'Inbound & Down'
Question of the Day

Published December 04, 2019

What is implicit data?

  1. Information scraped from a database.
  2. Information intentionally shared between a contact and a company.
  3. Information gathered from user behavior.

The Answer is C.

Implicit data is information gathered from user behavior, typically acquired using pieces of tracking code—known as cookies—which track and record such data.

If you’ve ever asked how many pages a site visitor has viewed or how long he/she remained on your site, you’re interested in implicit data. 

This information is considered “implicit” due to the fact that website owners don’t explicitly request access to it. Rather, permission to gather is implied by the simple act of visiting a site. It’s important to note that implicit data alone can never be used to identify anyone; for instance, it’s impossible for this information to generate more specific details such as associated names, emails, or phone numbers. 

While implicit data does not provide access to a visitor’s identity, it remains an incredibly valuable tool for digital marketers, especially when used to help run a comprehensive marketing campaign with multiple touch points. For example, if you know someone viewed a page about a specific product—say, headphones—you know what he/she is interested in, and what other products he/she might be tempted by. 

While you may not be able to do anything with this information right away—as you don’t have a way to reach the user without an email or additional contact info—you can still pick up on valuable patterns over time. For instance, if you notice that visitors often download an eBook after visiting a specific blog, you can include a call to action to download that eBook right on-page. 

Implicit data is most powerful when combined with explicit data—such as an email address—as, together, these resources provide intelligence about a user’s behavior, as well as an avenue to use this information in a productive way.

To continue with the eBook example, you would be able to send the download link to the user directly if you have his/her email. This has the potential to help nurture the prospect by building a one-to-one relationship and subsequently moving him/her down the buying funnel. 

Together, explicit and implicit data provide marketers and website owners with the information they need to turn visitors into leads and, ultimately, customers. When leveraged correctly, they can be a powerful force to transform both your marketing campaigns and return on investment.

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