By Susan Akbarpour, Forbes Councils
Decades ago, if you searched the web for a Prada bag and then found an email in your inbox offering one at 20% off, you would have thought the universe’s forces had aligned to make your wish come true.
At that time, there were only a handful of retailers able to afford costly retargeting campaigns – serving an ad to a specific group of people based on their past web-browsing behaviors. This practice is used by thousands of retailers today. Brands are leveraging several more methods and tools to aggressively target, retarget and shadow consumers, taking over their privacy and digital threshold with billions of push advertisements that only contribute to unwanted noise.
Aside from burdening consumers, the industry hasn’t been held accountable to provide a clear ROI on advertising dollars, as phony metrics like cost per click (CPC), click-through rate (CTR), cost per thousand (CPM) and cost per acquisition (CPA) have gradually overshadowed a more relevant but rarely discussed metric: cost per transaction (CPT).
As a serial entrepreneur and blockchain enthusiast, I believe it’s important to address the lack of transparency and trust in the retail marketing value chain. Below, we’ll define how blockchain and cryptocurrencies can be a solution for removing the bad actors and middlemen from digital marketing.
The State Of Digital Marketing Spend
It’s been over a century since John Wanamaker, the father of advertising, complained that half of his advertising dollars were wasted – he just didn’t know which half.
In reality, marketers would be happy if Wanamaker’s estimate still held true. According to Proxima, 60% of digital marketing spend is now wasted. That’s $37 billion of worldwide marketing budgets squandered on poor marketing performance. According to Google, 56% of displayads are never seen by consumers, and average display ad CTR across all advertising formats is only 0.05% globally. In 2016, $7.2 billion was lost globally to bot fraud or non-human traffic.
In this broken system, consumers, flooded with irrelevant push advertisements, desperately try to push back. Ad blocking, which grew 48% in the U.S. from 2014 to 2015, cost global publishers an estimated $22 billion in 2015.