10/05/11

Caspar Craven, Trovus

Today, IP address intelligence needs to be a vital part of the marketing mix, supporting the sales and business development of all types of organisation, from the smallest start up, through to medium and large corporates. But it remains one of the lesser known areas of ‘data literacy’.

What’s an IP (Internet Protocol) address?

–It’s a numerical label assigned to a computer connecting to the internet: so basically the address where the machine you are using connects to the internet.

There are two types:

• A static IP address has a specific name attached to it, such as ‘Cisco’ or ‘Coventry University’.

• A dynamic IP address is owned by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and generally has the ISP’s name attached to it - such as ‘British Telecom’ or ‘AT&T’.


How many IP addresses exist?

This is limited by the current IP technology in use – which is IPv4, which allows for 4,294,967,296 unique addresses. We’re running out of these addresses, which would mean the internet has to stop growing! Thankfully, we’re migrating to IPv6, which uses hex characters to create addresses rather than the numerical base of IPVv. IPv6 increases the volume of IP addresses from today’s 4.3bn to 3.403×1038... Enough for the foreseeable future.


Is it legal to track IP addresses?

• Yes, because they are available in the public domain. IP addresses are free to look up and there are free tools to do this, such as http://ip-lookup.net.

•As IP addresses only show information at an organisation - not an individual - level, tracking them doesn’t contravene the Data Protection Act.


Why does this matter to me? The importance of targeting …

Think about your own browsing habits. How many B2B websites do you visit and immediately buy something? How many do you visit to research or confirm information? The reality is that websites, particularly in the B2B space, aren’t simply there to sell. The most successful B2B sites are part of a relationship building process.

Fact 1: 83% of B2B buyers research online before making a purchase decision. Most likely You’re completely unaware of the vast majority of this activity.

Fact 2: Fewer than 1% of people do something to communicate with the website owner when they visit a website.

Having IP address intelligence means that, out the of 10,000 or so organisations that your company would like to target, you can identify those actively seeking you out, responding to your campaigns and distributing campaign messages internally. Subsequent marketing activity can actively target organisations specifically interested in you, your products and services.


What intelligence can I get?

IP address profiling is where you can build a company profile using a resolved IP address as the base element. Activity from that organisation can then be aggregated into a single view. Over time, this builds up a rich company profile to include:

• The number of different visitors from an organisation
• The number of revisits from that organisation
• The search terms each person used
• The pages each person viewed
• Any referring site that has brought a visitor to your site
• An immediate reporting and alerting system to instantly tell you who is visiting and why


What can I use the IP address intelligence information for?

Save time by prioritising key activities

Increase the conversion rates of prospects into clients

Make the marketing team the centre of excellence and knowledge - - as providers of business critical information to business development teams

Make marketing a visible and demonstrable activity by showing which organisations are responding to each campaign you are running

Increase the cross selling rate to your existing clients
Identify and target new opportunities


Can the IP address show me the name of the person?

No. If it did, there would be a danger of contravening the Data Protection Act.. But you can find intelligent ways to use the information that IP address profiling produces.


How many IP addresses can I actually resolve?

This depends on who you’re targeting and where they’re coming from. A B2C business targeting mums at home is likely to have a high proportion of traffic that only resolves to the ISP. A B2B business on the other hand, targeting specific organisations, is likely to resolve recognisable company names at a much higher rate, sometimes as high as 70-80%.


Is it just big companies that have IP addresses?

Not necessarily. It depends on:

• Personal Preference. A company regardless of size may choose to have a static IP address range.

• ISP Policy. Some ISP naming conventions allocate static ranges to specific clients.

• Internal Requirements. Companies large and small may very well have a need to “fix” a place for themselves on the web, for reasons specific to them and their business.


How can I access this information?

Anyone can access the data, as long as you can take the time to analyse your log files or learn to configure Google Analytics, manually sifting out the non-relevant ISP data. But organisations, including Trovus, have spent many years developing the technology to package, present and unlock the potential of the information for clients quickly, accurately and easily.


What are some typical returns from IP address intelligence activity?

Here are some typical responses from Trovus clients

“We grew revenues by £30,000 - £40,000 per month” – Will Tyler, CEO, Octink

“We got a 300% ROI” – National Marketing and Communications Manager, Big 4 UK Bank

“I removed 30% of the online marketing cost” – David McLeman, CEO, Ancoris

“I got the ROI within one month”, Ian Emery, Business Development Manager,
Morgan Cole Solicitors


If you’d like to speak to Trovus to understand how IP address intelligence could work for you please go to: http://www.trovus.co.uk/contact