ANA to Acquire DMA, Creating Largest Marketing/Advertising Trade Group in U.S.

by | Jun 6, 2018

The ANA (Association of National Advertisers), one of the oldest and most venerated trade association in the marketing industry, announced that it is acquiring another leading trade group, the Data & Marketing Association (formerly the Direct Marketing Association).

The move was approved by the board of directors of each organization, subject to formal approval of the voting members of the DMA. The integration is scheduled to be completed as of July 1, 2018, and will create the single largest trade association in the U.S. devoted to serving all aspects of marketing.

The combined enterprise includes a diverse membership group of leading national advertisers, advertising agencies, media companies, law firms, consultancies, ad tech and advertising companies, and marketing solution and service providers. The collective membership in the merged organization will include 2,000 corporate enterprises representing 20,000 brands and engaging 150,000 industry professionals.

“The combination of these two venerable institutions brings immense value to both member bases, as they will share a wide array of valuable resources and leadership platforms,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “The ANA/DMA collaboration creates a dynamic new entity dedicated to comprehensively serving virtually every aspect of marketing with distinction and professionalism. The ANA is particularly enthused at the potential for enhancing consumer engagement and business value through innovative, data-driven marketing.”

Liodice said that under the terms of the agreement, the DMA will become an ANA division to be headed by DMA CEO Tom Benton. This unit will serve both membership bases with a robust network of educational and professional development resources channeled through the DMA’s strategic center for data-driven excellence. The two groups will convene a combined, exclusive leadership team with a focus on identifying and implementing data-driven initiatives to advance the industry and drive growth.

“The ANA and DMA memberships are composed of the most talented and professional advertising and marketing organizations in the world. 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,” said Benton. “Data and technology evolutions have completely reshaped today’s modern business practices. Now is the ideal time for these leading associations to come together to bring enhanced consumer focus, responsibility, research, education, and advocacy to the industry.”

Benton added that as part of the acquisition, the DMA’s Nonprofit Federation and Email Experience Council (EEC) will continue to operate within the ANA framework as they have within DMA.


Liodice and Benton outlined a series of benefits for members of both associations resulting from the acquisition:

  • Shared resources and assets to build a data-driven marketing community
  • Greater access to education, training, and professional development initiatives for member advancement and recognition
  • New opportunities for members to share knowledge beyond existing communities and committees
  • Optimized research capabilities for sharper insights and innovation
  • Codification of data-driven marketing standards and certifications to deliver superior marketing experiences that exceed business and consumer expectations
  • Combined thought leadership to address data privacy, security and identity issues for future generations
  • Advancing the development of new technology platforms to energize brand and business building efforts in the marketing ecosystem.

This suite of benefits will facilitate the combined entities’ mission for driving growth for individual professionals, brands, and the industry, Liodice and Benton said.

The move marks the latest step in the ANA’s evolution and long-term growth plans and follows similar successful acquisitions made in recent years, including:

  • The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), the leader in ethical word-of-mouth and influencer marketing practices (January 2018)
  • The Advertising Educational Foundation (now known as the ANA Educational Foundation), which is focused on bridging the academic and brand marketing communities (July 2015)
  • The Business Marketing Association, which focuses exclusively on business-to-business marketing (December 2014)
  • The Brand Activation Association, which emphasizes optimal practices in experiential, influencer, content, relationship, promotion, and shopper marketing (July 2014).

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