We're looking to remove the bloated middleman process that exists in the affiliate marketing industry.
New York City, New York November 16, 2017
RefToken, a digital platform designed to enhance affiliate marketing, is launching a new currency for its network. Known as Ref Tokens, this currency will facilitate more efficient payments between merchants and publishers while giving them an incentive to use the platform responsibly.
RefToken has arisen as an alternative to the traditional method of organizing affiliate marketing, which is highly costly and carries a number of serious risks. Instead of hiring intermediaries, merchants and publishers can find and vet each other on the RefToken platform, which uses an immutable blockchain to display key information on each party. This allows both to be confident that the data they have on one another is accurate and that they can count on each other for good work and honest payments.
Creating a new currency will aid RefToken’s efforts to enhance modern marketing. Merchants will have to purchase this currency before beginning new projects with publishers, ensuring that they have enough money to pay their affiliates. Combined with changing the incentive structure, this will make affiliate marketing both safer and more efficient.
RefToken & the Challenges of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective modern methods for publishers to make money and for merchants to appeal to targeted audiences. It occurs when publishers use print ads, marketing content, video spots, and other forms of publicity to draw attention to the merchant’s products. In exchange, merchants agree to pay publishers for every new customer that they bring in.
While this arrangement looks great on paper, it creates a number of practical problems, including:
Company Mismatching- Merchants can’t afford to work with just any affiliates. They need to find publishers whose specific readers or viewers are likely to buy their products. Likewise, publishers can’t promote products unless they know that they are relevant to their followers. Both parties need to have detailed information on each other’s specialties and skills before they work together.
Deceptive Information- Not all publishers have a strong track record of creating quality writings and videos; if merchants work with them, they could end up paying for ineffective marketing campaigns. Similarly, publishers need to know that the merchants they work with sell safe, functional products, lest they tie their publications to useless or dangerous items. Both parties thus need accurate information on each other’s track records.
Payment Disputes- Whether through malice or misunderstanding, merchants and publishers often disagree about how many customers they’ve attracted and how much money the former party owes the latter. They need someone who can interpret contracts and conversion data impartially and determine the sum owed.
Traditionally, publishers and merchants have relied on intermediaries to resolve these issues. An intermediary can investigate another company, consider its track record, and make sure it is holding up its contractual obligations. But intermediaries often take a long time to do this while charging a hefty fee, adding significantly to the cost and difficulty of the affiliate marketing process. Intermediaries are also not entirely impartial; for a variety of different reasons, they may be biased toward one party or disregard the interests of both.
As a digital platform designed to connect publishers and merchants, RefToken eliminates intermediaries from the affiliate marketing process. Instead, it relies on blockchain technology to store information about each company on its network, which no one can modify or falsify. It also creates smart contracts, or contracts that are programmed to enforce themselves automatically. This means that rather than fight over how many new customers have been attracted and how much money is owed, publishers and merchants can count on the platform to automatically detect conversions and deliver the appropriate payments instantaneously.
The Role of Digital Currency
For all the benefits of RefToken’s platform affiliation brings to the table, there is still one flaw in the mechanisim as affiliates are paid on an arrears basis.it still has one flaw. Smart contracts can only deliver payments to publishers if merchants have already made that money available. Merchants who are trying to cheat their publishers or who don’t believe the contract terms of their deal have has been fulfilled can simply refuse to issue payment upload money to the platform. As a result, publishers still have to worry about not being paid.
To solve this problem, RefToken is creating Ref Tokens, a type of digital currency linked specifically to the platform. Rather than pay in dollars, euros, or bitcoins, merchants must use tokens, and are required to buy a certain number before they begin working with affiliates. The entire funding requirement to run a campaign will be held in escrow by the smart contract governing the deal. This way, the platform can guarantee that they will have already put up the money that the publishers deserve, which it will automatically transfer to them as they fulfill their contract. If a merchant ever runs low on Ref Tokens, the platform will pause their contract until they buy enough to continue.
Besides ensuring prompt, consistent payment, Ref Tokens will give publishers an added incentive to do good work. RefToken ties each token to a certain amount of marketing services, but those tokens can also be traded for other currencies on the open market. Because RefToken limits the total number of tokens issued, that means each token will be worth more if there is more demand to use the platform, as more companies will be competing for tokens and bidding up their price. As a result, publishers will have an added incentive to do their best work, as this will boost the popularity of the platform and the value of their earnings.
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