Identifying Website Visitors without Forms: How B2B Marketers De-Anonymize Visitor Traffic

January 02, 2024

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We’re all familiar with how eCommerce retailers often seem to know exactly what we want and provide us with highly relevant recommendations.

Or how they communicate with us via email and text to remind us of the merchandise we abandoned in our shopping cart.

Even when we never logged into their site.

That’s first-party data at work in B2C eCommerce.  And it’s highly effective.

Digital advertising has always been the lifeblood of B2C eCommerce.  Despite the major web browsers deprecating third party cookies, and changing legislation to address data privacy concerns, B2C retailers keep adapting in novel and legally-compliant ways to ensure they not simply survive - but thrive - in the digital economy.

First-party data is a cornerstone of the B2C Marketer’s playbook.  Increasingly, first-party data strategies are being adopted by forward-thinking B2B Marketers.

B2B Marketers not only face the same regulatory changes and cookie-less future as their B2C peers; they also experience growing inefficiencies in their efforts as the buying process has shifted in favor of the B2B Buyer.

The Rise of the Digital B2B Buyer

Much ink has been spilled in recent years about the structural shifts that have taken place in B2B Sales and Marketing.  While the specific data points vary from study to study, a clear picture has emerged of an “empowered B2B Buyer.”

No longer reliant on a salesperson, today’s B2B Buyer prefers to educate themselves online.  They evaluate their options via review sites and peer group conversations.  Only when they’re ready to engage Sales do they reveal themselves.  Gartner estimates that approximately 70% of the buying process is complete before a Buyer proactively asks to speak with Sales, often via an online form submission.

But here’s the rub.  To date, voluntary form submissions have been the only way a B2B Marketer can obtain valuable first-party information.

Looking across the B2B companies we support, on average just 2% of a company’s website traffic requests to speak with Sales each month.  Another 2-3% of visitors complete a form by downloading a piece of gated content or registering for an event.

That means that 95%+ of a typical B2B company’s visitors remain completely anonymous.

B2B Marketers have limited ability to directly influence the number of prospects who raise their hand to speak to Sales.  And generating gated content that is valuable enough to warrant a form fill is time-consuming.

To take advantage of all site traffic they have earned and often paid for via paid ad campaigns, forward-thinking B2B Marketers are adopting the first-party data strategies and tactics that B2C eCommerce brands leverage to identify the 95%+ of visitors who don’t complete a form.

Empowering B2B Marketers with Identity Resolution Capabilities

In recent years, new data technologies have emerged to support B2C retargeting efforts as they become less reliant on third-party cookies.

These powerful capabilities enable online retailers to capture the unique digital fingerprint of each visitor and then match the fingerprint to a proprietary database of opt-in first party data.  When a match is made, the eCommerce brand can resolve the identity of the visitor and utilize it for retargeting purposes.

RevMethods has adapted this first-party data capability to the B2B environment to help Marketing and Sales teams perform person-level and account-level resolution on the 95% of website traffic that is anonymous.

Revealing the identities of B2B website visitors has enormous benefits to both Marketing and Sales:

Marketing Benefits:

  • Validate that your demand gen activities are reaching the right audience
  • Retarget individuals and accounts with paid ads or email campaigns
  • Demonstrate Marketing’s ROI by attributing previously anonymous traffic to pipeline and revenue
  • Reallocate scarce budget dollars on targeted ABM versus “spray and pray” efforts

Sales Benefits:

  • Perform more relevant, personalized 1:1 outreach
  • Leverage LinkedIn URLs for social selling
  • Validate prospects already in the pipeline are engaging with content

To learn how RevMethods can help your team realize a step-change improvement in your first-party data acquisition efforts and drive more pipeline and revenue, give us a call.

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