Data Monetization – the art of applying Data to drive business value, sometimes pivots on fairly simple steps with profound consequences. One such step in the world of Digital is when one progresses from mastering the metrics of “How many” visitors to understanding the “Who” are these visitors?

In reality, the notion of “Who” is understood to a very limited degree by Digital property owners, unless the visitor willingly parts way with some of that information. B2B property owners have an even more difficult time giving sufficient reasons for visitors to share that information – unless the visitors are already customers, in which case software download and support become top reasons to part with some limited information to gain access to those forums.

Here is a good discussion on Website Visitor Demographics and its value to Digital Property Owners:

Given the difficulties in getting information about visitors for a B2B business, it is necessary to supplement this knowledge about the digital visitor through myriad techniques. To understand these, it is useful to classify visitors into a few categories:

1. Registered Visitors – the set of visitors who have registered on the site, and typically tend to fall in the Current Customer or Partner category. There may be others including Analysts, Students, Employees and a few more. This is a useful group because while on the one hand we know the most about them, they can also act as a “training” set from which other visitors’ behaviors may be inferred.

2. “Consumed an Offer” Visitor – the cohort that may have registered for a webinar, or downloaded a whitepaper, and in the process, shared something about themselves. The information they shared may be less than the Registered Visitor group, but it is valuable data. A large number of Prospects may fall in this category – making them doubly interesting.

3. “Discovered” Visitor – There are many services available in the business world including from DemandBase, Profound and more who may not be able to tell details about a visitor, but could provide information about the company the visitor belongs to. There are others who can even provide demographic details about visitors. These are significant services as it begins to tell which groups the otherwise anonymous visitors belong to.

4. The still completely Anonymous Visitor – these are those about whom we have no information whatsoever either directly or indirectly.

However, even the completely anonymous visitor is not truly anonymous as they leave their digital fingerprints behind for the data analyst to review, and you could:

1. Understand the Topics of Interest the visitor is interested in

2. Infer level of engagement of the visitor

3. Differentiate behaviorally between Business &  Technical minded visitors

4. Infer CxO behavior against say a Thought Leader’s form of engagement

5. Predict Offer Type preferences derived from Web Behavior

6. Predict time to a desired action, also derived from Web Behavior

and more.

The anonymous is thus not quite as anonymous, and the other pieces of information that a visitor willingly reveals only helps build out that profile more fully and completely.

Services such as Google’s DoubleClick have long developed segmentation information about visitors based on their behavior across their network, and in the last few years, Data Management Platforms (DMP) have pushed the envelope by combining your first party data (visitor data), with additional 3rd party data to develop new and interesting segments for you to pursue. Not only do DMPs then target your known customers in new spaces, but they are also able to provide you with additional profiles of potential customers who you should possibly target and bring them to your site (look-alike modeling). These services thus greatly expand what you know about your visitor.

This increased knowledge drives a range of compelling activities:

a) Site Personalization

b) Targeted Offers

c) Lead Qualification

d) Engagement on Social Properties

e) Next Best Engagement Option

and more, all of which drive us one step closer to the creation of an intuitive “betamax care” experience!


Sri Srikanth

Advanced Data Analytics & Strategy, Senior Data Scientist, Cisco Digial