IP Address Marketing versus Geo-targeting

Both IP address marketing and geo-targeting use geographical locations in order to deliver personalized advertisements. It is easy to get them mixed up. However, there are lots of differences that keep them separate. 

IP advertising

IP advertising includes using a persons’ IP address in order to send specific ads to multiple devices across one IP address. This means reaching the same people more than once, increasing the visibility of your company to that household. 

IP address marketing uses a household’s internet protocol address to use as a target for their ads. The IP address is a list of numbers that have been assigned to each household’s internet connection from their service provider. 

IP targeting advertising is more precise than geo-targeting. While geo-targeting can pinpoint a specific location, IP address marketing can target a specific household. This means you can get all the way down to a certain person with IP address targeting. 


Geo-targeting is using the location of a website visitor and delivering content to them specific to the user. This can send advertisements to individuals regardless of what website they visit. It can “follow” them through the internet. 

Geo-targeting doesn’t require IP addresses, it only needs a set location. You can create a “fence” that allows for everyone inside the fence to receive the advertisement. You can draw an area around a whole neighborhood or even a single building. 

Within geo-targeting, however, you are sending ads to everyone in that area. That may be a waste of time if most of the people in that area do not want to partake in your product or service. Whereas with IP targeting, you can target people who will be specifically interested in what you are selling. 

IP Advertising Scenario

If a new bank were to open and wanted to target students, they could acquire the IP address of surrounding schools and households that have students living in them. They could send specific advertisements to the computers and devices that are connected to the one IP address. 

Geo-targeting Scenario

If a healthy food organization is trying to sell organic foods, then they could fence gyms and yoga facilities together and send advertisements to those people who are coming and going. This increases the chances of them reaching someone who may want their product. 

While both scenarios define specific locations for the advertisements to go to, they use different methods in order to reach the locations. IP address targeting uses the IP address and geo-targeting uses location. 

The main difference: IP targeting doesn’t require a location and geofencing doesn’t require an IP address.