Let’s suppose you’re getting ready for work. You’re searching for your favorite leather shoe and you do not know where you have kept it. All your shoe shelves look exactly the same. How would that make you feel?
But, on the other hand, what if each of your shelves were marked with different codes carrying a meaning. You could keep your favorite shoe in the most important shelve which is coded “01”. This makes it so much more convenient! And you could also find the right shoe from the shelf exactly when you need it.
Most B2B marketers don’t understand why these codes are so much more than just a random set of numbers. It is important to notice that a majority of B2B databases and other research tools use these codes to classify and organize industries. This blog post will cover what SIC and NAICS codes mean and how to use them for B2B marketing.
SIC stands for Standard Industrial Classification. They are four-digit codes used by the US government to identify the primary business of the establishment. The first two digits of the code sequence indicate the major industry sector, and the second two digits further define the sub-classification of that sector. Companies in the same industry are assigned the same number or SIC code.
For instance, Oracle Corp, Fiserv, and Akamai Technologies are all given a primary SIC code of 7371 and categorized under “Computer Programming Services”. Whereas, Google Inc., Apple Inc, and SAP America Inc. are all given a primary SIC code of 7372 and categorized under “Prepackaged Software”.
The SIC system categorizes the economy into 11 divisions. These 11 divisions are divided into 83 2-digit major groups. These groups are further subdivided into 416 3-digit industry groups, and finally dis-aggregated into 1,005 4-digit industries.
NAICS stands for the North American Industry Classification System, which includes the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It was supposed to replace the no longer sufficient SIC system. It allows for a high level of comparability in business statistics among the three countries. The NAICS Code was developed to eliminate the inconsistent logic utilized in the SIC system and to increase specificity from the 4 digit SIC system by creating a 6 digit NAICS code.
The Primary code indicates a company’s primary line of business. This code is determined by a code definition that generates the highest revenue for that company at a specific location annually.
Here’s an example:
NAICS 541511 (Custom Computer Programming Services)
Parent NAICS (54151 – Computer Systems Design and Related Services)
NAICS codes divide the economy into 20 sectors, which are separated into 99 3-digit sub-sectors. These are then broken up into 311 4-digit industry groups, which are further subdivided into 709 5-digit industries, and finally disaggregated into 1057 6-digit U.S. industries.
How Can B2B Marketers Use These Codes?
Find the right target market
A company whose target market is companies looking for CRMs is not going to want to market to Salesforce. You can use siccode.com to see a list of companies in each category. By browsing through each of your target industry codes, you’ll find details for companies in your niche and use market segmentation. You can further refine your target buyer organizations through detailed information about a company’s product offerings, contact information, blog posts, and other collateral.
Pinpoint to the right accounts
SIC and NAICS codes helps marketers with general industry classification and specific vertical product or service applications. For instance, the word “software” can be quite generic. Are you looking to target companies who develop software or companies that sell prepackaged software? SIC and NAICS codes will help you segment your target industry conveniently.
Get access to updated contact data
Updated contact and customer data is important for B2B marketing campaigns. With the right NAICS codes, you can get more information on contact numbers, mobile numbers, email addresses, work location, salary, company revenue, and much more. It can lead you to more intricate details to build a buyer persona. And these personas can help you personalize your marketing approach.
Buy B2B lists from data vendors
NAICS and SIC codes provide information on companies in your target vertical. You can purchase data from data providers and create a great email marketing and telemarketing setup for any B2B company.
SMARTe has helped many of its clients find the right target accounts and perform market segmentation with SIC and NAICS codes. Our team helped them identify the most appropriate targets for their campaigns and adjust their lead qualification criteria.
To know more, talk to an expert today!