Machine learning driven geographic classification

13 July 2017 Zuzanna Żelazna Uncategorized

The Real Audience team is very proud and happy that technology created by the company is satisfying the customers’ needs.

Below you’ll find a post written by the Real Audience OEM DMP customer, Mittmedia, where they are expressing their satisfaction with the DMP platform. The post was originally published in Swedish at



Mittmedia has for some time been working with geographically targeted ads, and has now, with the help of machine learning and own data, heavily increased the accuracy of the geographic targeting.

Why geographically targeted ads?
Mittmedia has, in internal tests, been able to show that geographically targeted ads are more effective than the previous model where ads were displayed on one site and in its environment. Today, almost all of Mittmedia’s locally sold ads appear on all of the publications of the media group, but are only displayed to a visitor belonging to the geographical region the advertiser wants to reach.

Why are then geographically targeted ads more effective?

  • Many individuals that moved away from their hometown continue to visit the site belonging to the area where they previously lived. But the local supermarket in Söderhamn is not very interested in reaching site visitors that live in Stockholm but visit Söderhamn twice a year.
  • Some towns are located on the border between the target area of Mittmedia’s publications. For example, breaking down the traffic from Härnösand shows that 65% of the site traffic appear on, 25% on and the remaining 10% on other sites of the media group. It is much more effective for the local store in Härnösand to advertise on all the publications of Mittmedia than just
  • In the analysis of Mittmedia’s plus product, where the customers have access to all the sites, it is clear that 69% of the customers read more than one site. And no matter which site they read, it is probable that they are an interesting target group for the stores that are located near the place where they are currently situated.

Issues with geographical targeting
Mittmedia has, like all other businesses, dealing with localized ads mostly worked with geographic ad targeting based on IP addresses – a methodology that gives more relevance than site-targeted ads, but is not without its flaws. Primarily that technology misses out on, all traffic that is routed through mobile connections (3G / 4G) as it is positioned to Stockholm, or a location in the center of Sweden. However, even larger workplaces with VPN may end up with a false location, depending on where the IP address is positioned. Mittmedia has previously chosen to display ads only towards the relevant municipalities and let all traffic positioned to Stockholm go as Stockholm traffic, but now we are changing all of that

More effective geographic targeting
Now, Mittmedia is launching a completely new feature in which an internal data management platform (DMP) calculates the hometown of the site visitor. The technology has been built by Real Audience and uses machine learning to geographically position visitors even in cases where IP positioning shows the wrong location. The algorithm has been trained using data from Mittmedia’s apps, as well as customers who have shared their residential address, and have been constructed using address data of about 70000 of the media group’s customers and users. Half of the data has been used to train the machine, while the other half has been used to verify the result. In the final product, Mittmedia now has the ability to figure out in which zip code a user resides with a probability of 98%.

For Mittmedia, which identified the previous lack of geographic targeting as a major issue, the solution means a significant improvement in the quality of local advertising. The big profit for the media group, is that Mittmedia got access to more traffic relevant for the advertisers. However, the company can now also target geographic ads in a more effective way towards visitors that browses the sites from a mobile connection.

Mittmedia’s product vision means that the company is looking for the business impact by having the highest value flow, meaning that the b2c business should power the b2b business. And here we clearly see an example of that data originating from the consumer product strengthens the activities within ad sales.