Editor’s Notes: Greco Is Here
The highlight of this year’s Direct Marketing Association (DMA) annual conference was John Greco Jr., the organization’s new president and CEO. He is taking over at a time when the industry’s reputation is becoming increasingly tarnished, and is expected to pull together a diverse industry body with divergent interests so he can effect big change.
For example, I heard some show attendees express frustration about not being able to attend the opening keynote to hear Greco speak, because they didn’t purchase full conference passes. Overall, these smaller businesses find it’s difficult for them to get much benefit out of a large national association, especially when most opportunities are accompanied by a hefty price tag. Their challenge to Greco: Please find a way to make the DMA more accessible to small and mid-size direct marketing companies.
Having met Greco at a press conference he held during the conference—which, I might add, is a first for a DMA president in the 12 years I’ve been at Target Marketing—my impression is that he is a real leader who spent his first two months on the job meeting with the people he means to represent.
Further, take heart in the fact that he is a former practitioner. His time at AT&T gave him a strong understanding of databases, testing and technology’s role in direct marketing. This insight will go a long way toward helping the world understand our industry’s needs and also help set best practices that will create a nurturing environment in which to conduct business.
Greco has claimed privacy and restoring the industry’s image as his first area of focus. That’s a tall order, one that requires our full support. Part of his plan involves the development of customer testimonials that member companies can use as part of their promotions. Since the full implementation of this project has not yet been mapped, I’d like to suggest the DMA help direct marketers create their own customer ambassador programs that: