Membership

Outdoor Industry Association Keeps an Ear Out for Members

By / Apr 4, 2014 (iStock/Thinkstock)

To help its members stay current among the myriad conversations happening via social media, the Outdoor Industry Association is compiling “social listening” reports as a complimentary member benefit.

Social [listening] really gives us not only a real-time view of what consumers are talking about and how they’re behaving, but it also gives us the ability to look at what’s coming and what types of trends might be emerging in the marketplace so our members can be more proactive versus reactive.

The Outdoor Industry Association is keeping an ear to the ground for its members, so to speak,  and providing them with new “social media listening” reports.

The association recently announced the launch of quarterly reports, along with a newly launched “Social Buzz” biweekly email, to help members stay ahead of trends and changes in the marketplace by tapping into the social media conversation.

The new products help fill a gap in OIA’s research offerings, said Christie Hickman, the association’s vice president of market insights.

“A lot of the products that we have currently and have offered in the past take more of a historical view of the market,” she said. “Social [listening] really gives us not only a real-time view of what consumers are talking about and how they’re behaving, but it also gives us the ability to look at what’s coming and what types of trends might be emerging in the marketplace so our members can be more proactive versus reactive.”

Both the quarterly reports and biweekly emails take a macro look at topical issues, conversations, and emerging behaviors both within and outside of the outdoor industry. While the emails provide a snapshot, or “snackable insights,” into trends like3-D printing, the reports offer a more deep-dive look into topics, Hickman said. The first quarterly report of 2014, released this month, takes an in-depth look at crowdfunding and how millennials are changing traditional business models.

The quarterly report, while complimentary to all OIA members this month, will be free to supply chain members—manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives, and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment, and services—and available to nonmembers and associate members for a fee. “Social Buzz” emails are free to all members.

OIA hopes the new products will also help those members who don’t have the ability to “listen” on their own.

“A lot of our members are small businesses that don’t necessarily have the resources to license a social tool and mine a social conversation,” Hickman said. “It’s also a messy data set to work with … so it helps them be more nimble by giving them timely insights. It gives them access to information that they might not necessarily have the resources to get on their own.”

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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