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December 10, 2008


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"Hmm… Now, would you want to go to this conference if you experienced an event site with these issues?"

No, and the banner promo confirms my "Not Attending" RSVP.

Ron Miller

I would even go further suggesting that they provide the brochure both as a pdf and as a web page with the schedule of events (as is pretty much standard practice for events like these).

I agree that it's silly to mail it. Why waste the paper and pay for postage when you can provide it all online for free.

The broken link on its own is as you say is simply an error, but when combined with the other more controllable mistakes, it just stand outs more and makes them look bad.

What's almost amusing about this is that what you're suggesting isn't even really Web 2.0. It's just basic online common sense and an organization like this should certainly know that.

Ron Miller
By Ron Miller Blog

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In my previous business I was a member of the DMA and even attended this conference a couple of times. While the conferences were excellent, I have always found the DMA organization to be slow on the technological uptake, even back in the 1990's.

The DMA as an organization is still focused on direct mail, a dying industry that is going the way of the yellow pages. They should be embracing new media but alas it appears they are stuck in the direct mail days of the 20th century.

I wonder how many on staff there have read your New Rules book?

Peter Renton
Lightning Labels

Luke Faccini

...leading by example. Very unimpressive. It would be interesting to find out how much an oversight like that could effect attendance.

Josef Katz

As a DMA member I don't mind telling you that in my opinion they don't do a great job marketing, using their database, or technology/web 2.0. I did recently see a new seminar on social media marketing and they even set up a Twitter account for the event (I am sure they all gave themselves a pat on the back for that one) so maybe they are making changes.

Stacy Lukas

This kind of thing makes me giggle a little bit. It's kinda like that time a few weeks ago when I checked my spam folder before emptying it and in there was an email entitled, "Top 10 Ways to Avoid Falling in the Spam Box." Guess they need to take their own advice!


The DMA has rarely impressed me with their marketing, or, frankly, their content. Even when the world was a snail-mail place, they were not very good.


Hendry Lee

Let's see if they respond to blog post like this... This gives them a bit of credit.


On a related note, I was trying to get a media kit from MediaPost to look at sponsorship opportunities for their upcoming events and they required creation of an account to see anything. So clueless. http://www.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fa=p.mediaKit

David Meerman Scott

I was just contacted by a representative of the DMA and they are "working on the problem". So yes, they are monitoring blogs. I'll let you all know when I learn from the DMA that the problem has been resolved. Better yet, maybe someone from the DMA can update us here through a comment.

Jodi Kaplan

I used to work for The DMA. They were not very good at marketing (even in the days of snail mail).

At one point, if I wanted to get an event online, I had to do it myself - learn HTML coding, write the copy, coordinate with registration and customer service - the whole works. (I'm a copywriter/marketer. My coding skills were minimal).

In some cases, they weren't even tracking the mailings they sent out (no keycodes, no list analysis). They hired young kids out of college to promote council events, and the kids had no experience and no background.

The DMA didn't know what to do about online - they've since gone through several interactive groups, councils, and affiliates, without any clear idea on how to use them.

Sue Geramian

Thanks for catching the problem! We have taken steps to quickly correct the broken links on the B-to-B Lead Generation Marketing Conference site. We have also added language on the website to make it clear that clicking on the “Request a brochure” button would mean that you would be sent the brochure when it became available online or offline depending on your preference. As a multichannel organization, DMA understands that different audience members have different preferences on how to receive information and so utilizes all channels – mail, email, website, search, etc. – to communicate with all members and prospects. We will make sure to provide clear instructions and directions on all of the microsites in the future, so that there aren’t any future misunderstandings.


Hi David,

This is very good post. However DMA is not the first nor the last company that makes mistakes on the web. At least they don't pay for the mistake. I had experience with Staple which I described on my blog - their AdSense link were linking to Generic Error page for more than a month and you can imagine that every click on the ad costs at least a buck.

David Meerman Scott


Thank you for commenting here. You've fixed the problem and provided my readers an explanation. Clearly the DMA takes bloggers seriously.


David Meerman Scott


Thank you for commenting here. You've fixed the problem and provided my readers an explanation. Clearly the DMA takes bloggers seriously.


Scott Manley

The DMA is another old-school organization that fosters the belief/perception that B2B (especially B2B associations) is 20 years behind the curve in regards to Marketing and Technology.

I believe it when people say they get more out of the conferences and it's because people are sharing and learning more with each other, not learning from the association.

In this economy, the associations are going to have to step up and add value like any other company if they want to continue to have members. With social media, there's no barrier to their members communicating and working together outside of association events. Many lacking associations are going to find themselves replaced by LinkedIn and Facebook groups that can be created in 5 minutes and can add value to their members without the hefty membership fee or unwanted direct mail.


Hi i was just passing by to your blog your post is great. Thanks for sharing

tinggi badan

It's good that the organization found this blog and took the original post and the many comments here seriously.

Sam Pierce

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Bob - Hughesnet Broadband

The DMA has rarely impressed me with their marketing, or, frankly, their content. Even when the world was a snail-mail place, they were not very good,thanks for sharing the post.


when the world was a snail-mail place, they were not very good,thanks for sharing the post.


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