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DMA chief calls for public education about industry practices: DMA2010

Lawrence Kimmel, CEO of the Direct Marketing Association, praised the industry for being ahead of the curve and unveiled its new website October 11 at the DMA 2010 Conference & Exhibition.

“We were right,” said Kimmel. “We have a better approach to marketing.”

Kimmel noted that the direct marketing space includes search, mobile, display, interactive television and digital out-of-home, and referred to the industry as taking a “channel agnostic approach in driving customer satisfaction.”

“We always understood that you can’t do responsible marketing without understanding how well it works,” he said.

However, Kimmel acknowledged the industry could do better to make consumers understand what exactly it does, and called on it to change misperceptions.

To that end, Kimmel unveiled the organization’s relaunched website, NewDMA.org, which it will use to educate and inform the public about understanding direct marketing and the innovative tactics the industry uses.

He used behavioral targeting as an example of public misconception, emphasizing that the industry needs to change the public’s understanding of the issue.

“Somehow, in some way, consumers think we are doing something evil,” said Kimmel.

He also said direct marketing is more cross-channel, personalized and measurable than other forms of marketing.

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