Part of our mission at the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA) is to help our member companies foster new connections that will help them win business.
Now, it’s never been easier for anyone searching the web for card products and services to find an ICMA member company that meets the specific needs of their project. ICMA’s online member directory is visible to all icma.com visitors and can be quickly searched by those seeking card manufacturers, personalizers and issuers, as well as card manufacturing supplies and equipment.
Here are the top three reasons why ICMA members should take advantage of this free member benefit:
#1. Attract New Business
The internet has ramped up the discoverability of card businesses big and small. With all of the available options, today’s buyers are exceedingly cautious about which online sources are reliable for finding high-quality, trustworthy card- industry businesses.
This is where ICMA’s easily searchable online member directory can be extremely helpful. Appearing in this directory verifies that your organization is a proven provider. The directory is an important part of the vetting process for prospects.
Listing your company in the online member directory increases exposure and gets you noticed by buyers who are seriously contemplating a new partnership. You will also boost your business’ search engine optimization (SEO), drive more traffic to your website and increase your company’s online presence, all of which should help you attract new business.
#2. Boost Website Traffic and SEO
Designed to be found easily through SEO, the directory is a powerful online referral tool. Far and away the most-visited page on ICMA’s website (after the homepage), the directory sends significant traffic to members each month.
Built around SEO best practices, the directory amplifies members’ online presence and builds brand awareness within the industry. By leveraging SEO, the directory functions to drive additional traffic to member companies’ websites and generate new business opportunities.
“We did substantial keyword and online search research to determine what people are looking for when they search for companies in the card manufacturing industry,” said Omair Siddiqui, digital strategy specialist, ICMA. “When people search for something, they are looking for a solution to a problem, and we designed the directory to make that process effortless.”
#3. Amplify Online Presence
Each ICMA member company has its own profile page, which features a company description, logo, listing of products and/or services and website link.
Analytics show that visitors to the directory are highly engaged, meaning they dedicate significant time to searching and reviewing member pages, which brings outstanding visibility to ICMA members.
A listing in the member directory can improve placement in search results, making it easier for potential customers to find your business online. Search engines already know what to expect from authoritative niche directory sites. Since their algorithms understand online directories, it’s easier to categorize the business listings that appear within them. Search engines are more likely to give trusted business listings higher placements in search results.
How to Create a Company Listing
Don’t wait to take advantage of this powerful online referral tool. Join your industry peers in letting ICMA’s member directory go to work for you.
If you haven’t populated your member company page yet, you should do so right away. For instructions or additional information about this ICMA member benefit, call ICMA Headquarters at 609-799-4900 or email email@example.com.
Want More Industry Insider Insights or a Glimpse into Global Card Trends?
For more than three decades, ICMA has represented the interests of the card manufacturing industry—which includes manufacturers, personalizers, issuers and suppliers—as its leading global association.
Cutting-Edge Training, Education
ICMA maintains several industry-leading training and education programs about card manufacturing. These include the Advanced Card Education (ACE) program, which provides information on key areas of the industry, as well as online tutorials and webinars on specific topics from card industry experts and leading industry suppliers.
The ACE program is the global standard of recognition for advanced knowledge of the card manufacturing industry. There is a certification level curriculum and designations offered in manufacturing, personalization and advanced technologies. The newest addition to the program is ACE-Commercial, a virtual training series, which offers education to various segments of member companies. The ACE program is designed to offer companies an edge in an intensely competitive field. As the demand for experts grows, continual training and expertise is crucial for individuals—and companies—to stay ahead of the crowd.
ICMA continues to invest in education for its members, keeping them knowledgeable and current on new innovations in the marketplace.
The Card Industry Training & Education (CITE) program provides a basic overview of the industry, its history and manufacturing processes. It provides a basic education for individuals new to the card industry or who otherwise want a better understanding of the industry. The self-led online course covers general card manufacturing, personalization and applications.
Key sections of the CITE curriculum include card history, card markets, industry scope, card product categories, card manufacturing, materials, components, card-based financial transactions, industry trade associations, basic concepts of card personalization, data recording technologies, machine-readable recording technologies and the card personalization process. There are self-tests at the end of each section.
- Card Manufacturing Magazine
Published six times a year globally, Card Manufacturing is the flagship publication of ICMA. The magazine outlines industry news and trends, member news, product releases, standards updates and member/ACE spotlights.
- Technical Standards Reports
ICMA officially participates in two major standards organizations, the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). An ICMA representative attends ANSI and ISO meetings, offering card manufacturing and personalization perspectives to the standard-making bodies and providing guidance to members about forthcoming changes to standards. ICMA maintains representation on both of these committees through its official standards representative, David Tushie of Magellan Consulting. Tushie is at the forefront of current and emerging standards for all types of cards and related devices.
ICMA maintains a library of reports published by Tushie detailing outcomes of ISO and ANSI meetings from 2011 to present that impact the card manufacturing process.
- Global Market and Personalization Statistics Reports
ICMA publishes two annual reports that analyze the industry and assess the industry’s present environment and future. Designed to assist ICMA member companies with strategic planning, the reports are segmented by global views, industry verticals and geographic regions and they cover trends in manufacturing, personalization, and fulfillment statistics. The reports are free to members and are available in the member-only portal at icma.com.
To learn more about the benefits of ICMA membership, click here.