Professor Derek Holder, one of the most influential people in the industry and the man who has inspired generations of direct marketers, has passed away in his sleep after a suspected heart attack.
Top names from the industry – including Terry Hunt, Drayton Bird and John Watson – have paid tribute to a “true visionary”.
Holder started his career at BOAC in 1970 as a management trainee, then worked at Ford, McGraw-Hill, and Reader’s Digest before joining academia by becoming first senior, then principal, lecturer at Kingston Poly Business School during the Eighties.
In 1987, he founded the Institute of Direct Marketing, creating the IDM Diploma in Direct Marketing – a qualification which is viewed as a ‘must-have’ for anyone in the industry, whether client, agency or supplier side.
Holder’s vision has helped the IDM to become internationally recognised as the leading professional body for the development of direct, data and digital marketing. Last year, the organisation changed its name to the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing, although retained the IDM acronym.
To date the institute has trained more than 47,000 marketers on open courses; over 11,000 through in-company programmes across 28 countries; awarded over 1,500 digital marketing qualifications and tutored more than 9,000 students through its professional qualifications.
On LinkedIn fellow academic, Professor Robert Shaw once wrote: “Derek is one of the original good guys in direct marketing, both visionary and big hearted. Long ago he had the foresight to establish training and development in what was at the time a neglected profession. Through his own personal determination and energy he has achieved something remarkable.”
Industy pays tribute to visionary Holder