Most of us use the industry data field in our CRM and marketing automation. It’s an important piece of information. We often create segments and lists by using that industry information as one of our search and B2B segmentation criteria. But how often do you end up with endless target lists that include companies that have nothing in common?
This post will cover how to use custom industry categories to create hyper-targeted B2B segments. In other words, you’ll learn how to sell more by selling to fewer.
Let’s get to it.👇
Traditional industry classifications don’t cut it anymore
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) was released in 1997, and it’s only updated once every five years. The current version of its European equivalent—NACE— was established in 2006. And, SIC codes, still widely used worldwide, are nearly a century old. Unfortunately, none of these standard industry classifications suits the rapidly changing B2B sales environment. Relying on those classifications for B2B segmentation doesn’t do the trick. It's broken.
But why? Why isn’t such a widely accepted taxonomy good enough for B2B sales and marketing? The answer is easy: the data is not accurate enough. It’s too generic. No one wants to sell and advertise to "All Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing (339999)" or "Software Publishers, Packaged (511210) or “Offices of Other Holding Companies (551112)”. Chances are, these broad and global categories don’t match your real target segments.
Take a look at these examples:
What does a company like Basware do? Looking at the standard industry codes, we know the company does computer programming activities. Same as Bankify. But in reality, we know those two companies operate in very different sectors. It only takes a look at their website to understand these belong to different industry categories. Today, the buyer expects a high degree of personalization, but how can you address these two very different companies' specific needs and pain points when you’re led to believe they belong to the same industry? That’s why B2B segmentation is broken.
Sales intelligence to fix B2B segmentation
Some CRM systems and marketing automation platforms provide their own industry classification. For example, when creating a new company in HubSpot, the system automatically fills in industry information by fetching data from their own insights pool. It helps a bit with B2B segmentation but still leaves too many question marks. Many of us require more detailed information than "computer software", "marketing & advertising" or "manufacturing".
Sales activities like prospecting and marketing tactics like website personalization require a more accurate B2B segmentation. Next, let’s see how salespeople and marketers can create concrete B2B segments without spending hours and hours researching their list of prospects.
What is Vainu Custom Industries?
Vainu Customer Industries is an industry classification model that uses real website content and extensive training data sets to determine unique industry values for any company in the world.
It contains 800+ industries, which you can combine to create accurate segments and target lists.
👉 To see the complete list of Vainu custom industry categories, click here.
How does Vainu Custom Industries work?
Earlier, we mentioned that just looking at a company website, one can easily guess its industry. The information is right there in the copy. Bankify writes the following on its home page:
Smart and human-friendly services to unlock the value of financial mobile applications.
“Financial mobile applications”. Those are some revealing keywords.
No person has the time to visit every single website and update the industry category of their target lists. That’s why at Vainu, we’ve built our own proprietary AI model that uses the real website content and extensive training data sets to predict custom industry values for each company. This way, you can update your target lists without lifting a finger, opening up a new world of B2B segmentation possibilities. Like this:
As you can see, there’s much more information than just computer programming activities. For Basware, Vainu Custom Industry creates meaningful categories such as “SaaS”, “Payments”, or “FinTech”. And, Bankify’s industry is “Mobile Payments, “Banking”, and “FinTech”.
Now, instead of targeting all software companies, we can create B2B segments based on categories such as SaaS, 3D Technology, FinTech, or Artificial Intelligence. Most companies have several Custom Industry labels, so we can also build powerful combinations. We can target only companies that are “SaaS providers building video streaming software” or “medical device manufactures that develop machine learning applications”.
To see Vainu Custom Industry in action, click play and watch the video below. 👇
With detailed industry categories, not only salespeople will find it easy to tailor their outreach according to this approach, it’s also simpler to discard companies that don’t match your ideal customer profile. Are you targeting SaaS companies but aren’t interested in those in the e-commerce space? If you have the data, you can easily exclude those companies—you can’t do that if you target the standard computer programming activities.
Integrate Vainu Custom Industries data in other platforms
Vainu Custom Industries is available as an additional filter in the Vainu platform. That’s not all, though. You can feed custom industry data into other sales and marketing systems in your tech stack. For example, you can integrate this data into your CRM or marketing automation platforms through the Vainu API or by using Vainu's connector.
Personalization at scale
That's the first step: fix the basics. Once your B2B segmentation is in order, you can design complex customer segmentation methods that yield better results. You can start digging into other methods such as segmentation based on customer needs, customer sophistication, and behavior.
Besides better resource allocation, advanced industry category data give the context you need to develop complex strategies, such as account-based marketing, designed for one-to-one or one-to-few approach—again, sell more by selling to fewer. If you still don’t know how to get started with ABM, we recommend you to read our Beginner’s Handbook to Account-Based Marketing.
Want a small taste of what Vainu Custom Industries can do for you? Then you should consider downloading a list of 100 Nordic companies from one of our precise VCI segments—it's free! All you have to do is click here. Alternatively, try Vainu for free to find out how Vainu Custom Industries will fix B2B segmentation for you and help your account-based marketing initiatives.