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IP Targeting in lockdown

Chris Gibbens

May 28, 2020

Does IP Targeting still work when your customers aren't at the office?

Pre-lockdown, working from home was mainly reserved for days when the boiler broke or you needed to let the engineer in to do a reading of your meter.

Today things have changed (you could say this is the greatest understatement). Your home has become your office. Long commutes and bad weather have become worries of the past, a past that although only a few months ago, now feels completely alien. Replaced by the need to rearrange your kitchen or, for those fortunate enough, spare room to accommodate a desk and chair. That precious extra time we’ve gained back from travel has been absorbed by lengthy morning coffee rituals or indulgent dinner recipes, in some cases replying to ‘just one more’ email.

We’re making the most of this opportunity to flip routine on its head. But what does that mean for the work you do? In my case, digital marketing is where I rest my cap. And while the lockdown has created some interesting introductions on video calls, it has also reshaped the work I do. And I won’t pretend that it hasn’t made many marketers second guess where they’re investing their budgets.

Certainly recent research by IAB would suggest advertisers across numerous industries including B2B, didn’t have confidence that digital marketing spend would provide the necessary ROI. Reports suggest a 33% drop in digital advertising spend across the board compared to the previous year. Of course the impact on B2C sectors is much more immediate based on the buying cycle. If your brand doesn’t have the infrastructure to sell online and were previously using digital marketing to drive customers to your high street store, then the need to spend on this activity makes less sense if your shop isn’t open. The question for us and our partners then becomes, is B2B digital marketing really less effective in the current climate?

Here at Agent3, we don’t think so. 

The concept of programmatic IP targeting is straightforward: find information on the IT network that your key accounts are connected to and deliver targeted display ads that appear when they are browsing online. But what happens when a global pandemic comes along and no one is at the office? They’re all working from home. As the IAB research confirms, it’s been a fight or flight response from advertisers and many, it seems, have flown. 

But wait, doesn’t the new ‘working from home’ mean people – including customers – are, well, working?

Agent3 insight would suggest so. Indeed, since ‘lockdown’ in March, the total number of impressions served to target IP’s addresses on Agent3 campaigns has remained consistent or increased. So why is IP targeting still effective?

Firstly, as the IAB research tells us, there was a third less advertising spend recognised across the board in the March/April timeframe. Less spend means less advertisers. Less advertisers, or competitors, means a higher chance of winning that crucial spot on your target’s screen as there are simply less bids to beat at auction

Secondly, businesses are still connecting to their office IPs via Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that use Public Networks but are identifiable as corporate traffic. If your targets are still using those same IPs then you can keep advertising to them.

Finally, guess what, your target accounts really are working from home and most are working harder than ever. So with no commute and reduced pressure to deliver in shorter hours, screen time has, in fact, increased. Simply put, there are more chances than ever to target the people you need to target because they have to be doing their work online.

Targeting your key accounts through IP based programmatic ads is a great way to build trust, familiarity and awareness in your message or brand. In lockdown the potential to serve a larger amount at a reduced cost, is the best kept secret in B2B digital advertising right now. 

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