Transparency throughout DM

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As I prepare for my speaking gig at the DMA's annual show, I wonder if this is the year transparency becomes a leading topic of discussion in the direct marketing industry. We marketers need to be honest about the way we collect, use and protect the information consumers have given us, to preserve their trust and to build long-lasting relationships.

Consumers have shown they're willing to hand over everything from basic name, address and e-mail, to sensitive financial data such as stored bank and credit-card account numbers.

This concept of transparency in data collection and management is standard operating procedure now for successful e-mail marketers. Consumers are waking up to this idea that the companies they deal with hold a lot of information on them, too.

I would like to see this concept of transparency extend from the e-mail industry to the direct marketing industry as a whole. I invite my fellows in catalog and broadcast direct marketing to wander through the interactive pavilion at the DMA show and talk with us to see how we've been able to succeed with permission and transparency.

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