As I look around at today’s data-driven world, I am reminded of Charles Dickens’ immortal opening lines from his classic novel, A Tale Of Two Cities:  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”  These words could easily describe the times in which our industry finds itself today.

On the one hand, our profession is thriving, innovating, creating jobs, stimulating the economy, and providing consumers with exciting choices as never before. On the other, we are under attack from powerful critics who cry out for regulations and legislation that can devastate our livelihood and, ironically, hurt the very consumers they seek to protect. This is what happens when suspicion, not facts, drive people’s thoughts and actions.

The Chinese word for “crisis” (see image above) is made up of  the two symbols:  “danger” and “opportunity.” Together, we can overcome the dangers that face us by taking advantage of numerous opportunities before us.

We have much to celebrate. We work in one of the most exciting and sophisticated industries in history. This month, at our Annual Conference, our Data-Driven Marketing Institute (DDMI) will unveil new research that provides overwhelming evidence for the positive impact our industry makes on the economy. This study will validate what we have known all along – that great data creates great benefits.  Meanwhile, you can check out and share a few new infographics that DDMI has produced.

We have much to prove. We provide tremendous value to consumers, but we can never assume they know how much we do to serve and protect them. The world needs to see our intense commitment to giving consumers the greatest number of choices while giving their private information the highest level of security.  DMA has recently embarked on a mini-education campaign to help consumers discover the value of their marketing data.

We have much to do. DMA is proud to represent the data-driven marketing industry. We fight for you every day in every branch of government, not just at the federal level, but in every state and many countries.  Still, we need you, too.  Advocacy and lobbying is a participatory sport, not a spectator sport. By joining DMA, you can help us kill bad policies before they have a chance to kill your good business and destroy our economy.

Now is the time for all great marketers to seize this opportunity to tell our great story and fight the good fight… together in a great and noble common cause. May this be the best of times for you… and all of us!

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