The Role of IP Address Resolution for Intent Data in a #WFH World

Mar 13, 2020 | Author Ed Marsh

TL;dr - Companies are working remotely to keep employees safe, but they're not taking their foot off the gas. Instead they're looking for creative solutions - like more online meetings, and intent data. There's a lurking intent data complication, though, that might well impair results just when they're needed most. 3rd Party Intent Data (and visitor identification tools) that relies on IP lookups will struggle when the IPs are often workers' residential, dynamic and shared IPs. Here's what you need to know.

Work From Home - And Keep G/o/row/ing

It's a different world today, Friday March 13th, 2020. This will be a good week to have behind us.

Despite the turmoil I hear lots of optimistic energy around adapting with tools, technology, flexible mindsets, etc. Companies are intent on continuing to grow and create value.

Amidst event and remote work turmoil, one tool that's getting more attention is Zoom. (OK. Intent Data is as well - and while we're determined to not be unseemly opportunistic, at the same time we can legitimately help marketers who are now having to be wildly creative.)

There are already numerous articles about how intent data can support marketing and sales in this surreal new business environment. And it can. But the details of collection, analysis and activation are important.

That starts with having meaningful data - and that can change as the workplace changes.

Understand What You Get

Intent data is collected in various ways. Some is cookie based (like bidstream.) Some are event/action based (like And some are based on a reverse IP lookup which is used to associate activity with a company and location - often as part of a surge calculation.

As long as you're only selling to organizations with >250 people (the approximate cut-off below which IP resolution falters) then IP based data can effectively identify account based intent.

AS LONG AS EVERYONE IS WORKING FROM THE COMPANY OFFICE AND IP ADDRESS! But that is pretty much yesterday. Kind of like fax machines.

If you sell to smaller accounts, or have remote workers who don't connect first by VPN among your prospects, then IP address data will not work as consistently.

And guess what....when everyone works from home on a dynamic, shared IP structure, then suddenly Verizon, Comcast, Cox and other ISPs will be showing the activity.

And inconveniently, at a time when accurate, insightful, actionable data is suddenly most important, it could be most problematic.

If you're suddenly remote and relying on existing intent data or considering an emergency add, be sure to consider this important point carefully!

Get What You Need

The key to success with purchase intent data in this remote work environment will be the ability to resolve activity to a person (even if your vendor only provides the related account detail.)

Obviously 2nd party data (e.g. TechTarget Priority Engine™ and G2) which relies on 1st party cookies will continue to be accurate - assuming the same device is used.

While models which rely on IP lookup will likely falter, cookie based third-party solutions will do so (again - as long as the same device is used) and deliver account level information subject to the accuracy and privacy considerations associated with bidstream data.

We believe the better solution is contact level™ intent data that's collected from around the whole web and observes public actions taken by individuals. This approach relies on neither cookies nor IP resolution, and therefore delivers the critical intent data insights whether someone works from home, poolside, the coffee shop, or the office.

And it also includes key granular details including the competitor with which they've engaged, the event they are were going to be attending, the key term at the core of their content related actions, etc.

Creative, Agile AND Accurate

You've got a great team, creative minds, and capable marketers. Companies are responding quickly and responsibly to keep employees and clients safe amidst turmoil - yet carrying on in creative ways. Business will go on.

IT departments will probably be working overtime to manage cybersecurity challenges with so many workers remote, and marketers will need to be savvy to critical considerations even if they seem insignificant.

That's the situation with buyer intent data that's based on IP lookups. It probably will decline in relevance just as you need it most.

Want to understand the differences and check out a model that will deliver high quality signals even among remote workers? Let's schedule a time to chat.


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