We continue the series of interesting blog posts written by industry experts, including marketers, analysts, developers and other professionals.

Personalization is something we all want. Whether it’s our name on a morning Starbucks cup or a recommended series on our watchlists, we want something aimed personally at us.

Over 40% of consumers consider personalized content to be important, but marketing campaigns aren’t always geared toward personalization.

Traditional marketing methods depend on reaching millions of people to sell a few thousand products. These types of campaigns often end up reaching the wrong people with potential customers overlooked.

In addition to this, having the advertisements you’ve paid a pretty penny for reaching anyone other than your target audience will be money down the drain. It can also be tough to measure return on investments, audience engagement, and customer conversion rates.

Whether you’re carrying out B2B marketing or targeting individual customers, reaching just the clients you want is where IP targeting shines.

What Is IP Targeting?

First, let’s deal with IP. IP stands for Internet Protocol, which is a unique numerical code. Each device on the internet has an IP address, whether it’s a mobile phone, laptop, or tablet.

So, what is IP targeting for geolocation especially helpful for? Let’s take a look:

  • Laser-accurate demographic targeting
  • Gaining customer insights
  • Offering loyalty rewards for existing customers
  • Attracting new business
  • Obtaining measured results - tracking check-ins, traffic, and sales.

IP targeting is a form of digital marketing that involves targeting consumers through their IP addresses. This method of marketing allows hyper-targeted advertisements to be delivered to specific networks and devices. They could be home or business addresses or a public WiFi network.

You could think of IP targeting as if it were a digital shipping warehouse, whereby workers are assigned a country and focus solely on this location. IP targeting is a similar concept - just with fewer shipping containers.

How Does IP Targeting Work?

The process of using IP targeting is two-fold.

IP Targeting Based on Geolocation

Geotargetting - based on a user’s physical location, geolocation targeting functions by determining their IP address via WiFi or GPS data. Not only focused on country-facing IP addresses, but IP targeting based on geolocation can also be determined right down to state, city, and even neighborhood.

IP Targeting by Network

Providing API data regarding company-specific information is the second form of IP targeting. Including details of the internet service provider, the kind of company it is, and the domain name, IP targeting by network is ideal for both local and global IP targeting.

Advantages of IP Targeting

Pinpointing which consumers to target is a benefit of IP-targeted marketing. It’s important to note, however, that IP address data isn’t specific enough to pinpoint specific users in real-time. The general geolocation details such as country, region, postal code, and city are enough to target the right segments of your audience.

Using geolocation data or IP to Company information, your marketing campaigns can target high-priority leads as previously covered.

Additionally, IP targeting improves some campaign flexibility and cost benefits For instance, long and short-term campaigns can be personalized and put together at a fraction of the cost of TV, radio, or newspaper advertisements.

Image Source

Adding an IP-targeted campaign to your current marketing strategy is a great way to improve your reach and improve lead generation. Below are five tips to help you in your journey.

1. Choose the Right Target Demographic

Without a well-defined target customer, your ads will not have the impact you want.

Knowing who and where your audience is, as well as what device types they’re using, can contribute to the success of digital advertising. This is especially important for account-based marketing, where you really need to know the needs and desires of a specific client.

But, how can you grow your business to connect with potential customers using IP targeting?

Narrowing your campaign to a specific geographic location will cast a net into the ocean of IP addresses. By IP targeting and marketing to a local area, you will reduce costs and reach a more relevant customer base.

Another net you can cast is by looking at the type of consumer you want. If you were marketing automation in retail, targeting the IPs of large retail businesses that might require that service would help your general marketing become more specific.

Another valuable insight is analyzing traffic data from return company visitors to your site. Note the company IP and target this as a part of your targeting push.

Consumers hate shipping fees. It’s a retail fact of life. With IP location targeting, you can nail down your shipping tax fees using IP targeting.

Alternatively, if you want to target individual consumers, you could look at areas where those potential customers will be. For example, say you’re a video streaming company that wants to make students aware of a special student discount. In this instance, targeting WiFi at a college campus will likely steer more students your way.

Age, gender, and interests can also be useful to narrow your marketing down further to the type of client you want.

While the criteria above can be used to narrow down your IP targeting list, only you will know what demographic you want to market to and what criteria you need to personalize your ads.

2. Make Your Ads Electrifying

So, you’ve narrowed down your criteria and targeted the perfect set of clients. But, your sales are stagnant, and you’ve had no success with your marketing strategy.

Have you targeted the wrong demographic?

Well, another important aspect of marketing is making eye-catching ads that stand out and make a potential customer click on them. If that ad isn’t popping, it’s likely the customer isn’t clicking, and your business isn’t growing.

IP targeting is one of those things that can easily take over a marketing campaign. It becomes more about finding the perfect audience than creating the perfect ad. Don’t forget that the design is equally important!

Just like in any other type of marketing, well-designed, enticing content will engage customers. Generic and badly-formatted content will not. If you’ve gone to the trouble of targeting your audience through their IP address, make the effort to personalize the design and make the recipients feel special. This can be as simple as including their name in the mailshot, or a bespoke offer when it’s their birthday.

A few tips for designing a great ad include the following:

  • Your USP - with your ad, this should be shouted from the rooftops.
  • Use an attention-grabbing headline - seven words or less is the goal - but make those seven words count.
  • Make them an offer they can’t refuse, Godfather style.
  • What’s in it for them? From your customer profiles, list advantages that speak to your majority customer persona.
  • Make your ads newsworthy - list any admin changes, new product lines, and seasonal promotions.
  • Make your ad a pair of safe hands - a risk-free offer goes a long way.

When you’re putting together a campaign, take into account the devices you expect your customers to use. They will see things differently depending on whether they’re using a desktop or mobile device.

40% of consumers have made purchases due to ads. Whether you’re advertising on apps or a web page, the designs you use can make or break your campaign.

You already created the experience consumers expect with better item data on your website. Now you need to create advertisements to drive them there.

Always ensure that you send out the best, personalized ads you can make. After all, finding the perfect audience is brilliant, but connecting with them is even better.

3. Test Different Strategies

Sometimes, even though you’ve perfected your target audience and your ads are amazing, you might not get the response you want from your campaign.

VPNs or ad blockers can be the bane of IP targeting. In particular, VPNs make it look like its user is in a different location than they really are. This can skew campaign results.IPInfo’s Privacy Detection API, however, detects various methods used to mask a user's true IP address, including VPN and proxy detection. This can also help fight click fraud and filter other malicious traffic.

If that’s not the issue, you may need to cast your net in a different part of the ocean or use multiple nets.

Here’s an example. You’re advertising advanced inventory management systems to retailers, and you’ve created your criteria to target local companies—but you haven’t factored in business size. Sending the same ad to both small and large organizations isn’t going to work.

Image Source

Splitting the criteria into two different B2B marketing campaigns can be a better, personalized IP-targeted approach.

You could market a lower-priced package to smaller businesses, and target large enterprises with the advanced features they need.

It can be more time-consuming and costly, but using different strategies to target different demographics will improve engagement with your potential clients.

Make similar, incremental changes with other criteria and demographics to test alternative strategies.

4. Pair Digital With Print

Have you ever been reading a newspaper and glanced over to see an advert you recognize from social media?

Well, a multichannel approach to marketing is one method companies can use to ensure they engage with their customer base.

You’re probably already using mailing lists to update your current and potential clients, with regular print or email marketing making it into their hands—a tried-and-tested method that forms the basis of many marketing campaigns.

Using an IP-targeted approach doesn’t mean these forms of marketing should stop, but rather that they should be combined.

Pairing real-world advertising with IP targeting can boost your chances of reaching your target audience and reinforce your messaging. Ad recall is 1.7 times higher for print than digital, so combining the two suggests a greater chance of click-through success.

You can use greater personalization here by analyzing current customer data and targeting ads specifically for them.

Image Source

5. Don’t Overdo It

The specific nature of IP targeting is both an advantage and a challenge.

Imagine you want to sell a student textbook for chemistry. You’ve looked through the criteria and decided that you want to target an 18-to-20-year-old student. You’ve narrowed the geographic range down to WiFi areas within the chemistry department of a local college.

While at first glance, this seems to be the perfect criteria, it’s too specific. Chemistry students don’t spend every waking moment within the chemistry department, plus the targeted age range is too small. It leaves out older students.

The benefit from IP targeting is likely to be small and the campaign unsuccessful.

A better criterion would be to expand the age range to 18-to-64-year-olds. Here you can market to students and even their lecturers, who may recommend the textbook.

Expanding geolocations to include the entire campus, student accommodations, and local households with student-age people will further your reach.

It may seem counterintuitive to IP targeting. Embracing such a large audience is likely to engage the wrong demographic, but it will push your messaging to all of your target audience.

The key takeaway here is don’t be too specific. While a wide range will be a little more costly to market, it will include all of your potential clients. Remember that IP address data gives general geolocation details, such as the latitude and longitude of the closest city center, so widening your parameters is definitely a good plan.

Being overly specific will leave out portions of your target audience and limit the effectiveness of IP targeting.

A Premium Service Without a Premium Price Tag

IP targeting sounds like a premium service, but it doesn’t come with a premium price tag.

Remember to tailor your campaign to your target demographic, and don’t be afraid to test different strategies for different audiences.

Whatever you’re selling, you can super-personalize your marketing approach to create a solid marketing strategy that will benefit both your business and your demographic.

This blog post is written by Xiaoyun TU from Brightpearl. Xiao is the Global Head of Lead Generation at Brightpearl, a leading retail automation platform. She is passionate about setting up innovative strategies to grow sales pipelines using data-driven decisions.‌