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Account-Based Advertising Technology – The IP vs Cookie Debate (Part 1)

How many times have you heard cookie-based targeting is better than IP targeting, and IP targeting is better than cookie targeting? Maybe the right answer is much easier – They’re both important aspects of a well-rounded marketing plan.

Account Level Targeting Takes the Cake?

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), IP targeting is “…the messaging delivered to a user’s geographic location as determined by his or her Internet Protocol (IP) address”. At MRP however, we don’t call it IP targeting. IP is a technical term. In the context of B2B, the use case for IP targeting is account level targeting. You can also use IP address for consumer level geographic targeting, but that is a very different use case particularly popular with CPG and political advertising.

It is easy to confuse IP targeting with geo targeting, since both strategies work to pinpoint the location of someone in order to serve them a relevant ad.  Keep in mind that while IP targeting uses IP addresses to determine a user’s location, those addresses are actually assigned by the user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP), so the numerical sequence has no actual correlation with a specific geography.

The reason IP addresses work for account-based advertising is larger accounts have static IP addresses, allowing you to work with a database of IP addresses mapped to accounts and use that information for account identification. This can then be used to unmask visitors to your website or target advertising programmatically. Supplementing an account-based display program with IP targeting lets you serve your content to target accounts around the globe.

Intent-Targeted, Account Based Display Advertising

MRP view account level targeting as a broader approach to targeting messaging across the entire buying center at an account. This allows you to reach not only the decision maker, but influencers in that decision-making process. Traditionally, marketing organizations would focus on our head of product and address their needs, but under that traditional marketing paradigm, you’d be ignoring everyone else in the give and take relationship when making such substantive decisions. Research by McKinsey suggests the decision-making authority is moving away from individuals in familiar roles, transforming the path to closing sales and making the sales cycle more complicated.  Because of the way the message is delivered to the user, account level targeting campaigns provide a hyper-targeted marketing approach, which results in a higher response rate.

Time to Put the Cookie Down?

On the other hand, when you focus on cookies, or what MRP considers persona based, you have the opportunity to focus and tailor your messaging to an individual. While there are influencers in the buyer journey, that head of product is most likely driving the process and controlling the information and messaging reaching the influencers. Concurrently, we work with our clients to build out the persona profile based on who you sell to in order to create an audience segment. Together with the account-based profile, we can narrow the targeting to specific personas at specific accounts. This opens the door to a tremendous amount of possibilities in personalizing messaging, aligning with sales, and driving an efficient marketing spend. Research from Adlucent found that 71% of people surveyed prefer ads tailored to interests and shopping habits, and further found that respondents were almost twice as likely to clickthrough an ad featuring an unknown brand if the ad was personalized.

Still asking yourself if you should select IP or cookie targeting. Look out for the next part of our Account-Based Advertising Technology Series: The IP vs Cookie Debate (Part 2)

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