ORLANDO, FL — Rising postal rates, data security, remote sales tax and environmental concerns — the catalog industry is growing despite the many challenges facing it, Direct Marketing Association president/CEO John A. Greco Jr. said yesterday.
Speaking to a packed room of catalogers, e-tailers and suppliers at the Gaylord Palms Resort, Greco also explained how the DMA is changing to help marketers succeed in the business world. He detailed two recent initiatives — the association's restructuring to dismantle the “silos” of operations that had built up over the years and the DMA's new strategic plan with a goal to refocus the DMA's staff and fiscal resources on what members want and need.
One growing concern Greco mentioned regarded the environment.
“Since our last catalog conference a year ago, some companies have been criticized, in a rather loud and public fashion, for their environmental practices,” he said.
To address this, the DMA will start a dialogue with environmental advocates this summer to “promote mutual understanding and relations with the advocacy organizations that color consumer views of catalogs and others in our business community.”
Greco also touched on one of the year's bigger news stories: data security.
“Now, this issue has been around for years,” he said. “However, as you know, in the past few months, it's been fueled by a string of headline-grabbing stories. As a result, in Washington, as well as in state capitals from Maine to Hawaii, we're seeing legislation introduced left and right. For a process such as ours that is driven by data, this is an alarming trend — and a serious threat. For now, I'll reiterate the DMA's commitment to helping all marketers, whether or not they're members, to do the right thing in the area of data collection, employment and security.”
Greco also announced that next year's catalog conference will undergo a slight name change and become the Annual Conference for Catalog and Multichannel Merchants.