Rachel Nyswander Thomas

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Whether the issue is privacy, data security or spam, we never seem far from the specter of governments taking actions that would knock the pillars out from under the best direct marketing plans. At DMA2014 in San Diego, we got the chance to talk to DMA's VP of Government Affairs Rachel Nyswander Thomas about where we might see trouble coming, and what marketers can do to keep the politicians on their side.

The Direct Marketing Association is leading a broad group of industry associations in asking Congress to pass a national data breach notification law. The letter, signed by 16 trade associations representing thousands of the leading companies across the information economy, notes American businesses have compelling incentives to protect sensitive information and maintain valuable customer relationships—and that they work tirelessly to implement security measures to safeguard data.

If "data-driven marketing" could sport a manufacturer's label, it would be "Made in America," says Linda A. Woolley, the president and CEO of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). But that's not the only reason U.S. legislators should support the practice, rather than trying to pass laws that will "muck around" with the industry that generated $156 billion in revenue and funded more than 675,000 jobs in 2012, she says, quoting statistics from research DMA released on Monday at DMA2013 in Chicago.

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