Message from the Chairman

Dear BMA Members,

Today, I’m thrilled to announce one of the most significant moments in the history of the BMA. I am excited to announce that the BMA has entered into an agreement to join forces with the ANA (Association of National Advertisers), which will allow us to further advance the B2B marketing profession and the expertise of our members. The ANA President, Bob Liodice, and I shared the news this morning from the stage at the ANA’s Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando. Over the last few years, the BMA board has focused on delivering higher levels of value to members and expanding our voice in the B2B marketing community. We think this combination will do exactly that.

The ANA’s focus is to provide leadership to advance excellence in marketing and shape the future of the industry. It was founded in 1910 (12 years before BMA) and has over 630 member companies that cover more than 10,000 brands. The ANA’s membership consists entirely of companies that, collectively, spend over $250 billion each year in marketing and advertising and pursue “collaborative mastery” to advance the interests of marketers, and promote and protect the well-being of the marketing community.

Opportunities for BMA

This has been an important decision for the future of BMA, and one that our board of directors has diligently evaluated. One of my top priorities as BMA Board Chair is growth, both as an association and as the leading voice in business marketing. While BMA has accomplished a great deal in the last 18 months, there’s still more to do. We’ve seen the ANA’s tremendous growth in membership, revenue, engagement, quality and member satisfaction over the last five years and believe that their expertise, infrastructure and support staff can help BMA do the same. 

The ANA believes that BMA offers a great deal to its B2B members. Of its 630 member companies, 150 are B2B, which the ANA would like to serve better. The benefits of BMA’s B2B-specific focus, plus our established and thriving chapters and solid regional events, will help them do that. While the ANA’s current membership structure only allows for client members, the ANA sees the value of adding agencies and vendors to the mix by joining with BMA.

What we expect to change is the value that we’re able to deliver. BMA members would benefit from the established infrastructure, resources and intellectual capital that the ANA can provide and that the BMA board believes is important. However, the purpose of our association, the BMA board’s ability to act in the best interest of the people we serve, and our commitment to connecting and serving business marketers remains the same. BMA would continue to be known as the Business Marketing Association, and with member approval, as a division of the ANA.

Call for Member Vote to Approve

The decision to join the ANA is one of the biggest decisions that the BMA has faced since our inception in 1922. Our board of directors has approved the agreement, and we will be submitting it to a vote at a meeting of the members. We recommend that the members vote in favor of the agreement at this meeting. You should expect to receive additional details concerning the ANA and the proposed transaction, including information about the upcoming meeting, over the next couple of weeks.  We believe that this is an exciting opportunity that will allow us to advance the B2B profession and our membership.

Here’s to further growth of the B2B community and continuing to expand the voice of BMA,

Steve Liguori
2014-2015 BMA Board Chair

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