Direct Marketing Association Unveils First Ever 'DMA Certified Marketing Professional' Public Certification Program Creates Global Standard for DM Education Courses Available for Credit at DMA09 in San Diego

NEW YORK, July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today unveiled its "DMA Certified Marketing Professional" program, a first of its kind global standard for direct marketing education. While the program is open to all, individuals from DMA member companies will receive additional benefits throughout their course of study, beginning with special member pricing.

There are aggressive paradigm shifts taking place in media and marketing. Already over 52 percent of all ad expenditures in the US have shifted from general advertising to direct response marketing and direct channels. There is also a shift within direct marketing integrating traditional channels with new media channels like email, search, social networking, and mobile. These changes in the economy have forced marketers to reevaluate how and where they do business, and the need for a globally recognized education standard that can be used by marketers worldwide has arisen.

"Allowing marketers to gain worldwide recognition for their direct marketing expertise will elevate the stature of direct marketing around the globe," said John Greco, DMA President and CEO. "The 'DMA Certified Marketing Professional' not only brings value to participants, but to their companies as well. This program will create an elite group of marketing professionals that can travel anywhere in the world, at any time, with exceptional knowledge of the direct marketing process that exceeds community standards.

"Valuable and timely education has always been at DMA's core, and in line with our current global expansion strategy, this certification program is another way for us to keep delivering on our goal of opening up new markets and opportunities for members," continued Greco. "Today we take that a step further by extending our premier educational services to individuals whose companies might not yet be DMA members."

This digital, direct, multichannel environment is both a part of the solution to the economic challenges we face, and the future of business. Direct media thrives because it offers greater efficiencies and relevance. Analytics is the key to staying relevant, being responsible, and getting a desired result. The "DMA Certified Marketing Professional" is the foremost all-inclusive educational program keeping marketers connected and current.

The program is timely and reflects today's landscape, allowing those enrolled to gain direct access to specialized education from the US and around the globe; supplying individuals and companies alike the opportunity to stay current on initiatives affecting the global marketing community, forge new and strong partnerships, and improve overall marketing efforts.

The certification program, which is available both online and in person, ensures that every certified marketer has a high-level of knowledge in all foundation areas and core aspects of direct marketing. In-person courses are available now, and the first online certification courses will be available in Fall 2009. Additionally, attendance at selected DMA09 sessions will count toward certification credits. DMA09, the Global Event for Integrated Marketing, takes place October 17-22 in San Diego, California.

The program will be launched in English and Japanese. DMA currently has discussions underway to partner with international organizations to tailor the course program in Spain; Saudi Arabia; Egypt; Dubai; Brazil; Argentina; South Africa; Hong Kong; Singapore; and China.

The "DMA Certified Marketing Professional" program is the first of its kind that complements international direct marketing courses currently being offered by foreign educational institutions. This allows individuals enrolled in the program that have already completed such courses to gain credit toward the certification.

Individuals studying to become a "DMA Certified Marketing Professional" receive a special six-month subscription to the Library of ECHO Awards Case Studies, a web-based subscription plan allowing viewers to read marketing strategies, dive deeply into media selections and tactics, click around creatives, as well as see award winning results from past DMA International ECHO Awards winners.

One expert partnering with DMA on this important initiative is Ron Jacobs, president of Jacobs & Clevenger, who helped develop the course and diagnostic test, based on his book, Successful Direct Marketing Methods.

About Jacobs & Clevenger, Inc.

Jacobs & Clevenger is a multichannel direct marketing communications agency that provides direct, database, and digital marketing solutions. Jacobs works with governments, post offices, and stakeholders all over the world to promote the tools and techniques of multichannel direct marketing.

About Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the leading global trade association of businesses and nonprofit organizations using and supporting multichannel direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates standards for responsible marketing, promotes relevance as the key to reaching consumers with desirable offers, and provides cutting-edge research, education, and networking opportunities to improve results throughout the end-to-end direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today represents more than 3,400 companies from dozens of vertical industries in the US and 48 other nations, including half of the Fortune 100 companies, as well as nonprofit organizations.

In 2008, marketers -- commercial and nonprofit -- spent $176.9 billion on direct marketing, which accounted for 52.1 percent of all ad expenditures in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated approximately $2.057 trillion in incremental sales. Last year, direct marketing accounted for approximately 10 percent of total US gross domestic product. Also, there are today 1.6 million direct marketing employees in the US. Their collective sales efforts directly support 9.3 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 10.9 million US jobs.

The Power of Direct: Relevance. Responsibility. Results.

SOURCE Direct Marketing Association



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