How to use data to paint a complete picture of online behavior

In the world of B2B buying, the management and analysis of data is becoming as complex as in the B2C arena. In this guest blog, Neha Jewalikar, Content Marketing Manager at Demandbase, explores how combining online and offline data can enrich the view of a modern B2B online buyer.

The B2B buying process has never been as complicated as it is today. Not only are there multiple people who need to sign off on every purchase, but every single one of them is likely to discover and engage with your brand through a different channel. In fact, according to research from CEB, an average of 5.4 people now have to formally sign off on each purchase.

But before they can sign off on the purchase, they’re going to research your company, content and solutions across a variety of online channels. And of course, they’re going to do research on your competitors. To stay ahead of the curve and get a leg up on the competition, marketers need the ability to influence these buyers at the very beginning, from the first sign of interest — whether that interest happens on or off their websites.

Understanding website activity

As marketers, we have access to a basic set of website data. We can understand what pages our prospects visit on our site, when they bounce, and if we’re lucky, we can capture their data if they decide to fill out a form. But there’s still a wealth of data left to be uncovered.

Using new technologies, B2B marketers can go beyond traditional website analytics and spend time understanding their prospects' digital body language, including where they click, why they click, where they drop off, what types of content they like, what types of content they don’t like, and whether they’re having a positive experience or not. Using this data, marketers get a holistic view into how their prospects and customers engage with their websites.

But while it’s important to understand website activity, it’s crucial that B2B marketers get a window into how their prospects behave before they come to their websites.

Going beyond the B2B website

Real-time intent data is key to understanding your prospect’s behavior across the Internet. B2B marketers can leverage intent data to identify and influence prospects early on, whether they’re looking up a relevant topic, researching the space, learning more about a competitor or talking about the industry.

What makes this really exciting is the fact that marketers can understand which prospects are interested in their products and services and build messages to influence them early on in the buying cycle. For example, if you know a certain company is researching a relevant keyword, you can run an advertising campaign that’s focused on that specific topic. Or you can trigger sales outreach to accounts who show a spike in intent.

By coupling prospect behavior off and on your website, you can paint a complete picture of your prospects’ intent. From there, you can use this data to make decisions about your website and marketing programs. For example, let’s say a lot of prospects are coming to your website, but as soon as they land on your homepage, they bounce. With this information, you can start to understand why prospects are leaving and find new ways to engage them, such as surfacing relevant content or personalizing your homepage.

There’s so much to be learned from bringing together these two data sources, and you can read more in my most recent post over on the Demandbase blog.


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