Archive for 2017

84 degrees, Oct 2017

84 degrees, Oct 2017

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Cedar Ridge Sucked… my chain

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Cedar Ridge Sucked… my chain

Cedar Ridge Sucked... my chain

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Why “Geo-targeted” social media advertising will not work for most small firms.

Has your business been offered the opportunity to run “geo-targeted” social media ads by a small, local digital marketing firm?  This is a simple enough concept in printed media, run an ad in a publication exclusive to Atlanta, GA and an audience in that area sees it.  This is quite a bit different when it comes to social media and it’s track record for small businesses is abysmal.  It’s a matter of those pushing the product, smaller social media digital marketing firms, not understanding the underlying technology and it’s limitations.

Digital geo-marketing relies primarily on data collected by a couple of firms in attempts to obtain legitimacy.  Maxmind and Digital Envoy TRY to collect geo-location data using ping responses.  Ya, if you’re a network admin go ahead and laugh.  Ping data.  “Pinging” IP addresses is a technology older than the World Wide Web.  It’s a command used to identify latency times between computers and network appliances.  On wired and private networks these ping response times measuring latency are pretty reliable.  On public networks and more specifically mobile networks ping latency is far less reliable when it comes to pinpointing IP address locations.  It’s literally a guessing game, full of of too many assumptions to list.  Even the geo-location companies admit it’s “a bit like solving a mystery”.

Geo-location companies do not know with any precision where an ISP is delivering an address, certainly not with any accuracy down to 30km or less, just over 20 miles.  Most often that level of accuracy cannot be achieved.  So the smaller the area you want to target your advertising, the less likely it is any marketing will reach that designated audience.  If you want to advertise in the entire state of GA exclusively, you might get the results you’re looking for.  Maybe.  Assuming none of the internet service providers re-address or redesign their network in a broad area.

There are other limiting factors in using IPv4 internet addresses to try to identify audience locations.  Many ISPs, especially those in Asia and Europe are switching to IPv6 public network addresses, abandoning IPv4 entirely, the address model used by these geo-data aggregation firms.  Spectrum Communications is doing this in the US now.  This is not information digital media marketing firms want you to know.  The geo-targeted marketing they are trying to sell is an inaccurate science, relying on assumed information and technology that is becoming more irrelevant every day.

All that said geo-targeted marketing is possible and is currently working for several large enterprise organizations.  I say “enterprise” because I am referring to Google, Yahoo, Facebook and other organizations which have millions to spend on entire departments to make sense out of network addresses and their delivered locations using Ping Triangulation, a sophisticated and manual process.  For example Google uses cars in every major metropolitan city in the world to triangulate and confirm IP addresses and subnets delivered by local ISPs to subscribers.  They do not provide this collected information to third parties, not even for a price.  Google will target your ad geographically for you at their rates.

So unless your local digital media marketing firm has a few cars checking IP addresses on a daily basis in every market you may wish to advertise it’s likely they are working off bad and inaccurate data.  Of course they won’t tell you this which is why my opinion is that most, but not all, digital marketing firms should be relegated to the same receptacle as the stale and now irrelevant firms still pushing search optimization, SEO, the trash bin.

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Fourth sunset of fall

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Fourth sunset of fall

Fourth sunset of fall

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In Knightdale. Best pastries you can get I've ever found for $0.81

In Knightdale. Best pastries you can get I've ever found for $0.81

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Pinnacle of Trash Mountain

Pinnacle of Trash Mountain

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Big one.

Big one.

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Wildflowers on the Neuse

Wildflowers on the Neuse

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