Understanding B2B site visitorsGetting people to a website is relatively easy, but unless they register with you. They may simply disappear again – as unknown to you as they were before they arrived. People are naturally reticent about handing over contact details unless there is a worthwhile value exchange. Much as you’d like otherwise though, only a small proportion of people who visit your website will leave you their business or company details. This lack of obvious visibility can prove limiting in terms of developing a deep understanding of who your B2B marketing is resonating with. This in turn makes it more involved in terms of justifying marketing spend. How useful it would be to know just which company and person has visited?
Who is visiting?To understand the actual person, or as a minimum company, who visited your website could prove invaluable in building a pipeline of B2B prospects. A number of tools are available that employ a variety of techniques to translate an otherwise anonymous visitor to a business or a person. Solutions such as Lead Forensics and Canddi (there’s historically been no love lost between these two companies), and A1WebStats employ a range of techniques to provide you with real-time information about your site visitors. They purport to provide you with a rich set of real-time information, from basic company information upwards. The data provided varies between suppliers, including:
- Business name
- Business address
- Business type
- Digital channel and creative
- Site behaviour (pages visited etc.)
- Contact details
How does it work?At the heart of these solutions are databases of information collated from a wide variety of generally publicly available sources including (but not limited to) Companies House and LinkedIn. The connection between your site visitor and the data provided is the IP address of your visitor. Through a variety of proprietary techniques, the connection is made and the data is displayed for you to use.
Few things in life are perfect, and these types of service are no different:
- As these services are based on IP address, they have certain limitations. The services are designed to work in a B2B capacity, so anyone connecting to the internet from home or mobile devices may not be enriched.
- People come, and people go in businesses. The accuracy of the information is only as accurate as the publicly available information, and the frequency with which the vendor updates its database.
- In larger organisations, multiple people may have responsibility for decision-making. You may not find the right person first time.
- Businesses with a single proxy onto the internet but with multiple distributed sites will prove more challenging to understand, particularly in larger businesses.
These services provide a significant opportunity in a B2B environment, shining a light on a proportion of previously anonymous traffic. You should be able to start to build up a picture of the businesses visiting your site, what they did on your site, which digital channel drove the visit, and potentially who the individual was.
Too good to be true? Possibly. There is no magic bullet, and no magic beans.
Expectations need to be managed. You will derive insight, and learn more about your marketing and traffic. But you will not immediately be inundated with high quality and fully qualified leads. Hard graft is needed, and no small degree of additional legwork, to get the most from the solutions. It will take time to learn the basics, learn how best to use the solution, and how to mine the information to good effect.
Check-list for success
Before implementing such a solution, there are some points to bear in mind.
To be successful, you need something on your site that acts as bait, and that’s relevant to your target audience. Ideally you’ll have a mechanism for collecting some leads, with Lead Enrichment being your fall-back.
The proposition on your website should ideally be carried through across a range of media and channels for maximum impact.
Imagine your phone ringing, and an anonymous voice says “Hi Charlie, I see you’ve been on my website. Can we chat?” A direct sales approach may not be the best approach. A piece of personalised Direct Mail might be a gentler introduction to your brand. Your sales team will also need to be fully briefed on the proposition.
Having sent a piece of DM, you have a somewhat more legitimate reason to contact your prospect, and something to discuss with them.
Whatever the vendor sales patter, you will need dedicated and tenacious people who use this as part of their business development arsenal. It should not be their sole tool. To maximise value, use of other tools and data sources will be required, including platforms such as LinkedIn, companies house and even the website of your target business. This will require detective work and common sense.
An acceptance that this is part of the solution, and not a blue-print for success, is needed. There will also be a lead-time while the lead generators and/ or sales team work the system.
Un-surprisingly, it’s a snippet of java*script that sits on the page(s) that you want to track. The code is consistent across the site, so could be applied through an include file, added through a CMS, via Google Tag Manager or by a developer.
Don’t forget the boring but important GDPR, ensuring your website makes sufficiently clear what you’re doing.
Would I implement such a solution?
I have first hand experience of using Lead Forensics (I have no connection with them) and have evaluated others.
I would use such a solution, but only used by a smart person, or people, with the time and drive to use it effectively.
I would also propose a pilot, with sufficient duration to have time to learn how to get the best from it, and to see the additional insight feed into your prospect pipeline.
These won’t make an immediate and profound difference over-night, but I believe that they add value.