The Next 100 Years of Marketing (Happy Birthday, DMA)

This is really a momentous anniversary year in marketing. The Data & Marketing Association turns 100 this year — as does the 4A’s. DMA seems to be scarcely acknowledging a century of service, as an anticipated 4,000 folks head to &Then17 in New Orleans in two weeks. Quite unlike the big bash the 4A’s has slated for this week’s Advertising Week in New York — noting 100 persons securing the present and future of advertising.

This is really a momentous anniversary year in marketing.

The Data & Marketing Association turns 100 this year — as does the 4A’s.

DMA seems to be scarcely acknowledging a century of service, as an anticipated 4,000 folks head to &Then17 in New Orleans in two weeks. Quite unlike the big bash the 4A’s has slated for this week’s Advertising Week in New York — noting 100 persons securing the present and future of advertising.

DMA is instead focused on “Where Data Transforms Marketing.”

I think that’s OK. Let’s face it … personalities also dominate data-driven marketing, but its “data” — and insight that flows from data — that’s the true star in this business, and it’s data that is the fuel of what’s next.

But we sure have had some innovative players. Consider this historical gem, approximately 100 years ago: “In one spectacular stunt, which possibly marked the birth of direct marketing, Wrigley mailed a complimentary four-stick package of gum to every household in the United States that owned a telephone. People with telephones, he reasoned, could afford gum. These activities helped to sustain Wrigley’s gum as established national brands. They also made Wrigley very rich, particularly after he took his company public in 1919.” [Encyclopedia.com | Wm Wrigley, Jr. Company]

That’s strategy, audience selection and results all in one … kind of like each year’s winning batch of ECHOs (the next group of ECHO winners, being announced October 8).

Time forward to 2017: Has the science of accountable communication truly changed? Other than a plethora of channels, maybe not so much! As AdExchanger reported last week: “Demographic targeting and behavioral targeting have both been around since internet advertising’s early days, but big CPG [consumer packaged goods] brands now say behavioral targeting drives the biggest results online. Instead of trying to hit in-target demos, they’re looking for more creative ways to connect with consumers based on purchase history or interests.”

Perhaps it isn’t surprising to see Amazon, Google and Facebook build global businesses on the currency of data, or the plethora of AdTech in Silicon Valley and venture capital everywhere chasing valuations based wholly on the monetization of data.

Other than sustainability, I can’t think of a far stronger bulwark on which to build a global economic engine in the 21st Century than the responsible use of data. We’ve got to protect that!

History teaches us that the Russian revolution in 1917 was the most profound revolution in 20th Century political history. Hey, in business history, the Data Revolution also began in 1917 — except this one is still going, and going strong — likely for another 100 years. Happy Birthday, DMA.

Author: Chet Dalzell

Marketing Sustainably: A blog posting questions, opportunities, concerns and observations on sustainability in marketing. Chet Dalzell has 25 years of public relations management and expertise in service to leading brands in consumer, donor, patient and business-to-business markets, and in the field of integrated marketing. He serves on the ANA International ECHO Awards Board of Governors, as an adviser to the Direct Marketing Club of New York, and is senior director, communications and industry relations, with the Digital Advertising Alliance. Chet loves UConn Basketball (men's and women's) and Nebraska Football (that's just men, at this point), too! 

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