Difference Between the Primary versus Secondary Industry Classification

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This article explains the difference between the primary versus secondary industry classification and top-level industry versus sub-industry classification.

Primary versus Secondary Industry Classification

The primary/secondary industry classification defines a company's various lines of business. In a sense, this classification describes what the company does from the company’s own point of view. 

Primary refers to the biggest or main area of business; secondary refers to other lines. In the Demandbase database, a company can have only one Primary industry but it can have many Secondary industry classifications. For example, Apple’s primary industry might be mobile communication devices (iPad, iPhone, or iPod), while its dozens of secondary industries would include Apple’s software platform, networking solutions, and applications. 

The primary business identifies the actual business of that particular company, which can either be an industry or a sub-industry.

For example, Demandbase's primary business is "Internet Information Services", which is listed as a sub-industry under the "Media" industry. 

Top-Level Industry versus Sub-Industry Classification

The top-level and sub-industry classification helps you sort out companies within Demandbase. In contrast with Primary/Secondary classification, which is concerned with a company’s internal lines of business, this classification defines what companies do according to widely accept standards. 

In addition to U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), the British SIC, and the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), Demandbase provides its own proprietary classifications, which consolidate these differing global standards into 30 top-level industries and 708 sub-industries. Examples of each classification include the following:

Top-Level Industry Associated Sub-Industries
Banks Central Banks, Commercial Banking, Regional Banks
Transportation Airports and Terminals, Bus Services
Telecommunications Data Network Operators, Data Services

Demandbase's own top-level industry is Computer Software. Our sub-industry is CRM (formerly Sales Intelligence Software).

These categorizations provide Demandbase users with broad (top-level industry) or narrow (sub-industry) groupings of target companies. By using this classification, you can cast a net either broadly(for example, lump Demandbase, Salesforce, and Adobe all together, because all three are software companies) or narrowly (show only other CRM players).

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