Two Vital Issues Affecting Direct/Digital Marketers – and How to Take Action
Although direct/digital marketers continually navigate marketing challenges online and offline, two major issues loom that could undermine the very nature of doing business. Here’s a breakdown of their possible impact – and tips for what you can do right now to help.
For decades, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has been supporting the marketing community on critical legislative issues, securing many recent wins, including:
- Standing up for marketers in the face of proposed privacy legislation, including calls for a federal “Do Not Track” registry
- Beginning enforcement to ensure industry compliance with the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising
- Successfully fighting an attempt to raise postage by 10 times the rate of inflation
But this is only the beginning. The challenges we still face include two major ongoing issues:
Privacy legislation is one of the hottest topics among politicians. Senators Kerry and McCain have introduced a privacy bill in the Senate, as have Reps. Stearns, Rush, and Speier in the House. DMA is at the forefront of the fight to ensure that any proposed legislation protects the growth of the Internet, protects the information that fuels it (and offline direct marketing), and ensures that the marketing innovation that drives the US economy continues.
Self-regulation is the most effective way to respond to privacy issues related to marketing and advertising. For this reason, DMA partnered with other associations to launch the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising, which gives consumers a better understanding of and greater control over ads that are customized based on their online behavior.
The Program calls for interest-based ads to include an “Advertising Option Icon” that links consumers to information about online behavioral advertising and allows them to make choices about the interest-based ads they receive.
What you can do
- Make sure your organization is leading the way in complying with the Self-Regulatory Program. Learn everything you need to know at AboutAds.info.
- Periodically check DMA’s Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice, which provide generally accepted principles of conduct, and are the basis for DMA’s self-regulatory program. To access the Guidelines, which are constantly updated to reflect innovations and new best-practices employed by the marketing community, visit dmaresponsibility.org/guidelines.
- Access DMA’s educational opportunities. We have launched a new, comprehensive course and certification for marketers who use, access, and live in the world of data and information. Upon completion of The Institute for Marketing Data Governance and Certification, attendees will be armed with the most current information and guidelines on marketing data governance. To register, and for more information, visit dmaeducation.org and click on DM Essentials.
DMA for years has supported downsizing and streamlining the Postal Service to render its day-to-day operations more cost-effective. On April 25, the Senate voted 62 to 37 in favor of passing the 21st Century Postal Service Act (S.1789). The Senate took a very important step in passing this bill. Without postal reform legislation like S. 1789, the USPS will continue to lose $30 million a day. Your organizations – both for-profit and nonprofit – need meaningful postal reform NOW.
On May 9, the USPS announced a new plan for retaining retail postal operations and reducing costs in rural America. The plan would keep existing post offices open, but modify their retail window hours to
match customer use. DMA supports creation of the plan.
What you can do
- If your Senators took the important step of supporting postal reform, please thank them for their important votes. Go to the DMA Action Center at dmaaction.org and click on “Tell the Senate You’re Glad They Passed Postal Reform.”
On these vital issues, as well as a wide range of policy and political issues affecting the direct marketing community, DMA’s Government Affairs team constantly works to ensure that marketers’ interests are
Linda A.Woolley is the acting president and CEO of the Direct Marketing Association. DMA today represents nearly 2,500 companies in the US and 48 other nations, including a majority of the Fortune 100 companies. Prior to becoming president and CEO, Woolley served as DMA’s executive vice president of Washington Operations. In this role, she was responsible for strategically managing DMA’s global advocacy, legislative, and political efforts, as well as DMA’s Nonprofit Federation, Internet Alliance, and Mail Moves America coalition. She was also responsible for overseeing DMA’s corporate and social responsibility. Through Woolley’s leadership, DMA was a founding member of the Digital Advertising Alliance, a self-regulatory program that provides notice and choice to consumers about online behavioral advertising. Reach her at email@example.com.