Dear DMA Members,

December is always a good time for reflection. The sun sets earlier, the temperature dips, and many of us begin to look forward to extra time with family and friends. As the year comes to a close, businesses review their balance sheets and people reflect on their choices and personal growth over the past twelve months.

For the Data & Marketing Association, we are not only reflecting on 2017 but on the 100th anniversary of our founding and all of the milestones achieved along the way. While member companies such as IBM, American Express and JPMorgan Chase were already in existence at the time of our founding, we’ve witnessed the birth of such influential members as Ogilvy, Oracle, Google, Amazon and Facebook. We’ve witnessed a dramatic marketing evolution as radio, telephone, television, internet, mobile devices, smart TVs and the Internet of Things have been added to print and mail – and the pace of change is accelerating!

Today the responsible of use of data and technology is foundational to all of marketing as organizations endeavor to enhance customer experiences by establishing 1:1 customer relationships based on truth, results and trust – at scale. At the Data & Marketing Association, our members perpetually challenge the status quo by seeking improvements and driving innovative marketing techniques all in the interest of better serving the needs and interests of their customers. The DMA staff facilitates these innovations by bringing members together to identify and address issues that they cannot solve on their own.

Quickly on the heels of December comes January and the new year. And for us…the next 100 years. To assist our members in being as productive and innovative in the future as they have been in the past, DMA is expanding and modernizing its education portfolio to address “nano-learning” and developing new Structured Innovation initiatives to address the challenges facing marketers. To protect the bonds between brands and customers, DMA continues to advocate for responsible use of data and self-regulation on Capitol Hill and in statehouses while bringing members together at DMA events where connections are forged for new solutions and new opportunities.

As we look to 2018 and new channels, devices, technology and techniques on the horizon – including Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Connected Devices all intertwined through the ever-expanding Internet of Things – DMA is prepared to build on the progress we have made and continue our work advancing the data and marketing ecosystem.

Whether your company has been aligned with the Data & Marketing Association for over 100 years or whether you have just become connected with us this year, we are grateful for your support and enthusiastic about the advances in data and marketing we will see in the next year and beyond. It remains an honor to work on your behalf to advance responsible data and marketing.

To a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Tom Benton, DMA CEO