s a big step,” Ellis told TechCrunch. “It’ll actually be the first factory we fully build out with 3D printers. This new space is actually big enough that we’ll be printing the first and second stages, and the fairing at the same time. The new ceiling height is approximately 40 feet, which will allow us to build taller — about twice the height of our current facility. We’re on track to start shipping parts to Stennis for testing later this year.”

In addition to the three “Stargate” printers that can print parts up to 15 feet high, they’ll have three more that can go up to 20 feet and two that can go up to 30. It’s a bit hard to imagine a single printed rocket part 30 feet tall until you’ve seen some of the pieces Relativity has already made.

Not only do the rockets take up a lot of space, but the company itself is growing.

“From two years ago to now we’ve over 20X-ed our entire footprint as a company,” Ellis pointed out. In other words, it was starting to feel a bit overpopulated in their old spot near LAX.

This the space as it is now; the image up top is a render of how it will look once active.

Assembly of the launch vehicle, called Terran 1, its Aeon engines and R&D will all take place in the new HQ. It’s nearly 120,000 square feet, and will be built as a very high-tech manufacturing operation indeed. There will be no fixed tooling, meaning the factory can be rapidly reconfigured, and will be highly automated. The company’s 3D printers aren’t like the simple ones used for rough prototyping, but enormous, carefully monitored robot arms that perform real-time analysis of the metal they are laying down.

“It’s really the first autonomous factory, and it’s not just for rockets,” Ellis said. “Once we prove out the factory with this first launch vehicle, we’re convinced this works towards our long-term plan of launching factories to Mars and building a wide range of products that you’re going to need there. It’s on the path for the long-term vision but also a way for us to be a pioneer in this new value chain for aerospace.”

“It’s going to be cool,” he added.

Gadgets – TechCrunch


Notivize makes it easier for non-technical teams to optimize app notifications

February 29, 2020 No Comments

A new startup called Notivize aims to give product teams direct access to one of their most important tools for increasing user engagement — notifications.

The company has been testing the product with select customers since last year and says it has already sent hundreds of thousands of notifications. And this week, it announced that it has raised $ 500,000 in seed funding led by Heroic Ventures .

Notivize co-founder Matt Bornski has worked at a number of startups, including AppLovin and Wink, and he said he has “so many stories I can tell you about the time it takes to change a notification that’s deeply embedded in your stack.”

To be clear, Bornski isn’t talking about a simple marketing message that’s part of a scheduled campaign. Instead, he said that the “most valuable” notifications (e.g. the ones that users actually respond to) are usually driven by activity in an app.

For example, it might sound obvious to send an SMS message to a customer once the product they’ve purchased has shipped, but Bornski said that actually creating a notification like that would normally require an engineer to write new code.

“There’s the traditional way that these things are built: The product team specs out that we need to send this email when this happens, or send this SMS or notification when this happens, then the engineering team will go in and find the part of the code where they detect that such a thing has happened,” he said. “What we really want to do is give [the product team] the toolkit, and I think we have.”

Notivize rule

So with Notivize, non-coding members of the product and marketing team can write “if-then” rules that will trigger a notification. And this, Bornski said, also makes it easier to “A/B test and optimize your copy and your send times and your channels” to ensure that your notifications are as effective as possible.

He added that companies usually don’t build this for themselves, because when they’re first building an app, it’s “not a rational thing to invest your time and effort in when you’re just testing the market or you’re struggling for product market fit.” Later on, however, it can be challenging to “go in and rip out all the old stuff” — so instead, you can just take advantage of what Notivize has already built.

Bornski also emphasized that the company isn’t trying to replace services that provide the “plumbing” for notifications. Indeed, Notivize actually integrates with SendGrid and Twilio to send the notifications.

“The actual sending is not the core value [of what we do],” he said. “We’re improving the quality of what you’re paying for, of what you send.”

Notivize allows customers to send up to 100 messages per month for free. After that, pricing starts at $ 14.99 per month.

“The steady march of low-code and no-code solutions into the product management and marketing stack continues to unlock market velocity and product innovation,” said Heroic Ventures founder Michael Fertik in a statement. “Having been an early investor in several developer platforms, it is clear that Notivize has cracked the code on how to empower non-technical teams to manage critical yet complex product workflows.”


Enterprise – TechCrunch


Is SEO dead in 2020?

February 29, 2020 No Comments

The death of SEO is a topic that’s been batted around for years but is 2020 the year SEO, an industry with a history dating back more than 25 years, finally kicks the bucket?

TikTok, digital PR, voice search – new terms have been coined and new social networks have popped up in the past few years. As industry experts take a look back over the past year and forecast trends for the coming year, the inevitable question comes up time and time again: “Is SEO dead this year?”

The answer, of course, is no. SEO is not dead.

If you’re a business reading this article because you’re wondering whether to invest your hard-earned cash in SEO, is it still a viable marketing strategy for 2020, or whether to spend it more wisely elsewhere, read on.

Why do people say SEO is dead?

So if SEO is as wildly successful as we’re proclaiming, then why do people claim SEO dead?

Put yourself into the shoes of a site owner whose whole experience of SEO is those shady emails that manage to avoid your inbox’s spam filter: “Dear Sir, you must be curious to know, in spite of having popular keywords and many backlinks why your website is not visible on the first page of major search engines.” 

Or think of those in traditional marketing who work outside of SEO. According to a study, 61% of business owners cited that “increasing brand awareness” is important to them – how many of these understand that SEO is one of the most effective ways to organically increase awareness of your brand? While we know that the number one position on Google is reported to capture up to 31.7% of search traffic, according to one study, as compared to around 17% in the number two position, all the way down to just two percent in position 10, they may not.

Let’s consider those stats in real terms, think of a sector with a highly competitive high search volume keyword, for example, “cheap flights”. This has 550,000 average monthly searches. If you’re in position one in Google for that search term, that’s a potential of 176,000 people reaching your site through that search result alone every single month.

But to mix things up, add to this the fact that position number one in Google’s search results doesn’t mean exactly what it says it does all the time nowadays. Users will be first confronted with a (debatably) clearly labeled “Ad”, served by Google Ads based on a combination of what that site has bid for them and their quality score.

So some think that SEO is dead because paid media is the top dog

But we can counter this with the fact that position one in Google isn’t everything it says it is anymore. While there will, of course, be an ad at the top of the search results, this is often also followed up by a “Google Answer Box” and/or a knowledge panel. These are our zero-click searches and these don’t come easily. Google doesn’t just hand them out to anyone. It takes a combination of elements to make sure that you secure those placements:

  • Excellent on-page content
  • High-value links off the page
  • A good dash of the best technical SEO thrown

And a good deal, more hard work ensuring that you keep on top of all of this to remain in that position.

Even within the digital industry, people proclaim SEO is dying. Google’s algorithm gets ever-more vicious with every update. Sites can disappear from search results without a warning, and tactics that worked yesterday can cause penalties the very next. In order to sidestep this risk altogether, some will avoid investing time, effort, and money into SEO, but that means potentially missing out on those hundreds of thousands of Google referrals every single day.

But we also need to consider social media referrals, brand mentions in industry publications, influencer marketing, traditional offline marketing, and even word of mouth. 

Let’s delve a little further.

SEO’s past, present, and future

Just imagine a world without SEO, where would we be? That’s something impossible to even consider nowadays, in a time where the term “to Google” has entered the Oxford English Dictionary.

In 1995, the internet had only two billion users, today it is over four billion. To put this better into perspective, Facebook is now 15 times larger than the entire internet was in 1995. And at that time in SEO’s history, search engines such as Archie, VLib, and Veronica were simply virtual libraries with little to no ability to search. They were merely considered indices of web servers. Links didn’t pass any equity as to ranking in these engines simply because they didn’t offer any sort of ranking.

The digital world began to evolve quickly though, search engines started to rank pages based on OPIC (on page importance criteria) scores. And even then, SEO techniques were already evolving – keywords were key but discoveries such as secondary title tag manipulation causing immediate first position rankings were revealed by webmasters like Dave Naylor in forums like WebmasterWorld.

Understanding how the digital world and SEO have evolved is key to understanding how it works today. On the surface, SEO appears to be something simple – search engine optimization – what more could there be than making sure your website works well, looks good, has a few good keywords, and a few good links, right? 

In reality, there is far more to consider – RankBrain, E-A-T, and BERT are just a few updates that Google has introduced to their algorithm in the past few years that have changed everything. The world of search engines is ever-evolving, and SEO’s future looks bright.

SEO is just one part of a larger machine at work

While TikTok, digital PR, voice search and others, even traditional marketing, seem to be a threat to SEO as an industry, in reality, they’re all the cogs in one big marketing machine – and SEO is one of the biggest.

The question really should be – “Is SEO really still worth it in 2020?”

As the internet continues to grow at an ever-increasing pace, search engines that work effectively and efficiently become increasingly more important. Users now need search engines more than ever. It’s key to not forget that, at their heart, they’re simply a tool to help users find the best answer to their question as quickly as possible.

Even though at times, it seems like Google is personally victimizing your clients, they’re really refining their algorithms so that spammy sites that have no use to their users are less likely to break through into their search results.

Avoid defunct SEO tactics

Rather than thinking that SEO as a whole is dead in 2020, we need to be reframing it. If it feels like your SEO techniques aren’t working, there’s probably a reason Google just doesn’t have the time to pick out individual websites it takes a dislike to, and stop them from appearing in SERPS for no reason.

In reality, it’s more likely that your techniques are outdated and thus ineffective. In fact, outdated techniques may be harming your brand more than helping it. Think strong, relevant content over keyword-stuffed pages. Aim for naturally earned backlinks rather than paid ones for exact match anchor text links. Spend time on the “behind the scenes” parts of your website – the technical SEO that an everyday user will never notice but will feel the benefits of every time they use your site.

All Google wants when displaying search results is something that genuinely answers users’ queries and works well – and if your site does that then you’ll reap the rewards.

Is SEO worth the time and effort in 2020?

There’s only one answer to this big question, the stats speak for themselves – with over 40,000 search queries every second and an estimated 62.19 billion visitors annually, Google is the behemoth that rules the internet. Without it, or indeed any other well-functioning search engine, how would we find the content we need? 

In addition to this, usability is becoming far more important. With Google’s semantic technology that understands the intent behind longtail searches and allows users to have a “conversation” with technology, and recent reports that over half of Google’s searches result in zero clicks thanks to the Google Answer Boxes, Google Images, Google Maps, and other Google-owned properties. Never before has a search engine ruled so well.

Diversifying and refining SEO techniques is key to getting customers in a world where they don’t even need to leave a search engine to get what they need.

SEO is not dead in 2020, nor will SEO ever be dead, as long as the internet continues to exist.

Sian Thomas is a digital media executive at Bronco, a full-service digital agency based in North Yorkshire.

The post Is SEO dead in 2020? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


How to identify and address the four biggest digital growth challenges

February 28, 2020 No Comments

SMBs working to accelerate digital growth encounter a variety of challenges across internal operations, marketing platforms, site properties, and competitors. Part of the path to growth is identifying and prioritizing those challenges, which can be tough without looking at the right reports and metrics.

In this post, we’ll dig into four areas that often uncover growth blockers and explain how to assess the opportunities that overcoming them would present.

1. Site issues

Growth, in the advertising budget and in awareness, brings more demand on your site. This means more users, more tracking and tagging, and other factors that can affect site speed, which is a huge factor in user experience. One of the best tools out there to test site speed is Google’s PageSpeed Insight tool, which provides great data and insights on your site speed and user experience on mobile and desktop. In general, Google recommends site speeds between two-to-five seconds, and this is considering the faster end of that range in mind. Anything beyond that, and you’re losing money from users bouncing.

Beyond site speed, the way users digest and navigate your site may not be optimal. Although there’s a lot you can glean from click paths in Google Analytics, heat maps are a relatively tried-and-true way to understand:

  • How users are interacting with your site
  • Where they’re getting stuck
  • Where you should relocate your most valuable CTAs and messaging

We’ve seen numerous clients improve CVR by over 20% with rapid testing cycles on top pages.

2. Internal obstacles

You can promise your users the world in your ad campaigns, but without aligning expectations with current internal challenges, that will only build a base of frustrated customers.

B2B companies may have slower-than-expected turnaround times to contact leads that your ads generate, ecommerce companies may experience inventory issues with best-selling products. If your ads are promising same-day calls that get placed weeks later or if you’re offering fast shipping of out-of-stock products, you’ve used ad spend to create a tide of negative sentiment.

Make sure you’re syncing with internal teams to understand challenges that may require you to adjust messaging, or even slow down/pause ad spend while the issues are being sorted out. Especially considering we’re in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, this is more important than ever for sites selling physical products whose supply chain has been affected.

3. Creative chaos

Images, headlines, descriptions, landing pages, ratios, messaging themes – each element can be a factor in attracting and optimizing user engagement, which makes prioritization of testing complicated. The creation of a testing calendar that aligns with your media plan is incredibly important. If you’re new to testing, start slowly and test one variable at a time to keep results clear. If you’ve got some testing experience under your belt and have the requisite budget and expertise, consider adopting a multivariate testing tool to help you execute a rapid testing schedule that will provide both insights and greater performance.

4. Competitive pressures

The challenge that lurks for companies in every growth stage and vertical is competition. More than simply driving up CPCs on Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, competition requires marketers to consider things like:

  • Cheaper brand clicks vs net-new non-brand users
  • Acquisition vs less-costly remarketing campaigns

It also requires frequent analysis of how the competitive landscape is changing – new entries, new messaging, new price points and offers. SMBs especially need to clearly articulate their advantages over better-known competitors to give themselves a chance to carve out market share in the face of rising costs.

Of the types of challenges outlined above, only competitive pressures are somewhat beyond your company’s control. Make sure to plan out your cadence of site analysis, internal check-ins, and creative testing roadmaps to keep your own house in order and position yourself to meet competitive challenges that arise.

Lauren Crain is a Client Services Lead in 3Q Digital’s SMB division, 3Q Incubate.

The post How to identify and address the four biggest digital growth challenges appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


When To Create New PPC Campaigns

February 28, 2020 No Comments

In this post, we will discuss at which point new paid search campaigns should be created and the process behind it. This is from my time as an account manager and may vary by account vertical, platform, and network.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero


Tinder’s video series ‘Swipe Night’ gets a second season

February 28, 2020 No Comments

Following a successful debut for Tinder’s first foray into original content, the company is giving its interactive video series “Swipe Night” another run. The company confirmed today it’s renewing “Swipe Night” for a second season, which will launch this summer (again) as an in-app experience within Tinder’s dating app.

Variety first reported the news of “Swipe Night’s” return. Tinder further confirmed the details to TechCrunch.

“Swipe Night,” as you may recall, first launched in October 2019 within Tinder. The experience introduced a first-person adventure played in-app, where users would make choices at key turning points to progress the narrative — like a choose-your-own-adventure story.

The series was designed to increase user engagement and help the app’s young users better connect.

Today, half of Tinder is Gen Z (ages 18-25) — a demographic that’s embracing their single lifestyle and more casual relationships compared with those on other dating apps, like Tinder parent company Match, for example, or its newer acquisition Hinge. These younger users connected with the idea of starting conversations based on a shared experience, says Tinder.

However, the reality is that “Swipe Night” had also arrived at a time when users were opening Tinder’s app less on a daily basis, even as monthly usage climbed. Though “Swipe Night” only ran on specific dates in October 2019, users’ choices within the interactive experience were added to their profiles. This allowed users to see who else agreed with their decisions and who took the opposite path. That made launching Tinder and swiping through profiles more compelling — even for those who may have been tiring of Tinder before the series’ arrival.

The experiment worked. Tinder said millions of users tuned in to “Swipe Night,” and matches and conversations increased by 26% and 12%, respectively. With “Swipe Night,” it seemed, Tinder finally gave users something to talk about.

The returning second season of “Swipe Night” will again be directed by Karena Evans, who directed Coldplay’s music video “Everyday Life” and Drake’s “In My Feelings” and “God’s Plan.” This time, it will be written by Jessica Stickles (“Portlandia,” “Another Period”) and Julie Sharbutt (“3 Days”).

“Working on Swipe Night was such a fulfilling experience for me. I got to do something that had never been done before and innovate with storytelling to bring a generation of people together. I’m in search of projects that impact, shift or curate a culture and couldn’t be more excited to return for more,” said Evans, in a statement.

“Swipe Night’s” second season may see Tinder tweaking the formula a bit, and may even introduce new mechanics to keep it feeling fresh.

In addition to the Season 2 launching in the U.S., Match previously confirmed that 10 international markets across Europe and Asia will get “Swipe Night” this year. Tinder said today that Season 1 would be launching internationally on March 14th, but declined to say when those users would receive Season 2.


Social – TechCrunch


Tinder’s video series ‘Swipe Night’ gets a second season

February 28, 2020 No Comments

Following a successful debut for Tinder’s first foray into original content, the company is giving its interactive video series “Swipe Night” another run. The company confirmed today it’s renewing “Swipe Night” for a second season, which will launch this summer (again) as an in-app experience within Tinder’s dating app.

Variety first reported the news of “Swipe Night’s” return. Tinder further confirmed the details to TechCrunch.

“Swipe Night,” as you may recall, first launched in October 2019 within Tinder. The experience introduced a first-person adventure played in-app, where users would make choices at key turning points to progress the narrative — like a choose-your-own-adventure story.

The series was designed to increase user engagement and help the app’s young users better connect.

Today, half of Tinder is Gen Z (ages 18-25) — a demographic that’s embracing their single lifestyle and more casual relationships compared with those on other dating apps, like Tinder parent company Match, for example, or its newer acquisition Hinge. These younger users connected with the idea of starting conversations based on a shared experience, says Tinder.

However, the reality is that “Swipe Night” had also arrived at a time when users were opening Tinder’s app less on a daily basis, even as monthly usage climbed. Though “Swipe Night” only ran on specific dates in October 2019, users’ choices within the interactive experience were added to their profiles. This allowed users to see who else agreed with their decisions and who took the opposite path. That made launching Tinder and swiping through profiles more compelling — even for those who may have been tiring of Tinder before the series’ arrival.

The experiment worked. Tinder said millions of users tuned in to “Swipe Night,” and matches and conversations increased by 26% and 12%, respectively. With “Swipe Night,” it seemed, Tinder finally gave users something to talk about.

The returning second season of “Swipe Night” will again be directed by Karena Evans, who directed Coldplay’s music video “Everyday Life” and Drake’s “In My Feelings” and “God’s Plan.” This time, it will be written by Jessica Stickles (“Portlandia,” “Another Period”) and Julie Sharbutt (“3 Days”).

“Working on Swipe Night was such a fulfilling experience for me. I got to do something that had never been done before and innovate with storytelling to bring a generation of people together. I’m in search of projects that impact, shift or curate a culture and couldn’t be more excited to return for more,” said Evans, in a statement.

“Swipe Night’s” second season may see Tinder tweaking the formula a bit, and may even introduce new mechanics to keep it feeling fresh.

In addition to the Season 2 launching in the U.S., Match previously confirmed that 10 international markets across Europe and Asia will get “Swipe Night” this year. Tinder said today that Season 1 would be launching internationally on March 14th, but declined to say when those users would receive Season 2.

Mobile – TechCrunch


How blockchain will dominate the digital advertising industry in 2020

February 26, 2020 No Comments

Every day we read data breach scandals by ad tech vendors. We are getting tracked every day with hidden cookies, and permissions we give unconsciously. According to Juniper research, advertising losses were to reach $ 42 billion in 2019 and were predicted to be driven to reach $ 100 billion by 2023. Blockchain came into action to provide transparency while serving ads and paying for the real human interactions on the ads, not automated traffic.

Blockchain is emerging into the technology market these days and transforming the way we have been doing the online transactions lately. This technology is not only limited to the finance market, but it is also impacting the advertising and marketing industry too.

In this article, you’ll learn how blockchain is going to impact the digital advertising supply chain in the year 2020.

People generally associate blockchain with bitcoin, a well-known cryptocurrency market but it’s not the same. Bitcoin is the name of a cryptocurrency developed through blockchain technology.

So, what exactly is blockchain?

Blockchain is the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) which contains the record of multiple distributed transactions between different people. It doesn’t require any central control, because the data is not located in any local server, it’s stored in a secured server distributed globally.

The application of blockchain in digital advertising is very significant. From the last few decades advertising firms using user’s personal data to understand their buying habits and designing campaigns by invading their personal space.

It offers a secure environment for the advertisers and the publishers and allows them to connect the right audience and make safe transactions.

A look into what data says

The blockchain market is expected to reach over $ 23.3 billion by 2023 and $ 176 billion industry by 2025.

Digital advertising is expected to climb to  $ 427.26 billion by 2022.

“Blockchain advertising” – According to Google Trends data

blockchain advertising search trend on Google Trends

Why is blockchain technology entering into digital advertising?

The industry space opened up for blockchain recently when data inflation and data discrepancy news surfaced online – advertisers and publishers started looking for a better alternative for transparency.

Advertising platforms like Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and others, were enjoying the monopoly in the digital advertising place since the last decade. These advertising giants were manipulating the data and information to make a huge profit margin.

Some news to read on data inflation

Advertisers sued the social networking platform for overstating video-viewing metrics over an 18-month period from 2015-16, which led the advertisers to pay extra for video ads based on the inflated data. Read more here.

A lot of other news reported about the fake bot traffic advertisers were paying for. It is all because of a lack of control. The publishers and advertisers don’t control the data, hence restricted to see only information ad tech vendors are offering. Data is very vulnerable today, digital advertising tools are using this as their new profit-making plan.

How would publishers know that they’re receiving a fair share of profit?

Kanstruktor over at Steemit explains:

“Decentralized network between advertisers and publishers through caching, and logging of clicks and leads, key statistics, personalized nodes in the blockchain operator MetaHash (fork of Ethereum – ERC20). It is a basic principle of protection against fraud and concealment of data on actual transactions from advertisers, or making unrealistic target bots in the traffic of publishers instead of real users.”

Ad vendors employing illegal techniques to access users’ personal data for their benefits, in exchange for rewards, and similar scenarios is a major threat and blockchain basically came into the picture of digital advertising to give the user control over their data.

Blockchain applications in digital advertising

1. Ad Buying and selling without the mediator

No intermediaries will be benefitted by employing blockchain-powered online advertising platforms. Blockchain is solving the transparencies and trust issues the ad tech industry has.

2. Fraud prevention and transparency in the ad supply chain

It’s very difficult to find the fraudulent clicks and impressions you are paying for. Blockchain technology integrated with the tools helps find and flag sites with click discrepancy and bot infiltration which would flow the ad budget to the right sites with genuine clicks.

3. Targeting the right audience

Driving an ad campaign according to their customer journey is important. With the help of blockchain, ad tech platforms can automate campaigns based on the specified set of rules. If the audience falls into those certain criteria, then only an ad will be visible to them. By doing this advertisers can utilize the budget on better sites to show ads.

Audience engagement will be credible now with very much accurate data that will help design better campaigns. The leads and subscriptions would be genuine and identifiable.

4. Data management

Data and insights play a key role in drafting a great campaign strategy. Blockchain makes it simple to retrieve the right KPIs utilize the data for better decision making.

5. Customize ad delivery

No one likes to see the same ads multiple times and increase ad fatigue. But, advertisers were not able to control the delivery of the ads in most of the top advertising platforms. With blockchain, advertisers will be given control to limit the ad frequency according to their campaign objectives.

6. Social media ads

A lot of fake news used to surface online through social media channels, now it can be controlled as blockchain technology is the distributed system is highly transparent and trackable. It can limit the social media ad frauds.

7. Data safety

Data safety and privacy is a major challenge in the digital advertising industry. The users browsing behavior is no longer the reason you serve your ads to them. Now, audience permission is required to use their personal data. A lot of countries are taking initiatives to stop the illegal practices. Security compliance like GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, and a lot more came into the picture for data privacy and safety.

8. Ad-verification

Blockchain reduced the role of third-party platforms to verify ads if they comply with the guidelines and save a lot of time for the advertisers.

9. Ad automation

Ad auctioning process and more easy and transparent with the help of blockchain-based advertising platforms. The ads will now be more effective and relevant.

10. Content management

The delivery of the content is more data-driven and accurate with blockchain. Content monetization, content personalization, content discovery, and content creation would be easier in these blockchain technology ad platforms.

Some digital advertising platforms using blockchain

Today the market is flooded by blockchain-powered ad platforms. Tech giants like IBM Corporation, Amazon Web Services, Inc., Accenture Plc, Microsoft Corporation, SAP SE, Oracle Corporation, Infosys Limited are investing in this technology.

Big companies like Kellogg, Kimberly-Clark, Pfizer, Unilever McDonald’s, Nestlé, and Virgin Media have joined a new blockchain pilot seeking to increase transparency in advertising online. Automobile giant Toyota uses blockchain tech to reduce fraud in their digital advertising campaigns.

Kat Howcroft, senior media and budget manager at McDonald’s, said:

“This technology offers us the opportunity to see a truly transparent picture of our investment across the digital supply chain. We are also eager to understand the potential impact that this may have on our ROI and efficiency.”

According to Babs Rangaiah, Global Marketing, IBM iX:

“Blockchain is creating new ways of doing business across industries, particularly where greater trust and transparency are required. As it relates to media, we expect blockchain to be able to provide a single source of truth to any given media buy, eliminating the doubt and uncertainty that is common today.”

Benefits of blockchain in the digital advertising industry

Accountability and transparency are required in the digital advertising ecosystem across the globe. Blockchain brings that trust factor to the table. With the help of blockchain ad tech vendors are now able to show the comprehensive actionable view of the ad distribution and transactions.

For every advertiser, data is the key to define their business success. With blockchain now, the advertisers receive the right high-quality data and reduce the chances of its alteration because of the distributed ledger approach.

The cost of the transaction is reduced significantly by removing various payment gateway platforms. Blockchain-powered ad platforms assure safe transactions while maintaining users’ anonymity.

Conclusion: Blockchain is the future in the digital ads industry

It will be too early to say if this could stop the whole of digital advertising scandals, ad frauds, and bot traffic. But, definitely, blockchain is impacting the digital advertising ecosystem positively and gradually. Ad tech giants like Google are adapting the blockchain-powered tools to enhance their functionality.

Blockchain topped the list of the digital marketing trends 2020. It’s time to show zero tolerance for the ad frauds, data alteration, and data breaches. The companies considering an upgrade to their advertising platform with blockchain will lead the way going forward, and it’s time you added your business to this roster.

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Three-quarters of Americans lack confidence in tech companies’ ability to fight election interference

February 26, 2020 No Comments

A significant majority of Americans have lost faith in tech companies’ ability to prevent the misuse of their platforms to influence the 2020 presidential election, according to a new study from Pew Research Center, released today. The study found that nearly three-quarters of Americans (74%) don’t believe platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google will be able to prevent election interference. What’s more, this sentiment is felt by both political parties evenly.

Pew says that nearly identical shares of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (76%) and Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents (74%) have little or no confidence in technology companies’ ability to prevent their platforms’ misuse with regard to election interference.

And yet, 78% of Americans believe it’s tech companies’ job to do so. Slightly more Democrats (81%) took this position, compared with Republicans (75%).

While Americans had similar negative feelings about platforms’ misuse ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, their lack of confidence has gotten even worse over the past year. As of January 2020, 74% of Americans report having little confidence in the tech companies, compared with 66% back in September 2018. For Democrats, the decline in trust is even greater, with 74% today feeling “not too” confident or “not at all” confident, compared with 62% in September 2018. Republican sentiment has declined somewhat during this same time, as well, with 72% expressing a lack of confidence in 2018, compared with 76% today.

Even among those who believe the tech companies are capable of handling election interference, very few (5%) Americans feel “very” confident in their capabilities. Most of the optimists see the challenge as difficult and complex, with 20% saying they feel only “somewhat” confident.

Across age groups, both the lack of confidence in tech companies and a desire for accountability increase with age. For example, 31% of those 18 to 29 feel at least somewhat confident in tech companies’ abilities, versus just 20% of those 65 and older. Similarly, 74% of youngest adults believe the companies should be responsible for platform misuse, compared with 88% of the 65-and-up crowd.

Given the increased negativity felt across the board on both sides of the aisle, it would have been interesting to see Pew update its 2018 survey that looked at other areas of concern Republicans and Democrats had with tech platforms. The older study found that Republicans were more likely to feel social media platforms favored liberal views while Democrats were more heavily in favor of regulation and restricting false information.

Issues around election interference aren’t just limited to the U.S., of course. But news of Russia’s meddling in U.S. politics in particular — which involved every major social media platform — has helped to shape Americans’ poor opinion of tech companies and their ability to prevent misuse. The problem continues today, as Russia is being called out again for trying to intervene in the 2020 elections, according to several reports. At present, Russia’s focus is on aiding Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign in order to interfere with the Democratic primary, the reports said.

Meanwhile, many of the same vulnerabilities that Russia exploited during the 2016 elections remain, including the platforms’ ability to quickly spread fake news, for example. Russia is also working around blocks the tech companies have erected in an attempt to keep Russian meddling at bay. One report from The NYT said Russian hackers and trolls were now better at covering their tracks and were even paying Americans to set up Facebook pages to get around Facebook’s ban on foreigners buying political ads.

Pew’s report doesn’t get into any details as to why Americans have lost so much trust in tech companies since the last election, but it’s likely more than just the fallout from election interference alone. Five years ago, tech companies were viewed largely as having a positive impact on the U.S., Pew had once reported. But Americans no longer feel as they did, and now only around half of U.S. adults believe the companies are having a positive impact.

More Americans are becoming aware of how easily these massive platforms can be exploited and how serious the ramifications of those exploits have become across a number of areas, including personal privacy. It’s not surprising, then, that user sentiment around how well tech companies are capable of preventing election interference has declined, too, along with all the rest.


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