It’s official, direct marketing is now dead and buried – in the eyes of the industry’s trade body at least – with the Direct Marketing Association rebranding the Data & Marketing Association, although the IDM has survived, also being renamed the Institute of Data & Marketing.
In a move which is likely to have old school DMers shaking their heads in disapproval, the UK body has followed its American counterpart, which rebranded the Data & Marketing Association in 2016.
Back then, the US move was seen as an attempt to move away from negative perceptions around the term “direct marketing”, first coined by the late Lester Wunderman in the Sixties, and appeal to the wider marketing and advertising community.
However, last year the US body went tits up and the 101-year-old organisation was flogged off to the Association of National Advertisers.
The UK DMA was formed in 1992, following a link-up of a number of like-minded trade bodies – including the British List Broking Association and the British Direct Mail Marketing Association – and finally merged with the IDM in 2017.
A rebrand has been on the cards ever since, with some even predicting the demise of the IDM – set up by the late Professor Holder back in the Seventies – to align both organisations.
But even though the DMA will integrate DMA Learning, “powered by the IDM”, and DMA Talent into its proposition, the training organisation lives on as a separate entity.
According to the official bumf, “the rebrand is part of the DMA’s ongoing mission to be the most customer-focused business community and the leading voice for intelligent marketing”.
The leadership team comprises chief executive Chris Combemale; managing director Rachel Aldighieri; general manager of learning solutions Andy Dorling; and DMA Talent general manager Kate Burnett.
Combemale (pictured) said: “With a classroom to boardroom mission, we’ll nurture the next generation of aspiring marketers through DMA Talent, educate marketers through our world-renowned Institute, guide and inspire leaders and influence our industry based on our people first, customer-focused principles.
“Our integrated approach will empower member organisations, IDM professionals and the broad array of talent coming into our industry to responsibly produce more value for customers through intelligent marketing, creativity and accountability.”
The DMA has been quick to big up its own record; insisting it now represents over 1,000 member organisations spanning brands, agencies and marketing services companies; 100,000 professionals who have undertaken IDM training; and thousands of school and university students and education providers who participate in DMA Talent’s initiatives – creating what it claims is the largest marketing trade association in Europe.
Combemale continued: “By leading the conversation on intelligent marketing, promoting inclusivity and diversity, advocating responsible marketing and best practice, the DMA will champion the interests of all stakeholders. An integrated approach gives DMA members enhanced benefits and opportunities across our learning solutions and talent initiatives.”
The DMA worked with Jack Renwick Studio to create the new brand identity.
One industry source said: “It’s not only the end of an era, it’s the end of direct marketing, too. Of course, times change and even the most die-hard DMers will recognise that. They won’t like it but that’s life. Direct marketing is dead, long live direct marketing.”
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