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A look into 2020's impact on association marketing & what's planned for 2021

The State of Association Marketing: Industry Trend Report 2020 details how associations adapted their marketing in 2020 and what they have lined up for 2021.


About the report

Near the close of 2020, we surveyed more than 375 association professionals, from organizations of all sizes, to find out how they adjusted their marketing strategies, priorities, and budgets to adapt to the challenges brought about by the pandemic. This report shares our findings, including association industry trends from 2020 and plans for 2021.


Insights from orgs of all sizes

The size of an organization usually impacts its ability to afford and leverage technology. This report includes details about respondents’ titles, organization size, and membership numbers, and we break down how these factors seem to affect how associations of all sizes are using digital marketing.


Digital marketing budget trends

In 2020, so many initiatives were forced to go virtual, and people began spending more time online than ever before. We wanted to see if associations are investing more in digital to accommodate these changes, so we gathered data on marketing budgets across 2019-2021.


What's inside?


  • Summary of survey insights
  • An analysis of our respondent profiles
  • Top priorities for association marketers in 2020
  • Expected changes in marketing focus in 2021
  • Overall priorities for association marketers in 2021


  • Marketing budget trends for 2019, 2020, and 2021
  • Most popular new marketing channels in 2020
  • Planned new marketing channels for 2021
  • How the pandemic has impacted overall strategy
  • Final thoughts


Which channels did associations implement for the first time in 2020?

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What association marketers are saying about it

"2020 was certainly full of shifts and surprises! This report gave us a good sense of what it was like for other associations, inspired us to reflect more, and helped us prioritize our focus areas for the year."

Headshot-Kate Johanns

Kate Johanns, CAE

Marketing & Communications Director, ATPE

"This report was full of insightful data and was presented in a wonderfully designed format. I encourage all association marketers to review the data - there's helpful information for everyone!"

Headshot Emily-Harris

Emily Harris, MBA, CAE

Marketing Manager, ANFP