Why and How You Should Align Your Company with Associations

Posted by Bruce Rosenthal

Sep 27, 2018 12:25:49 PM


An effective way for a company to get its marketing messages to its target industry or profession is to become a corporate sponsor or partner of the trade or professional association or associations that represents those companies or individuals.


Sponsoring or partnering with an association has four key advantages:


1. The power of affinity: While sponsoring or partnering is not an endorsement by the association, there are advantages of being identified to the membership as a “sponsor” or “partner.”


2. Brand exposure/differentiation: Most associations have many dozens or hundreds of business firm members. By being one of a very small number of corporate sponsors or partners, companies will be more distinctive and will stand out in a crowd.

· Promotes a positive brand awareness, strengthens a brand and distinguishes the brand from competitors’ brands

· Enhances credibility and reputation by being affiliated with the association


· Fulfills the company’s philanthropic goals

· Fulfills the company’s social responsibility goals

· Improves consumer confidence


3. Thought leadership/business intelligence: Many companies affiliated with an association have information that is of value to members. Some associations allow only corporate sponsors and partners to disseminate this type of content to their members.

· Positions the company as a knowledge leader

· Identifies opportunities to educate members

· Identifies opportunities to provide strategic guidance to the association

· Provides access to data about the association’s industry/field

· Provides access to data about the association’s members

· Provides access to information on the needs of members so the company can provide targeted content


4. Business development/growth: The three advantages above all contribute to business development opportunities for corporate sponsors and partners.

· Provides access to a targeted group of key clients and prospects

· Creates potential for a more enhanced customer experience

· Affords a way to reinforce advertising with the association

· Generates stronger leads

· Increases the likelihood of referrals and recommendations as a result of having an “inside track” with the association, its board and its staff


There are many ways in which companies can collaborate with associations as corporate sponsors or partners to achieve the goals of the company and the association.


Content and Information

· Guidance for association members in the form of white papers, case studies, how-to guides, research, interpretations of regulations, etc.

· Thought leadership to inform the association and its board of directors regarding strategic planning for the association

· Information and data that can support the association’s public policy

· Data from the company about members and non-members in the industry/field/profession

· Information about trends in the association’s industry/field/profession


The Power of Affinity

· Support for the association’s vision and mission

· Opportunities for the association to influence corporate partners on issues affecting embers, public policy issues, etc.

· Corporate partner participation in disseminating the association’s messages to various audiences


· Provides the association’s staff access to senior-level executives in sponsor and partner companies whom they might not otherwise meet

· Provides the association’s members access to senior-level executives in sponsor and partner companies whom they might not otherwise meet


Membership/Corporate Partner Prospecting

· Opportunities for membership recruitment of prospective members who are the company’s clients

· Introductions by the sponsor or partner company to other companies that might be interested in affiliating with the association

Corporate sponsorship or partnership of an association can be an important part of a company’s communications and marketing strategy. Sponsorship and partnership offers advantages unavailable to companies that aren’t aligned with associations in this way.

Quantum Age has extensive experience working with healthcare and aging services associations. To learn how to identify associations that would be a good match, negotiate corporate sponsorship and partnership agreements and effectively manage partnerships and sponsorships, contact us.

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