Live from DM Days: DMA's Greco Pledges to Keep Marketing Channels Open, Economically Viable
June 10, 2008 — Since its origins in 1966, DM Days New York has been in a process of transition, much like direct marketing itself. This morning, Direct Marketing Association (DMA) President & CEO John A. Greco, Jr. welcomed attendees to the latest edition of DM Days New York Conference & Expo, which will run through Thursday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.
“You are part of an exciting change in a longstanding New York tradition,” Greco told conferees. “Multichannel direct marketing today is a wide-ranging process, something no one could have envisioned in 1966. Today, the direct marketing process encompasses many new, specialized areas of expertise and a complex array of media and channels.”
Marketing Today: A Global, 24/7 Mission
These days, Greco pointed out, “Marketers need a 360-degree view. This panorama needs to take in how to acquire customers, how to retain them, how to interact and engage online and offline and in every channel in ways that will earn and retain their trust.”
DM Days, he explained, is an important part of achieving that vision. “DMA wants to help you maximize your opportunities, to use all the channels in perfect harmony, to generate better and better response rates, and to convert more and more sales,” he said.
But there are challenges to reaching that goal, Greco explained. “This threat is multi-layered: from privacy issues to environmental concerns, to pure business opportunities envisioned by third parties who see a chance to collect names and decide what to do with them later.”
The challenges facing a free and open marketplace, Greco warned, include “some very disturbing proposals bouncing around Washington, DC that would place limits on behavioral marketing on the Web by setting up a so-called Do Not Track registry.”
In response, Greco told DM Days attendees, DMA has gathered “a coalition of all the advertising associations, and the Chamber of Commerce, to produce a joint comment to the FTC in support of self-regulation for behavioral marketing.”
Greco pledged that DMA would continue to work to do whatever is needed to preserve access to all marketing data in order to deliver information that is relevant to consumers’ priorities, to honor consumer choice and meet their preference, and to deliver good results to both buyers and sellers, regardless of their channel or media.
This, he added, personifies DMA’s “3Rs – Relevance, Responsibility, and Results.” “It’s more than a slogan,” he said. “It’s the basis of everything we do for members of the Association.”
The Threat of Do Not Mail
One of the foremost threats marketers currently face, Greco emphasized, is that of proposed Do Not Mail legislation. This year alone, 15 Do Not Mail bills were introduced in 12 states. “Because we have been vigilant in monitoring developments in all 50 states, DMA and others have been able to prevail so far with a result of no bills passed.”
Further, Greco explained, DMA is spearheading an outreach strategy to tell the real story of the mail channel, and why keeping it open and economically viable is essential. “Our program includes a legislative and regulatory outreach, a PR program for the media, outreach to get DMA members involved, and, finally, an outreach to consumers, to get them on our side.”
Greco also pointed out that DMA has organized the Mail Moves America, a coalition that is dedicated to “take the mail story where it needs to be told with the resources and longevity to outlast the proponents of Do Not Mail.”
Keeping the Channels Open
Greco reiterated DMA’s commitment to keeping all of the marketing channels open, and to preventing unnecessary intervention. “Do Not Mail, to Do Not Track, to Do Not Contact — can Do Not Market be far behind?” Greco asked. “DMA is determined to not let that happen!”
In fact, Greco added, “We are the only Association of our kind that represents the interests of all marketers across this spectrum of challenges.”
The Power of the Direct Community
The direct marketing community actually has tremendous power, Greco told attendees. “The leverage we have as the direct marketing community — a large, economically significant assembly of inter-related business and nonprofit segments — allows us to make our voices heard where we can make the most difference.”
In this regard, he continued, DMA provides a wide variety of ways for marketers to participate and help to wield that influence, including online, email, mobile, teleservices, and the mailstream.
Greco emphasized again that DMA is committed to “keeping all the marketing communications channels open and economically viable for marketers and consumers to use in whatever combination makes the most sense for them.”
“From domestic and international privacy issues, to data security regulations, from behavioral marketing, to access and retention of consumer data, from email regulation to shutting down the post office, DMA is the only organization dedicated to making sure that all the channels stay open and working effectively for marketing directly,” Greco said.
“We are part of a tradition of transition that dates back to the 1960s and is still moving full speed ahead, Greco concluded. “This is an exciting time to be in marketing and this week DM Days is an exciting place to be.”
# # #
back to top