Solving Problems with Mutually Beneficial Partnerships

Last month, the American Marketing Association in partnership with Orate, a digital marketing company, announced the launch of the AMA Speakers Bureau.

Kids are like associations. Stay with me now. Kids have needs and problems, and parents address the needs and fix the problems. In a way, a kid’s problem becomes a parent’s problem. For instance, I have a two-year-old daughter with what I’ve diagnosed as severe sleep-avoidance issues. She won’t stay in her bed at night. In fact, the minute I tuck her in, she springs up and out of her bed like a manic bouncy ball. Her problem has become my problem. How do I help her—help myself—get some much-needed Zzzz’s?

Associations are much the same. Members come to them with dilemmas, and good associations try to serve their members by finding solutions. That’s what happened at the American Marketing Association.

“We have 75 professional chapters around the country,” said Barbara Grobicki, AMA’s chief alliance officer. “Chapters come up with their own programming, and they’re always looking for different programming options—and speakers are at the top of the list.”

Grobicki said that AMA was consistently getting requests for help with finding speakers for these different chapter programs or events. People were also coming to the AMA asking for the opportunity to speak. But there was no easy, accessible system for both those people looking for a speaker and those looking to be a speaker.

“So, we just thought, ‘Ok, we definitely have some kind of business case to try and make those connections a little bit easier,’” Grobicki said.

But building something from scratch didn’t seem appealing. Enter Orate, a digital market network that was already in the business of connecting event organizers with thought leaders and speakers.

A partnership with Orate provided AMA a cost-effective solution to its problem. Now, the AMA Speakers Bureau, which was launched on June 14, allows anybody visiting the portal free access to a couple thousand speakers, which can be filtered a number of different ways. Marketing professionals looking to find speaking engagements can hock their talents on the Bureau as well.

“The opportunity for [Orate] was to grow their base, and have a partnership with the AMA. They can promote that,” Grobicki said. “So, we didn’t have to start from scratch or pay for creating a platform.”

Sara Capra, cofounder and chief commercial officer at Orate, echoed Grobicki’s comments about the mutually beneficial nature of their partnership.

Orate also plans to track the engagement level with the AMA Speakers Bureau. According to Capra, “If we’re tracking the speakers that are being booked, hopefully that will give some indication on what chapters are interested in, and how engaged those chapters are in relation to how many speakers are hired.”

So, it’s a win-win-win solution: a win for the AMA, a win for Orate, and a win for AMA members—and marketing professionals at large—who can use this free resource.

Now, if only I could find my own personal win-win solution with my tired toddler?

What interesting business partnerships has your association forged? We would love to hear your comments. Please leave them below.


Emily Bratcher

By Emily Bratcher

Emily Bratcher is a Contributing Editor for Associations Now. MORE

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