From outbound to surround

... and from segmented audiences to individuals

This week, Forrester Research published a research report, “The Future of Agency Relationships,” whose content is based on interviews with senior executives at 25 agencies and 18 marketing companies.

The full research report can be purchased ($499; content is not always free) from Forrester, although its conclusions are available in articles published by Advertising Age and B-to-B.

Forrester sees a shift in focus from “outbound to surround, from campaigns to experiences, and from segmented audiences to individuals”.  While the research focuses on how marketers and their agencies must evolve, the report offers a significant lesson for associations, which are also in the business of linking industry and individuals.

Over the last three years, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) has researched and published several titles addressing these issues.  Notable among them are The Decision to Join (2007), The Decision to Volunteer (2008) and Supporting the Decision to Join (2009).

Commercial marketers and their partners are evolving because the markets they serve are evolving.  Each of the ASAE publications challenges us to think in terms of experiences, individual affiliation, value and purpose.  Associations that have embraced those values are already profiting; those who lag may already be at risk.

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