IP Targeting for B2B Campaigns is the Only Way To Go: Q&A with Ray Kingman, Semcasting

Cookie-based targeting has always been synonymous with online advertising; but IP targeting is quickly gaining a foothold as the industry continues to innovate and change. Ray Kingman (pictured below), CEO, Semcasting, explains the advantages marketers have for cross-device campaigns with increased match rates using IP targeting.

ExchangeWire: What is Mobile Footprints and how does it help marketers understand the customer journey more clearly? Who are some of your clients already using this technology?

Ray Kingman: Mobile Footprints provides a deterministic daily map of nearly 300 million mobile devices in more than 150 million home and business locations. Mobile Footprints offers one-to-one audience selection by matching those mobile devices to customer relationship management (CRM) databases, prospect mailing lists, site traffic, household demographic profiles or business firmographic intelligence. Mobile Footprints is a deterministic solution for cross-device campaigns. It is able to identify all mobile device activity at a select location and then extend it to the ISP delivery points of homes, businesses, and other locations associated with the original device. In a mobile-first advertising environment, Mobile Footprints has been the lead technology for campaigns in healthcare (enrollment, insurance, and prescription services), auto (lead generation, site attribution), finance (co-branded credit cards, new accounts for branch offices), sports (season tickets), and college recruitment (student enrollment), to name a few. We are executing more than 300 campaigns a month that leverage Mobile Footprints.

What is a match rate? Can you tell me about the methodology for gathering these the match rates percentages?

The match rates are driven from the availability of a CRM file, or a prospect file from the customer. Nearly every campaign we take part in today is based on ‘terrestrial accuracy’. The postal files are processed postal normalisation (to improve match accuracy) through our patented Smart Zones system to identify the most up-to-date location of the signal, and extend it to the algorithmic extension to the home or the business location of the device signal. The system maintains approximately 300 million daily signal updates, which match out the to the home and business. The match is determined primarily against the home for a consumer campaign or a business for B2B. The ‘Zones’ that locations match to are based on the lot sizes of the individual home or business. Match rates average between 75% and 85% for most campaigns. What are the factors that influence the various match rates in different industries? The main factors that determine accuracy are the physical lot size, GPS coordinates, and the time of collection. The more recent the ID, the higher the score. A score must reach a minimum threshold of being on the site location and then it is graded higher or lower based on the last time we saw the device.

How does IP-based campaign matching differ from cookie-based targeting?

Ray Kingman, CEO, Semcasting

IP-based matching is a moving target. The IP of home networks and devices changes all the time – at a rate of 4% a day in home ISP networks and even higher in mobile devices. If you are current with the data, the match rates for IP matching is better for targeting dependent on postal accuracy, attribution, and campaigns that require a tighter handle on accurately reaching the right customer. IP targeting is highly appropriate for B2B applications (where cookies are blocked on networks) or trade areas for retailers or local enterprises (for better reach). Cookie-based solutions largely map to a pool of cookies that make up a sociographic or psychographic pool of like-minded people. Nearly half of consumers, and most businesses, block cookies. For large brands less sensitive to coverage or location, the cookie segment is acceptable.

What is the downside to IP targeting for advertising? How do you see this changing in the future?

The downside of IP targeting is that it is dependent on the quality of the compilation process. In a mobile-first world, devices are changing IP assignments all of the time. The assignments must be made in a dynamic manner – daily, if not in real time. Using IP targeting for B2B campaigns is the only way to go. It supports the targeting of the business network (which is not changing very often), plus, through Mobile Footprints, the bridge can be made between the employee onsite and their home.

The challenge in audience targeting of any kind is reach and accuracy. The cookie pools get blocked over half the time and now key platforms like Safari blocks third-party cookies by default.

In answer to this, the ‘onboarders’ have gone to ‘universal IDs’. To date, universal IDs exist for Google, Facebook, Apple, Samsung, Sony, and maybe a few more. There are benefits to universal IDs, as long as you are within the environment of the universal platform. The non-universal/universal ID is, as a practical matter, an obvious challenge to unique user coverage. IP targeting bridges all of these pools and can work with any of the universal ID assignments, but it is dependent on effectively managing the frequency and accuracy of the IP assignment process.

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