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AdTheorent Taps Digital Element to Enhance Location-Based Targeting and Geolocation Accuracy for Mobile Advertising Clients


Today, smartphones and tablets represent the two most personalized content delivery platforms in the world. Mobile web traffic has grown significantly during the past year. Mobile subscribers now outnumber Internet users by almost three to one─a seismic shift worth noting. As mobile adoption continues to surge and mobile devices become the first screens for consumers, marketers are more aggressively eyeing opportunities within the mobile advertising space. However, a major problem facing marketers is the need to process enormous amounts of data and make actionable decisions in real time in order to drive optimal mobile advertising outcomes.

“As society continues its transition toward mobile, marketers have struggled to reach the always-connected and on-the-go consumer in a more personalized and precise way,” said Chris Cagle, executive vice president, technology, at AdTheorent. “Marketers have finally started to realize that syndicating digital versions of their print ads to the mobile masses is not the answer. The next hurdle involves using Big Data to inform media purchasing decisions in real time to ensure the right ad is delivered to the right person, at the right time, and at the right location.”

AdTheorent has already made this possible. Founded in 2011, this New York-based company is transforming mobile advertising through data-driven predictive solutions. AdTheorent’s machine learning, tracking and deep linking technologies combine to maximize engagement and awareness for advertisers.

AdTheorent’s technologies provide media planners with the industry’s most effective tool for intelligent audience targeting. To ensure it was using the most accurate and reliable IP intelligence and geolocation data, AdTheorent integrated Digital Element’s NetAcuity® technology into its platform.


“We wanted to help take the guesswork out of mobile advertising by using science and enriching mobile ads buys with first- and third-party insights,” said Cagle. “Our platform processes more than 4 billion ad requests a day from mobile sites and apps to show an ad impression. AdTheorent’s machine learning technology, the Real Time Learning Machine™ (RTLM), combines millions of data points into precise adaptive models to identify optimal audiences, delivering unprecedented lift in efficiency and effectiveness. Needless to say, accessing reliable, accurate data is a key to our performance.”

RTLM uses a unique high-speed, data-enrichment process and advanced predictive targeting software to assess the conversion potential of each mobile ad impression. AdTheorent’s RTLM doesn’t target individuals based on past behavior or otherwise engage in privacy-threatening behavioral targeting. Rather, using anonymous and aggregated statistics, it predicts future engagement outcomes. AdTheorent also measures mobile ad performance beyond the click-through rates (CTRs) to include secondary actions such as recall/response, coupon use, sign ups, app downloads or video views.

AdTheorent uses Digital Element’s NetAcuity Edge™ hyperlocal geolocation solution to non-invasively determine consumers’ geographic locations down to a ZIP and postcode level, worldwide. Additionally, AdTheorent utilizes information from Digital Element’s other IP intelligence offerings, including mobile carrier and home/business datasets.

“A wealth of contextual insight comes from knowing consumers’ real-time geographic locations,” said Cagle. “Being able to accurately identify a mobile carrier in the industry is also a big advantage because exchanges send a lot of bad information about devices. Knowing whether we are targeting consumers at home or the office can also be a big plus in determining which ads are relevant for a specific moment in time.”


RTLM ingests vast amounts of data to improve its predictive capabilities in real time. No other modeling methods are able to match the number of variables, record size and speed handled by AdTheorent’s RTLM─which consistently performs more than three times better than industry averages in key metrics.

“Through our partnership with Digital Element, we can now map geographic locations more precisely while gaining access to data dimensions that our previous IP data partner simply could not provide,” added Cagle.

Below is a comparison in key areas between Digital Element and AdTheorent’s previous IP data provider:

Coverage and Density

  • Digital Element provided approximately 3.5 times more records for state, DMA and ZIP5 data.


  • Digital Element was 16.5% more accurate at a state level.
  • Digital Element was 26% more accurate at DMA level.
  • Digital Element was 200% more accurate at a ZIP5 level.

View the Full Success Story (PDF)

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