How to Use DNS Subdomain Data for Marketing Intelligence Gathering
Marketing intelligence consists of data related to an organization’s industry.
10:56 09 February 2021
It helps companies detect trends, take advantage of market opportunities, and make data-backed business decisions. Marketing intelligence sources may include research data, annual reports, government records, and customer surveys.
Competitor websites are also among the top sources of such information. However, websites can only give you the facade—product features, pricing plans, promotions, and other public announcements. If you want in-depth insights on what competitors are doing in the background, looking at Domain Name System (DNS) subdomain data can help.
What Is the Subdomain DNS?
A DNS subdomain refers to that part of a domain name that helps organize websites into different sections. Some examples of subdomains are:
- blog[.]example[.]com to host blog content
- shop[.]example[.]com for the site’s online store
- login[.]example[.]com to host the site’s login page
- en[.]example[.]com to cater to the site’s English-speaking audience
- fr[.]example[.]com for the site’s French-speaking visitors
Since subdomains constitute a significant part of an organization’s domain infrastructure, they can provide marketers otherwise inaccessible data. In particular, subdomain DNS data can enrich competitor analyses, allowing organizations to glean what key industry players are doing.
Supplementing Competitor Analysis with DNS Subdomain Data: An Illustration
For companies that want to study the customer relationship management (CRM) and software market, it would make sense to learn what providers, such as Freshworks and HubSpot, are doing. These companies’ subdomain DNS data could provide some answers.
Gain Insights on Competitor Strategies
You may be wondering what product or service offerings other companies in your industry have or how they generally conduct their business, aside from what’s on their websites. To illustrate how subdomain DNS data can help you find out, let’s take a look at some of the subdomains of Freshworks, as revealed by a subdomains lookup tool.
- crayons[.]freshworks[.]com: Serves as a design library where Freshworks developers can create apps, build components, and report issues.
- community[.]developers[.]freshworks[.]com: A subdomain hosting the community pages of Freshworks developers to ask questions and stay updated on feature updates and bug fixes.
- developers[.]freshworks[.]com: Another subdomain dedicated to developers. However, the page aims to encourage them to partner with Freshworks.
Based on these subdomains, you can learn that among Freshworks’s strategies is providing a great environment and accessible tools for partner developers.
Furthermore, DNS subdomain data allows you to gain insights into the company’s partnerships. For example, the subdomain lighthouse[.]freshworks[.]com could hint at its collaboration with KMS Lighthouse.
The subdomain redirects to a Lighthouse login page, which indicates that Freshworks taps KMS Lighthouse for its knowledge management system.
Learn Who Their Clients Are
Several companies list their clients on their websites, along with testimonials, to establish their reputability and trustworthiness. For example, HubSpot has a dedicated page on its site for “Customer Stories,” which features case studies on a number of its platform users.
You may also see the provider’s clients by looking at its subdomains, as it assigns default subdomains to clients with marketing subscriptions using the root domain hs-sites[.]com. As of this writing, a subdomains lookup tool returned 6,322 subdomains. When you visit some of these, you would be redirected to clients’ websites.
Subdomain DNS data is probably among the least-explored marketing intelligence sources. But, as you can see, it can provide important information about industry players that can shape your strategies. Along with traditional intelligence sources, subdomain data can make your competitor and marketing analyses more comprehensive.