Targeting and Trust Series: Part One – The Digital Marketing Crossroads

Today, we begin our series of blog posts dedicated to why IP-based geolocation data is well positioned to deliver both the accurate targeting digital marketers need for improved response rates and the trust consumers crave in terms of personalized promotions without intrusion. Throughout the series we’ll discuss how IP geotargeting:

  • Supports targeting that respects privacy;
  • Does not require an opt-in and is, thus, regulation friendly;
  • Is immune from the cookie showdown;
  • Links physical and digital activity;
  • Generates high response rates;
  • Commands higher inventory prices;
  • Combats click fraud; and
  • Unlocks unexpected customer insights.

This first installment of our five-part blog series focuses on how digital marketing has evolved and how location-based targeting fits in to navigating the road ahead.

Even before the pandemic, online activity was booming. However, as COVID-19 forced lockdown after lockdown across the world, more consumers turned to the internet for, well, just about everything—from shopping to entertainment to work and education.

Understandably, ad budgets have taken a collective hit in the last year. However, while traditional media suffered, digital ad spend grew in 2020, up by 6 percent year over year. Even with any lasting effects from the pandemic, the latest estimates predict the global online advertising market to reach $517 billion by 2023.

Yet, for all the good news, digital marketing has come to a crossroads.

Adtech is facing challenges on multiple fronts: privacy issues; falling response rates;  click fraud; regulation; the power of the tech duopoly; and more.

The industry needs to find ways to send targeted messages that give customers real value, while respecting their privacy.

Location-based advertising offers some compelling solutions to the impasse. Geolocation offers a powerful model for targeting. It lets a brand know where its customer is now, and allows for the delivery of more contextually relevant advertising and content.

Many mistakenly believe location-based advertising is only possible when a (mobile) user turns on GPS and gives consent to a brand to access it. But there are other options. This is a relief given how few people choose to opt in to GPS.

The main alternative is IP geolocation. It uses the IP address as the basis for determining location. With the help of additional techniques, IP geolocation is good for targeting users at scale, down to a postcode level—worldwide.

IP geolocation is also entirely anonymous. The IP address reveals nothing personal about the user. This preserves trust and makes the method regulation proof.

Even better, an IP address can say more about an internet connection than its location. It can also identify characteristics such as connection speed and type (mobile or Wi-Fi), the identity of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and mobile carrier, as well as business insights such as a company name. Brands can use these additional attributes to build even better targeting profiles.

IP geolocation is more than two decades old. It’s well-established. And, it provides the flexibility for marketers to scale—or micro-target—to meet their specific campaign goals.

With conventional targeting techniques coming under pressure, it feels like the start of a new era for IP geolocation technology.

In Part Two of this series, we’ll take a look at the advertising options for digital marketers who want to “go local.”

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