Data Collection for a Cookie-less World

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Now more than ever, businesses need personalized engagement strategies to reach the right buyers. Especially in B2B industries, account-based marketing creates meaningful engagement on a one-to-one basis with high-value accounts. Many strategic advertisers and marketers use third-party cookies to gather business intelligence and personalized datasets to target the right buyers. Or they did, until now.

Where cookies fit into strategic lead generation

Google recently announced that within the next few years they plan to eliminate third-party cookies. And while Google will still continue to help companies advertise with privacy-preserving APIs, businesses won’t have access to the same datasets that cookies provide. Strategic marketing and sales teams will no longer be able to rely on individuals’ browsing trends from site to site.Needless to say, this creates difficultly for account-based marketing and other advertising initiatives that rely on pinpointed data and firmographics for better engagement.

What’s driving the movement to eliminate cookies?

Cookies, invented in 1994 by Lou Montulli, are a small text file embedded on a computer. Servers and websites then use these files to remember specific devices. That’s how users log in to websites or make purchases online.

However, cookies have also sparked some controversy in recent history since they can be used to track sensitive data about individuals. In fact, Safari and Firefox have already started blocking cookies to protect individuals’ privacy. And while Google is somewhat late to the game, people applaud them for increasing security for users.

Many are wondering how the elimination of the data from cookies will affect personalized marketing, engagement, customer retention, and strategic lead generation.

How can you continue to collect data without cookies?

Even though 3rd party cookies may be going away, data collection isn’t. There are still a number of options to choose from when cookies are unavailable.

First-party data

First-party data will likely become more valuable. Call centers, social media inquiries, and interactions with sales representatives will be important tools for ABM and Sales Intel. Additionally, data gained through surveys, lead magnets, and website analytics will continue to fuel meaningful interactions with potential buyers or accounts. People-based marketing, an approach that integrates multiple data points and automation, will likely become more important in the future as well. In order to use this data effectively, however, businesses will need to eliminate silos, improve communication between departments, and move beyond legacy data systems to integrated data-driven software.

Email insights

Though emails may be one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, they’ve made a strong comeback during the COVID-19 era. Some research even suggests that open rates are on the rise as well. But from a strategy standpoint, ABM or advertising campaigns can use data from emails to pinpoint future interactions. Coupled with other data gathering tools, such as surveys or website analytics, emails can reveal insights about what each lead needs. This information can then be used to create an individualized campaign based on buyers’ concerns, pain points, or responsibilities.

In-house data

Additionally, data from current customers gives clues about which accounts could lead to more referrals or bring the best ROI. For example, companies can use a list of best-fit customers and upload this data to advertising channels to connect with qualified leads. However, many of these cookie alternatives are time-consuming and labor-intensive. Since many require manual entry, they can’t be fully automated. For fast-moving businesses, in other words, these alternatives may not be feasible at scale.

IP address data

That’s not to say there aren’t any options for progressive business models. In fact, in terms of affordability, scalability, and ROI, IP address data is a valuable alternative. And here’s why.

1. Data enrichment

The reason cookies have been so vital for adtech and marketing teams is because of their accuracy. Since cookies track users’ browsing history, companies can gather pinpointed insights about what problems customers experience, what buyers value, and what they think will fix their problems. These are the exact questions sales and marketing teams try to answer, especially when it comes to ABM. However, IP addresses provide accurate data enrichment in a similar way. For starters, companies can gather information about site visitors such as these:
–Geolocation: the country, city, state or region, zip code, and other pertinent location data
–Company: IP addresses tied to the same company or domain name
–Mobile: carrier, country code, and network codes that are more accurate than reading a browser’s user-agent

2. Scalable

Additionally, IP address data is scalable for both large and small companies. Rather than rely solely on manual data entry or long hours of research, marketing teams can gather valuable insights from IP address data companies who value accuracy. IP address information can provide users with lead generation data to pinpoint the right buyers.

3. Not browser-specific

IP address data enrichment is tied to a single device rather than a browser. What this means is that regardless of the changes made by Google, Safari, or Firefox in the future, companies can still rely on IP address data to fuel pinpointed marketing. What does this mean for ABM strategies? Marketing teams can gather data about first-party intent. By tracing the path of a specific website visitor, companies can delineate between high intent or low intent for each company.

4. Prioritizes privacy

Marketing and advertising are in a bit of a conundrum. Customers want both personalization and privacy – a difficult combination. Luckily, IP address data prioritizes the privacy of web traffic, while also revealing valuable insights that help companies target the right buyers. With this information, ABM initiatives can pinpoint characteristics and companies who need the services they provide even without third-party cookies.

IP address data for lead generation

On a practical note, here are some tips to use IP address data for better research or lead generation.

1. Automated data mining

Data mining can be a tedious business that requires entire teams dedicated to collecting data from individual sources. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. IP address data providers can streamline data collection and delivery so marketing teams can focus on creating the right content.

2. Personalized web experiences

Online web experience can be customized based on IP address. By designing content and messaging based on IP address insights, customers receive customized experiences while also protecting their privacy.

3. Accurate firmographics

IP address data helps gather information about company, domain, and company type. Using this information, marketing teams can then develop an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). And while firmographics may not reveal buyer intent, pain points, or needs, they’re often the starting point for pinpointing qualified leads.

All this to say, while cookies may be going away, data collection isn’t, and there is a wealth of insight and business intelligence to be gained from IP address datasets.

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