Trends for Marketers to Prepare for in 2018: #8 Blockchain

As the end of the year draws closer, our experts have been contemplating what could be the “next big thing” in digital marketing in 2018, narrowing down their myriad of thoughts to just one or two top predictions that they believe will shape the coming year.

Whether it’s a relatively new trend, or something that’s been around for a while but is really going to take off in 2018, these trends are from the unique perspective of Mediative’s experts, how they see 2018 unfolding, and what digital marketers should be considering when planning next year’s marketing efforts.

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The open-source technology developed by the enigma Satoshi Nakamoto(1) called Blockchain is most known for its application in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but various industries are starting to see the benefits of its application. This technology is especially relevant to advertising as blockchain is rooted in the underlying principles of trust, transparency and security – the three objectives advertisers are striving to perfect.

Think of blockchain as a shared open ledger where every single transaction and transfer of information is documented, encrypted and inerasable; a system that holds all parties accountable to uphold these standards of integrity(2). The concept is simple, but the application is complex as it challenges the existing structure of the digital media landscape as we know it today. It is also important to note that as more parties opt-in to a blockchain model, the more valuable the data and technology becomes for all stakeholders – meaning that blockchain can only be as strong as the entities that enable it (3).

Early adopters in adtech are turning the blockchain ideology into a reality such as The New York International Advertising Exchange (NYIAX) who have partnered with Nasdaq to facilitate the buying, selling and re-trading of future guaranteed premium media contracts(4), and recently closed its seed round of funding for $5.6-million USD(5).

In addition, industry-wide working groups are coming together like the IAB Tech Lab to explore and develop standard practices and benchmarks around the use of blockchain internationally(6), one of the many hints that this isn’t just a fad.

As it stands, the practical implications of blockchain on the everyday marketer may not be earth-shattering in 2018, but it is certainly a trend to keep an eye on in the coming year. What we do know for sure is that scrutiny around transparency is here to stay, and for good reason.


Eleni Papadakis