Technographics as an Account-based Marketing Dynamic Signal

April 16, 2018 Andrew Seidman

Every marketer and salesperson is looking for the best possible data, but where can you find it? And, once you’ve found it, how can you use it effectively?

At Digital Reach, we use data to answer 3 questions that drive our Account-based marketing and sales program. 

- Who is interested in our services right now? 

- What type of messaging might they respond to? 

- What timing makes the most sense? 

Any piece of data that might answer those questions could be called a “Dynamic Signal”. What exactly is a Dynamic Signal? 

Dynamic Signals

In an account-based marketing world, Dynamic Signals are a crucial element in marketing success. They are composed of a myriad of data indicators used to identify potential customers, addressable markets and more. These indicators can include job changes, website visits, intent data, conference attendance, and basically anything else that might open a window of opportunity. 

Three of the most valuable data types are firmographic, demographic/geographic, and technographic data

Firmographic Data: Firmographic data revolves around company-specific information such as annual revenue, funding and the number of employees. All these components within a single company should be evaluated carefully so as not to eliminate a quality account.

Demographic/Geographic Data: Demographic and geographic data reveal the personas and locations of potential customers. Who your buyers are has a big impact on your sales and marketing strategy, and it is often wise to take a more targeted, localized approach.

The third indicator is the focus of this article and, in our minds, it’s the most valuable. Using it to drive your ABM/S campaigns can really set you apart from the competition.

Technographic Data: Technographic data shows pieces of technology that companies have invested in, offering key insights into their focus and goals. This information allows you to identify those businesses which will be most interested in your products or services, and gives you a clue as to which messaging they might find most engaging.

While firmographic and demographic data are valuable in helping structure your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), they provide a baseline for customer fit but not any real-time indicators of interest. Collecting and analyzing technographic data, on the other hand, can provide you with real-time signals as to who is looking to invest in your product right now.

Technology Tracking from Datanyze, for example, can show you what technologies are being used by your target companies and accounts. 

Now the question is: How do you incorporate this information into your account-based marketing and sales strategy?

To do that, there are a few things you need to know first.

What Makes a Target Company?

Knowing your ICP’s characteristics is the foundation you need to build an account-based marketing and sales (ABM/S) strategy. The level of sophistication in your targeting can be the difference between a successful prospect list and an unsuccessful one. How do you know which companies would make a good target?

Location: Your prospect’s physical location influences your sales. It can be more difficult to build relationships with prospects when it’s hard to meet in-person.

Company Size: Company size is important to consider from two angles. A large employee base can indicate a sizable software budget, but simply knowing a company’s size doesn’t tell the whole story. Recent growth (and even reductions) might be more useful knowledge to have. Smaller companies should not be ignored, as they may have greater need to invest in growth, and may be more likely to purchase.

Revenue and Funding: How much revenue does the company generate? Generating low revenue can indicate a company’s lack of success, and leaves to a lower budget for investments in any products or services. However, a company with low revenue but significant funding might have the budget to spend and an urgency to grow, and could end up being a great target.

Industry: If the industry isn’t a good fit for your product or service, then those companies are probably not the best target.Your product needs to be relevant to the business case.

Using these points, you can narrow down your target account list. But you still need to know whether these companies actually want or need your product or service. 

This is where technographic data comes in handy.

Datanyze in an Account-Based Environment

Identifying client personas and their correlating needs yields good technographic data. From this data you can identify the software your client uses and the gaps between the client’s needs and the services that software provides. This information allows you to tailor your offerings to the client, placing you in a position to provide better services and take over from the client’s previous software solution.

Datanyze shows you what technologies companies are using for their websites, apps, online marketing, etc. The database is updated daily and includes Wordpress, Google Analytics, Marketo, and dozens of other technologies. Which technologies a company uses, and especially when a company starts or stops using a certain technology, is especially important. It can tell you what did not work, what they might need, how to introduce your product or service to meet that need, and more.

By using Dynamic Signals to score accounts, you can generate your ideal list of prospects, dividing them either by firmographic or technographic data to identify the best opportunities. After accumulating this data, Datanyze’s predictive analytics software comes into play. Predictive analytics uses this data along with statistical algorithms to discover net-new accounts that look just like your best customers. 

Once that data is captured and you narrow down your prospect list, Datanyze can help you find the needed contact information and sends it directly to your CRM, making a normally complicated process simple and cohesive.

Understanding the Timing

Poor timing can lose valuable leads. As a digital marketing agency, we are keen on capturing data in general, but we find special value in using technographic indicators as signals. Some common signals we use might include the installation of a Marketing Automation tool like Marketo or a new Google AdWords presence. Even when your CRM and Marketing Automation tools are aligned, companies often hit roadblocks and wait far too long to seek help.

Based on this, we built a timing process into our account-based marketing strategy. This involves an initial touch upon the first technographic signal, but more importantly additional touches further in the process at the right moment to gain attention from high quality prospects.

Here’s an example: from our experience, when a company first installs Marketo, they usually assume they can figure it out in-house. We’ll send them a note asking if they need help, but we expect them to brush us off. But, three months later, when they’re struggling to make Marketo function, they’ll be much more receptive to our second touch. We can build a timing process into our marketing and sales touches.

This is the true power of Datanyze. It can put critical, relevant data directly into the hands of your marketing and sales teams in real-time.

Organize Your Funnel Around Technographics Using Data Attribution

We think it’s important to prove the value of your investment in technographics, and the most effective way to do that is with full-funnel attribution. Tracking data from lead to opportunity to closed-won gives you a clear vision of what techniques are working and the ROI of your investment.

Understanding your funnel is important when building your ABM/S attribution architecture. B2B funnels generally use two main containers for data: Website Analytics (tracking activity on your site, including marketing activity via UTM tags) and CRM (tracking activity once sales becomes involved).

Which brings us to the first main container for data: website analytics and how to use that data.
Datanyze, for example, can work hand-in-hand with your attribution tool, providing the data you need to start the marketing process quickly and efficiently. Of course, attribution doesn’t work as well without UTM tags (UTM tags are codes inserted into a customized URL to track visitor activity, including source, medium, campaign, content and keyword.). It’s important that both your marketing and sales teams fully understand how to use UTM tags

For example, we might send an email campaign based on Datanyze information to a link that looks like this:

With this link, we’re driving traffic to our Closed Loop Reporting page with an email (Medium) via MailChimp (Source) to leads that have shown a technographic signal via Datanyze (Campaign), specifically surrounding a Marketo Installation (Keyword) that happened 3-months ago (Content). 

All of that information is  then passed into analytics via those tags, and using an attribution tool like the one we built at Digital Reach, they are captured in the CRM. Then, you can run reports on how many qualified leads, opportunities, and revenue came from Datanyze in general, or Marketo Installations at the 3-month point, and so on. This is powerful stuff!

Clean Data Matters

Now that you have your attribution tool, dynamic signals, and target companies, how do you tie it all together to connect with your prospects? You’ll need clean contact data, but where should you find it?

There are lots of great sources for data, but by looping in Datanyze prospecting and data enrichment services, for example, you can find the right contacts and add the information directly to your CRM. This can both gather new, valuable data points for your marketing and sales teams as well as updating and enriching your current records with clean data. 

Datanyze and Digital Reach collaborated to build UNIVERSAL: Your Guide to Account-Based Success, the comprehensive Account-based Marketing and Sales ebook available for download now. 

Featured Image Source: Cropped image of a young man working on his laptop in a coffee shop, rear view of business man hands busy using laptop at office desk, young male student typing on computer sitting at wooden table by GaudiLab Shutterstock 

About the Author

As Co-Founder and Head of Operations for <a href="">Digital Reach</a>, Andrew Seidman has years of experience overseeing successful digital marketing strategies, including Account-Based Marketing and Sales, SEO, and SEM campaigns for top tier companies. He is also co-author of the ebook <a href="">Universal: Your Guide to Account-Based Success</a>.

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