The shift to a decentralized digital marketing ecosystem

Global marketing currently enjoys a whopping market size of $1.9 trillion; out of which digital advertising’s share alone will reach $786 billion by 2026. The current state of marketing is completely centralized, with a select few ad-tech platforms raking in the lion’s share of marketing spend. There is little to no return for publishers, while consumers are bombarded with irrelevant and intrusive advertisements. In the meantime, CAC (customer acquisition cost) is becoming increasingly unsustainable, and the trend will continue until the margins are gone.

To understand the scenario better, sharing below a brief overview of the top challenges in today’s digital marketing landscape.

CAC Explosion

The cost of digital marketing has risen by 100% over the past five years and now consumes most marketing budgets. Single-digit click-through rates, 75% of ad spend causing zero ROI (bye-bye leads, product insights 👋🏻).

This is primarily driven by an increasing no of marketers flocking to a select few channels (Google, Meta) due to their performance marketing capabilities (pay only for what you get 💵). Everyone competes for the same audience attention & the gatekeepers (Google, Meta) are free to charge exorbitant take rates from brands.

Privacy vs Personalization

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has made it clear that customers are not as safe as they thought. Numerous studies have shown that people are uncomfortable with the way their data is being used and that they are not likely to trust companies with their personal information. More and more people are using ad blockers, changing browsers or opting out of data sharing (Apple ATT).

On the other hand, the current system is heavily designed to rely on user data to target & personalize ads. As a brand, you are either left showing boring irrelevant ads or forever worried about scathing customer sentiment from potential data breaches.

Attribution is so hard

Attribution is a fancy term for ROI measurement from your different marketing campaigns — did my Insta Ads work or was it the Black Friday discount on my website? This is crucial to optimize your budget spend. But this is hard to get right.

If a user visits a website through a Meta ads, then reads a blog post, then visits your pricing page, and weeks later, buys via a TikTok ad, what was the biggest contributor to conversion?

Most attribution models only report ROI using first or last-touch methods, which can provide misleading information 😵‍💫. A more holistic view of the customer journey is necessary in order to connect all the dots and create a more effective marketing strategy.


These are just some of the myriad challenges facing the digital marketing landscape. In fact, it has become so frustrating that one wonders if the whole system needs a hard reset. We need to rethink the entire digital marketing ecosystem to make it more efficient, effective, and accountable. And while there are many schools of thought, we believe Web3 unlocks many fundamental primitives to solve this problem at its core. Think of the ethos of decentralization, reward distribution & transparency tied up with technologies such as smart contracts, DIDs & ZKPs. My previous blog also fits right here in the puzzle. It offers a way to efficiently maneuver between privacy and personalization, whilst also providing an exhaustive metric to measure attribution and improve CAC.

To know more, feel free to reach out at Intract as blogs have a limited scope while conversations on the other hand can meander around. Hit me up, comment, or directly just ping away.

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