By Bob Liodice and Tom Benton

Over a combined 200 years, DMA (Data & Marketing Association) and ANA (Association of National Advertisers) have each worked toward the advancement of advertising and marketing. Now, as of July 1st, ANA has welcomed DMA and its membership into what is now the largest trade association for marketers in the country. We are ready to embark on a new journey that will benefit all marketers, agencies, publishers and suppliers within our industry.

The coming together of these organizations mirrors other industry consolidation and collaborations to align efforts to deliver brand messaging and drive customer connections. More than ever, it makes sense to have a unified voice to advance the practice of advertising and marketing. With increased influence in Washington, D.C., we also have the ability to strongly advocate for effective policies and best practices in our field.

What will the expanded reach of ANA mean for the advertising and marketing industry? The industry reliance on data and measurement is growing. Now more than ever, ANA is poised to drive adoption and advance improvements of all advertising and marketing practices, especially in data and analytics. This unified association represents 2,000 corporate and charitable enterprises, 25,000 brands, and 150,000 professionals, with powerful insights, expertise, and resources to deliver results across a wide range of industry priorities.

Advancing Advertising and Marketing Growth

Advertisers and marketers are continually innovating, looking for the next strategy to reach audiences and drive effective customer connections. With the digital media landscape in constant evolution, and our industry facing critical challenges from data integrity to ad fraud, it’s never been more important for the industry to come together and work toward common solutions.

The strengthened voice of ANA will effectively identify organizational challenges, bring together stakeholders from across the industry, and develop solutions that move our sector forward. These broad-based solutions will energize brand- and business-building efforts in the marketing ecosystem, and help members more effectively use data and measurement to their advantage.

Expanded Member Education and Training

Another critical role for an industry association is to deliver research which provides insights on trends and the effectiveness of advertising and marketing programs As we come together, we will have the ability to deliver optimized research capabilities to drive sharper insights and innovation. The strengthened ANA also shares resources and assets that provide a united data-driven advertising and marketing community with greater access to education, training, and professional development initiatives for member advancement and recognition.

Effective Industry Self-Regulation and Consumer Outreach

Customer trust is vital to marketers and advertisers, and presently there is increased scrutiny of the responsible use of data as a fundamental component in securing that trust. With the united voice of ANA and DMA’s member companies, we will have the ability to craft effective, strategic self-regulation by working across verticals to develop solutions to address concerns of our customers.

We need to educate consumers, regulators and the media about the responsible data practices of our industry. And we need to be willing to listen closely to consumers to earn and retain their trust, and respond to those with concerns about modern data practices. Ultimately, our goal will be to set the standards for responsible data practices in the 21st century – standards which provide consumers with robust choice and transparency while ensuring the responsible use of advertising and marketing data to enrich their lives.

As these two associations continue to come together, there will be further exciting announcements and advancements. The ANA will provide its existing members and legacy DMA members with greater resources and access to content. We look forward to sharing this news with our members and stakeholders across the industry, and engaging with a wider segment of firms conducting advertising and marketing.

Bob Liodice is CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA)

Tom Benton is Group EVP, ANA’s Data, Measurement and Analytics Division and former CEO of the Data & Marketing Association (DMA)