DMA merger with IDM will create all-inclusive direct marketing organisation

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is looking to become as all-inclusive as organisations such as the IAB after announcing plans to merge with the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) to create the largest marketing trade body in Europe, the ‘DMA Group’.

The group will be headed by the DMA’s executive director Chris Combemale and will serve a £14.2bn industry and over 530,000 people, according to the DMA.

The DMA and IDM will continue to operate as separate brands and will remain independent for the first year as decisions are made around creating synergies, which could include combining sales teams, according to the DMA.

A spokesperson told Marketing Week that the DMA, which represents companies working in the marketing industry and provides guidance on best practice, is looking to take advantage of the scale of training offered by the IDM, an individual membership organisation.

“All of the other large marketing organisations have always done training and we never have. As the world gets more complicated it’s more essential and having it seems like a much better prospect.”

The move will not immediately impact membership, which is different for each body – the IDM trains individuals while the DMA aims to help companies improve their business.

The merger has been discussed “on and off for decades” according to the DMA, in an effort to make the organisation “more aligned with how other industry bodies” such as the IAB or DMA in the US are structured.

Speaking on the merger, DMA chair Julia Porter said: “The recently launched DMA code and guides establish a modern framework for responsible marketing in our profession. IDM training provides the skill sets and knowledge needed for practitioners to succeed. They are two halves of a shared mission that will be better achieved together.”

Melanie Howard and Caroline Worboys, co-chairs of the IDM, added: “We believe that the value of the IDM brand, the importance of reputable qualifications to the industry and our role in attracting high quality talent to the industry will be expanded in a shared future.”

Meanwhile, Ken Goulding has been appointed group finance director, Jane Cave as managing director of the IDM and Rachel Aldighieri as interim managing director of the DMA.

The merger will also see the industry’s two main charities, the IDM Trust and the Direct Marketing Foundation, form a single charitable trust, set to offer grants and bursaries to attract young people to enter the profession.

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