Guardian Unlimited

The United Kingdom’s Most Respected News Site Uses Digital Element’s IP Intelligence to Improve Audience Knowledge and Build New Online Revenue Streams

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Guardian Unlimited, the United Kingdom’s most popular online news site, has a solid reputation for trust, transparency and best practice. In order to build on that reputation, this unique site—which is in fact a network of sites dedicated to particular interests such as news, politics, books, film, sports, media, finance, education, travel and money—began searching for a better way to understand its online audience and to utilize this knowledge to drive new revenue streams.

As Guardian Unlimited advertisers began moving their focus from page impressions to unique users, it was clear the company could benefit from knowing where online users were located in order to increase ROI for its customers’ advertising campaigns by delivering content that was more relevant to their audience. Although Guardian had long audited the number of unique users and pages served per month, and had backed that up with surveys to establish the type of users it had, the company had no clear statistics on how many of its users were based in the United Kingdom. And, while the company suspected that it had a large international audience, it had no way to verify that information and capitalize on the international advertising opportunities that knowledge would bring.


After some initial research, Guardian began the search for an IP Intelligence technology provider. The company’s primary concerns were accuracy, the partner’s responsiveness, the technology’s resiliency, ease of implementation and cost. Guardian wanted a company it felt would not only strive to ensure accuracy, but also would be responsive if it had inquiries about the data. The company looked at a number of potential suppliers and engaged referenced customers to create a short list of three contenders.

In the end, Guardian selected Digital Element, a business unit of Digital Envoy, and its NetAcuity® IP Intelligence technology because the company —and its technology—met Guardian’s requirements more extensively than any other supplier. Guardian also noted that the other competitors’ technologies, while adequate on U.S. data, did not have reliable data for Europe and the rest of the world, which the company realized was vital to its success.

“By incorporating Digital Element’s IP Intelligence technology, we have been able to gather new, previously unavailable information about our online audience without invading their right to privacy,” said Adam Freeman, Head of Commercial, Guardian Unlimited. “This new insight has allowed us to increase revenues by segmenting our traffic globally and serving those audiences with advertising that is relevant to them where they live. Optimizing our ad inventory has benefited Guardian, its advertisers and the consumer.”


The implementation of Digital Element’s NetAcuity technology was straightforward and simple, and Guardian found top-notch support. After NetAcuity was installed, the company verified that its suspicions were correct —it had a large international online following. Guardian has been able to more effectively use its inventory to develop its international advertising markets, providing a much clearer idea of the breakdown of its online audience, which adds to the bottom line. Also, the company’s ability to target online advertising has driven up yields and helped Guardian to protect its stellar industry reputation.

Guardian has also been pleased by benefits it had not anticipated when initially implementing Digital Element’s technology: the insight that the data provides about online users allows the company to apply the technology in innovative ways such as for support strategy planning, caching and collocation strategy and website functionality improvements.

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