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New SIC Codes Reveal Emerging Opportunities

Posted by Steven Sheck, President, Infinite Media

December 21, 2016

Among the changes direct mail marketers can expect in 2017, will be the latest 5-year update to the NAICS Code directory. While the NAICS standard has been in use since 1998, the SIC standard that preceded it remains in continuous use, supported and maintained by companies like Dun & Bradstreet, whose SIC-8™ service (original 4-digit SIC plus D&B generated 4-digit addition) provides a greater level of granularity for describing new and changing enterprises.

A quick review of the latest SIC update reflects changes in the educational landscape. For some time, Magnet and Charter schools have made headlines. But, with incoming Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos being a staunch supporter of school choice these institutions may become the focus of even more attention pro and con. The resulting new codes are likely to be useful for any number of direct response campaigns, from educational materials to IT consultants to teacher qualifications to advocacy campaigns. The field is segmented by grade levels, with the Magnet and Charter school universes available in their entirety.

Here are the new D&B SIC-8™ codes:

82110600 Magnet schools

82110601 Magnet elementary school

82110602 Magnet middle school

82110603 Magnet senior high school

82110604 Magnet special education school

82110700 Charter schools

82110701 Charter elementary school

82110702 Charter middle school

82110703 Charter senior high school

82110704 Charter special education school

Another interesting addition results from the rather stunning developments in the legalized use of marijuana. With the legalization of marijuana (cannabis) for either recreational or medicinal use having reached 27 states, the SIC-8™ code 59939905 has been assigned to “cannabis store”. Remember that this is not just about pot smoking. Cannabis is being consumed in a number of ways, from baked goods to drinks to tablets. Plus, associated paraphernalia is a major sub-industry. In all, some projections of the size of the marijuana industry run as high as $20 billion by 2020. It is easy to see how direct marketers in a number of categories could market to this trend, provided they can target to it accurately.

This brings us to the point. The D&B SIC-8™ codes are updated annually, striving to capture the latest changes in the enterprise universe. The updated codes (think of them as targeting coordinates) are only as good as the data professionals who take the trouble to keep track of them and offer the opportunities they represent. The good ones will, and do. They realize that in marketing as in life, the only constant is change.

The two examples given here are significant because they are not just recent, but rapidly growing marketing opportunities. Data brokers are in prime position to appreciate the sharper focus and new industry correlations offered by the latest SIC updates, to the benefit of the direct marketers they serve. Using the latest most focused codes, better mailing lists can be built, and more relevant offers delivered. Mailers may discover a more welcoming audience and improved ROI.

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