ANA Acquires Data & Marketing Association to Help Marketers Adapt to a Data-First World

DMA will operate as its own division within the company

As a part of ANA, DMA will operate as its own division within the company and will be led by DMA's current CEO, Tom Benton. Getty Images, ANA, DMA
Headshot of Diana Pearl

One of the ad industry’s best-known trade associations is merging with another: Today, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) announced their acquisition of the Data & Marketing Association (DMA, previously known as the Direct Marketing Association).

As a part of ANA, DMA will operate as its own division within the company and will be led by DMA’s current CEO, Tom Benton. This new division will work with members of both the ANA and the DMA, sharing a leadership team made up of people from both organizations. John Wolfe, ANA’s director of communications, said the merging of ANA and DMA will provide “a higher level of influence and authority, as well as more robust products and services that will better serve marketers and their brands.”

Benton echoed Wolfe’s comments in a release announcing the news.

“The ANA and DMA memberships are composed of the most talented and professional advertising and marketing organizations in the world,” he said. “The combination of these two associations will provide all DMA and ANA members with the power to responsibly guide data-driven marketing that delivers value to consumers and customers.”

Wolfe said that the growing importance of data in marketing and brand work made now the right time for ANA and DMA to join forces to provide an “expanded network” for brand marketers.

“Business today is becoming increasingly driven by data,” said Wolfe. “The truth is, data is now influencing more marketers from more types of companies, from across the entire ecosystem than ever before. As data dominates the marketing sphere, it has become clear that there is a greater need for more effective, more responsible and more ethical practices that enrich the lives of all consumers and yield greater profitability for brands.”

He added: “Combining resources for mutually beneficial research projects and a stronger, more unified voice for advocacy will lead to a more effective and efficient national organization with greater position on the world stage.”

Going forward, DMA will undergo a name change to “reflect its new position,” said Wolfe. He also said that in its new form, DMA will work with ANA’s network of brands and divisions to “to provide best in class services to its combined membership.”

This is ANA’s second big-name acquisition so far this year: In January, it announced the purchase of nonprofit trade group Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).

The board of directors of each association approved the move, though the DMA’s voting members still need to offer their own formal approval. The acquisition is expected to close by the first of July. It will not change the operations of DMA’s pre-existing Nonprofit Federation and Email Experience Council (EEC).

@dianapearl_ Diana is the deputy brands editor at Adweek and managing editor of Brandweek.