By Josh Anton, Chief Strategy Officer for Digital Envoy
When it comes to driving engagement with customers, there’s one area marketers are constantly trying to improve—personalization. Studies reveal that to best reach customers, messages need to meet their unique needs and interests while also reaching them in a context that makes sense. Otherwise, the message runs the risk of missing its mark and getting lost in the shuffle.
Unfortunately, meeting all three criteria isn’t as easy as it might seem. Individuals vary greatly from one place to another. Not to mention, in today’s world, people are more concerned with privacy than ever before.
That said, there is still one insight that allows marketers to reach their customer base with real-time and relevant messaging wherever the individuals are, but without making their identities known.
This is IP geolocation.
Here are ten ways marketers can leverage IP geolocation data to achieve greater personalization.
Target ads based on location
IP geolocation allows marketers to serve relevant ads to consumers based on their location, including using the correct language and currency. However, this is only the beginning of what is achievable with IP geolocation data, especially when combined with further, non-identifiable insights.
For example, by looking at a customer’s connection type, marketers can discern whether they are on a home or mobile connection and then serve them relevant ads based on this insight. For instance, at home, they might be more likely to engage with an in-depth video message, whereas a less data-intensive display ad would likely be more impactful to those out-and-about.
Ultimately, IP geolocation insights allow marketers to achieve audience segmentation on a granular level, providing more relevant ads that make in-the-moment impacts.
A reliable insight in a cookie-less world
As marketers have become more reliant on geolocation data to reach their customers with relevant messaging, the number of solutions has grown. And while there are several methods for collecting this data—including cookies, GPS, and HTML5—not every method is created equal. In the listed methods, for instance, data is only available in certain areas, and access to it requires user submission. IP geolocation offers a precise and scalable solution, allowing marketers to leverage users’ IP addresses to determine their location without personally identifying them.
Even though IP-based geolocation outclasses other methods for obtaining geolocation data, there are further divisions between the services that provide IP geolocation data. Frequently, these services turn to publicly available registration data, which is imprecise and has large gaps in coverage. Therefore, marketers must be selective when choosing a service, prioritizing those with constantly updating networks and verified geolocation data. The best services gather data from several locations, including mobile devices and location-centric data points. They also constantly run validation analyses to ensure the data is trustworthy. When done well, the insights provided are reliable, hyper-local, and privacy sensitive.
Focus on data unification
While a foundation of trustworthy geolocation data is a great jumping-off point, the insights are limited in value if they can’t be easily integrated with internal systems. Therefore, when selecting an IP geolocation service, marketers also need to prioritize usability, choosing platforms that emphasize a smooth implementation through the conversion of global data in consistent, unified formats, allowing for a global consistency without sacrificing country-specific consistencies.
Look beyond the location
While IP geolocation data can provide marketers with incredible insights into where a user’s location down to a postcode level, location is far from the only insight provided by IP data. Marketers can also leverage IP data to determine a user’s connection type (mobile, business, or home, for example), ISP, and the device used to connect to the network. Marketers can gain further insights into company and organization names and demographics by discovering the domain names connected to a certain IP address.
When it comes to personalization, speed is integral. Marketers need to be able to instantly adapt their messaging to make an impactful mark on every individual. To do so, efficient processing tools are required to produce upwards of 30,000 IP queries per second. Without hyper-fast and reliable processing tools, producing immediate results is next to impossible.
Emphasize privacy without sacrificing accuracy
One of the most important factors for marketers to keep in mind is how to produce reliable and actionable data without violating users’ personally identifiable information (PII). Luckily, IP addresses alone do not count as PII—at least not until paired with additional information. Marketers should always strive to remain compliant without crossing the line into monitoring users’ PII. One way to ensure compliance is by creating a network infrastructure based on privacy-friendly principles to avoid using personally identifiable data while also avoiding potential inaccuracies of ISPs through further evaluation.
Merge IP data with additional insights
As mentioned above, IP data offers much more than a user’s location. It is also true that IP data is best employed in conjunction with additional non-PII data. For instance, IP data can be combined with point-of-interest data to develop a detailed yet anonymous map of consumer routines and target ads accordingly. For example, marketers could serve up special deals for a shop based around when foot traffic in the vicinity is highest.
Understanding multi-channel connections
To take this previous example even further, marketers can further understand the impact of their attempts to reach consumers by analyzing real-time mobile IP geolocation data of the number of visits to the particular store once a specialized ad has been served to consumers in the area.
Putting it all together
As discussed, several important factors need to be considered when marketers select an IP geolocation service: accuracy, speed, and privacy compliance, to name a few. After researching and finding a tech provider that offers fast and reliable data without overstepping privacy compliances, marketers need to be sure their final choice has a proven record for producing a positive ROI.
About the Author:
Josh Anton is the Chief Strategy Officer for Digital Envoy, parent of Digital Element, a specialist in geolocation services.