Programmatic geotargeting is accurate to the DMA level. But because the geolocations are approximated from the IP addresses (rather than taken from real GPS data), they are less accurate and appear as a "freckles" pattern on the map. This is fine for certain types of marketing (targeting the DMA level) but may have enough precision for other forms of marketing.
September 2017 / Page 0marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Geotargeting in Programmatic
Marketing Science and advanced analytics expert Peter Zajonc studied the accuracy of
geotargeting in programmatic digital ads by targeting 10 DMAs across the U.S. The map
shows that for the most part, geotargeting successfully hit the intended DMA targets.
However, note the points identified in the red rectangles; these were outside the
intended DMAs and usually correspond to cities with data centers or internet gateways.
Zooming in on 1 DMA – the data shows that geolocations approximated from IPs appear
as “freckles” – clusters of points. This kind of targeting does not use live GPS locations so
both mobile-only and desktop-only appear to have similar “freckle” patterns.
• San Francisco
Desktop only Mobile phone only – very similar
• Los Angeles
• Chicago New York