said 10 months, 2 weeks ago:
I use to work with a network 2,500 associations in the south. I think part of the problem in the trade association field is that businesses often perceive their association as directly competing with them… especially of the business is in advertising or marketing. Long before the internet this rivalry began in the Chamber of Commerce industry, where just to survive, chambers started producing their own publications instead of publicizing and promoting the local ad businesses who did this. Their need for more money to survive, along with waning membership fees, drove them to be more competitive and branch out in more competitive niche marketing and ad ventures, gaining more direct competitors and rivals in the process.
Add the internet to the mix and… voila… a lot of mistrust and direct competition for followers and customers has mushroomed into an all out competitive war among many associations, chambers, and even charities. On the local level, there truly are only so many pieces of the pie to go around. As the geo pie gets bigger, it would seem it ought to be less competitive, but that’s not the case. The larger the geo area the association covers, the more aggressive it becomes in guarding MORE small local territories.
Just a little background on geo competition among trade and other associations. Local ALWAYS means no-holds-barred wild-west-competition.
So while a local association may have many active members, it may find itself shunned in the internet airspace… as its a finite pie with only so many Top 7/10 spaces to go around… and a business is not about to give up their chance at a spot to be on Page One of the SERPS to their direct competitor trade association.
In other words… it’s complicated