As the availability of customer data has grown, analytics and data-driven insights have accelerated the process of digital transformation across multiple industries. Nowhere has this been more evident as in marketing, both in reframing what is possible for targeted digital marketing and building accurate single customer views and visualizing end-to-end customer journeys.
In short, a digital footprint is the picture that emerges from a trail of activity an individual user leaves behind on the web. The footprint is a unique data set made up of easily accessible user activity — potentially thousands of observations about user information, behavior, and decisions.
Digital footprints can create a data-backed picture of a consumer’s likelihood or ability to undertake specific activities, such as qualify for a loan or default on payments, for example, or at a marketing -oriented level, determine more qualitatively how qualified a prospect is as a genuine lead.
A digital footprint consists of many steps - that is, an analysis of all the steps a user takes as they access or register on a website. Each of these steps represents one or more digital signal(s). Each action a user takes sends a digital signal of one type or another.
For example, a user may access your site from a specific operating system (iOS) on an iPhone. These are two digital signals that immediately start to build a picture. Other data that continues to sharpen the picture can include all manner of signals, including location, browser type and version, social media lookup and more. There can be hundreds of digital signals, which reflect granular user information. Much of this information is easily accessible, publicly available and highly valuable.
Broadly, digital signals can be broken down into five categories that each reveal different and important information about visitors to a website:
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