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How to Use Blockchain Technology



How does blockchain affect marketing, and how can it help marketers?

Blockchain is still a mystery to many people, even marketers. And yet, according to Forbes, blockchain technology "has the prospect to transform nearly all industries and how they enact data, [and] the digital ad industry isn't an exception."

Some of the benefits of blockchain technology includes ad fraud prevention, protected record keeping, more transparency for consumers, easier compliance processes, improved data security, and better targeting. Even so, 80 percent of the public is unaware of what blockchain does, according to Wavemaker.

Since blockchain is a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), it stores information in a distributed ledger that allows "each person to verify its origin and authenticity," as explained at Forbes, which makes it more accessible. Because it is distributed globally, there is no central control needed. Forbes also reported that the blockchain market is estimated to reach over $23.3 billion by 2023, showing that blockchain isn't just a fad or fancy buzzword, but a way to move into a better future.

For B2B and B2C spaces, blockchain will be transformational. Wavemaker identified five ways the technology can improve media uses, including media supply chain management, identity, finance, asset tracking, and data management. To roll out these advantages effectively, however, partnership "is key," as stated by Wavemaker. Marketers need to be educated and trained to use blockchain in an evolving tech environment, which includes finding strategic partners in these endeavors.

TD Ameritrade took a risk and became the first of its kind in 2018, and created the first permanent media placement and ad designed using cryptocurrency transactions, as well as the first use of the blockchain as a media platform. The company embedded its brand message within Bitcoin transactions — and let the blockchain do the talking for itself. The ad was placed on the blockchain through 68 individual Bitcoin transactions.

Christiana Cacciapuoti, executive director of AdLedger, summed it up best, stating, "Digital advertising is still suffering from the same issues of transparency, fraud, and fragmentation. And it's because we just keep slapping band-aids on a fundamentally broken system when we need to be developing a new infrastructure that's driven by innovative technologies."

Below are case studies, brand examples, and best practices for blockchain. 

Trends and Best Practices

  • Blockchain Report. ANA Marketing Futures, April 2020.
    Blockchain technology is most well-known for powering the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, but it has the potential to affect a wide range of industries including marketing and advertising. This report explores this important trend by bringing together a blockchain 101, expert perspectives, key statistics, and practical use cases to give forward-thinking marketers the information they need to prepare for the future.

  • 5 Ways Blockchain Can Help the Advertising and Marketing Industry. Forbes, September 2020.
    Traditional advertising as we know it has been faced with a lot of drawbacks which renders the approach inefficient and super expensive. The proposition of cutting-edge technologies like blockchain has proven to have the capabilities of fine-tuning and reshaping the ad industry, making it efficient, reliable, and cost-effective. Blockchain technology has the prospect to transform nearly all industries and how they enact data, the digital ad industry isn't an exception. Since its inception, it has practically found disruptive applications in a diverse array of industries, and the advertising industry seems to show a lot of promising future for digital advertising. Some ways in which it can help:
    • Ad Fraud Prevention
    • Decoupling Middlemen
    • More Transparency for Consumers
    • Improved Data Security
    • Targeting the Right Audience (Better Leads)
  • Four Ways Blockchain Will Enhance B2B Marketing. ANA, September 2019.
    Although there is a lot of buzz around blockchain within the marketing industry, the emerging technology remains relatively unknown in society at large. In fact, a 2018 survey by Researchscape found that just 17 percent of Americans have even heard of blockchain. Despite this relative obscurity among the buyer base, business marketers would be remiss to ignore what is happening with blockchain, because it has the potential to become hugely effective in their industry over the decade. This presentation covers four ways blockchain will change things for business marketers and their buyers.

  • Blockchain: Buzzword or Building the Future? ANA/Wavemaker, July 2019.
    While it's not as easily digestible or widely recognized as other major buzzwords such as virtual reality or artificial reality, blockchain already underpins many common technologies and is poised to become more widely used in the coming years. In this guide, Wavemaker and GroupM provided an overview of blockchain and what it means for businesses.

  • Blockchain in the New Era of Privacy. ANA, July 2019.
    Marketers need to get prepared for blockchain technology or risk being dependent on third parties for guidance. Consider building your blockchain knowledge by holding informational meetings with technology companies and joining industry groups. To begin using blockchain, consider focusing first on low-throughput opportunities such as digital rights management and confidential data transferal.

  • Five Ways Blockchain Can Help Fix the Broken Online Advertising Ecosystem. ANA, March 2019.
    In 2018, there was a lot of hype regarding blockchain's potential impact on advertising. Fast forward and many companies are starting to deliver on their promises. In this webinar, Donny Dvorin, GM of Never Stop Marketing Research, helps you navigate the current landscape. You'll learn:

    Why is blockchain needed to fix advertising?

    • What are the five main online advertising challenges blockchain solves?
    • Who are the current leaders in the space that are solving these challenges?
    • What early proof or case studies do these companies have?
    • Questions you should ask Blockchain AdTech Vendors in your meetings.
  • Banking Is Only the Beginning: 58 Big Industries Blockchain Could Transform. CB Insights, April 2020.
    What began as the basis of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain technology — essentially a virtual ledger capable of recording and verifying a high volume of digital transactions — is now spreading across a wave of industries. Bitcoin's popularity helped demonstrate blockchain's application in finance, but entrepreneurs have come to believe blockchain could transform many more industries.

    Ultimately, the use cases for a transparent, verifiable register of transaction data are practically endless — especially since blockchain operates through a decentralized platform requiring no central supervision, making it resistant to fraud. As companies use blockchain to drive greater transparency and veracity across the digital information ecosystem, they're boosting awareness of the technology in sectors ranging from infrastructure to public policy. This explores innovative ways companies are harnessing the power of global blockchain.


  • Henkel Sponsors Wellness Web Series Distributed Through Blockchain. Marketing Dive, September 2020.
    Henkel, the marketer of Persil, Purex, and other home care brands, is sponsoring the first three episodes of a new web series called "At Home with Jennifer," per a press release. Hosted by Webby Award-winning creator Jennifer Pate and a collaboration with her Feel Ageless brand, the series features wellness stories, interviews, advice and humor. The series will be distributed through video blockchain company BlockBoard to provide "transparency and trust" for media buyers.

    The company claims its platform verifies where and how content is delivered and validates its performance, per the press release. Designed specifically to engage consumers during the pandemic, "At Home with Jennifer" is part of Henkel's international Ask Team Clean eCRM initiative, a digital hub which provides consumers with information, digital coupons, sweepstakes and other content. The first three episodes of the series is available across over-the-top (OTT) media, YouTube as well as Henkel's web site and social channels.

  • Blockchain-Based Advertising Efficiencies. ANA, February 2020.
    Marketers are finding that blockchain technology can benefit their industry by providing an alternative to the opaque supply chains that have come to characterize media buying. IBM iX has already integrated the industry's standard media technology platform, Media Ocean, with blockchain technology. As part of this project, IBM has established a blockchain consortium, which has the participation of hundreds of Fortune 500 advertisers. IBM iX hopes that this initiative can eventually provide financial and supply chain transparency, and support consumer identity/targeting and a federated data exchange.
  • TD Ameritrade: Greetings from the Blockchain. ANA, May 2019.
    TD Ameritrade created the first permanent media placement, the first ad designed and executed using cryptocurrency transactions, and the first use of the blockchain as a media platform. It's a novel use of the technology every trader was talking about, logged into, or trying to understand — turning TD Ameritrade into the authority on all things cryptocurrency. Additionally, the brand didn't take itself too seriously, setting a positive and playful tone as it made history pushing the limits of the blockchain.


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"Blockchain Technology." ANA, October 2020.