No single-channel solution can survive. Long gone are the days of inbound versus outbound, social selling versus content syndication, SEO versus SEM, display versus video advertising. Long gone are the days of caring about each inbound and outbound channel in a vacuum. Your buyers aren’t going to just one place — the journey is complex, across many channels.
We need to connect the dots across channels, build complex data structures to understand buyers from beginning to end. 99% of interactions across the web are from the “unknown” person; it’s only when we can connect this back to know entities (contacts and accounts) that we will truly be able to understand our customers and prospects across channels.
Data that adds value
Let’s get real about data. Anyone can crawl for data; it’s a commodity today. If anyone sells you on their “awesome data crawler that crawls the web and uses natural language processing,” I can give you 10 more tools like them for half the price. Yesterday maybe it was cool, today it’s table stakes — cheap and easy to do. Don’t be fooled by vendors that tell you they cracked some code on crawling for valuable attributes.
All that can be inferred from this data are static, demographic and firmographic attributes of a contact or a company. This is great for knowing if this person/company meets your target ideal buyer profile, but it does nothing to tell you if this person/company has a need to buy your products now.
So what data really matters? It’s a pretty simple concept. When we have a need, we do research. We interact with that thing called the World Wide Web. We leave a trace… searching for answers to our questions. We read objective research. We look to peers for their reviews. We go to forums for expert opinions. We go to industry and vertical trade specific publications to learn and make an informed decision. It is this time-sensitive activity data that holds the key to our needs and buying intent.
Simply put, it is not the content on the page, but who visits that page and when.