Your website is a powerful sales tool that provides a wealth of information about the anonymous companies visiting your website and researching your products or services. By tracking your website visitors across page views, content downloads, etc. you can gain valuable insights into which accounts are interested in your solutions. This data can also be useful in retargeting and content personalization efforts that are paramount to an effective account-based marketing strategy.

Identifying anonymous website visitors

Only 2% of the people who visit your site fill out a contact form – the rest leave without ever reaching out. That’s where website visitor tracking comes in, it allows you to identify your anonymous website visitors and gather information on the other 98% of your website visitors, which we refer to as your Invisible Pipeline.

When it comes to tracking your website visitors, there are generally two methods marketers can use: Cookies, and IP address intelligence.

Cookies: At a basic level, a cookie is a small text file placed by a website on your computer when you visit. This file stores information about your activity on the site, such as page views, login credentials, and purchases, as well as any additional information you voluntarily give the website like your email or postal address. This information allows websites to deliver tailored content to their visitors, remember login credentials, set language preferences and a wide range of other functions that generally enhance the overall user experience.

However, not all cookies are the same and an important distinction should be made here. 

First-party cookies are placed on your computer by the website itself for the purpose of providing enhanced user experience (as I described above). These cookies are generally considered “helpful” and as such are currently not under threat of disappearing any time soon. 

But another type of cookie exists that sometimes blurs the line between helpful and invasive – third-party cookies. A third-party cookie is essentially the same as a first-party cookie in that it is a text file used to store information. However, these cookies are placed on your computer by advertisers and are used to track your browsing history from one site to the next with the end goal of finding out what your interests are and using this information to serve you targeted ads. I’m sure many of us have noticed if you visit websites with a similar theme (surfing for example) you’ll tend to see a higher percentage of surfing-related ads. While this practice might seem commonplace today, many people find the use of their personal data for advertising to be an invasion of their privacy. 

IP address intelligence: IP address intelligence is the process of translating a company’s IP address into a set of traits about that company, called firmographics. These traits can include things such as company name, employee count, revenue, industry, geolocation, and more. Firmographics are the crucial pieces of information B2B marketers rely on to drive account-based marketing and deliver enhanced user experience on their websites. 

What makes IP address intelligence unique is that because it is focused solely on businesses and not personal data or individuals, which makes it the ideal choice in a MarTech landscape that is becoming more and more hostile towards third-party cookies. In addition, because business IP addresses are typically static (i.e. less likely to change), the data collected based on a business IP address is not only more in-depth but is more reliable and less likely to become stale or outdated. 

The beauty of IP address intelligence is that this technology is browser-independent. Why? Because an IP address is associated with the device itself, not the browser. Meaning the dominance browser providers have over cookies, does not, and cannot ever apply to IP addresses. Regardless of the decisions the browser providers make, IP address intelligence will always be able to deliver the vital data marketers need to power their account-based marketing programs. 

Buyer Intent Data

Buyer intent data is information collected by tracking your website visitors through online signals such as engagement on a website, internet searches, content downloads, form submissions, etc. that indicates potential customers’ intent to purchase. These measurements are made up of first and third-party data.

  • First-party intent data comes from tracking your website, either by identifying the anonymous visitors coming to your site or when an individual fills out a form and provides their name and contact information. First-party data can also be information you collect about actions your website visitors take on your site. These can include anything from page views, form fills, content downloads, and more. Savvy marketers can use these signals as indications of increased interest in a product and can be used to determine when a visitor is ready to receive a sales or marketing activities.
  • Third-party intent data providers collect data from thousands of websites and identify when your prospects are researching particular topics on those sites.

IP address intelligence is and always will be the way forward for marketers. IP address intelligence is finally taking its place as the leading first-party intent tracking technology for businesses. As we move toward a world of heightened individual consumer privacy and constantly changing browser restrictions, cookies will soon breathe their last breath, and IP address intelligence will be there to ensure B2B marketers continue to get the data they need.

[Originally published on]

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