Digital Currency

More Brands Are Rewarding Customers with Digital Currency. Here’s Why

Since the dawn of digital advertising, brands have relied on collecting personal information about users to deliver targeted ads. Now, with privacy moving into the forefront and the gradual demise of third-party cookies, more people are asking what comes next.

As consumers become savvier and grow to understand the value of their data, many of the models that drove Web 2.0 are ceasing to be viable for brands, says Permission.io CEO Charlie Silver. Now, Silver says the pendulum is swinging and big tech firms are implementing mass privacy changes in an attempt to maintain consumer relationships and empower individuals to control how and where their data is being shared. 

As CEO of a well-known platform for permission advertising for e-commerce, Silver has overseen the development of a new digital currency. That currency, dubbed ASK, enables individuals to securely grant permission and monetize their data on Permission.io and third-party e-commerce platforms. He’s also worked with advertisers to develop new ways to reward consumers with ASK for interacting with content. ASK is a digital reward that’s earned when consumers engage with relevant ads. It can be used on Permission.io or bought, sold, and traded on major cryptocurrency exchanges.

Silver sees blockchain technology as one of the best mechanisms for issuing digital rewards in the form of cryptocurrency, and he says the ability to issue a desirable reward is essential for those brands that want to succeed in the next era of permission-based digital advertising.

“Brands and developers must ask for permission to interact with consumers in exchange for their data, and they need to be prepared to reward them for sharing that data — this is the equitable and right thing to do,” Silver says. “Crypto is the most desirable digital reward because it’s liquid and global.”

With surveys showing that consumers are significantly more likely to choose businesses that offer them rewards for being good customers, brands are looking at how they can make their existing programs more engaging. In surveys, 44% of consumers say they’re interested in receiving cryptocurrencies as an alternative to traditional cash-back reward programs from retailers. If major brands can get on board, rewarding customers with digital currency could become the norm.

Consumers Demand Transparency

Changing consumer demands for a more transparent market mean the biggest opportunities in brand marketing today involve trust and integrity. Silver says some of the best ways for brands to show they respect consumers’ data and privacy are by issuing rewards and embarking on a permission-based marketing journey.

“Data has enormous value, and instead of advertisers exploiting it, they’re going to pay individual users to get their cut. I don’t see this as a trend, but more so the new engagement model for Web 3.0 and a path forward for brands to efficiently collect and leverage data,” Silver says. 

The Web 3.0 model allows brands and advertisers to increase return-on-investment through better targeting, and it also builds long-term loyalty with their audiences. 

“With the depreciation of the third-party cookie underway, startups like Permission.io are offering new solutions that are driving value for the consumers and advertisers,” Silver says. “This will be the norm as regulations continue to change and consumers opt for added control over who gets to access and monetize their data.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

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