What is Technographic Data? How to get and use it

Learn About How And Why Technographic Data Can Improve Your ABM Strategy

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Identifying the best accounts to target is a universal challenge for B2B marketers. How do you know who’s a good fit? How do you determine who’s in market? Do they already have a solution that fits their needs? If so, are they happy with it?

While some marketers and sellers believe that the answers to these questions exist only in the land of account-based marketing (ABM) dreams, they’re entirely knowable and, yes, through compliant methods.

Technographic data — i.e., the information that shows what software and hardware solutions your prospects use, how they use them, and their appetite for trying new technology — is the treasure chest of knowledge that your marketing and sales teams need.

In this guide, you’ll discover all you need to know about technographic data so you can start talking to your ideal prospects earlier, boosting sales and customer retention, and making your ABM dreams come true.

What is technographic data?

Technographics, or technographic data, is information related to a company’s technology stack, including their current tools, use, implementation details, and adoption rates. It’s also an essential element of Account Intelligence — the overall insights that enable your marketing and sales teams to understand accounts and leads better.

See how Asher Mathew, VP of Data and Sales Intelligence Cloud at Demandbase, describes the magnitude of technographic data:

Watch the full interview with Asher.

As Asher explains, many ABM companies talk about technographic data in the sense of installed-based data or the information about an account’s installed hardware, software, and applications. But it’s so much more than that. Technographic data is about all of the technology-derived signals you can gather about a company’s technological profile.

What technographic data isn’t

While technographic data can be instrumental in segmenting your market and constructing ABM campaigns, some sales professionals and marketers mistake technographic data as part of demographic or firmographic data.

For clarity’s sake, demographic data refers to people-related information, such as age, gender, income, ethnicity, etc. It doesn’t often apply to B2B marketing efforts, where company-related data is more valuable — i.e., firmographic data. Firmographic data is information about a company, such as the size of its workforce, annual revenue, industry, headquarters location, account hierarchies, and historical performance.

While firmographic data is essential for B2B go-to-market (GTM) teams, it doesn’t tell marketers and sellers about the technologies target customers use daily. Technographics help them understand prospective accounts’ front and back-end technologies (provided from publicly available data sources), enabling them to design compelling, personalized campaigns that align with the appropriate solutions for their tech stack.

How to get technographic data

Marketing and sales teams don’t typically have direct insight into prospects’ tools, so they must rely on outside sources to obtain technographic data.

GTM teams could survey prospects by phone or email. And while surveys are reasonably easy to set up, it’s tough to get people to respond, and without a large sample size, this method is pretty impractical.

Another method is to scrape websites — that is, extracting information about prospects’ online activity to discover what apps and services they use. While website scraping can provide more useful results than surveys, doing so requires technical expertise that most companies don’t have on hand. Additionally, modern websites have strict security measures restricting the amount of information you can mine.

For most marketing and sales teams, the most effective method for obtaining technographic data is to purchase it from a provider who uses sophisticated, compliant data collection methods.

Purchasing technographic data

With the rise of SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS vendors, third-party technographic data providers have learned how to harness their valuable information, helping marketing and sales teams understand prospects’ technology landscapes.

Some of the most capable providers can even help you identify hardware and technologies that sit behind the firewall (i.e., a network security system) — information that’s not readily available to suppliers who only use web scraping methodologies.

If you opt to purchase technographic data from a provider, make sure they use compliant methods to detect technologies in front of and behind firewalls. Some of these methods may include HTML and DNS tracking, data aggregation, artificial intelligence, and a combination of data-gathering and creation techniques. By partnering with a provider that connects information around the firewall, you’ll be able to paint a comprehensive, robust technographic picture of your target customers.

Looking for a technographic data provider? Demandbase Technographics tracks over 82 million websites to detect pre-firewall activity while pulling the most valuable information from social media, resume databases, and job boards.

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How to use technographic data

Once you have technographic data in hand, it’s time to put it to work. Here are seven ways your marketing and sales teams can leverage technographic data.

1. Enhanced segmentation

For marketers and sellers intimately familiar with the markets they serve, it can be tempting to make educated guesses about customer segmentation. But the more data you have to define your customer categories, the more precise they’ll be.

Technographic data enables GTM teams to get more granular with their segmentation — especially for B2B organizations — allowing them to tailor their strategy to customers’ wants and needs. Technographic data can also help them predict what solutions customers might need in the future so they can develop campaigns and outreach specifically around that need.

2. More informed sales conversations

The first rule of sales is to know your customer. But there’s only so much data to glean from following prospects in the news, poring over their websites, and connecting with them or their colleagues on LinkedIn. Technographic data helps sales teams be better prepared and more confident before starting a conversation with a decision-maker. Knowing a company’s tech stack ahead of time helps reps plan accordingly and adapt their messaging.

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3. Increased prioritization

Managing and prioritizing account prospects can be overwhelming for marketing and sales teams. Not every prospect will be fruitful, and it’s hard to tell which ones might convert. Technographic data is one of the strongest indicators of whether or not an account is a good fit for your offering, and exposes their level of interest and buying power. With this information on hand, prioritization becomes easier and more data-driven.

4. Improved conversion rates

Sales teams are more likely to close deals when they know a prospect needs a solution and is ready to buy. And if those prospects hear a pitch wholly customized to their requirements, they may sign more quickly, limiting the back and forth and last-minute decisions sales teams often face. In this way, technographic data speeds up the sales cycle and makes forecasts and total addressable market (TAM) calculations more accurate.

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5. New opportunities

Closely examining patterns in technographic data can uncover new accounts that fit your ideal customer profile (ICP). An example may be that your company is getting ready to launch a new product — technographic data can help point your sales team toward a new group of ideal accounts.

6. Effective ABM campaigns

Account-based marketing is a highly relevant marketing strategy these days, and for good reasons. Creating a list of optimal customers and going after them with highly tailored messaging is far more time and cost-efficient than blasting emails and seeing who bites. But ABM campaign outcomes will only be as good as the information driving the personalization behind them. That’s where technographic data shines.

Technographic data is an essential component of Account Intelligence — the secret sauce behind ads, emails, and other outreach methods that resonate with potential customers. Knowing their current tech stack, goals for expansion, and appetite for new tools can help marketers design materials that will capture prospects’ attention.

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7. Better customer retention

Gaining new customers is hard work. Keeping them can be just as hard. The key to customer retention is ensuring that your products or services continue to demonstrate value. Technographic data helps you target the right leads in the first place, offering your customer success teams insight into prospects’ tech stacks so they can set them up for success.

Paying attention to technographic data can also benefit product teams, giving them inspiration for new features that can turn into renewal and expansion opportunities

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Eliminate the guesswork with technographic data

No marketer or salesperson can know everything about their target accounts, but they can come close with technographic data. A holistic picture of a company’s tech stack enables go-to-market teams to speak more precisely and intelligently to prospects’ real issues. With that knowledge on hand, revenue teams can identify where and when a new product would fit into prospects’ workflows一now and in the future.

But obtaining clean, reliable technographic data isn’t easy. Demandbase does the work for you by blending artificial and human intelligence to create datasets that reflect a prospect’s technology needs. Demandbase is also the only technographic data provider to offer customized insights like revenue potential, current IT spending, and next technology predictions. With Demandbase’s unique, massive database, your marketing and sales teams will have access to the largest, curated set of front-end and back-end technologies, with 82+ million domains tracked and 18K+ technologies covered.

Start eliminating the guesswork and schedule your Demandbase demo today!

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