This previously unheard-of level of consumer connection has led to an explosion of IP targeted advertisements.  Millions of homes and businesses have now been opened up to marketers in a way that allows personalized advertisements to be delivered through display advertising and email marketing.

To illustrate how IP targeting works and why it’s an attractive marketing option, let’s view its benefits through a hypothetical:

You operate a business selling widgets to the manufacturing sector. It’s the beginning of your fiscal year and you are trying to decide how to budget your marketing dollars. Traditionally, you’ve relied on a personal sales team to make cold calls. While you could use your marketing budget on a traditional display advertising campaign, an even more precise way to target would be to discover the corporate IP addresses of businesses that meet your customer profile. With these IP addresses in hand, you could then run a display advertising campaign that speaks directly to your target audience, and only your target audience. Then, when your sales team calls them to discuss doing business, it’s no longer a cold call, and you haven’t wasted essential marketing dollars speaking to businesses that aren’t a good fit.

Adding to this already tremendous level of customization and specificity, IP targeting campaigns can be executed at a fraction of the costs of radio, print, or television advertisements.  This has greatly improved the cost-effectiveness of many marketing programs in recent years.

IP Ethics

Though advertisers have been captivated by the benefits of IP targeting, concerns have been raised regarding the nature of collecting the IP addresses of individuals to sell products.  As our connection to the web has grown and our internet devices have become further integrated into everyday life, defending personal privacy online has become an increasingly important issue to millions of Americans.  

As such, questions regarding the expansion of tracking methods are sure to follow.  Are IP addresses owned by individuals?  Should they be off limits for organizations gathering data?  Does IP targeting start us down a slippery slope of more intrusive business practices?  In time, questions like these must be answered.

Although the system is still far from perfect, the efficiency exhibited by IP targeting is far above what has been available to digital marketers in the past.  With constantly improving technology and affordable options for organizations large and small, the adoption rate amongst advertisers is set to keep rising.  

Internet Protocol targeting is here to stay and looks to keep marketers excited for years to come.

Michaels and Associates Inc.  ©2017