Data collection and analysis have always played a large role in business. With the advancement of cloud technology and “big data,” that role is growing. Firms are switching more and more towards centralized data collection.
Using all of the data that comes into your business to your advantage is essential to competition. That means the use of effective CRM systems to keep all that data in one place is a boon for a modern business.
That data then needs to be analysed and reported in a way that can be easily digested. Combining big data and AI technology has made the categorization of this data easier than ever before.
Data is only as useful as the insight you can extract from it, though. There are often many ways to break down the same data sets to get new information. Technographics is just one part of the wider picture of big data.
The Role of Big Data
Big data is the collective term for ideas like cloud technology, central records management, and software analytics. These relatively new technologies allow businesses to crunch numbers in seconds that would have taken human analysts weeks.
Software solutions are particularly good at spotting patterns in large data sets. All your customer information, demographics, buying habits, etc. is fed in. Then you can easily segment this data and identify relative trends.
This has proven to be very useful in fields like digital marketing. Software from all industries, from inventory management tools to SaaS marketing tools, is making use of big data and AI.
Big data market breakdown by territory (Source)
“84% of enterprises invest in advanced analytics to support improved business decision making.”
What Does Technographics Mean?
Technographics is itself a form of market segmentation. It’s the term for segmenting a market by the user’s technological level or platforms. This kind of data covers areas like new technology adoption rates and usage.
The specifics will depend on whether you’re analysing a B2B or B2C market. If you’re looking at competitor or client companies, then what software they use and their technology stack will be relevant. Their R&D development level could also be analysed.
If you’re dealing directly with customers, technographics will focus more on platform and device use. Customer adoption rates for new ideas and tech are still important, though.
What Insights Do I Gain From Technographics?
So, why would you want to segment a market in this way? Well, if you happen to provide an IaaS or SaaS solution. Then, technogrphic data could give you the insight you need to penetrate the market.
Technographic data can often be used internally to improve processes and services. Analysing your own technology stack and data use can help you identify weaknesses in your own business. It’s important to identify and improve your weaker areas as you grow.
By identifying customer habits and buying preferences, you can provide more solid leads for your sales team. This will help your efficiency as less time is wasted chasing cold leads. You can also identify repetitive processes that can be streamlined with automation.
How does technological data help customer retention? It’s not an easy association to make. However, this data gives you more granular information about your customers. This allows you to employ better direct marketing techniques and personalization.
Customers who feel valued are more likely to return to your business. Technographics can show you the best ways to start interaction with customer segments. The market forecasts that technographics can also help you pre-empt periods of high churn with new incentives.
If you’re scaling a company, you need to keep identifying new opportunities for growth. Gaining more information on your customers’ existing technologies and needs will make you more effective.
For example, you might choose to use AI for sales call monitoring. This kind of solution can automatically number and categorize the amount of quality calls in a given period. This can help you identify successful strategies and new opportunities within your customer base.
Where Do I Get Technographic Data?
Technographic data is obtained in two main ways. Direct market research and the passive collection and analysis of the data flowing into your business. You can also source this data from third-party market research groups.
Surveys and Email Campaigns
Much like you would send out customer questionnaires, you can source technographic data directly. It can be difficult to get information from competitors and even some clients in this way, though.
When it comes to your customers, it’s much easier to just ask for their preferences. You can gain useful insights like preferred platforms and devices in this way.
Try asking single questions or short questionnaires on completion of an interaction. This has proven to have higher response rates than traditional email campaigns.
The rapid improvement in data technology has had a knock-on effect. Businesses that used to sell hard to source and quickly outdated market research data have adapted. Now, the ability to collect large data sets and organize them quickly is common.
This has hugely increased the value of sourcing third-party market data. This is especially useful for startups and newer businesses. It eliminates the need to collect this data yourself, saving you time and money.
Third-party data sources are now incredibly diverse. You can source marketing, sales, and technology data. You can get breakdowns by country, demographic, technographic, and more. What’s more, the data will be more relevant and recent than previously.
This is a backend solution to technographic data sourcing. It involves using automated tools to examine the code base of a platform or site. This can give interesting insights into a company’s use of technology.
However, it should be obvious, but there are limits to the data you can gain in this way. Not every business categorizes and connects its tech in the same way. So you’ll often end up with an incomplete picture.
Graph showing the primary barriers to big data use in business (Source)
How Do I Use Technographic Data?
You need to apply the insights of technographic data to the relevant teams to make use of it. There are three key areas where your technographic data should be put to use.
1. Targeted Marketing
As we discussed earlier, you can use your data to analyze customer platform and device use. Combine this with data on personalized buying habits. Then you can effectively target your campaigns.
Your marketing team should be one of the primary departments to benefit from technogrpahics. Make sure you are giving effective feedback to refine your targeted ad campaigns. Data shows that conversion rates are boosted when personalized ads and deals are used.
For example, you might have a social media strategy where you blanket target all platforms. If you identify that your customers are only engaging on Instagram and Twitter, then you can switch to focus more deeply on those platforms and their respective niches.
2. Increase Demand and Market Share
From a B2B perspective, understanding your clients’ needs can be key to getting their business. Understanding their current technology level and where your solutions can help is a priority for any SaaS business.
You can generate your own demand in this way by targeting your platform or service to those who need it most. As notoriety increases, you’ll find your market share increases and drives up revenues.
3. Upselling and Sales Efficiency
Knowing your customer preferences will determine your success in upselling and cross-selling. Direct existing customers to other products they need naturally. Then very little sales team intervention is needed.
Automating the process of upselling through web apps and push notifications is highly effective. Customers find these methods less intrusive than follow-up questions on the phone or by email. This gives your sales team more time to chase down warm leads.
Remember that technographic data is sourced both externally and internally. Its most beneficial uses will be in how you apply the insights to your business and marketing efforts. Does your recruitment agency consider its own internal recruitment policies?
Blind spots like this often exist when it comes to our own businesses. It’s much easier to look at the areas where we’re succeeding and focus on those rather than look at our weaknesses and improve them.
An effective modern business needs to do both. This is especially true if you’re looking to grow and scale your company.
Many large scale businesses are turning to third-party technology consultants and companies. Even the biggest businesses need help with this kind of rapid digital transformation. Don’t be afraid to outsource this expertise if it’s not your primary business area.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jessica Day, Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, Dialpad
Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. She has written for sites like VirtualSpeech and Unstack. Here is her LinkedIn.