DMA Acting CEO Linda Woolley embraces the power of marketing to transform our world. “Marketers have the power to transform politics. Marketers have the power to use big data to get exactly the right items to the right location at the right time,” she said during her recent keynote address at the DMA2012 conference. One of her oft quoted stories is that Walmart and Kellogg’s use weather forecasts to ensure enough strawberry pop tarts are sent to Florida before a big storm. The data shows that when there is a storm, sales of pop tarts goes up. This is data driven marketing, just as much as any email campaign.
Marketers have the power to feed the poor, save the environment, change the world, she said at the event. We can predict customer intent by making educated guesses about that is needed when. “Big data is almost an understatement,” she said. Consider that we approach the production of a zetabyte of data is around consumer and marketing transactions, which is a LOT of data. It’s a 1 followed by 21 zeros. Linda said that $168 billion will be spent on products marketed in the US this year – that represents 52.7% of all US expenditures. Marketers and the companies they support account for 9.2 mm jobs in this country.
No kidding, the business of marketing is fueling the economy in new ways. That is a great way to think about how important it is to participate in our industry and do what we love to do.
Linda also showed a new video that the DMA created on how consumers rely on the data embedded into their daily life. They are “Thrilled and delighted to have that data help them connect with products, brands, people, causes and elected officials,” Linda said.
However, Linda warned us that the FTC has started going after data brokers – which is really all of us – anyone who uses data to do marketing to anyone else. The FTC wants to legally require us to allow consumer permission for every transaction. This would be the end of customer centricity. Imagine checking into a hotel that you frequent often, and the registration clerk asks if you have ever stayed before. Unfortunately, privacy zealots have scared Congress with their hyperbole, Linda said. “They’ve frightened people with the idea that if you buy a deep fryer you will be denied health care.”
However, if marketers fight back hard enough, we can show Congress the value of data driven marketing. This is where the DMA comes in.
Linda asked for each of us to join her and the DMA in taking a pledge to support the mission of the DMA to advance and protect responsible data driven marketing. Please do take the pledge today and ask others in your organization to do the same.
Linda herself pledged that the DMA will work tirelessly with every direct and digital marketer to make sure that the future is a world where we can give customer what they want , when they want it. Where marketers can play a significant role in social causes. A world where products and people get where they are supposed to be, on time.
“Together, we can transform how Congress thinks about marketers and data driven marketing,” Linda said. “we will make sure they – and consumers – understand that what we do improves lives, benefits the economy and strengthens our society.”
I hope you will take the pledge with us today – and provide us any feedback on what you need to ensure the DMA serves you the best way we can.
As Linda said last week, “We are DMA. And we’ll be there for you!”
-Stephanie Miller, VP, Member Relations, The DMA