Tracking Users with IP Addresses, Not Previous Behaviors

2 minute read
Marisa Peacock avatar

We’ve been following the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Track initiative and its progress in Congress. While its outcome is still not known and marketers and customers are still fighting it out over the privacy of their information, online businesses are scrambling to respond.

When the Consumer is a Business

For those in the business to business (B2B) industry, there may be a way to create more personalized communications to attract customers and generate sales without ever having to know the identity of individual information. We talked with Gregg Ott, Chief Marketing Officer at Demandbase, about alternatives to “cookie-ing” Internet users.

Demandbase, as you may recall, launched a platform in 2010 called Real-Time ID Service, which aims to identify business web traffic, in real time. Unlike platforms that cater to business to consumer (B2C) marketers, Real-Time ID Service is used to help B2B without using cookies that track users’ online behaviors. By tracking IP addresses, companies can know what industries are visiting their site. As a result, companies can tailor their site’s content so that specific content can be presented when specific IP addresses pas a visit. Instead of collecting information based on previous behaviors, Demandbase looks to corporate identity for information.

Learning Opportunities

The Future of Tracking Online Behaviors

Most important, using an IP address assures that an individual’s identity isn’t used, that individuals don’t leave a footprint on a business’s website and that no information is stored after they leave. In fact, the FTC doesn’t seem to mind profiling companies as much as it minds profiling consumers.

The future of the FTC’s Do Not Track initiative is bound to affect the way marketers track consumers online. While only time will tell how many actually opt-out of being tracked, it’s clear marketers are seeking alternatives that will allow them to collect information without being shady.