Turning Anonymous Visitors into Revenue: How First-Party Data Powers New Business Growth

January 01, 2024

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95%.  Over 95% of B2B website traffic is completely ANONYMOUS.

Think about it.

B2B Marketers spend money writing content.  Budget on paid ads.  Yet, Marketers are blind to over 95% of the demand they generate.

Marketers can’t validate if their campaigns are reaching the right people.  They lack the intent signals to know who to retarget.  Scarce budget dollars are wasted on guesswork.

Sales reps also operate in the dark.  Each day prospects hit the company website to educate themselves.  They visit the pricing page.  Yet Sales can’t see 95% of these digital signals.

Legitimate prospects who Sales would eagerly target with relevant, personalized outreach are missed.  Opportunities are squandered.

“Do More With Less”

As challenging as last year was for most B2B Revenue teams, the mandate from VCs and Boards to “do more with less” will echo well into 2024.  Difficult as it may be for Revenue leaders to hear, their message is spot on.

B2B companies waste $2 Trillion annually in lost revenue potential and go-to-market (GTM) inefficiencies according to a 2022 Boston Consulting Group report.  The “predictable revenue” sales model that Revenue teams embraced over the past decade has become predictive of a very different outcome: guaranteed GTM inefficiencies.

To succeed in the coming year, Revenue teams must develop GTM strategies that achieve both growth and efficiency.

Sales needs to be productive – not simply busy – by performing outreach that’s relevant and personal.

Marketing needs to extract as much value as possible from the results of its investments.

Forward-thinking B2B Revenue teams are achieving predictable growth by addressing the holes through which revenue is leaking.  They’re embracing data-driven growth strategies; specifically first-party data strategies.

First-Party Data vs. Third-Party Data

Let’s start with definitions.

What is first-party data?

First party data is information a company collects directly from its customers through the interaction they have via their own channels.

Examples of first-party data include such things as contact information, website activities (e.g. page visits; downloads), app usage data, purchase history, social media engagement, etc.

In virtually every digital interaction a company has with an individual, valuable first-party data can be obtained via a unique identifier or “digital fingerprint.”

What is third-party data?

In contrast, third-party data is data collected and aggregated by an organization or entity other than your own.

“Third-party” (hence the name) data providers collect their data from multiple sources, make it useful, and then sell or license it to you as it relates to your target audience.

First-party data and third-party data both provide Revenue teams with advantages and unique benefits.  B2B teams need both to be effective.

However, as third-party cookie deprecation accelerates and privacy concerns mount, B2B Revenue teams need a first-party data acquisition strategy.

Marketers need to build processes to continuously capture and enrich first-party data.  And both Marketing and Sales need to develop institutional muscles to harness first-party data into a competitive advantage.

First-Party Data: Your Most Valuable Data Asset

First-party data is hands down the most valuable source of customer data available to Marketing and Sales.

There are a number of reasons why Revenue teams need to prioritize first-party data:

Ownership and Control: Unlike third-party data, first-party data belongs entirely to you. Your customers and prospects offered it to you in exchange for engaging with your digital assets, and communications.

Accuracy and Relevance: By definition, first-party data is far more accurate and relevant to your business than third-party data because it’s collected directly from your customers. The demographic information they share and the digital engagement you capture provides you with relevant, timely information about your customers; insights that third-party data simply can’t provide.

Personalization and Engagement: The insights you can glean from the first-party data your customers share enables you to personalize your outreach and deliver superior customer experiences.

Competitive Advantages: First-party data offers you a distinct competitive advantage over your competition.  As your customers engage and provide you with first-party information, they provide you with insights into their preferences and priorities that your competition doesn’t know.

Strategic Decision-Making: Data-driven insights from first-party data empower you to make informed decisions across all aspects of your business. You can optimize marketing campaigns, develop targeted product offerings, and allocate resources efficiently, ultimately contributing to greater business success.

Future-Proofing: In the face of evolving privacy regulations and the decline of third-party cookies, first-party data ensures you are less vulnerable to decisions of your third-party data providers that could adversely impact your business.

First-Party Data Acquisition: Old Way

To date, B2B Revenue teams have been limited in their first-party data acquisition efforts for one reason and one reason only: form submissions have been the only show in town.

The only way to collect first party information from a prospect has been to encourage them to voluntarily complete a web form in exchange for something of value (e.g. speak with Sales, download an eBook, register for a webinar).

A tremendous amount of effort has gone into maximizing the number of form submissions by minimizing friction.

Reduce the number of fields on the form,” some argue.

Un-gate your content so prospects can educate themselves on their own time,” say others.

Prospects will let you know when they’re ready to speak to Sales.”

Regardless of tactic, first-party data growth is poor: 95%+ of B2B visitors remain anonymous.

The vast majority of website visitors are interested in educating themselves about your solution.  They just don’t feel obligated to let you know of their interest.

First-Party Data Acquisition: New Way

B2B Revenue teams are no longer limited to voluntary form submissions to collect valuable first-party data.

Forward-thinking B2B Marketing teams are increasingly adopting data acquisition capabilities similar to those used by their Marketing peers in B2C eCommerce.

As online shoppers, you are likely familiar with receiving emails and text messages after abandoning an online shopping cart full of merchandise.  More often than not, you abandoned the cart without having logged into the store.  Yet somehow the eCommerce retailer was able to associate the cart with you.

These eCommerce brands are able to contact you because they have your first-party contact data even though you didn’t complete a form.

This same capability is now available to B2B Revenue teams.

By installing a short snippet of javascript on your website, B2B Marketers can capture the unique digital fingerprints associated with their visitors and match them to the people and accounts who are showing interest.

Starting from a baseline of 95%+ anonymous traffic, most B2B companies can expect to reveal 15%-30% more visitors at the person-level, and nearly 50% more visitors at the account-level.  All without requiring the visitor to complete a form.


Embracing first-party data isn't just another tactic to be implemented by a few members of the Revenue team.  It’s a team-wide mindset that today’s forward-thinking B2B companies are adopting to accelerate their growth while their competitors stall.

Companies that embrace first-party data appreciate that each and every digital interaction with a visitor has inherent value.  They recognize that website traffic isn’t “random;” rather, it’s comprised of unique individuals with specific needs and preferences who arrived to determine if your solution can help them solve their problem.

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