Scaling up across screens

Andy Ashley, international marketing director at Digital Element, considers the value of IP geolocation in a multiscreen world.

It’s often said that today’s consumers spend their lives glued to their phones. In fact, this is only partly true. The smartphone is only one of many devices through which we live out our lives online, as we flit constantly between our phone, tablet, PC and connected TV, not to mention the myriad other devices which are becoming connected.

This multiscreen world presents fantastic opportunities for brands to engage with consumers on the go, but challenges too, particularly when the majority of mobile users tend to access the mobile internet with their device’s inbuilt geolocation tools switched off. In fact, the typical mobile or tablet user is 80 per cent more likely to be on a wi-fi network, due to speed, convenience or cost, with only around 20 per cent using a cellular connection.

This means that the vast majority of mobile traffic is not easily targeted, which is where IP geotargeting comes in. IP geotargeting can target virtually 100 per cent of mobile traffic, including 80 per cent of mobile wi-fi traffic at a city/postcode and wi-fi level, with the remaining 20 per cent of mobile (3G/4G/LTE) connection traffic location-targetable at a country level – and all without any requirement to opt users in.

Meaningful messages
The ability to target mobile users with IP geotargeting across devices enables brands to send more meaningful messages: more direct, sales-focused messages to users on mobile phones, who are typically looking to achieve a goal right now, and softer, more brand-focused messages to tablet users
who are still at the research stage of the purchase journey.

And while location is at the core of IP geotargeting, it’s far from the only game in town. Brands using Digital Element’s NetAcuity Pulse mobile data-derived data service can append as many as 30 other data points, including ISP, mobile carrier, advanced proxy detection, connection type and speed to refine the targeting and enable them to deliver more personalised, contextually relevant messages to mobile users.

Fine-tuning geotargeting parameters too far, using GPS coordinates, for example, allows targeting to within a few feet, but this approach quite dramatically reduces the number of consumers it is possible to reach. With IP geotargeting, however, brands can maintain scale, targeting thousands of users, with contextually relevant, meaningful messages, right down to postcode or city block level. So what you lose in absolute “down-to-a-few-feet” localisation, you more than make up for in the number of people you are able to reach.

Advanced infrastructure analysis
As a lot of commercial radio stations like to say, other IP geolocation data providers are available. But I would urge marketers to look closely at the source of this data if you want your campaigns to fly. Determining the correct location of an IP address and surfacing other useful IP intelligence data, such as connection speed or mobile carrier, requires advanced infrastructure analysis.

It’s a far cry from simply scraping internet registries or repackaging publicly available free data that is infrequently, if ever, updated, has patchy global coverage, and is inherently inaccurate.

At its most granular level, NetAcuity can accurately locate a user down to the city/postcode sector level and identify wi-fi connection location without becoming personally identifiable. It is also the only IP solution in the world that has been accredited by the Media Rating Council. Coverage is global, and accuracy is rated at 99.99 per cent at a country level, with the data that powers the platform refreshed weekly.

It can also determine how a user connects, enabling the identification of data that companies need to target mobile users.
This is achieved by combining IP routing infrastructure analysis with anonymous location insight gleaned from a network of global commercial partners.

Yes, there are challenges in targeting consumers on the go across the various devices they use. But for most use cases, IP geotargeting can take the pain out of the process, enabling brands to target mobile users at scale, with highly relevant messages to move them down the purchase funnel. What’s not to like?