January 20, 2010
The Beginning of the DMA’s Next Chapter
As I wrote a few months back, I recently joined the DMA’s Board of Directors and its Executive Committee to try to help the association – one of the largest and highest profile groups representing marketers – advance its agenda in a few specific ways. At the time, I noted that my interests would be on consumer advocacy and engagement, execution around interactive marketing issues and the internet community, and transparency around the organization itself.
Yesterday, John Greco, the association’s CEO, announced he is stepping down to make way for the next generation of leadership. John has done some great work the past five years running the DMA and has advanced it materially from where the association was when he took over in terms of interactive marketing, but he recognized (the hallmark of a good leader) that it was time for a change.
There are all sorts of questions people have about this announcement, and I’ve already gotten a number of calls and emails from people trying to read between the lines and get some inside scoop. Some of the questions have answers – others don’t at this stage or can’t given confidentiality agreements.
That said, as a new Board member helping the DMA build some bridges to the interactive marketing community, I thought I would share a few perspectives on this situation:
– There is not a final search committee yet, nor are there final search criteria. That said, there is a strong commitment to find a leader for the DMA who is not only capable of running a broad-based $30mm+ trade association and running a world class advocacy operating in Washington, but who also has deep roots in the Internet
– There are many, many initiatives in the works – some of which have been underway for quite some time now – for the DMA to evolve as an association to more effectively execute its mission in the interactive marketing arena. These will start to unfold relatively quickly
– The DMA’s Board and Executive Committee are fantastic groups with very progressive, committed volunteers who understand the things that need to happen. “Reform,” which probably isn’t quite the right word anyway, isn’t being pushed on the association – it is coming from within
– The DMA is committed in its search process, and in its new “operating system” going forward, to embrace not just its membership but the broader interactive and direct marketing community as it evolves its strategy, broadens its mission, and looks for a new leader
So the bottom line is – this announcement of one change is the first of many. Stay tuned, and look for much more open and transparent communication from the DMA, including a lot more community-oriented dialog as opposed to just one-way statements, than you’ve ever seen before in the coming weeks and months.