The Direct Marketing Association’s Annual Conference that kicks off in San Diego this Sunday will be under the auspices of new leadership. It’s the first convention for CEO/COO Thomas Benton and President Jane Berzan, who took over the helm from Linda Woolley in April. In an interview with Direct Marketing News both related that they’re committed to following Woolley’s lead in fortifying the association as a legislative and educational bulwark for members engaged in the new data-driven economy.
“We are approaching our 100th anniversary, and so we have a rich history. Yet we have never been more relevant. More and more companies are leaning toward our space,” Benton said. “Data-driven marketing with measured results is what we focus on, and that is what’s at the basis of our entire economy.”
Benton added that he and Berzan are focusing on understanding and serving all the new segments of the DMA‘s membership. “The challenge is significant. Marketing is evolving so quickly and we, too, need to cater our message to different segments,” Berzan said. “We need to be there with our government affairs group to help them protect their brands.”
The DMA’s new segmented approach will be in evidence this week at the San Diego Convention Center (above), with about 120 different sessions tailored to various audiences. “We’ve really revamped our outreach at the Annual. We’ve taken our educational content and broken it down into relevant pieces,” said Berzan, who directed one of the nation’s top 50 trade shows during 12 years as SVP of the National Association of Convenience Stores. “If you are a CMO, if you are a retailer, we are providing content and networking relevant to you.”
Joining just in time for the show is the Lindsay Hutter, who was announced as DMA’s new SVP of communications earlier this week. Most recently the EVP and global practice leader for change and internal communications at Hill+Knowlton, Hutter will direct communications and public relations strategy from DMA’s Washington, DC office.