DMA relaunches as digital leader

The Direct Marketing Association is repositioning itself as a modern, digitally attuned trade body that is “open, friendly and welcoming” to marketers.

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A new logo and user-friendly website that allows members to create bespoke content will launch later this month. A raft of new services, including a social media helpdesk, will be introduced in the coming months to boost the association’s product offering.

The DMA has been criticised in the past for being too wedded to supporting and promoting traditional, physical direct mail and the changes follow an 18-month review of the business. The association wants to emphasise that it is about both traditional and digital direct marketing.

A marketing campaign will launch to trumpet the changes later this year.The body will be hoping that the reluanch shores up existing, and even increases membership.

Chris Combemale, executive director of the DMA, says the site’s “stuffy” feel reflected what many previously thought of the DMA, a “quasi-governmental legal and compliance department” rather than an aid to marketers. The site, he adds, will be written in “more marketer-friendly language”.

Combemale admits that the DMA has not always kept up with the pace of change in a channel that is increasingly about integration and direct marketing via digital means. The changes, and other recent developments, aim to remedy this.

“The DMA did not always react to the way the industry is going. In today’s modern digital channel, everyone is now a direct marketer,” he says.

The trade body has established councils dealing with electronic DM in recent years as well as producing research on mobile marketing.

Combemale says the DMA will look to increase its partnerships with other trade associations following the extension of the DMA-developed data security standard DataSeal.

DataSeal, which was designed to increase consumer confidence in marketers’ use of data was made available to members of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, the Incorporated Society of British Advertising and the Institute of Promotional Marketing earlier this year.

Eulogy has been appointed to run PR activity, while a “small” ad budget is available.

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