Blockchain Facilitates Higher Quality Data for Advertisers

As advertising and marketing becomes increasingly targeted, companies are beginning to focus more on data quality. This is to not only ensure that impressions are real and not made by bots, but that information collected about users is accurate.

A writer for The Atlantic explored the quality of online data about herself, discovering that over 50% of the information she found was inaccurate. This is a widely-known problem in the advertising world and third-parties providing inaccurate and unverified data often lead to companies wasting capital by marketing to the entirely wrong group.

An alternative option is to use first- or second-party data, which are companies’ primary and secondary networks. However, by doing so, companies would shut themselves off from a pool of potential clients while sacrificing more comprehensive customer portrayals that can only be obtained via large pools of data.

As a result of this paradox, many companies find themselves in a catch-22: to use third-party data from expensive and unreliable data brokers or to avoid third-party data and miss out on untapped markets. While there are best practices on ensuring data quality from third parties, these are not fail-proof. Luckily, new technologies such as blockchain are allowing for traceability and transparency in an industry that traditionally has succeeded in doing the exact opposite.

Why is third-party data often wrong?

Simply put, third-party data is bought and organized using aggregators, which produce large quantities of data. Unlike first- and second-party data, which tap into immediate and second-degree networks, third-party data taps into an innumerable amount of sources to purchase and aggregate data. Therefore, third-party data has a much larger scope than first- and second-party data.

Advertisers originally turned to third-parties for the benefits of its broad scope and large volume of data collection. Therefore, third-party data focused on quantity rather than quality because without scale, no one would purchase the data. In the past, the incentives to improve quality of data have been poor, so third-party data has gotten away without having to verify the origins of the data.

How can blockchain improve quality of data and increase the quantity of first and second-party data?

According to a sales executive in the retail channel, ‘if 2017 [was] the year of data, 2018 [is] the year of data quality’. As advertisers and marketers continue searching for methods that deliver high-quality data,blockchain may accelerate the shift and improve the quality of data that advertisers use.

Though blockchain has many attributes that can improve the quality of data, such as transparency and traceability, its real strength lies in the technologies that can be built on it. For example, protocols such as Fysical’s decentralised location data marketplace can help ensure the quality of data being collected.

Fysical is an infrastructure for the transparent and compliant exchange of location data; foot traffic sensor readings, store visit information, commute routes. They currently publish over 15 billion data points from more than 10,000,000 mobile devices every month, and the number is growing.

As marketing becomes increasingly targeted, the way in which we collect data should shift accordingly, while keeping a consumer or user’s identity safe. Decentralised data marketplaces such as Fysical offer the tools necessary to create systems that have built-in quality-control that allows marketing to become more whole and less fragmented.

For too long, fragmented data collection has threatened ad agencies because of campaigns based on incorrect and incomplete data. The use of blockchain by companies such as Fysical promises to improve the accumulation of data in a way that benefits both consumers and advertisers.