You’re probably asking yourself, can he seriously be advocating the use of something so basic, when we can now identify any person’s interest in a product or topic well before they have expressed that interest back to us?
You bet because NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) codes are an essential building block for market sizing and conducting proper audience segmentation. The need to execute on these fundamentals should not be forgotten or dismissed each time the next new wave of technology comes around.
To be clear, while we must fully leverage added customer insight like buyer intent signals and newer technologies like Machine Learning to get smarter on how we engage with our customers, the use of these technologies should not come at the expense of executing on the marketing fundamentals like conducting proper market and audience segmentation.
As one example, NAICS codes are invaluable for understanding market sizing at a sub-sector industry level. If companies took more time analyzing the top 100 customers in these sub-sector categories, they would be astonished at the size differences in revenue and in the number of employees from the number one position when compared to number 100. I have seen revenue ranges starting at tens of billions for companies at the top falling below 50 million dollars for companies at the 100th position.
Depending on your products and criteria to purchase, understanding these types of revenue variances could impact future decisions on how you need to go to market.
NAICS codes also provide valuable insight into how a business operates. This fundamental knowledge can be further enhanced using external research briefs focused on these niche industry segments offered through research service providers such as First Research or IBISWorld.
Ultimately, you must position your offer to what motivates explicitly the person you are trying to engage with to take the desired action. Understanding the specific challenges of their role and the industry segment they operate in can only lead to better conversations and improved customer engagement.
Taking the time to execute on the basics, will only enhance the use of any chosen Martech oriented business strategy. It will also ensure that a company optimizes its resources by focusing its efforts on the best customer segments with the highest probability to purchase.
I remain committed to the practice of leveraging NAICS data because it continues to be the most reliable and quickest path to generating future sales opportunities.