President, Software & Information Industry Association
Takeaway: If it hadnâ€™t merged with the SIIA, ABM would have vanished, leaving the b-to-b media market devoid of any industry representation.
In April, ABM merged with the Software & Information Industry Association, a deal that effectively saved ABM from obsolescence.
While the merger allows ABM to not only continue to offer its services to the b-to-b media community, it will also provide a wider range of opportunities for members. Yet, the deal also highlights where b-to-b media is headed, what itâ€™s leaving behind and how quickly a trade association can get stuck in-between.
For Ken Wasch, SIIAâ€™s president, associations canâ€™t live on education and research alone. â€śThe association market has changed in some very fundamental ways,â€ť he says. â€śMembers do not belong for informational and educational purposes alone. They need to feel as though they are an active participant in a community.â€ť
Larger members, says Wasch, like services uniquely tailored to their needsâ€”public policy work, for example. Smaller members tend to take advantage of community-driven services where they can network and look for strategic alliances. â€śWe have to be ahead of the curve of anticipating our membersâ€™ business development needs,â€ť he says.
But the merger also shines a bright light on a truth that many b-to-b media CEOs are still grappling with: â€śOne of the things to recognize is the pedigree and ancestry of every b-to-b media company is less relevant than where they are going,â€ť says Wasch.