How We Work with Business Associations (and why we love doing it)

For the past 15 years, Momentum president Craig Turner has worked for or ran multiple business associations, serving in capacities from policy director to executive director to president.

He’s been in the trenches in working to collect the voice of business to advocate for business-friendly initiatives, and he’s been on the phone hawking memberships and sponsorships to ensure that his organizations can continue to thrive.

We know the challenges that chambers of commerce, business associations and not-for-profits face as they head out into the business community to recruit supporters and funders.

We know that the value proposition has changed, and that the sponsorship world has become an incredibly competitive environment – that much of the “civic responsibility” sentiment by businesses to contribute has disappeared over the past 10-15 years.

But… We also know that chambers of commerce, business associations and not-for-profits offer some of the most effective targeted marketing opportunities available.

It’s incumbent on them, of course, to have a relevant and timely mission, and to create content that provides value to their members. But if they do so successfully, their members and participants that they attract become a gold mine for marketers trying to reach them.

As you’ll see throughout our web site, we use sponsorship marketing extensively with our clients – and it works! It works in your home community, and it works exceptionally well for market entry.

Not only are we pleased to be able to get the kind of results we get from the organizations we support, but we’re also pleased to support the organizations, themselves.

In our view, it’s a best of both worlds. There are plenty of businesses out there who are fluid and generous enough to support organizations where they get no direct return on their investment. It happens, though less and less, we see.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Each organization has plenty to offer to their sponsors beyond their name on a Powerpoint slide – if they let them know what they want in return. Which many don’t.

How we help chambers of commerce and business associations

What we do is bridge the gap.

We know what the business associations need, and we know what their members need. Momentum’s engagement in the transaction ensures a better, stronger, more long-lasting relationship on both ends.

Yes, we use the word “ensures.” Because we believe wholeheartedly that giving companies the right questions to ask strengthens not only the relationship, but the prospects for membership and sponsorship renewal in future years.

How does that help business organizations?

Well, we have a pool of companies we work with looking for marketing opportunities, and we’ve coached them on how to specifically look for the ones that will yield the biggest return-on-investment.

Our clients don’t take the sponsorship solicitations. We take them. And we negotiate them and craft them and massage them until they’re right, and then bring them to the clients.

In addition, we are consistently communicating our clients’ needs to the organizations they belong to. Call it business intelligence – direct insight into how to keep our clients coming back for more.

We have literally told business organizations, “If you want to get our client’s money, here’s how you have to approach them.”

The business organizations that keep us in the know on their membership value, upcoming programs and sponsorship opportunities are consistently being shopped to our clients and network.

It’s actually quite simple:

How about a real-life example?

A few years ago, we’d recruited a handful of our clients to join a specific chamber of commerce because of a number of impactful and high-profile programs they’d spearheaded.

One day, we get a call out of the blue from the chamber – they’re biggest event of the year is coming up in a week and a primary speaker backed out. They’d decided to switch the format of the session to a panel, and wanted to see if we had any ideas of someone who would do a good job on the topic.

Of course, we did.

We did a quick confirmation and offered up one of our clients for the panel. They were thrilled, but there was no way I could’ve anticipated their next question.

“Do you have anyone else?”

Oh, yes.

When we talk about mutually-beneficial relationships, Momentum acts as the agent: How can we provide meaningful value to the business organization, as well as to our clients?

Was it a value to the chamber to have a quick solution to a pressing problem? You bet it was.

Because we have been involved with – even run – business organizations for so long, we know exactly what they’re looking for when they need something.

And we know how to funnel it in the right direction in an expedient way.

In helping to solve that problem, we were able to put not one, but two, of our clients on the panel for the chamber’s biggest event of the year.

And do you think there was any question to re-up when the renewal invoice came in? Not a chance.

That’s why we build the relationships.

That’s why we facilitate two-way communication.

That’s why if you’re a business organization, you should get to know us.

Because we speak your language – but, we also speak the language of the companies you’re trying to recruit.

How’s it work?

Our business is our clients.

The more chambers, not-for-profits and business associations we have relationships with, the more tools we can offer them.

We keep a detailed library of business organizations in multiple networks, upcoming sponsorship opportunities and even memberships.

We (and our clients) would love to have your info in the mix.

We’ll always take a call, we’ll always have a meeting and we always enjoy a conversation.

Let’s set something up!