Direct Marketing Association (United States)

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The US Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is a trade organization for data-driven marketers which seeks to advance and protect responsible data-driven marketing. Data-driven marketing can include any marketing where consumer data is used for marketing purposes, usually to create a more customized experience - like presenting custom offers in an email, recognizing a regular customer on a website, providing benefits through a loyalty program, showing recommendations on a website, or inclusion other special customer groups. It can include many marketing channels, such as postal mail, email, social, inserts, web advertising, publishing/content marketing and search. DMA was founded in 1917. It is based in Washington, DC and New York City in the United States, but its members include companies from 48 other countries as well, including half of the Fortune 100 companies, as well as many nonprofit organizations.

Members of DMA agree to comply with strict guidelines, which set ethical standards for the right way to use data responsibly in marketing. These cover aspects like privacy, data collection, consumer notice, use of data and other aspects of responsible marketing. DMA enforces these guidelines, accepting complaints from consumers or other companies, and after a member review of the practices and allowing the company to change any non-compliant practices, then publishes a list of "bad actors." These non compliance companies are also reported to the appropriate authorities.

In addition to supporting those industry standards and agreeing to follow the Member Principles, companies that use data in marketing join DMA to network, grow their business, train their staff and participate in advocacy efforts. Note that DMA does not address the responsible use of consumer data for other, non-marketing uses - like entitlement or edibility.

Consumer options[edit]

As part of the public trust for the industry, DMA provides a method for consumers to opt out of various kinds of direct marketing, including credit and insurance offers by mail, catalogs, magazines, and other direct mail offers. This can be found at DMAChoice.org.

Consumer complaints about marketing practices are also accepted at the DMAChoice.org website or at this form.

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