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Voice of Industry – what is it and why is it important?

“Voice of Industry” is originally a term Michael Best, David Hoskin, Thomas Webster and I invented as an umbrella description for a company’s communication activities whenever the company deploys industry-level messaging rather than pushing its products and services in more traditional, direct ways. While we may have come up with the term itself as a descriptor, the phenomenon of Voice of Industry is already a well established part of the new breed of B2B buyer’s information-gathering practices.

A great example is to be found in the myriad of industry-specific or technology-specific sites out there today. In my own work, I like to tap into sites like Food Navigator, Science Daily or TechCrunch, reading the information they present on their websites and/or checking their regular newsletters or bulletins as they arrive in my email.

Here I get access to information that, while it may have been initiated by a company, a somewhat biased trade journalist or an analyst keen on getting his or her name in lights, has a greater degree of credibility than a company website where I know that every piece of information has been produced in an effort to sell to me or someone like me. The publisher is generally not a manufacturer, but an information-oriented party such as a magazine publisher, a research company, an academic institution or similar. Or perhaps an industry professional such as Vancouver-based Twitch Image’s Mitch Joel or myself, for that matter, who actually do have a product or service to sell in appropriate contexts, but are genuinely interested in sharing their domain knowledge with others.

The extra credibility offered by releasing the company’s messages in a Voice of Industry context is important in today’s B2B buying process. And it needs to be an integral part of your B2B marketing and communication efforts. As you start using the term “Voice of Industry” internally, you’ll find others rapidly adopt the idea, helping to smooth the way to a new approach to your customers and prospects.

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Jonathan Winch

I’m Jonathan Winch, partner at cylindr and BBN International and a B2B marketing enthusiast. I've participated as a strategic and creative resource in the marketing and communication sphere for over 25 years, making contributions to the strategies and communications of companies of all sizes, the best known of which include Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Danisco, GN ReSound, Hempel, Nokia Siemens Networks, LEGO, Coloplast, and Johnson & Johnson. My mission? To help B2B companies make the most of the value they create for the world. My hobby: Nutritional science, particularly sports nutrition.

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