Having Trouble Finding Your Target Market? Look Here.
A challenge for many B2B businesses has always been, and remains to be, reaching a very specific target audience. As B2B marketers, we know it’s not the same as selling shoes or body wash. Everyone needs those things. Not everyone needs microfilm scanners or all-terrain skid steers. In fact, relatively few people do. But that’s exactly what B2B marketers are tasked with – finding the select few people who do need those items.
Fortunately, for businesses with highly specific, often unique target markets, there are places where these audiences assemble themselves – membership organizations commonly referred to as trade associations.
The concept of trade associations is actually about as old as commerce itself, but over the last century, these organizations have honed their focus to advance the interests of select groups. Their scope can vary drastically, from national orgs like the National Education Association or the Society for Human Resources Management, to highly niche groups like the National Watermelon Association for watermelon growers, or the National Parking Association for parking lot owners.
Regardless of your business, there’s likely an association or group of associations that encompass your target buyers. These organizations make ideal markets for your company. And while internet platforms and online groups may have encroached on the turf once monopolized by associations, these membership organizations maintain a significant role in industries. The 2019 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Survey discovered that more associations are growing than contracting, and that trend holds true since the end of the Great Recession.
In case the potential for using membership organizations to reach your audience isn’t obvious by this point, let’s explore some of the simple, yet important reasons trade and professional associations make the perfect B2B marketplace.
Highly Targeted – We’ve already established that these associations offer you a highly targeted audience. But what all does that mean for you? By narrowing down to this smaller audience, you’re reducing waste and thereby maximizing the return on your advertising investment. It becomes an extremely cost-effective method of reaching a group that includes business decision makers of today, and importantly, decision makers of tomorrow. Many of the members in these organizations are still advancing their careers – it’s one of the reasons they join – and building your brand awareness and recognition with this contingent is planting seeds for the future while cultivating the potential of the present.
Builds Credibility – Trade associations are looked upon as experts and the vanguard of their respective industries. By associating yourself with these organizations, you’re building credibility among its environment. Your company is now associated with and linked to the industry authorities and this affinity marketing can reel in huge dividends.
Kick Up the Content – Content has become a foundational aspect of good B2B advertising. When seeking to spread your brand and message, mass media advertising and expansive markets inspire rather generic content. If you know you’re hitting a market already versed in your industry, you don’t have to hold back on the message. You can use industry terms; you can reference specific topics. With association audiences, you know your message will be understood and received by prospects who care about it.
Finding and reaching niche audiences can be difficult to do, especially at scale. But trade associations open the door to accomplish just that. And even better, given the different ways these organizations are involved in their industries – such as publications, tradeshows, education – there are opportunities to mix online with offline tactics and effectively expand your reach.
If you’re not sure where to begin or need help getting started with advertising through associations, MultiView has longstanding relationships over 1,200 of these organizations and can help your business reach those that make the most sense. To learn about all the different ways we can help you leverage trade associations to grow your business email email@example.com or call (972) 402-7070.