This one is about how I assess the key industry bodies before starting a dialogue with them or using them as data sources.
Typically, these organizations have a website where usually there's a description of the association and its scope, its initiatives, list of members, market trends, a section with press releases, and a calendar of events.
If you intend to work with such organizations for your marketing actions, you must discern the difference between active channels and dead ends.
The main indicator for me is the content freshness. Usually, the key bodies release periodically statistics and studies regarding the industry, key players, yearly evolution, trends and developments. I consider these to be valuable, first-hand information about the respective sector; that's why the key bodies are the first sources I look for when I conduct vertical research.
Then, the association should be pretty active in the local media. You should find them present in all kinds of local business publications, lobbying for new regulations and legislative changes for the industry they represent. Often, the chairman appears in local business / industry publications, testifying about the industry state and challenges.
I also pay attention to the interactivity aspect - if they organize forums and industry conferences, if these events have reached a certain number of editions, if they are successful in that respective country in terms of attendance.
I have several ongoing collaborations with Key Bodies in our target countries, and I find them very useful as channel of communication with our targeted, specialized audience.
But there's something I've noticed in some countries I've researched. I encountered an almost generalized sad situation with market stats and figures stopping at 2008/2009. I'not sure what that means, if it's about not having enough funds to commision a study, or if the associations thinks that nobody will notice the drastic revenues drops. Or if simply nobody's in the mood to see exactly how badly the industry has been affected.
I'm sure that, by now, everyone knows there's a crisis going on and we've all been reading the words "dramatically dropped", "dramatic losses" about various industries. What I'm interested to see is how much dramatically means in percentage, in terms of market players that went bankrupt or in number of clients lost. I'd like my sources updated, please.
Continued with a new post - associations: the hand-on type.
P.S. DAAN7DU9ZM3X = is my unique code from Technorati, every blog has a different unique code.