Apr 02 2012

US Associations with Global Interests Growing Faster than Peers

At MCI, we often hear from clients about when in their development they should consider focusing “market building” resources outside the US market to drive better product sales and build market share.  Although we find certain activities like regional events can grow brand and product interest in young markets, having a more 24/7 local presence is required to consolidate and expand growth for those associations who derive at least 15% of their revenues from outside the US.

As we have shared often on this blog as well as through presentations, having good market insight into the regional markets you are targeting is a critical first step in reducing risk, clarifying opportunity, and suggesting the right path forward.

In that spirit, MCI is pleased to introduce a guest blog post from Jay Younger, FASAE, Managing Partner and Chief Consultant at McKinley Advisors.  McKinley recently released their 2012 economic impact study of US associations and we are re-posting the following  with permission from their blog. 

At McKinley, we often talk about the tremendous value of longitudinal research. Indeed, we try to continually remind ourselves (and our clients) that while taking a one-time snapshot of member perception is certainly valuable, expanding the research discipline to track key data over time opens up a whole new window on market intelligence and strategic decision making.

Nowhere can we see this more clearly than in our recently released 2012 Economic Impact on Associations (EIA) Study. Marking the fifth installment in our ongoing benchmarking series, the 2012 EIA study provides a glimpse at the current perceptions within our sector as well as clear illustrations of the type of trend data that becomes so valuable in looking at the impact of changes over time.

The good news we saw emerging in last year’s study is evident again, with an even more optimistic viewpoint for the year ahead. While the overall 5-year net membership trends have dipped due to the impact of the recession, retention remains strong with most associations maintaining or improving their retention rates. Respondents are also looking forward to ramping up new investments and hiring in the near term and, overall, 83% of respondents are very or somewhat optimistic about the year ahead. How is 2012 looking for your association?

The McKinley 2012 EIA Study is posted here.

~ Post by Jay Younger, FASAE, Managing Partner and Chief Consultant

It is worth noting that other studies at McKinley completed in conjunction with the EIA show that organizations with a robust international presence are growing membership and revenue in overseas markets at a faster rate than here in the U.S. This continued success in global markets will undoubtedly have implications in the year ahead as associations continue to prioritize strategies around member engagement and value.


About the author

Peter Turner

As MCI's Senior Advisor, Global Development Strategy, I help associations build and execute global growth strategies. Over the past 30 years I have served three associations (ASAE, MPI and IEEE Computer Society) as a leader of business, product and partnership development.


  1. Mary Kuang

    I am in China now. My job is to make investment tours to U.S., Recently, a national association assigns me a project to find out Senior Advisor like you to have 2~3 days profeesional workshop in U.S. to exchange or get the ideas about how to set up a industry association as well as how to make it grows faster and manage it. I will be in U.S. in the end of May. I am looking forward to your reply!

    Best Regards,

    Mary Kuang,
    Outreach Director of
    Guangzhou Suiqiao
    Information Inquiry Service Center
    #339 Huang Shi Dong Road,
    Guangdong International A Tower
    25th Floor, Suite E-F
    Cell phone:15622322749

  2. Peter Turner

    Dear Mary

    I have notified our team in Beijing to contact you. Thank you for your inquiry.


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