In the latest episode of our podcast, learn how to operationalize technology intelligence so that it becomes part of your business process. Whether you need tech intelligence in your CRM, MAP, or online advertising platform, we’ll show you how to make it actionable and accessible for everything from strategic planning to sales and marketing outreach.

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Interview Transcript

Benjamin: Welcome to tech intelligence week on the MarTech Podcast. This week we’re doing a technical deep dive into one of the most powerful and underutilized data sources for B2B marketers, technology intelligence. Each day this week, we’re going to publish an episode that discusses how you can understand, identify, and reach your customers based on the software that they use to run their business.

With us today is Elizabeth Cholawsky, who is the CEO of HG Insights, which is a sponsor of the MarTech podcast and a platform that uses advanced data science methodologies to process billions of unstructured digital documents to produce the world’s best technology installation information, IT spend and contract intelligence to accelerate their sales, marketing and strategy efforts.

Here is the fourth installment of technology intelligence week where Elizabeth and I discuss how technology intelligence can impact its consumers operations. Elizabeth, welcome back to technology week on the MarTech Podcast.

Elizabeth: Thanks a lot, Ben.

Benjamin: We’ve covered a lot of ground here this week, understanding what technology intelligence is. It gives you the ability to understand what software, hardware, and services any of your consumers or prospects are potentially using. Some of the questions it can help you answer, what’s your addressable market, how should you segment, who are your customers, what their propensity to buy, where are they in their buying cycle. And then we talked a little bit yesterday about what’s the collaboration between marketing and sales and how technology intelligence can support and make sure that everybody’s on the same page, reaching out to the right customers and making sure that those customers are valuable.

Today I want to talk to you a little bit about the operations of technology intelligence. It’s obviously a large data source. You’re processing billions of pieces of data and giving people the technology profile for virtually any company. How are brands actually taking this data and building it into their services? Walk me through the process of integration.

Elizabeth: There are a number of different ways that our customers integrate the technology information into their operations. It ranges from, think of a large global company that has a big business intelligence staff, and they have a data lake that they want to be able to add their first party data and maybe some intent data from Bombora, and add that with very sophisticated modeling to our data. So very basically we can give just data files to an organization like that, and they can incorporate that into their data lake. That’s the exception, not the rule. The rule is really, for the mass amount of customers, they want to be able to use the information in their systems of record and in an application that will help them see right away the insights into the data.

So we’ve got products that integrate right in natively to Salesforce and into Marketo. And then we also provide the HG Insights, both the data and the insights themselves, and the platform that we sell. So that provides slicing and dicing and interesting views of the data as well as the insights themselves.

Benjamin: So talk to me a little bit about your platform first before we get into the integrations. When somebody is going onto the HG Insights platform, what’s the type of analysis they can run? How are people actually using the front end of your platform?

Elizabeth: When you go into the HG Insights platform, you’re able to, let’s say, take a region and look at all the companies in a region with a certain technology profile. So say you just want to know who’s using the Parsec software or manufacturing software. So you can get all of those in the region and you can look globally and see the hotspots for that product or the ones that aren’t penetrated. And then you can drill down, and that’s the real interesting part. You can drill down from that market view to the individual companies themselves and take a look at the profile of the
company globally, so you can see the company hierarchy, and you can see the other attributes about them. They’re trending, they’re alarming, they’re learning on some of this technology as well as their spend. And then once you do that kind of analysis, if say you need a subset of that information to do a campaign for the northeast US, you can export that data so that you can put that into your campaign tool wherever you’re using it.

Benjamin: So the HG platform in general is a strategic planning platform that allows you to do your research, do your homework, and get a data dump. You also mentioned that there are integrations into various platforms, Salesforce, Marketo. To me that infers that your sales team is using this data in their platform, your marketing team is using the data as well. What are some of the practical applications of using the plugins for HG Insights in some of the other more sort of classic sales and marketing platforms?

Elizabeth: Yeah, so we talked a lot over the course of a week about how strategic the information that we have is and the insights that we have. But let’s take a look at the technology installation in a Salesforce view. It provides, in real time, right with the account profile to the salesperson, the view of what the company has. And we’ve had instances where the Salesforce has almost revolted when they have had an instance where the information has been taken away from them, because at the tactical level, when they’re talking to that customer, they want to know right then and there what their technology stack looks like. And that’s what you see in
Salesforce.

Benjamin: So you’re getting a realtime view of what somebody’s entire technology profile looks like from a sales perspective. For the marketers, what is some of the data that they’re able to see, Marketo or any of the other platforms that you’re integrating into?

Elizabeth: In Marketo in particular, we can enrich really millions of records, and that allows the marketers right then and there to be able to do lead scoring based on the technology stack that they have. So that’s a very common use of it, as well as segmenting the different leads that might be in a Marketo database, so that you can do more appropriate campaigning. We talked about that, very personalized messages based on a segment based on the HG Insight’s information.

Benjamin: So you have the ability to tap into the customer’s technology profile in your sales team, for your email outreach, and re-marketing prospects. How about for lead generation, when you’re thinking about some of the social media platforms? LinkedIn and Facebook are becoming more of lead generation platforms for B2B SaaS. Do you have the ability to integrate this data into some of the social platforms as well?

Elizabeth: Yeah, absolutely. So we have a product called Digital Audience, and what that is is an umbrella for all the connectors that we have into social media platforms through the digital marketing platforms, the DMPs and the DSPs. So you have that at your fingertips. But one of the more interesting recent connectors was through HG for LinkedIn, and that gives you the ability to use the technology intelligence for display advertising within LinkedIn. And a lot of our customers are finding that extremely useful.

Benjamin: The last point that you mentioned that people are consuming your data was just taking a raw data file. To me it seems like somebody that’s trying to short a stock should be looking at what the technology adoption is, just getting the raw data dump. I would call this data as a service, your DaaS model. Tell me some of the ways that people are just taking the raw data, analyzing it themselves. And have you seen any interesting integrations through just data processing?

Elizabeth: Yeah, and a couple of points there. One, when customers take the information and consume it in their data lakes, it’s certainly not just the signal of the company and the tech install, the technology. We’re talking to that in a very basic way. But there’s a line up of attributes about that company and technology that are also part of the dataset. But one of the interesting reason applications is SAP with their Crystal Ball project. SAP is combining their first party data. We were selected as the technology intelligence provider, and then they’re using intent information. And they’re using it to completely revamp how SAP is going out globally with all their products end to end. They’re getting some tremendous results. And they actually just won the marketing awards Polo did for that project, and we were a critical part of it.

Benjamin: So I think the takeaway here is that when you’re thinking about operationalizing technology intelligence data, there’s a couple different ways. First, you just get a big raw data dump and do the analysis yourself. I would imagine that it is a lot of data and that you need to have data science and analysts, and you need to have a team supporting, understanding, and processing this data. But if you are a data-driven business, like an SAP as an example, just getting the raw data is valuable. I think for most brands, understanding that you have a platform where you can do the research and export your data out of the HG Insights platform, or use it to integrate into your existing systems of records, if you are using Salesforce, if you’re using Marketo, LinkedIn as well, you have the ability to not only take the data and do your analysis, but you also can operationalize it by integrating it into your existing systems of record.

Elizabeth: That’s right. And then one thing I’ll add to that also is that when one of our customers is using the platform, we also have support that, and you mentioned the data as a service requests. So we’ll support that customer by using our customer success managers to work with them on new use cases or new questions they might have that we know can be answered from the detailed analysis of the data, but the customer might not know just how to get that profile or that segment out of our data. So we do that day in and day out where we’re closely working with customers to get them to expand to their next query and solve their next pain point. As we see that data, as service requests get very, very common, we feed that right back into the platform and make it more of a self-service function in the platform. And that’s how we continually are making the platform more sophisticated for the customers.

Benjamin: Technology intelligence is incredibly powerful as a data source, but without the ability to actually consume and understand and filter the data, it’s not necessarily useful. And that’s one of the reasons why the HG Insights platform is so interesting.

Okay. That wraps up this episode of the MarTech Podcast. Thanks to Elizabeth Cholawsky for joining us. If you’d like to hear more of Elizabeth’s insights into how to use technology intelligence, we’re publishing episodes every this week, so hit the subscribe button in your podcast app and check back with us tomorrow morning when we discuss the future of technology intelligence.

If you can’t wait until our next episode and you’d like to get in touch with Elizabeth, you can find a link to her LinkedIn profile in our show notes. You can also find a link to HG Insights LinkedIn profile as well. You can contact her on Twitter. Her handle is Echolawsky, E-C-H-O-L-A-W-S-K-Y. Or you can visit her company’s website which is HGinsights.com.