Answers Served: Quova Details New IP Targeting Solution

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ADOTAS – Quova, which has more than 10 years of experience building marketing solutions that use geo-IP data, recently launched the Audience Targeting Solution (ATS), an end-to-end campaign management tool that employs Quova’s audience network based on a database of 3.5 billion publicly available IP addresses.

But let’s be clear from the start — Quova’s IP targeting is not IP tracking. The company isn’t building behavioral profiles based on the browsings of IP addresses. The data fields gleaned from IP addresses is arguably anonymous — location (which can be narrowed down to company) and network characteristics. With this data, Quova can set up custom IP placements, run targeted ad campaigns, optimize campaigns and report for its clients.

We had an interesting chat with Miten Sampat, Quova vice president of product strategy, who in addition to detailing the uses of ATS illuminated why IP addresses are not personally identifiable information and how IP targeting is really not personal at all.

ADOTAS: How does the new IP Audience Targeting Solution differ from previous Quova offerings? Does the introduction of this product change the company’s position in the online ad ecosystem?

SAMPAT: For more than a decade, Quova has been a leader in the IP-geolocation space and enabled the ad-ecosystem to geo-target. With this offering, we enable marketers to target audiences based on their place and context of access to the Internet. For example, university students can be targeted while they browse the web from school. Quova continues to offer its core geo-location data services to the ad-ecosystem.

What kind of companies are Quova’s biggest clients? What other kinds of companies could greatly benefit from Quova’s IP ATS?

Quova’s biggest clients are the leading search engines, social networks, e-commerce platforms, content providers, ad-networks, and governments. Our clients utilize our products for a variety of applications ranging from content optimization to fraud prevention to ad-targeting. Quova’s IP ATS offering is useful to financial services and insurance firms, technology companies, consumer brands, and a wide variety of other businesses trying to reach their audiences based on their place and context of access to the Internet.

I think I know how you’re going to answer this question, but is an IP address personally identifiable information? Why do you feel that way?

IP addresses are not personally identifiable information since they are not tied to a specific individual or device and are used only for targeting groups of users by location, geographic neighborhood, network type, connection type, business, college, etc.

Considering the plethora of information gleaned from the data fields, how does Quova ensure consumer privacy?

Quova does not associate user behavior or user activity with its IP address dataset and data fields.

Can consumers opt out of Quova’s IP targeting? How?

Since we are unable to attach an IP address to an individual or a particular device, we do not offer opt-out to individual consumers.

For the sad and confused out there, mind detailing what IP tracking at an “organizational level” means?

We offer marketers the ability to target just the employees of Neustar, for example (Quova’s parent company). Organization level targeting implies the ability to target a group of people and not the ability to target specific individuals within an organization. We can help brand marketers plan campaigns that reach hotel guests, college students, retailers, convention goers, etc. This enables them to send a specific message to a specific profile of a person, without invading privacy. With the explosion of Internet connected tablets like the iPad and what we sometimes call “pre-shoppers” we can even reach consumers at malls pre-purchase with offers.

What are the advantages of IP tracking over tracking cookies or other methods (e.g., device fingerprinting)?

Firstly, our technology is not a tracking solution. Targeting by IP addresses is ideal for reaching broad audiences without the need to track individuals and their behaviors on the Internet. IP addresses are particularly accurate in reaching audiences based on their place & context of access to the Internet – such  as universities, place of work, and travel.

How can marketers best use Quova’s data in display advertising? Can you provide examples of campaigns that impressed you?

IP targeting is great at creating brand awareness and buzz within an organization by covering multiple types of buyers not just the decision maker.   We have run several interesting campaigns targeting technical buyers across multiple locations.  It is still early days for this technology and we look forward to creating integrated cross modal campaigns.  By combining analysis of site traffic with these campaigns we are able to create lead lists for customers even when customers don’t register for white papers or sign up for more information.

How can Quova data be applied to other digital marketing efforts?

IP targeting can be universally applied to other marketing efforts, and is already being used as such in search, mobile, display, and email marketing.

Where do you come down in the debate over regulation of online behavioral advertising? What are your thoughts on a do-not-track list and browser DNT initiatives?

We are diligently following along the conversation, and believe that users should have control over who and how their behaviors are being tracked online.

Where would you like to see Quova’s services expand to?

At the moment, we are excited about the Quova IP Audience Targeting Solution and will be rolling out enhanced hyperlocal targeting in the near term.

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