One of the most basic methods for enterprises to find and approve small business customers is using firmographic data
This data gives insight into a small business’s attributes, operations, and growth potential. Understanding what firmographic data is all about can give you ideas of how to use this info in small business onboarding, monitoring, and beyond.
Today, we’ll be looking into exactly what firmographic data is, including where it comes from, what it is composed of, and what unrelated data combines well with it for the needs of your enterprise. Regardless of the industry or the products you provide, having access to accurate firmographic data is essential to be successful.
What makes firmographic data unique?
Sometimes known as ‘firm demographic data,’ firmographic data is information that pertains to the fundamental characteristics of a business or organization. It is mostly used to research prospects, find a target audience, or monitor already onboarded clients. It includes a variety of points of information, including the organizational structure, number of employees, location, industry, market cap, and performance details of a company.
As mentioned, much firmographic data is designed as clusters of information that define different segments of a small business’s market segment. Market segmentation can be used for everything from B2B marketing to sales, market intelligence, onboarding and monitoring, and more.
Where does firmographic data come from?
The good news about firmographic data is that it’s not always difficult to gain access to it. In most cases, small businesses will have a lot of that information on their online profiles and website.
For public businesses, you’ll find firmographic data on news websites, on their website, in press releases, and throughout earning call reports. It’s a form of self-reported data. It can often be found in tax declarations and public company registers. Social media can also be a method to get some of the data.
Another source of firmographic data is available from third-party sources. It may be listed or interpreted by other parties and is considered derived data about an organization.
Finally, some data sources provide what is known as verified data. This is manually verified by an individual or organization. For instance, one person might send questions to personnel at the company in an email or a phone call, and the person working for the company confirms the data. While anyone can go through this process, it can often take up a lot of time and be expensive in practice.
As an enterprise, you don’t need to waste time becoming a data expert.
In the case of private companies such as small businesses, firmographic data may not be available in the public domain. This requires someone to collect it from other places. Information from social media, press releases, and news articles may be pulled together to get all the needed information about an organization.
Markaaz’s data Directory features verified businesses to take the hours of research off your plate.
What is firmographic data composed of?
There are many different data points included under firmographic data. Below is a list of some of the most common attributes associated with this type of data:
- Structure of company: Parent companies, delivery centers, headquarters, and subsidiaries. This information can be used to determine the objectives of an organization. As an example, a nonprofit, religious organization, or charity will have very unique objectives compared to a government or profitable organization.
- Size of company: Number of employees, the scale of operation, annual revenue in millions, employee range, and revenue range. This is an important part of market segmentation and can be used for marketing, sales outreach, investment purposes, and market intelligence.
- Web and social media presence: Website, Twitter page, Facebook page, LinkedIn page, and website grade.
- Contact details: Country, address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email address.
- Data about customers: Demographic data, target market, potential customers, client domains, number of clients, and type of clients.
- Industry: Primary industry, primary SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) code and description, and NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code. Industry information is often used as a starting point for market segmentation.
- Technology: APIs, operating systems, coding languages, hardware, software, services, tools, and other applications.
- Revenue: Revenue range, balance sheet updates, and quarterly or annual turnovers. This provides information for outreach and sales cycles. It can show whether a business is downsizing or expanding and what might happen in the future.
- Performance details about the company: Credit rating, annual and quarterly profits, sales numbers, and sales cycle length.
- Geographic data: Location of clients, including address, zip code, state, city, country, and region, location of company headquarters, and delivery centers. Data on location can point toward business opportunities, challenges, or growth.
You can see exactly how much important information is included in firmographic data. However, this isn’t the sole source of crucial data that may be needed. Product views, sentiment, and mentions are not typically included in firmographic data but can give insightful information about how an organization is doing and what problems it may be facing.
What is not included in firmographic data?
As mentioned, firmographic data is important, but it isn’t the only data to be aware of. There are many types of data that you usually will not find when searching for firmographic data. Whether you’re doing manual research or paying for compiled data, make sure you’re aware of what is provided and what might not be.
One of the many things that typically isn’t included in firmographic data is information about organization compliance. Data compliance is a form of governance that a business puts in place to ensure it meets all standards, regulations, and laws. It focuses on the management, storage, organization, and possession of information to prevent compromise, misuse, theft, or loss.
The standards and regulations used by a company will determine what pieces of data should be protected and how this should be done. Compliance information is essential as it shows whether a business is moving forward and keeping things safe and protected or might be cutting corners. Make sure you have this information along with firmographic data.
AML (anti-money laundering) data focuses on the processes, regulations, and laws that a business needs to comply with to avoid financial crime. Money laundering is a method used by criminals to try to hide funds from illicit services, such as terrorist financing, human trafficking, and drug dealing. Any business that moves money needs to comply with AML regulations, part of which means having a compliance program in place.
Agencies like OFAC, FATF, and FinCEN constantly refine and expand AML laws to ensure companies stay ahead of those who act in bad faith. While it might seem that banks are the only ones who need to comply, that isn’t true. Gaming platforms, financial technology companies, cryptocurrencies, and online marketplaces also need to have the right AFL program available to avoid fines or worse.
PEP (politically exposed people) are those who are government officials, heads of state, or similar, such as board members of international organizations, central bank governors, high-ranking military officers, high-ranking judges, and senior government executives.
These people have all been entrusted with some sort of prominent public function. Businesses should integrate information about these people as part of their due diligence database.
PEPs often have a power of influence and power, which makes it more likely for others to target them for bribery and corruption attempts, including terrorism financing and money laundering. As such, using AML measures to manage, mitigate, and identify these risks is important. Unfortunately, this isn’t information you’ll find in firmographic data.
Business health data
A final type of data that is crucial but not incorporated into firmographic data is business health data. Many different key performance indicators give insight into how well a specific business is doing. Some of the most common include revenue, direct expenses, overhead, gross profit margin, and net profit margin. Some of these factors are listed in firmographic data, but you’ll need to do the work to put it all together to gain an idea of how a company is doing.
Of course, these are only the most relevant factors related to business health; the number of clients, amount of growth, market growth, number of employees, and more can also be a part of the equation. Searching out this additional information (or choosing a provider who compiles it for you) is the best way to ensure success.
As you can see, firmographic data offers a ton of benefits to an enterprising business. But it’s important to be sure you have all the types of data you need, firmographic and otherwise. Whether you are in manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, consumer goods, insurance, technology, or something else, data is the key to success.
There are numerous ways to access firmographic data, such as requesting self-reported data, researching data, or inferring data from public reports. However, the easiest way is to work with a provider who makes the process a cinch. At Markaaz, we offer firmographic data, as well as business health metrics, compliance data, and more.
Reach out to us today to learn more about our firmographic data options, as well as how we can help streamline customer onboarding for your business.