This interview is part of our new Blockchain In Marketing series, where we interview the world's leading thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between blockchain and marketing.
In this interview we speak with Owen Hanks, CEO of Measure Protocol, to understand how his company is using blockchain to transform the marketing business, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What’s the story behind Measure Protocol? Why and how did you begin?
OH: Measure was founded in 2018 by a group of media, ad tech and market research technology veterans. After spending a number of years within these industries – and witnessing first hand the challenges that ensure from poor data quality, lack of transparency, poor consumer experiences and economics – we felt that consumer data collection within market research provided a legitimate use case for blockchain and related technologies. Today, brands, marketers and researchers have immense needs for consumer data to support their businesses and decisions. This includes new forms of behaviour and insights data. The last few years has been marked with news around privacy breaches and user data being compromised. At Measure, we feel that the pathway for access to data is through building trust, accountability, privacy and consumer data sovereignty. As such, Measure has built a blockchain-based protocol that facilitates a marketplace where individuals take control of their data and monetize it directly with researchers, advertisers and brands. Consumers contribute data by completing surveys and other data-generating tasks or by providing access to existing data sources such as purchase and location. Founded on principles of data sovereignty, privacy, transparency and fair compensation, Measure provides an ecosystem that addresses challenges faced by the market research, advertising and AI industries.
2. Please describe your use case and how Measure Protocol uses blockchain:
OH: Despite all the hype, the one super-power of blockchain is the ability to build trust and provide a foundation that facilitates good behaviours. Measure Protocol is using blockchain to provide accountability through transparency for data collection, usage, and supply chain, providing users greater control over their data and a model that compensates them fairly for their data. Data contributions, requests, participation, compensation and transactions are recorded to the blockchain, as are user and buyer reputation, which as a whole, provides confidence on both sides of a marketplace.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?
OH: Data buyers, particularly in research, first and foremost need access to consumers for data and insights. Along with this, they require data that is of high quality, new forms of data and data that is coming increasingly from mobile/smartphone users. The Measure ecosystem provides access to this data alongside the assurances and confidence provided with accountability and transparency. Participating consumers benefit from opportunities to monetize their data, earn higher rewards and have heightened assurances around privacy.
4. What other blockchain marketing use cases are you excited about?
OH: Projects like Ocean Protocol are providing some very interesting approaches such as collecting data with data integrity to power AI systems. AI in particular is very sensitive to not only data quality, but also to the completeness of a data set for learning purposes. Blockchain provides some promising opportunities for structuring data integrity for these purposes. Secondly, the advertising industry is doing some interesting work using blockchain to help bring transparency and integrity into its supply chain which has been a questionable black box for many years. Blockchain will also help address some of the rampant fraud issues in the advertising industry as well.
5. Where will Measure Protocol be in 5 years?
OH: The current ecosystem of data collection for market research is not sustainable. Today’s problems are magnified with time, poor data quality and declining participation. In five years, Measure Protocol will be at the forefront of a new era of data collection empowering industries that require person-based data. Long term goals include providing an open protocol for the industry to help everyone achieve higher levels of data quality and access to new data forms. Additionally, as tokenization becomes commonplace, and to an extent regulated, transfer of value for data will become fully digital.