Ratio - Header
Blog Sitecore

Which is better for Account based marketing? Sitecore vs Lead Forensics

16.05.2017

As an agency, we spend a lot of our time working with clients to optimise their Sitecore solutions. But Sitecore isn’t the solution to all problems and as such we get asked a lot of our customers to evaluate and compare different tools and technologies with the Sitecore platform.

One that has come up quite often, amongst a number of our B2B clients, who are looking to focus on account based marketing is Lead Forensics.

During this post I’m going to run through each of these technologies focusing specifically on their use by marketing teams for targeted account based marketing.

Lead Forensics:

Lead Forensics 

   
Have you ever wondered who exactly is visiting your website?  
Lead Forensics core feature is the ability to take the wondering out of the equation.  The core feature of the technology is the ability to match IP addresses with company accounts.  So if someone from John Lewis visits your website then you will know that.

It’s relatively easy to set up, using a small piece of tracking code embed on your site, visit data is fired back to the Lead Forensics dashboard, for the marketer to log in and see who has visited.

It’s a cool feature and one that initially gets marketers quite excited, but what do you do with that knowledge?

At this point we might know that someone from a target company has visited your website but we don’t know who. There is a feature to purchase the contact email of prospects at your target account but it’s still a stab in the dark, to guess who in that company visited your website.

Personally I feel it’s a tool might that prove more useful for a sales person than for a marketer. The sales person can receive a triggered email every time someone from their target account visits the website and then they can apply the hard graft of reaching out to that company. They may not know who visited but they will have a strong indicator that there is an interest of intent within that organisation for their product or service.

But for marketers it’s always a question of what can I do with that knowledge?

As a tool, it really has one core function. To show you the name of companies who visit your website. E.g. someone from Ted Baker has visited your website and has looked at X pages.

This is an unknown user, even if the visitor subsequently fills in a form, you still won’t know within the Lead Forensics platform who that visitor is.  In order to discover that, you would need to cross-reference data with a different system such as a CRM.

Sitecore
Sitecore is slightly different as a platform. Sitecore isn’t a dedicated IP tracking tool but rather a complete marketing platform which enables marketers to apply many different types of marketing techniques, such as personalising the experience for visitors, managing content, running A/B tests, tracking, launching and analysing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

But within that richer feature set, Sitecore does enable you to track who is visiting your website based on their IP (this happens using the Maxmind database). In Sitecore version 8 + you would see something like the below using the xProfile functionality baked into Sitecore.

 

Sitecore Experience Profile 

 
The main difference with Lead Forensics from the marketer’s perspective is what you can do with this information?


For example, if the visitor then goes onto fill in a form, then all their previous search history will be attached to their profile, providing a useful resource for sales teams looking to discover warm leads and buttress conversations with some contextual information.

From a marketing perspective you also have the option of creating actions
which can be set up to support your account based targeting: 

  • Personalisation: you can create rules to support account based marketing, for both anonymous and known visitors e.g. if someone from Ted Baker visits your website then show then content and messaging which is related to this retailer

  • Marketing automation: you can create plans based on actions such as content viewed e.g. someone from Ted Baker views your retail specific content, then you can fire off an automated email to that person (if you have their email) with relevant content

  • Supporting sales: Similar to Lead Forensics you can also create custom reports to trigger emails to sales people whenever someone from a key account visits the website and provide details of pages and content which has been read/consumed.

Summing up

Both Sitecore and Lead Forensics have their use case and like all technologies which are being evaluated, it all depends on what your business goals are and how technology can enable you to reach those goals in as fast and easy way as possible.

For a busy marketer looking to scale their account based marketing efforts, then Sitecore’s ability to contextualise the next step, by personalising onsite messaging and triggering automated emails is key to delivering leads which are warmer and handed off to sales within a shorter cycle.