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Blog: Value of Industry Trends Reports for Trade Associations

Value of Industry Trends Reports for Trade Associations

A recent article in Associations Now highlighted the changing environment for trade associations to provide value to members. For Trade Associations, It’s Not Just About Advocacy Anymore details the findings of research conducts with C-suite leaders from Potomac Core Association Consulting and Edge Research. As expected for trade associations, advocacy remains the top priority however there are plenty of other areas where trade associations can show their value to members.

One area of importance is providing members with accurate and timely industry information as the quote below illustrates:

What’s changed is that other issues are becoming important, and the survey suggests they need to do a better job of handling them. For instance, 49 percent of respondents said “serving as a top resource for information, updates, and trend reports” was extremely important, yet only 27 percent say they do that extremely well.

The question is not whether an association should engage members in industry/market research, but how. The answer lies with your members. Many trade associations are uniquely positioned to provide the leading source of insights on key market trends within their industry. By sponsoring their own research initiatives based on actual data provided by members, these organizations are generating reports with a quality and scope of information that far exceeds what’s available from any other source.

In Vault’s experience we’ve seen association sponsored industry market reports run the gamut of quick 2-3 top level data points per quarter to very detailed monthly and even weekly data that covers a wide array of products and geographic locations. The key is finding the right balance between providing actionable data without placing too big of a burden on your members.

If you have any questions about getting an industry market report program started, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Vault for guidance. For trade associations that have an existing program but fear it may be stale or not providing as much value as possible you can take advantage of Vault’s assessment services.

Vault Industry Market Report Assessment

Vault’s Industry Market Report Assessments review association’s industry market report programs while keeping their and their members companies’ strategic goals in mind. We review over 30 criteria that we believe are important aspects of any association run industry market report program. For each criterion we provide a rating and provide comments and recommendations to highlight where you are successful and where there is room for improvements.  Improvements are mainly based on ways to make the program more secure, efficient, valuable, and profitable. 

Vault’s recommendations are based on years of experience managing industry market reports for associations. Our programs range in size/complexity of reports and participants.  We are always looking for ways to enhance and expand them based on their own unique needs. To keep up with the latest industry and reporting trends, we are constantly talking with our clients and seeking out the most up to date technologies. This assessment is a way for us to share our expertise and build meaningful relationships with other industry experts.   

To learn more about our assessment program please contact Mike Hayes (

Additional Report summary and how to request a copy of findings:

Mike Hayes, MBA
Mike Hayes, MBA
Mike Hayes is a Principal and Managing Director at Vault Consulting, LLC. He has 20 years of experience serving the nonprofit industry, providing survey research and highly complex data analysis. He works closely...
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