The search for a relevant audience is the fundamental driving force behind any successful marketing campaign. However, despite a growing array of tools and platforms, marketers still struggle to find the perfect match. Online, social media offers new audiences that can be reached with minimal effort at low costs. Yet, it is impossible to reach everyone who is potentially interested in your brand or product for each and every marketing campaign. This lack of context gives marketers an increasingly challenging task of segmenting their audiences into more manageable groups that can be targeted effectively within their campaigns.
One key to success seems to be calculating the potential reach of each marketing campaign considering the different target groups and their geographical locations. Country-specific data about a wide range of factors can be used for this purpose such as current weather, day-of-week, product availability etc.
What is IP Geo location?
IP Geo location, a marketing technique that has recently gained widespread attention, is based on the IP address of a visitor’s computer. This address is unique to a particular computer and reveals its geographic location through an IP location lookup API table. Traditionally, IP Geo location could only be applied to online traffic if you had access to either your web server logs or your hosted platform provided access logs. Now, more and more service providers are offering access to massive databases of IP addresses, location and category data. These entries can be used for segmenting audiences in online marketing campaigns.IP address databases are updated on a regular basis and therefore include current information about visitor numbers, locations, changes etc.
Google Analytics is one of the most commonly used sources for IP address lookup tables as it allows visitors to be classified according to their geographical location. The Google Ad Words platform also has integrated IP location lookup API tables that allow you to target visitors with great precision as they are based on a 100% match rate with high quality data from millions of websites worldwide.
Benefits of Geo location:
1) Geo location allows for more precise targeting of your marketing campaigns.
2) IP Geo location allows you to target your campaign based on their location and business sector.
3) Geo location gives you the potential to reach active visitors who are likely to demonstrate a high level of interest in your brand or product.
Drawbacks of IP Geo location or :
1) It is not possible to give access to the geographic information without compromising user privacy either by recording or logging access logs or server logs. This means that only small companies with limited budgets can benefit from this technique, especially since these data sources may be sold by the service provider as a tool for maximizing revenue.
2) Geo location databases are not always up-to-date.
3) There is no easy and cost effective way to identify seasonal, special events and day time impacts on potential reach (e.g. holidays, weather etc.).
4) Geo location can only be used for online traffic because user access to the IP location lookup API of computers or cell phones is not possible in most cases.
The rise of new digital channels has created completely new populations of customers who no longer purchase or consume products solely in brick-and-mortar stores but instead are using the Internet as their primary source of information and awareness.
Therefore, the traditional “cold” or “warm” call to customers based on demographics (e.g. age, gender and income) is no longer as effective as it once was. The new digital footprints can only be extracted if you possess unique and relevant data that can be matched against IP address databases to determine geographic location.
The benefits of geo location most visibly manifest themselves in marketing campaigns in areas where a large percentage of customers reside such as the US and German regions, which have traditionally been significant markets for the development of digital marketing companies.
How can Marketing Professionals Improve Their Campaigns using IP Geo location?
IP Geo location, which connects a user’s IP address to a geographic location, is an essential tool that allows marketers to perform “digital doorstep marketing”.
Simply described as the digital version of traditional door-to-door canvassing, this form of digital marketing provides marketers with the ability to identify and contact a relevant audience directly in order to improve campaign results.
Geo location is already being used on one of the biggest online marketplaces in Germany (www.ebay.de) by enabling each user to be matched with their relevant area or postcode. This means, for example, that users from Munich are no longer shown search results from across Germany but instead can see only those ads from Munich or its surrounding areas.
Targeting the right people whenever they show an interest in your brand or product is the key to effective marketing and it has never been easier than it is today.
How can Digital Marketing Experts Benefit from Geo location?
Analysts at Forrester Research estimate that US online retailers will lose almost $2 billion in revenue by 2014 if they continue to miss the opportunity of providing users with relevant, personalized and location-based content.
It is essential for marketers to provide their customers with a personalized, optimized and relevant shopping experience. However, this task becomes more difficult as more and more sellers decide to invest in digital marketing campaigns and with more intermediaries such as price aggregators appearing on popular platforms like eBay, Google Shopping or Amazon.
As consumers become savvier, brands must push their boundaries to stay ahead of the competition. Location based services and marketing are becoming increasingly important in today’s crowded marketplace.
Geo location offers both advertisers and sellers a unique opportunity to reach interested customers directly through relevant and targeted marketing campaigns.
Location-based marketing will provide a significant advantage to brands who choose to adopt this technique in order to raise their market share and reduce their customer acquisition costs.