Developing a Market-Driven (Regional) Industry Association

We hope that you will find the following case to be helpful.  If, after reading, you would like to learn more about our experience, please contact Kerry Kielb at

  • Parent Industry Association responsible for the marketing of farming product facing continued declining membership
    • Industry as a whole challenged
      • Demand weak: lower per capita product consumption
      • Supply strong: better herd management and production
      • Net-net: marginal profitability for farmer
    • Southeastern farmer hard hit
      • High attrition rate
      • Membership declines past 15 years (11,000 to 9,000 farmers)
      • Association revenues declining
  • SE-region association management and administration had grown unfocused
    • Internal infighting over program territory
    • Low productivity
    • Little or no accountability
    • Unclear prioritizing
  • Survival of SE-region association required redirection of mission and stronger commitment to satisfying member needs and creating more direct and measurable consumer interest in industry products
The Bedford Group’s Contribution:
  • Analyzed current organization
    • Interviewed key stakeholders
      • Within marketing
      • Within management
      • Across regions
      • Across program platforms (sales promotion vs. nutrition)
    • Assessed skill set of personnel and their ability to carry out their stated roles
  • Analyzed status as Market-Driven organization
    • Level of consumer and membership intelligence gathering
    • Degree of shared dissemination of information
    • Responsiveness to delivery of services in light of information
  • Evaluated nature of relationship with outside suppliers
  • Assessed marketing information system
The Bedford Group’s Recommendations:
  • Proposed new structures – assigned people with recognized skill set to manage key functions
  • Established mission and vision
  • Created evaluation programs
Client Outcome:
  • Streamlined organization
  • Put measures in place directly evaluating program effectiveness
  • Stronger ties to membership and consumer