President, Software & Information Industry Association
Takeaway: If it hadn‚Äôt 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 it‚Äôs leaving behind and how quickly a trade association can get stuck in-between.
For Ken Wasch, SIIA‚Äôs president, associations can‚Äôt live on education and research alone. ‚ÄúThe association market has changed in some very fundamental ways,‚ÄĚ he says. ‚ÄúMembers do not belong for informational and educational purposes alone. They need to feel as though they are an active participant in a community.‚ÄĚ
Larger members, says Wasch, like services uniquely tailored to their needs‚ÄĒpublic policy work, for example. Smaller members tend to take advantage of community-driven services where they can network and look for strategic alliances. ‚ÄúWe have to be ahead of the curve of anticipating our members‚Äô business development needs,‚ÄĚ he says.
But the merger also shines a bright light on a truth that many b-to-b media CEOs are still grappling with: ‚ÄúOne 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,‚ÄĚ says Wasch.