CANNES – When IBM considers the concept of blockchain, it’s interested less in the technology itself than its capabilities to help people like chief marketing officers. “What we look to do is make sure we’re the convener of this new capability,” says Jason Kelley, who is the company’s General Manager of Blockchain Services. “Let’s start with the outcome. What’s the challenge for a CMO? What does that CMO want out of their day-to-day challenge?”

To IBM, there are two parts to data as both a challenge and an asset. The first part is enabling access to data to anyone who needs it; the second part is ensuring its accuracy.

“If you can do those two things, get access to accurate data, in a permissioned way for everyone that needed to see it, you could get rid of so many challenges, so many hassles,” he adds in this interview with Beet.TV at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. “Think of it as a supply chain, or better yet a value chain, for the CMO.”

So as opposed to being about blockchain “concept,” for CMO’s it’s more about clarity, security and understanding a particular supply chain. “Do you want to know the value of your marketing spend? Are all of your vendors being rewarded or not so in the way that they should be? Does that marketing message really hit with your end user? That’s what they want to know.”

By adding clarity and transparency, “I think the CMO then is empowered. You’re not just a chief marketing officer. You’ve become the chief make it happen officer.”

Kelley talks about consumers trying to gauge things like value, price and brand reputation, noting the reported discrepancy between the amount of “organic” food that is reported to be consumed and the lesser amount of what’s actually produced.

“If we can start to pull on those levers with the end user, which all are about handshakes through a supply chain, if we can now start to add some more trust and transparency in those handshakes, in that supply chain, out to the end user we can add value,” Kelley says.

One thing that doesn’t change, whether it’s blockchain or another collective technology undertaking, is the network effect. Every additional participant in a network adds exponential value to it.

The same concept applies to advertising and media and in getting the “pivotal players” to get on board with blockchain, according to Kelley. “If we could get them to play along with this wonderful business network, think of the network that they tie into. What you get then is a network effect of a network of networks. Many we’re talking to right now, if we can get them to play it’ll be a big change in the market.”

This video is part of a series produced at Cannes Lions 2018 on the emergence of blockhchain in the media ecosystem.  This series is presented by Mediaocean.  For more videos from the series, visit this page