Attention DMA: time to rethink your online marketing

Posted by David Meerman Scott 06:06 AM on December 10, 2008

UPDATE 1: About 24 hours after this post, 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.

UPDATE 2: About six hours after letting me know that the DMA is working on the problem, Sue Geramian from the DMA commented on this post to say the problem has been fixed and to explain a bit of background. It's good that the organization found this blog and took the original post and the many comments here seriously.

My friend Dave Daniels points us to the web site for the Business-to-Business Marketing Conference in April 2009 from the DMA, "the leading global trade association of business and nonprofit organizations using and supporting multichannel direct marketing tools and techniques."


The DMA is a huge organization serving "over 275,000 marketers" so I expect them to be excellent at their own marketing. Alas, at least in this instance, they are not.


In promoting the upcoming event, the DMA requires you to fill out a registration form to get an event brochure. Get this – they mail it to you and there is no option to get it as an instant PDF. I suggest the DMA needs to re-think its online marketing. Specifically I recommend offering the brochure as a no registration instant download. After all, when people are interested in an event, many want the details NOW – not a week later in the mail. I would think sales are lost as a result of the way the DMA is doing it today.

Further problems exist with this site.


After you submit all of your personal information, you end up on a page that says: "We are sorry, we did not find the file you requested," suggesting that perhaps the brochure was going to be available but you're out of luck. I also noticed some of the other links on the event page are broken.

We all make mistakes. I certainly do. I'd like to give the DMA the benefit of the doubt on the bad redirect and some bad links.

However, I do think that an organization that provides education for people in marketing needs to show through their own marketing that they are doing it right. Requiring registration for a brochure is not the best way to deliver information.

Here's what the conference site says about the event:

"To stay ahead of the pack, you need to be better than good…you need to be outstanding. You need to be on top of both traditional marketing and new tactics employing emerging technologies.

The Business-to-Business Marketing Conference can help you achieve your goals. You’ll hear case studies and innovative thinking from successful thought leaders who have experienced, first hand, the many challenges encountered in B-to-B marketing."

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

David Meerman Scott

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