Today’s expansive online ecosystem offers an endless stream of consumable content, including 7.5 million new blogs published every day and 500 hours of YouTube videos uploaded every minute. In the process, it’s estimated that people are exposed to 400 – 10,000 advertisements each day.
For marketers, breaking through the noise can be incredibly difficult. With many consumers making content selections in just seconds, a one-size-fits-all approach is insufficient. Furthermore, today’s marketers are looking for online targeting capabilities that allow them to balance privacy and precision, giving them the power to deliver personalized content with the industry’s highest degree of accuracy.
That’s why IP geolocation and other data insights gleaned from an IP address are more important than ever before, enabling brands to localize content, deliver targeted ads, and more.
How Does IP Targeting Work?
IP stands for “Internet protocol,” a set of rules that govern the format of all data sent via the Internet.
An IP address is the unique address that identifies an Internet-connected device, be it a computer, mobile phone, connected TV, or smart refrigerator. Without it, the Internet couldn’t tell one device from another, and data would be misdirected.
Notably, IP address data offers a powerful alternative to third-party tracking cookies while offering distinct benefits that solve many of the challenges inherent with third-party cookies.
For instance, unlike cookies, IP addresses are ubiquitous; they need to be given as they’re required for routing online content. Every online transaction has an IP address associated with it, whether that transaction occurred on a computer, mobile device, smartwatch, or any other connected device. Unlike cookies, IP addresses are deterministic (associated with a real device), not probabilistic (proxies for who we think a user may be based on online behavior).
In addition, IP data is also inherently privacy-compliant because no personally identifiable information (PII) data is ever collected or stored, and it eschews cookie-based tracking.
When collected and aggregated appropriately, the benefits are expansive and far-reaching. Examples of how organizations can leverage IP data include:
- Combining IP with real-world events, such as weather. A clothing retailer can promote warmer clothing as temperatures drop in a certain area, aligning ad targeting to real-world events.
- If you know where your target audiences live, then you can target ads based on demographic data relating to that area (e.g. school supplies to suburban neighborhoods with a high concentration of families).
- Government-promoted “quit smoking” and “healthy heart” public-service campaigns can be targeted to areas with high rates of smokers and heart disease.
What Types of Data Are Available in an IP Address?
IP address data builds context around users, helping businesses make smart decisions about who to target. The types of data available are:
VPN & Proxy Identification
This IP data helps organizations detect and prevent malicious IP address masking and enables greater control over the geographic distribution of your digital content.
This data enables stronger targeting of mobile users based on ISP, mobile carrier, mobile country code, and mobile network code information. It can also distinguish a home user from a business entity.
Through partnerships with other companies, Digital Element’s IP data is augmented with additional insights, such as the domain names tied to given IP addresses, companies and organizations associated with them, Autonomous System Number (ASN), demographics, and more.
These extended databases include Demographics, Language, Time Zone, Domain Name, Company Name, Organization Name, NAICS Codes, Home/Business types, Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA), and more.
The Possibilities and Limitations of IP Targeting
IP targeting allows companies to reach their customers in more personalized and impactful ways. Its collection, aggregation, and implementation must always be accompanied by careful consideration of the impact on the end-user.
As a result, companies can use IP targeting for the following applications:
- Targeted online advertising
- Content and geographic rights management
- Content localization
- Prevention of online fraud
- Analytics and attribution
- Infer needs (e.g. people who live in suburbs will need lawn care products)
However, companies are not permitted to use IP targeting to identify people down to their doorstep, track users, or associate IP data to PII data.
Ultimately, IP targeting is a powerful tool to localize and personalize an ever-expanding online ecosystem without compromising people’s privacy.
IP Targeting With Digital Element
Digital Element’s NetAcuity solution can help make IP targeting a reality in as little as 20 minutes.
NetAcuity offers unrivaled targeting at the country, region, city, and postcode level―and is the only solution on the market that gives ZIP+4 targeting. The solution combines traditional infrastructure analysis and insights from a network of global commercial partners with location intelligence provided by mobile devices and billions of real-time data signals.
For companies that want to leverage proven, industry-leading location data to expand the global coverage, reach, and precision for location-based initiatives, NetAcuity is the clear solution of choice.