What are Technographics?
Technographic data brings insights about companies based on their technology stack. Technographics are used for understanding the hardware and software and tools and applications utilized by a company. Such data can also show the way in which the companies have been utilizing different systems and data platforms.
Technographics are powerful and unique datasets consisting of real-time insights about the technology choices and buying patterns of a given firm. The datasets can facilitate in finding prospects, engaging them in value-driven conversations in a timely manner, and help in converting them into customers.
Technically, technographic data illustrates the time spent by prospects on online platforms and provides information regarding their respective engagement patterns. This is why the data type is often used as information about the potential technology purchase decisions made by the prospects.
Who Uses Technographic Data?
The business organizations, providing services or solutions related to information technology have been utilizing technographic data for years. Common use cases include acquiring business intelligence, understanding market opportunities and competition, as well as customers.
Technographic data works well with other data - often times, we see technographics being combined with other data types like intent data to enrich the effectiveness of a given dataset. Imagine knowing that one of your prospects has recently laid of a collection of their technological stack and is now actively researching for new technologies online. There is so much more to the power of this data type. Here are some examples:
- Customer success and service -teams can use technographics to understand their customer’s pain points and use this information to their advantage during any retention programs.
- Sales and marketing teams can gain from the data as they aim to understand their audience and create relevant messaging for their outreach campaigns.
- Business intelligence can use technographics to better understand the level of demand and how the company should position themselves in the market.
How to Collect Technographic Data?
The level of your data quality will correlate directly to the level of results you will be able to achieve with a given dataset. Having you sources under control will come a long way when assessing data quality. The organizations, willing to use technographic data for driving their business need to understand where the raw data comes from, and how it is collected.
There are essentially 3 major ways to acquiring data on companies’ technographic profiles:
Surveys Via Phone or E-mails
Cold call surveying is one of the oldest tricks in data collection book, but this data collection technique cannot be applied in all scenarios. We cannot predict the willingness of the recipient to share the prospective information. In addition to this, the method is slow, costly and not scalable.
In this context, digital scraping is the process of collecting information about a given prospect by crawling their website and alternative online presences to create technographic data points. For example, many market automation software will leave their mark on the site source code, which can then be recorded by automated crawlers that visit the pages. This method, being automated, can be scaled but may require extensive tech knowledge and resources for successful completion.
Purchasing Datasets from Third Party Providers
Given the complexity of the data collection, most companies end up acquiring the data from third party vendors, which have sophisticated technologies for such labor. Their sources and collection methods may consist of similar approaches as mentioned above. However, their experience and knowledge on the market has lead to them becoming the most convenient data source for most companies. In addition to raw data collection, these providers give often access to analytical software that can be directly integrated with your existing business technologies. The possibility of having data driven real time signals within your CRM software opens a great potential in efficiency for your sales and marketing teams.
How to Evaluate Data Quality of Technographics?
Despite a number of advantages with purchasing data from third party vendors, many of the companies are still hesitant to purchase data from external sources. Most common reasons for this are considered to be concerns over data quality and recency. While purchasing datasets from third-party data providers, you need to ensure the authenticity of the information provided to you. Here is a simple three step guide to data quality assurance:
- Data quality is highly dependent on its sources and collection methods. Make sure you understand where your data provider is sourcing the data from and how they do it. The easiest way of doing this is by asking them directly.
- The nature of most use cases with technographics has an interest in the recency of the dataset. Make sure to determine the update frequency of the dataset/data feed provided by your data partner.
- Sample sets are a great way to test the data quality in the right context. Ask your data provider to give out a small sample set of their data to see whether the data is accurate and can yield you with the results you are looking for.
How is Technographic Data Typically Priced?
Given the variety of all possible use cases for the data type, data providers are offering a selection of pricing models to facilitate their customers. Ranging from cost per prospect to annual and monthly licensing models they are willing to even provide custom solutions, as they aim to help in a range of different use cases.
However, pricing of technographic data follows usually one of the following formats:
- Cost per contact/lead - price depends on the level of information attached to the contact
- Subscription to data feed - price depends on the update frequency and granularity of information
- Cost per batch - price depends on batch size and time that is given to collect the information
The #1 Issue When Buying Technographic Data?
The provision of real-time information regarding technology stack and assessment of hardware and software and tools and applications utilized by the customers is vital for technographic data providers. Customer engagement patterns, including their time and duration of engagement, are changing due to continual technological advancements. This aspect poses a challenge in getting real-time insight regarding the preferences and the engagement patterns of the customers.
Technographic data providers must be efficient enough to identify apparent traces of software used by the business on a daily basis. However, in some cases, the software identified by technographic data collection is no longer used by the business’. Thus, technographic data providers might mitigate information, which is no longer relevant to the situation of that prospect.
Questions to Ask Your Data provider
In order to figure out the provider who best suits your needs, you can try to ask them some of the following questions:
- What are you raw data sources?
- How do your technical data collection methods look like?
- Can you dataset be integrated with my current business technologies?
- Can you confirm whether the traces of software recognized is still utilized by the prospect?
What is the Future of Technographic Data?
It can be ascertained that technographic information will be required by the business for more years. Till further advancement in artificial intelligence, technographic data will be an essential requirement for formulating successful marketing and business strategies in all technology related business sectors.