Editor’s Note: The DRMA at 5: A Milestone Due to Your Hard Work and Support1 Feb, 2012 By: Thomas Haire Response
It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since
Response Publisher John Yarrington and I co-founded the Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA), a group of professional marketers that facilitates business opportunities for those in DR through networking, education, branding and exposure.
When we began kicking around ideas for what the DRMA has become — a powerful alliance with more than 300 current member companies — John and I were seeking a way to bring the industry together while avoiding the internal political squabbling, often unresponsive and uninvested staffers, and sometimes self-serving nature that besets many industry associations. And we wanted to do this at a cost —$595 per company, per year — that made sense. A little more than five years on, we’re still proud to present that product to our members.
At the same time, the industry’s support— and the hard work of our member companies — has been truly remarkable. Your responsiveness, your new ideas and your support are the key ingredients to the DRMA’s success.
From the re-emergence of Response Expo in 2007 — an event that has seen double-digit percentage attendance growth each year since — to our now quarterly networking mixers in Chicago, Southern California, Las Vegas and New York (always free and open to all DRMA members), we’ve surpassed our wildest goals. We hope that our members feel the same — from those networking events to the educational sessions at the Expo to our coverage of regulatory issues in our monthly DRMA Voice E-newsletter.
At the same time, DRMA members have literally dozens of specialized opportunities and discounted rates to get involved with Response Magazine and Response Expo. Once a company becomes a member, its opportunities to take part in all the DRMA offers are equal to any other member — there’s no special level of membership or political wrangling necessary to become more involved.
Since I came on board in 2001, Response has been a long-term member of many associations that touch upon the business — and to this day, we maintain good relationships with many valued partners, such as the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). However, like you, the Response team has been exposed to the ills of many non-responsive and tin-eared trade groups. That’s why the DRMA remains in tune with its members’ needs and desires than most industry associations. Well, that and the fact that our members are not afraid to raise their voices to suggest new ideas, to celebrate successes, and, yes, to set us straight when we haven’t lived up to our own standards.
There are no hurdles that come with your DRMA membership. You won’t ever be sequestered into a “specialized” membership that keeps you from the exciting opportunity to vote for DRMA Marketer of the Year. You won’t ever be barred from exhibiting or sponsoring Response Expo or other DRMA events for competitive or political reasons. And your membership (or ability to join) will never fall into question as long as you play by the rules of fair trade and competition.
Here’s to five years of the DRMA! Here’s to five more years! And here’s to you, DRMA members, for making it all possible.
— Thomas Haire, Editor-in-Chief