how does the IP targeting actually work

how does the IP targeting work technically?

I understand the concept of IP targeting, Geo targeting .  Many companies are providing this services, all of those website say the same words-----get the IP address first, then push the banner ad to consumer.  but I just don't understand how to actually push the banner ad to the specific IP address? with the help of Google? ISP? How can I do a test to push an image to my personal Ip address? can I setup an account with google to try it ?
Arthur WangAsked:
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
basically you have a table of banners and based on the geo-location you will display a banner specific to that area
https://searchengineland.com/10-practical-tips-using-geo-location-reach-target-audience-217301

How does Geo-Targeting Work

As you can see from my campaign settings. I can target specific areas and exclude specific areas2018-09-06_19-10-35.png
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Arthur WangAuthor Commented:
David,

Thanks for showing the campaign screenshot, based on my understanding, what you described is called Geo Targeting, which is very similar to one of the services provided by Google. It can only target specific area or region, but NOT specific IP address.  What I am trying to understand is the IP targeting, which show banners to a list of specific IP addresses. it's more like what this company does: https://www.eltoro.com/

their wiki says:
"El Toro developed a series of technologies that allow their customers to precisely target individual households online using banner, display and video ads. Using data from third-party providers and clients, El Toro mapped millions of IP addresses.[4] The company's patented algorithm matches a household to an IP address with 95% accuracy.[5] Since the system knows the IP address of specified households there is no need to use cookies for targeting."

Please correct me if I am wrong about this concept.
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
What is it you are trying to do?  Grabbing the IP from a user is easy but on it's own will not be very accurate and depending on the area (very low or high population density for instance) may have the same IP.  If the provider is satellite, I believe the IP is also shared or is a virtual ip not directly tied to the address. Then you have multiple devices from the same user.  If you understand what householding is, you can imagine this is more complex than it seems.

For php as example http://itman.in/en/how-to-get-client-ip-address-in-php/
$userIP = getRealIpAddr();

// ASSUME IMAGE IS SAVED AS THE STRING OF THE IP.JPG
echo "<img src='.$userIP.".jpg'>";  

function getRealIpAddr()
{
    if (!empty($_SERVER['HTTP_CLIENT_IP']))   //check ip from share internet
    {
      $ip=$_SERVER['HTTP_CLIENT_IP'];
    }
    elseif (!empty($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR']))   //to check ip is pass from proxy
    {
      $ip=$_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR'];
    }
    else
    {
      $ip=$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'];
    }
    return $ip;
}

Open in new window


Now you can store the ip in a database and when you see it return, serve your advertisement.  You can even drop a cookie with some unique identifier and when the user is at your site, match both ip and cookie.

What I just described is easy. I believe what a company  like eltoro is doing is much more complex probably by housholding many data sources together.
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Arthur WangAuthor Commented:
Scott,

Thanks for the comment. I understand that I can show the right banner ad to the consumer once it come back to my own website, I can push the banner ad based on the previous browsing history of the consumer. This is very similar to amazon.com, it keep your browsing history in the database. but what I am really interested is the cross sites banner ad.  Let me give an example below:

Assume my wife searched a baby stroller from some  website----www.mystrollers.com from one of her devices at home (from the only household public IP address assigned by ISP), since the day she searched the baby stroller, whenever I go to any other websites which my wife normally doesn't go to,  for example:  bloomberg.com, cnn.com, gap.com, foxnews.com......etc. , I always see the banner with stroller image showing up.  I am just surprised how those company do this in theory? At the beginning, I thought it's done by google, after consulting with google, they don't provide such service down to the IP address  level though they do provide service down to the specific area/region. so who else can do such job? banner ads are overwrited by ISP? that's the only thing I can think of at this moment, and I might be wrong.
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
You are referring to re-marketing https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/2453998?hl=en  This is dependent on the network.  If you have google adsense on your website and a user has searched for strollers on another site that google monitors (also has adsense), then the stroller ad could show up on your site when the user lands on it.  The advertiser may have geo targeting set up and allow ads to show up for people from a specific geo region. But as a site owner, that is not something you control, it is the advertising network.

If you are an advertiser, you can use a site like eltoro, if you are a publisher, you will use an advertising network that probably has something set up with them but you would probably no know it.
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Arthur WangAuthor Commented:
Scott,

Thanks again for the adsense link, now I understand what I am looking for is called remarketing.

At the bottom of the adsense page:

"
Ways to remarket with Google Ads
    Customer list remarketing: With Customer match, you can upload lists of contact information that your customers have given you. When those people are signed into Google, you can show them ads across different Google products.
"

I am an advertiser, my customers bring me a list of IP addresses combined with some other information from the previous site visit. I certainly can work with El Toro to push the banner ad to the consumers, however, what if I want to do it on my own instead of using service from El Toro? what is the methodology behind the scene?  

step 1: match the IP addresses with the consumer physical addresses?(this step is easy for me to do, I have an updated database to map all the IP addresses with the physical address)
step 2: open an adsense account with google and target the specific area of the matched physical addresses in the step 1?

if this is the way done by El Toro,  from my point of view,  it does not look like a snipper shot,  it's more like an artillery shot.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
you would have to make an agreement with each isp and purchase a list of ip addresses and zip/postal codes. Combine this information with demographics of each area. Google gets this information indirectly with users using google maps and other location services that interact with google without creating a relationship with the ISP's.

You would also want to aggregate this information with demographic information of each location.  You can now tailor your ads to say a median income of $50K or more, age range 30-50, living in an upscale neighborhood, average # of school age children or no school age children. This way you can laser target your ads to your campaign's ad audience. i.e. A New Lexus SUV or other high end multi passenger vehicle.  in a Singles condominium you'd market a sports car i.e. corvette.
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
I think you have some things mixed up.

If you are an advertiser, you will want to work directly with a network.  The only way to use re-targeting is to  use a network that will have their ads placed on multiple sites. You can't do this on your own.

Google as far as I know, will not let you target specific people. Only regions or x mile radius. You can create multiple campaigns using a mile radius for instance and that would be the way to go. Really, that is a better option anyway. If you need to target households, a giant colorful post card would probably do better.   Working with web advertising, you may be able to target households but you would have to hit a lot or it would not work when you think about response rates to banner ads being very small.


Even if you had a database of street addresses and somehow matched up an IP, that would be stale very quickly when you think about how IP's work and multiple devices etc. I am not privy to what eltoro does, but I would bet there is a lot of data sources that are continually updated and householded together. It would be very difficult to recreate on your own.  Now, even if you did that, you do not have control of or are partnered with an ad network so the point is moot.

What you will want to do is use Google Adsense (or other network) and geotarget.  Let's say you have a list of 10,000 homes and you have the lat and lon.  You could bulk upload these and geo target by let's say a half mile. That would give you a good cross section to hit. I don't know what targeting by the household would cost using something like eltoro, but I bet it would be more expensive than doing what I just explained. So take that into consideration too.
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Arthur WangAuthor Commented:
David,

I understand what you said. The purchased data list (include name, home address etc ) are normally based on some demographic info chosen by the customers, say Lexus or BMW car dealer. We send out both eblast and Direct Mail, some consumer response to the website of the car dealer. but the consumer did not schedule an appointment for a test drive right away. and we did capture the consumer IP address, my question is: how can I push the banner ad to these consumers for the next whole week regardless which website they go?
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
You can't you'd have to connect with several ad networks i.e. taboola, outbrain
For instance when I go to CNN.COM they add suggested sites from paid.outbrain.com and I will see ads from Newegg.com of something that I searched for in Newegg but did not purchase.
newegg pays outbrain and outbrain pays cnn (either by impresion or click or both)
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
> how can I push the banner ad to these consumers for the next whole week regardless which website they go

This is retargeting and would need to go through an advertising network.

> The purchased data list (include name, home address etc )
If that did include an IP, I would not trust it. If you obtained an IP from submitting a form, you have no idea where they were when they submitted the form or which device they were on (home, work, laptop, phone, ipad). So this would not really work as expected. Like I said, a company like eltoro puts a lot more work into this.

> demographic info chosen by the customers, say Lexus or BMW car dealer
Ok, now this makes more sense as to what you are trying to do.  There are going to be advertising networks that specialize on intent or behavior that looks like they are ready to purchase a car.  That would make more sense for you to get involved with.  

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/micro-moments/five-auto-shopping-moments-every-brand-must-own/
https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/consumer-car-buying-process-reveals-auto-marketing-opportunities/
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Arthur WangAuthor Commented:
Seems like there are multiple way to do it.

one way suggested by Scott is to use google adsense and google geotargeting. "That would give you a good cross section to hit."

the other way suggested by David is to connect with taboola and outbrain, though I did not know those two sites before, I will see if I can connect and work with them after doing more research.
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Arthur WangAuthor Commented:
I will explain what I am trying to do in more details.

I work for a traditional Direct Mail company, the list is either purchased or provided by the dealers(car, jewelry, dentist, carpet.....etc.). After the campagin (direct mail, eblast, kiosk registration, landing page form submission etc.), our server capture a list of IP addresses, and some consumer did make an appointment right away, some don't, what the dealers want is to push the banner ads to those who has not make an appointment for at least a week after the campaign. So I would call this as a post campaign banner ad.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Would be cheaper to target the Dealers City or Cities again, perhaps using the ad network(s) that the local news outlets use
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Arthur WangAuthor Commented:
Scott.

"you have no idea where they were when they submitted the form or which device they were on (home, work, laptop, phone, ipad)."---I understand this, but normally ISP don't change the household IP address for years though they do use DHCP in theory. at least my home IP has not been changed for quite a few years.  if a consumer use phone from a public place like starbucks, i might capture the wrong ip address, but that's still small percentage.
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
I think you want to talk to eltoro. Can you give them a list of IP addresses and let them do their stuff.

With that said, I still think re-targeting will be easier.  Yes, not as accurate to the specific person, but it is a numbers game. You might be better off capturing their cell phone which you are most likely doing anyway and send them one or two text messages. There are plenty of companies that can automate this for you. If you have a programmer, you can use https://www.twilio.com/.
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
It would be worth a test to use eltoro and give both ip and physical address and test that out.
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Arthur WangAuthor Commented:
thanks for the suggestion, Scott, I did a couple of tesst with El Toro.  They did very good jobs, but their cost is high, I would have not much profit after that. now I am trying to be a competitor of El Toro,  but provided to my customers with the lower cost.
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Arthur WangAuthor Commented:
After talking with multiple employees in OutBrain.com, here is their final answer: "we 100% do not push ads to IP addresses".
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
they sure do target ads but not as granual as individual ip address
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
> They did very good jobs, but their cost is high,

The more target, the higher the cost will be.  This is not an easy concept for people to grasp.  Many times, you are better off by sending out more broad messages because it will be less expensive.

>  I am trying to be a competitor of El Toro,

If this small one off project is not cost effective for you, trying to be a competitor to them will most certainly drain your budget. Doing what they do is not something you can quickly put up over night and will be no small task.

I do think you have found an interesting solution by targeting an IP, but it is not the solution for you. There are going to be other options to explore.
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Arthur WangAuthor Commented:
From my understanding, the individual IP address targeting is a very good concept.  It will change the future of the direct mail industry, the current annual revenue of direct mail industry is about 10 billion dollars with 120 billions of pieces mailed last year. If the cost issue can be solved, it will be a very good business opportunity though it might cause some legal issue about privacy. guess that's probably one of the reasons Google does not do it. Instead, they do GEO targeting.

Say 10 or 20 years down the road, every house hold and cellphone user have a unique IP6 address, isn't it be more promising to do IP targeting than direct mail?
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
I don't agree that targeting by an IP is a good concept for the same reason it is not good for web servers to block an IP address just for a bad user as you may block out entire areas as not everybody is on their own IP.  Additionally, IP addresses can change or be spoofed so there is not a way to use that to identify somebody.

In the direct mail world, you have households, housing units, family's, individuals, zip4's, carrier routes,block groups, zips and counties to target.   You can purchase a list of individuals/heads of households that have specific demographics and send out mail to those people.  While you will potentially hit a refined target, your costs are higher for the list and postage.  For something like a luxury car, you can more easily identify carrier routes to saturate where it is possible to not use a list and have postage prices drop from 29 cents to 16 cents. That difference in savings would allow printing more pieces.  If you follow the birds of a feather theory, something like a luxury car could get better results by not micro targeting.  

I would apply the same theory to targeting people electronically although I don't believe you can think in terms of physical location in the same manner as DM.  Another factor is how the cost of messaging is shifted. With DM, the marketer bears the entire cost of the communication. With electronic marketing, both the marketer and target are paying for the communication so that will come into play as to how you market to people.  

With digital marketing, you want to target interactions and that is what inbound marketing is all about.  You still are going to target but instead of trying to apply traditional DM strategy to digital, you will target by content and building trust.  I can sit at home and fill out a form to make an appointment I will never keep perhaps because there was a carrot stuck in front of me, or I can fill out the form because I trust you and want to interact with you and that will convert to better conversions of appointments.

So when you start talking about being able to follow an IP, I think you really mean the ability to follow a person.  That is what re-targeting does.  But to make that work, there has to be one entity that either controls the advertising network or partners with those that do.  As you found out, targeting by the IP was not cost effective. However, if you have re-targeting rules set up, you can send one ad to people that came to your form page but did not fill it out vs those that did for a lower cost.

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2611268?hl=en
https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2611820?hl=en
https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/6168766?hl=en

Other options are proximity marketing and predictive behavior all made easier through digital.

With all that said, your real issue is people are not keeping their appointments. Will more ads do the trick to get them back?  Or is there a way to better earn their trust to want to keep their appointment?  Is there a way to track the person after a sale to see if they were on your email list and didn't make a set appointment.
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Arthur WangAuthor Commented:
Scott,

Despite the fact that the situation described below is not my concern, the conversion rate from good leads to sales depends on how their sales person of the retailers to follow up with the leads,  and the retailers only care about the response rate from a marketer, an appointment or form submission from the consumers is considered a  very good response completed by a marketer:

"I can sit at home and fill out a form to make an appointment I will never keep perhaps because there was a carrot stuck in front of me, or I can fill out the form because I trust you and want to interact with you and that will convert to better conversions of appointments. "-

For the past two weeks, I had called a long list of companies which claim that they can do IP targeting-----Outbrain, Taboola, A4 Media, Vici media, AppNexus, D&B, AppNexus, LiveRamp.......etc.  still, not able to find one who can really do the IP targeting ("granually" like David pointed out ).


After reading your post multiple times and some searching around, I become more than agree with you and what you said:
" If you follow the birds of a feather theory, something like a luxury car could get better results by not micro targeting.  "
"Other options are proximity marketing and predictive behavior all made easier through digital. "

Maybe the IP targeting is not that good even though i have no idea about the methodology adopted by El Tora. I might be better off going with geo targeting(in your words: proximity marketing). I know google do geo targeting and will find out if they provide web service API instead of manually log into google ad account to configure the campaign. we have about 100 campaigns every day. It would be better to let our server automatically talk to google server or any third party server for the campaign configuration.

In this case, I guess I might be wrong in terms of the understanding of the concept of the IP targeting from the beginning.
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Arthur WangAuthor Commented:
Though I have not figured out how the IP targeting actually works,  assume nobody can actually do it like a sniper to shot the individual IP address other than bombing the IP addresses of the whole area, in that case, it comes down to the concept of geo targeting. I would assume 99% of the marketers on the internet confused with these two concepts: IP targeting and Geo Targeting, and eventually decide to give up the IP target concept and adopt the Geo Targeting for being the more practical purpose.
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