DMA09 in San Diego: DMA President & CEO John Greco Welcomes Attendees
October 20, 2009 — “If you are interested in getting ahead and staying ahead in this very challenging environment, you are in the right place at the right time,” said DMA President and CEO John Greco as he welcomed attendees to the DAM09 Conference & Exhibition. The conference, held in the San Diego Convention Center, runs through Thursday, October 22.
“A healthy, growing direct marketing process requires a variety of opportunities to make market — by allowing users of marketing strategies, both businesses and nonprofit organizations, to connect with people who have the right solutions to their marketing challenges. Right now, you're in the best possible place for that. This is the global event for integrated marketing.”
In these challenging times, marketing is changing, and the mix of channels is changing too, Greco explained. Therefore, it becomes all the more important to focus on fundamentals, and to develop new skills.
“What has not changed, despite all the ups and downs, is that business and nonprofits will continue to need effective ways to reach and retain customers, donors and prospects. In fact, they need that now more than ever,” Greco said. “That's why I see this as direct marketing's opportunity to shine. . . .There are great opportunities… in every channel and every market… and that we, as the direct marketing community, can really help get the economy back on track… and keep it growing.”
Greco expressed pride at the way DMA has handled a challenging year.
In the area of advocacy and public policy, Greco explained, DMA has made strides on the issue of consumer notice and choice in online behavioral advertising, an issue that has come to the forefront this year.
In February, the Federal Trade Commission sent out notice to the marketing world to create a regulatory framework for online behavioral advertising, or to face increased regulation. In response, Greco said, “DMA got out ahead of this emerging issue by proposing and constructing a coalition to ensure this important source of marketing growth is preserved… an unprecedented collaboration that would be able to develop and deploy the comprehensive self-regulatory principles the government is asking for. Yesterday, the DMA board approved language incorporating the principles into our Guidelines for Ethical Business Practices, updating the DMA document that is the basis for years of successful self-regulation. “
Greco pointed out that DMA also made strides in the postal arena. “DMA helped USPS get some relief in Congress that we believe, with additional cost-cutting, will allow them to avoid any emergency increases for the time being,” Greco said. “I’m delighted to tell you that was confirmed just last week. After a lot of discussions with DMA… we convinced Postmaster General Potter to announce that there will be no increase in calendar 2010. That’s a victory for our advocacy efforts, and for DMA members.”
Additionally, Greco explained that DMA has worked to ensure that all of the Association’s educational content is up to date and valuable, and has taken steps to make more educational offerings available online. “Most recently,” Greco said, “we announced DMA certification for marketing professionals, based on a broad curriculum covering every part of the process. The DMA Certified Marketing Professional program is an innovative and flexible initiative that we expect will set global standards for direct marketing education for the first time ever.”
What to Expect from DMA Moving Forward
In the year ahead, Greco said, “First, we’ll continue to provide our members with powerful representation that no other group can match. Second, we’ll continue to help our members become better, more effective marketers, by providing you with tools, resources and services that can’t be duplicated.”
In conclusion, Greco expressed optimism for the future of direct marketing—a future of great promise and opportunity. “The world is coming our way – everyone else needs what direct marketing’s got, which is marketing with data and analytics, sampling and testing. That’s what direct marketing is all about… that’s what’s in the DNA of DMA.”
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