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Google Analytics, or GA4, to give it its most recent iteration, is the go-to web analytics platform in the marketing world, with its extensive use spanning the B2C and B2B worlds. However, with the significant limitations it imposes on the latter, it’s time for B2B marketers and publishers to rethink their strategy.

There are some fundamental challenges with GA4 for B2B marketers, not least the legality concerns. B2B publishers and marketers typically have access to personally sensitive data as well as business sensitive data, which compounds the PII (personally identifiable information) concerns. More on the potential legal ramifications for GA and B2B can be found here.

Fundamentally GA4 is an individual [person] tracking solution and device tracking platform, however, B2B needs the ability to track accounts, crucially, those in the decision-making ecosystem. When multiple users from the same organisation access a website, identifying and tracking individual users with the required degree of accuracy is incredibly difficult, and limits the vital understanding of user journeys and behaviours within an organisation.

– GA doesn’t measure every page view. It measures samples of page views, designed for modelling data in large-scale environments such as B2C news websites. B2B needs precision monitoring, not scaled modelling.

– GA has no capability for handling named account tracking and multiple stakeholders. The average B2B organisation has 5.4 individual stakeholders in their decision-making cycle. GA, which relies on web cookies, with an average lifespan of 30 days, provides no way to track long B2B sales cycles.

– GA carries basic demographic data like gender and age but lacks data around job roles, seniority and firmographic data, e.g., company size, industry and specialism, the demographic data that is crucial for B2B publishers and advertisers.

– GA lacks the monitoring tools that are relevant to B2B marketers, while data in certain areas, i.e., which accounts have been on site, what have they read, how long were they there, did they show intent, how key web forms perform, etc., is lacking or non-existent.

B2B requires a very different approach. Third-party web cookies are on their way out, as platforms like Google continue to deprecate them, spearheaded by initiatives like GDPR. In today’s privacy-aware world cookies are much less tolerated by users.

There are cookieless solutions that provide an alternative to GA that overcome many of the challenges highlighted above, and are far more accurate and more reliable, and this includes the B2B insights and analytics solution developed by FunnelFuel, which has the following core features:

1. Privacy friendly. Without the collection of personal data, B2B marketers can be assured that they are respecting users while complying with global privacy law compliance requirements.
2. No more web cookie consent banners. This eliminates the hassle for users, however, we recommend that websites using FunnelFuel follow the disclosure guidance that we offer, as we believe a front foot, transparent and respectful relationship with your web users necessitates this. FunnelFuel also uses a core tracker, signed off within the EU as not requiring disclosure.
3. GDPR compliance. Cookieless analytics solutions use alternative tracking methods to protect a user’s privacy and can be easily configured to comply with strict privacy laws like GDPR.
4. Data sovereignty. Data is stored on our server not your user’s device, giving you true first-party data ownership.

Cookieless solutions use alternatives to cookie tracking, including IP addresses. With an average lifespan of over one year versus 30 days for cookies, they facilitate better alignment with lengthy B2B sales cycles. Company-level IP addresses remain static on average for much longer, so organisation-level tracking is more robust.

Named accounts and company-level tracking come front and centre.
FunnelFuel uses robust databases to identify companies that visit your website based on their IP address, providing a clearer view of which named accounts have been on your website, globally. We apply the company data to all of your web analytics data points; i.e., city, time on page, pages visited, funnels, forms, entry pages, referrer, exit pages etc. We uniquely crawl your site to categorise your pages into FunnelFuel’s B2B content taxonomy, giving you detailed insight into which topics have been read about by which company. By using the same technology to crawl B2B publisher pages, B2B advertisers can buy relevant pages on the leading niche B2B websites more easily.

Cookieless attribution models
Cookieless attribution modelling refers to the practice of attributing conversions or actions to marketing channels or touchpoints without relying on traditional tracking cookies. This is increasingly due to privacy concerns and tighter restrictions around third-party cookies.
Here’s how cookieless attribution modelling works:

1. User-level identifiers – Cookieless attribution relies on user-level identifiers, such as hashed email addresses or device IDs, to track and connect user interactions across different touchpoints. These identifiers serve as a privacy-friendly alternative to cookies and enable the attribution model to link user actions without relying on individual tracking cookies.

2. Deterministic matching – This is one of the key techniques used in cookieless attribution modelling and involves matching the user-level identifiers across different marketing channels or platforms to create a unified view of the customer journey. The matching can be done through common identifiers shared by the user, e.g., an email address provided during a website registration or login process.

3. Probabilistic matching – This method is deployed where deterministic matching is not possible or practical and uses statistical algorithms and machine learning techniques to analyse patterns and behaviours to make probabilistic associations between user actions and touchpoints. It relies on various data points, such as IP addresses, browser characteristics, device information, and contextual data, to identify and connect user interactions.

4. Cross-device tracking – With the prevalence of multiple devices used by individuals, cross-device tracking is crucial for accurate attribution. Cookieless attribution modelling incorporates techniques to track and link user interactions across different devices, allowing marketers to understand the impact of various touchpoints within the customer journey.

5. First-party data integration – Cookieless attribution modelling emphasises the use of first-party data, which is data collected directly from users with their consent. By integrating first-party data from different sources, such as websites, apps, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, marketers can gain a more comprehensive view of the customer journey and attribute conversions accurately.

6. Machine learning and algorithms – Advanced machine learning algorithms are used in cookieless attribution modelling to analyse user behaviour, identify patterns, and determine the most significant touchpoints in the conversion process. These algorithms also factor in the timing, sequence, and impact of touchpoints, to assign appropriate credit to each channel or interaction.

7. Contextual and campaign-level data – Cookieless attribution modelling takes into account contextual information, such as the content of the ad or the landing page, to better understand the influence of specific campaigns or creative elements. By analysing campaign-level data, marketers can identify the effectiveness of different marketing initiatives and optimise their strategies accordingly.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
CRO initially emerged in B2C, or more specifically in the fast-paced, ad-funded world of D2C brands, where the proliferation of low-cost clicks combined with robust demographic data sparked a D2C boom. B2B presents a different set of challenges. The average B2B website isn’t counting its daily visits in the millions but instead seeks to carve up smaller pools of data in a more granular way. This opens up tools that are incredibly useful for B2B, but much harder to use in B2C, for example:

• Session recordings. These enable B2B marketers and publishers to identify named accounts that enter their websites and watch recordings of their exact activity on-site.

• Dynamic A/B testing is baked in, allowing you to test subtle changes in landing pages to drive stronger responses, and then automatically direct your traffic to the winning page.

• Form analytics. B2B sites are full of forms in a multitude of variations. Slight tweaks can have huge conversion impacts.

• Funnels help measure the journey from first interaction to completion which helps identify a website’s flow, where drop-offs happen, which actions are taken, and how each funnel compares. Small improvements in each stage’s performance can make huge overall impacts.

Visitor and company profiles
A key feature of FunnelFuel is its user and company profiles, with which you can identify the activities of each visitor on your web properties. A persistent user profile is updated every time that user returns to the website. This applies to companies and named accounts, creating an organisation-level profile card and profile card for all employees of that organisation who visited your websites.

Unbiassed search engine metrics to aid SEO
B2B is a highly competitive world, therefore brands must be omnipresent in all online areas where ITDMs are spending their time. This includes owning contextual placements next to research media and owning high-ranking positions across the key search engines; Google, Safari, Yahoo and Bing. FunnelFuel’s solution is fully integrated with all of these search engines and therefore draws a much fuller suite of SEO-based ranking data into its analytics platform. This facilitates the production of unbiased search engine ranking reports, keyword ranking positions, crawling statistics, campaign tracking and full web vitals.

Tag manager
B2B marketers typically run advertising campaigns across a wide range of media-buying platforms, which often use tracking pixels to detect and analyse user behaviour.
This can raise compliance issues and concerns around data security and integrity. The FunnelFuel system incorporates a full tag manager for easy control over all third-party tracking codes, while its centralised system of management enables the deployment of tracking without needing to go into the backend of your site.

The clock is ticking for the old ways of working in the B2B marketing world. In truth, they never fulfilled the needs of the B2B marketer and publisher. Now is the time to rethink your strategy and adopt a futureproof solution that delivers on privacy, efficiency, reliability, compliance and, ultimately, a significant competitive advantage.