The time was bound to come. The time when industrial or “B-to-B” communicators could no longer hide within their own industry, safe in the notion that their small, industry-centric audiences were all that were relevant. Time was, communicating to a few trade pubs and a handful of customers was all that was needed to cement a message.
No more. The birth of the Internet started to tear down the walls to transparency, and the social media revolution—carried to the masses on the backs of the iPhone and iPad—certainly has finished the job.
As social media continue to evolve and our world continues to shrink, the lines that once separated B-to-B communication approaches from those of consumer messaging were first blurred, but now are nearly invisible.
The reality today is that everything is a consumer product, or at least is treated as one. More and more often B-to-B communicators are becoming experts at using social media as a marketing and even a media relations tool.
The industrial space, once thought to be the last business frontier of social media, is a frontier no longer. Those B-to-B businesses that have recognized this trend are reaping the rewards. Others ignore it at their own peril.