Ask Big Brother Data
Whether you call it lead intelligence, customer identification, big-data visitor tracking, or some other slightly misleading, newfangled web marketing forensics buzzword, it’s sometimes useful to know exactly who’s visiting your website.
One such purveyor spammed one of my clients, purporting proficiency in pinpointing prospects by shining an all-knowing light on anonymous visitors in the shadows, transforming them into actionable gold. The client asked me to opine, which led to a discussion with analytics guru Marty Diamond, loosely translated below.
DD: Knowing the names, employers, and job titles of the people reading about your company is intriguing and potentially valuable, but there are delicate implications…
How did you know I was on your website?!“Creeped-out CEO of ACME Corp
or, for the inevitable false positives:
“Why are you bothering me? I’ve never visited your site.“Annoyed COO of Hooli (abhors spam. now you’re a spammer?)
MD: A company I work with used a similar service to determine the identity of website visitors. And yes, it can be rather creepy, plus it is a delicate cold call to make. This company tried it for a few months and then stopped; their sales team found the leads to be not worth their time.
But this was a couple of years ago, and technology does change…
DD: Assuming the tracking tech has improved, you’d still need somebody (or a team) qualified to analyze the leads to determine which are worth cold calling or otherwise reacting to.
MD: Have you ever been on a site when the chat app pops up after a few pages to ask if they can answer any questions? It feels a little like “big brother is watching you” which I think makes most of us uncomfortable.
However, we do know that pop-up forms work – even though we all hate them. So people are not surprised by some level of intrusion when they visit a website. The questions are: How receptive will they be to an inquiry? Do you have the staff to cold call them?
DD: Most of the players in the space have a free trial. If you think you can put this sort of marketing data to good use, I say why not try it?
MD: Yep. A free trial would help you decide. If you decide to seriously consider paying for the service ask the company for references you can contact to get a better feel for the product.
Is lead intelligence worth it?
The boastful message that inspired this article can be seen in that heavily redacted image above or to the right. …I’m always suspicious of unsolicited marketing emails, especially those with typos, but that doesn’t mean they’re always BS.
LeadBoxer, Canddi, LeadFeeder, Lead Forensics, and so on. There are many outfits competing to sell companies what’s behind the thin veil of anonymity some of us still think we have online.
I like the idea of using this perhaps-intrusive level of personalized analytics in conjunction with organic keyword-level analytics intel to better hone niche b2b keywords. E.g. What keyword did the CEO of Globex use to find you? That integration makes this sort of strategic visitor data gathering more appealing to me and my SEO schemes.
Not that anybody cares about what I’m doing online, (it’s super-exciting!), but I use blockers on mobile and desktop browsers. which ostensibly make this sort of data-gathering difficult. They’re easy to install, and if you’ve given up on the notion of privacy, they can still protect you from annoying ads. I’m also a fan of TrackMeNot; it’s lightweight and effs with Google’s mojo, a fun hobby of mine!
Dan Dreifort loves collaborating with interesting people. This article is one of several interviews. Maybe he wants to interview you? Maybe not. Doesn’t hurt to ask! When he’s not pretending to be the poor woman’s Barbara Walters, he makes music and helps businesses with niche digital communications.