I’ve already asked the question is the DMA still relevant after attending the annual conference in San Diego this past October. But with the abrupt resignation of John Greco this week those thoughts have come to mind again.
When I went to AdTech in New York City in November I happened to see Mr. Greco walking head bowed through the busy exhibit hall full of high energy, YOUNG people excited about marketing. This was what the DMA was supposed to have been. I have even heard the DMA at one point considered buying AdTech and making that show a DMA event. Great idea but it never got done.
On the few occasions I happened to meet Mr. Greco I found him to be engaging, thoughtful and seemingly interested. At $ 800,000 plus total compensation that should come as no surprise. And running the DMA over the past 5 years has been far from a picnic. A paralyzing recession forced a total reevaluation of DMA expenditures at the same time DMA revenues from conferences were reduced significantly.
Yet Eugene Raitt and his fellow DMA Board of Directors have a tough task in finding the ‘right’ person. Exactly what kind of person should that be? If the primary source of DMA revenue is the annual conference (and conferences in general) something has to be done about making attending the conference an exciting and more informative event.
But wait, there’s more! Representing member companies and anticipating legislative issues remain key aspects for the. While now past-President Greco did an acceptable job of combating do-not-mail legislation, it always felt to me like the DMA was on the defensive.
I say it’s high time that the DMA looks to bring in a leader who has exhibited vision in keeping up with the rapid changes in direct and digital marketing – maybe even someone from a DMA member company?
There is still time for the DMA to change course and move forward instead of backing up. The departure of John Greco presents a unique opportunity and there may not be another one. Let’s hope the DMA Board of Directors gets it right this time. The very survival of the Association may be at stake.