ANA extends its reach (again) with plan to acquire DMA

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Credit: Association of National Advertisers

The Association of National Advertisers is acquiring the Data & Marketing Association, a deal that underscores the growing importance of data within the broader marketing industry.

The deal, already approved by the boards of each organization, would create the largest U.S. trade group focused on marketing and advertising. Voting members of the DMA still need to give their nods of approval, but the acquisition is set to be completed as of July 1. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The DMA plans to become a division of ANA headed by Tom Benton, who has been the DMA's CEO since late 2014. The DMA, founded in 1917, changed its name to the Data & Marketing Association from the Direct Marketing Association in 2016.

It's the latest example of the ANA, which turns 108 this year, extending its reach. Earlier this year, it acquired the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. In 2015, it acquired the Advertising Educational Foundation, now known as the ANA Educational Foundation. In 2014, the ANA acquired both the Business Marketing Association (BMA) and the Brand Activation Association (BAA). Now, with the DMA deal, it aims to dive deeper into data-driven marketing.

The trade groups' combined membership is set to swell to 2,000 companies, representing 20,000 brands and 150,000 people. Previously, the ANA touted that its members represented more than 1,000 companies, 15,000 brands, and 50,000 people. The ANA's current membership is more heavily focused on the client side, with more than 750 client-side marketers and 350 associate members, including agencies, law firms, suppliers, consultants and vendors. The DMA, meanwhile, touts more than 1,400 member brands representing more than 100,000 people spread across tech and data firms, marketers, agencies, service providers and media companies.

Each group typically holds its biggest event in October. Both shows will go on, at least for now. DMA's &THEN is scheduled for Oct. 7-9 in Las Vegas followed by the ANA's Masters of Marketing Conference Oct. 24-27 in Orlando.

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