DMA strategic plan stresses relationships

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The Direct Marketing Association on Jan. 24 unveiled a strategic plan that is expected to serve as a road map for the trade group over the next five to 10 years.

DMA President-CEO John A. Greco Jr. said the overall goals for the organization are "complete transparency" and relationship-building. "We want to create trusted, secure and mutually beneficial relationships," he said.

The DMA said its central strategy would be to promote direct marketing while building "a bridge of trust" with current and prospective customers/donors, legislators, regulators, members and prospective members.

Long on vision but short on details, the new plan also calls for the DMA to adopt its industry's best practices. "We are going to practice the art of direct marketing at the association," said Greco, who succeeded H. Robert Wientzen in August 2004.

Greco said the strategic plan was the result of a yearlong effort that included forming committees and conducting working sessions among members, followed by research that included interviews with 500 to 600 direct marketers.

The DMA's B-to-B Council met Feb. 9 with association officials for a briefing on the plan. The following day, a subset of that group reconvened for a working session to discuss ideas for new DMA products and services under the b-to-b banner.

"The B-to-B Council will, I think, have a lot more input into the programming of upcoming conferences," said Bernice Grossman, president of direct marketing agency DMRS Group and a former chairwoman of the Business-to-Business Council.

"That means we have to come up with really great content so that it becomes a win-win." 

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