We’re less than a month out from DMA13, the annual conference of the Direct Marketing Association, on October 12-17. Watch out, Chicago. I’ll be stalking the halls of McCormick Place representing MCH Strategic Data and the Kansas City Direct Marketing Association Sunday through Tuesday.
This conference has changed a lot since I first started attending it twelve years ago. Email, mobile, and social marketing have moved to the forefront of marketing, and the DMA has struggled to keep up with the pace. The DMA must battle the perception that “direct marketing” is synonymous with “direct mail.” Today there are untold thousands of data-driven marketers who don’t think of themselves as direct marketers even though they’re following directly in the footsteps of Lester Wunderman and the other pioneers of the profession. The new tagline of the show as “The Global Event of Data-Driven Marketers” is an important step in claiming the proper definition of direct marketing.
In the past MCH Strategic Data exhibited at the show, but that doesn’t make as much sense for us anymore. Rather than generating leads from foot traffic, most of our energy goes into pre-arranged meetings with current and potential partners and clients. This is my annual chance to touch base with DMA friends like Pat Sabatino, Tim Slevin, and Joe Pych.
Also, the DMA used to have a variety of subgroups such as the List and Database Council and the regional association network that included the KCDMA. Those ties were severed in the big DMA shakeup of a few years ago. I’ve heard inklings that Jay Schwedelson of Worldata may be trying to reconstitute some version of the List and Database Council. The regional affiliations, unfortunately, seem to be gone for good. I would have liked to have met with my fellow regional association presidents from New York, Chicago, Detroit, etc., but that seems unlikely at least in any formally sanctioned way.
Like most years, my focus at DMA13 will be on meeting with MCH’s most important partners and clients. Will you be there? I’d love to connect with you. Send me an email at email@example.com or give me a call at 800-776-6373.