Philly DMA, DMEF Seek Better Teaching

The Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association, along with the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation, hosts an event Nov. 12 to discuss the future of DM.

The “Educators' Direct Marketing Symposium 2004” targets marketing, advertising and communications professors. It will be co-sponsored by Villanova University's School of Commerce & Finance and DM agency Roska Direct, Philadelphia.

“What we need to say to our teachers is that there's massive change taking place in the advertising and marketing field because of technology, but the colleges are not keeping up with it,” said Jon Roska, CEO/chief creative officer at Roska Direct.

“Colleges are still teaching brand marketing. They're delivering a good traditional brand marketing education, but still the vast majority of schools are not teaching the DM training, experience and knowledge that the marketers of the future need. They're not incorporating direct marketing into the whole advertising and marketing training.”

DM is unable to pull its weight in higher education curricula despite accounting for nearly half of the $250 billion spent on advertising yearly, according to Roska. Only 250 of the 2,500 four-year colleges nationwide offer direct marketing courses.

“Is this because they feel direct marketing isn't real advertising?” Roska asked. “A lot of it came from the old days when there weren't the regulations, and [direct marketers] tried to sell anything to anybody. It's a lot of carryover. But I think of direct as an art, discipline and science. It's what the industries are demanding. Accountability is what the big advertisers are starting to demand, and that's where the colleges and universities come in.”

The daylong symposium includes speakers such as Peter Fader, professor of marketing at Wharton School of Business, and Seth Godin, former vice president of direct marketing at Yahoo.

Other speakers are author and consultant Martha Rogers, Direct Marketing Association president/CEO John A. Greco Jr. and Raymond Taylor, president-elect at the American Academy of Advertising and professor of marketing at Villanova. Roska also will address the audience.

The symposium will be Webcast at Roska expects a few thousand professors to register for the Webcast.

Planned topics include the future application and implementation of database and online marketing as well as related disciplines. Speakers will opine on how direct marketing can be fused with traditional brand techniques to shape future marketing.

“We've really failed at educating the next generation compared to what the American Association of Advertising Agencies has done,” Roska said.

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