These 3 Startups are Trying to Revolutionize Digital Marketing One Sector at a Time

Blockchain technology is birthing a massive wave of disruption sweeping across a wide range of industries, markets, and economies. You’ve probably read tons of stories about blockchain’s disruption across the economics and financial landscapes globally. Many of the 1600+ altcoins in the market are also working on blockchain solutions with potential to disrupt different kinds of industries from airlines to music streaming.

The disruptive power of blockchain technology is about to be felt in the marketing industry as the industry continues to evolve. Marketing has gone beyond TV and Radio ads, banners, and signage to include all forms of digital marketing such as social media marketing, search engine marketing, affiliate marketing, and display ads. Interestingly, despite all the developments in digital marketing algorithms that could track your online activities and send targeted ads your way; human beings still remain the best conduit for sharing marketing material. This piece provides insight into 3 startups that are trying to push the evolution of digital marketing for more efficient ROI.

Meet Aklamio

Aklamio is an interesting referral marketing solution that claims to give people a way to earn money by sharing the products/services they love. People naturally tend to share links about stuff they find interesting or useful – that’s how content goes viral. Aklamio however thinks that it is not fair for people to recommend products for free while brands alone enjoy the economic benefits of such referrals.

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One of the key selling points of Aklamio is that it is compatible with existing ad networks and affiliate marketing programs. However, a major downside to Aklamio’s offering is that it is a not a blockchain-based solution. Aklamio is centralized at its core and it is only trying to replace existing systems with an alternate reality. In addition, Aklamio doesn’t offer a way to track-multi step referrals and it doesn’t really integrate with the sales process of small businesses.

Meet 2Key

2Key is a revolutionary blockchain-based project that wants to forever change the course of digital marketing by disrupting how users perceive and interact with the link. 2Key is essentially building the world’s first decentralized referral network that utilizes Smart Contracts to enable the free flow of referral links across the interconnected human network on the Internet. By leveraging an innovative Multi-Step tracking technology, 2Key hopes to make each link “Smart” enough to track its sharing trail and measure the depth of economic value created throughout the sharing chain.


The best part is that 2Key’s links are designed to use Smart Contracts to automatically reward everybody that passes a link along with a share of the economic value that such links create. Moreover, users referring irrelevant content will be “losing points”. This new model creates a world where people would have to think before pressing the “Share” button. Essentially this means that we’ll be exposed to relevant and spam-free content only.

2Key has also plans to build a Global Referral Network (GRN) which functions as a marketplace for creating value out of referral marketing. On GRN, stakeholders in the referral marketing industry – freelancers, SMBs, contractors, and content publishers get to meet in a purely peer-to-peer decentralized setting free from the control and influence of traditional ad networks. Interestingly, as traditional ad networks start to shut their doors against cryptocurrency and ICO advertisements; 2Key might become the de facto alternative for crypto-businesses that are serious about getting work out to the mass-market.

Meet Brave

Brave is another interesting project that wants advertisers and publishers to rethink their mutual interaction on ad ecosystems. Brave is fundamentally a new free and open-source web browser layered on the Chromium web browser and the Blink engine. Brave reportedly helps you surf the web at a faster speed by blocking ads trackers that bloat current browsers while also costing users time and money. Using the Brave browser in addition to the Basic Attention Token, publishers can avoid using third-party ad trackers and intermediaries because the ads are automatically delivered.

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The major challenge with Brave however is that it is another centralized project that could be potentially subject to manipulation. Secondly, Brave lacks a compelling value proposition—users install ad blockers to avoid seeing ads on their browsers; hence, it doesn’t really make sense for them to download a new browser just because they want to avoid seeing ads.