The Solution: IP Address Targeting. See Below For The Problem.
There can be no doubt that marketing has evolved over the last few decades. For a long time, marketing was simply this thing of “magic” that was driven by creative minds. Companies would “push” their advertisements to consumers and pray it worked. Fortunately, back in 1935, when this strategy was in its prime, there wasn’t all too much competition; the market wasn’t as saturated as it is today with the hundreds of thousands of advertisements we’re exposed to on a regular basis.
But as we started to move toward saturation, marketing took on the famous “Four Ps” approach, and then eventually, in the early 2000s, made its way to relationship management with a focus on customers, and then finally to relationship management with a focus on all stakeholders.
We’re listening, we’re understanding behavior, we’re using big data, and we’re developing a unique journey that is tailored to each individual. In other words, we’re following what is called “Market Orientation,” which is all about gathering intelligence, disseminating that knowledge across all departments, and then using all capabilities within an organization to move the needle.
Collectively, what we know to be true at this point from our intelligence gathering (aka testing, testing, testing!) is that what works best for marketing and fundraising campaigns is an omni-present approach. (There is a very nerdy, psychological explanation for why this works, but that’s for another blog.) What’s important to know is that the idea of being everywhere — omnipresent — is what works best. That means being in every channel and on every device.
Here’s an example from one of our clients:
This chart is showing the results of an omni-present approach test. We tested adding a “Pre-Direct Mail” Email to the mix (these people were also receiving a Post-DM Email and Social Advertisements). As you can see from the results, those who received the Pre-DM Email far outperformed the segment who didn’t receive it.
BUT — what’s more telling is the audience who didn’t have an email at all. That means they were only able to receive the Direct Mail solicitation.
Which got us thinking … how do we reach someone in multiple channels and on multiple devices when we only have their address and nothing else?
The answer: IP ADDRESS TARGETING!
What is that, you ask?
Well, IP Address Targeting looks just like any other digital advertisement (think retargeting ads), except it reaches the end-user through their IP Address. And that is obtained using their physical mailing address.
BOOM! We can now apply an omni-present strategy to nearly EVERYONE. This includes cold acquisition where we’re renting lists with only physical addresses.
Pretty cool, huh?
We totally agree. Which is why it is something we’re utilizing with our clients more and more and something I plan on talking about more and more.
We’re in the midst of testing this now, checking to see just how much the response rate increases overall when applying an IP Address targeting ad to the marketing mix. And I look forward to sharing those results with you!
In the meantime, here are my top five things you should do/think about as you begin planning your upcoming campaigns:
- IP Address Targeting and Your Budget
Wouldn’t it be great if we could execute our marketing plan without having to worry about a budget? Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. So, when it comes to IP Address Targeting, it’s important to think through the “Who” and “How Many.” The “Who” will come through in your data strategy, which is point number two, but the “How Many” is something you’ll also need to decide. What I’m referring to are impressions. Typically, the pricing structure of IP Address Targeting ads comes down to how often you want someone to see your ad. And the formula is such: (Number of IP Addresses being targeted) (Number of days the ad is running) (Number of daily Impressions) (Cost per Impression) = Total Ad Cost. Also, note that this doesn’t include the time and/or costs to create the actual ad that will be placed. So decide, and of course, play! You can always pivot (increase or reduce) midway through the campaign. Just make sure you make note of that when you’re examining overall results of the campaign.
- IP Address Targeting and Your Data Strategy
Again … wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to worry about a budget? But we do … and thus it’s important to understand exactly who should be receiving these ads and carve and cut appropriately. In the example of the results above, the quantity mailed (56,104) was carved down significantly. We had built a predictive model based on a number of different psychographic and demographic information points. This helped us focus our efforts on segments that are more likely to respond to that particular marketing campaign. We would apply the same reasoning and carving when determining where to focus the efforts for these types of ads.
- IP Address Targeting and Your Creative Strategy
As mentioned above, there are reasons rooted in psychology and behavior economics that explain the “why” of an omni-present strategy. It involves the brain’s reaction to seeing the same message over and over again. Thus, when considering your creative strategy for IP Address Targeting, it should come from an integrated communication strategy. In other words, it should look and feel exactly like the rest of the campaign. It’s not cheating if you take the same imagery from your social ads and “repurpose” them for your IP Address Targeting ads. In fact, that is the exact strategy I would recommend. Don’t let anyone tell you that people will get bored with seeing the same image in their DM piece, their email header, their social ad, and their IP Address Targeting ad. They won’t. It will reinforce the message and lift the overall response rate of the campaign, I promise. But if you don’t believe me (or your boss doesn’t), then test it!
- IP Address Targeting and Proper Testing
Speaking of testing … do it! The first test I would recommend doing is an IP Address Targeting ad vs. no IP Address Targeting ad. This will obviously confirm whether or not this works and provide a case study for those non-believers in your organization. It also helps everyone see and understand that the point of an omni-present strategy is not to see which channel produces the highest ROI, it’s to show that each piece, working together, helps lift response rates. (PLEEEEAAAASSSEEEE, don’t look solely at the conversion rate of these ads and infer performance. You’d be looking at it the wrong way!) Once these tests are complete, I’d look at testing the number of impressions, the number of days the campaign runs, and various image tests (same image as the rest of the campaign, but possibly in black and white or adding in text on the image, etc.). The key is to continuously test and optimize, which is a general theme of marketing.
- IP Address Targeting Versus Other Digital Advertisements
There are so many ways to reach people digitally, which means there are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to the marketing mix of a campaign. Should you invest more in social or retargeting or IP Address Targeting or whatever else? There are a ton of pros and cons when it comes to the various types of digital advertisements you can you do (hmm … I feel another blog topic coming to me). My recommendation is to weigh them all against the budget and make the best decision you can based on the available data/results you have. With that said, don’t be afraid to test new things — as in, don’t be afraid to try out IP Address Targeting in your next campaign.