Blockchain study reveals potential benefits for digital advertisers

The use of blockchain technology in qualifying impressions in digital advertising can increase return on ad spend by as much as 14%, according to research from the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG).

Writing for WARC, Jules Kendrick, MD UK & Europe for TAG, a body seeking to increase trust and transparency in digital advertising, outlines the methodology and findings from ongoing work into the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the advertising industry.

A 12-month pilot ran from July 2019 to July 2020 and included several of major industry players who delivered their ad impressions logs to the DLT network. The pilot was divided into three phases – supply chain transparency, supply chain optimisation, and operational efficiencies – and TAG evaluated the opportunity to implement an always-on ‘live compliance’ industry solution.

As regards supply chain optimisation, researchers worked to an advertiser definition of a qualified impression, which included the key data points from each of the suppliers’ log file that had been integrated for that brand, such as a common ID, creatives rendered, measurability, human traffic, and brand safety.

“Collectively, 80% of impressions met the compliance criteria selected by each brand,” Kendrick reports.

“Of the 20% that were not considered qualified, 10% of impressions had measurement or matching discrepancies, 6% were classified as high brand safety risk, 3% as non-measurable and 1% as suspicious.”

This particular phase of the research, she continues, demonstrated that, “by selecting inventory sources and supply chain paths based on the qualified compliance data collected and distributed in near real-time by the distributed ledger, return on the ad spend could be increased by as much as 14%”.

There are also potential operational efficiencies to be gained if organisations can automate the process of ingesting, filtering, harmonising and reconciling the log level data they are given by their partners.

Kendrick notes that a qualitative analysis of programmatic practitioners’ workloads in advertising agencies revealed that the bulk of their time is taken up by such mundane activities as downloading, formatting or manipulating data, with only 21% of their time spent on analysis.

Sourced from WARC