By Ava Seavey
The Real ROI of DRMA
Membership … Told by a Very Real
Have you ever met someone who joined a gym and then expected magically to get muscles even though they rarely showed up? Well the same thing could be said for folks that don’t make use of so many great and valuable
benefits available to them through DRMA membership. Just
joining is fine, but don’t you want to flex those business muscles and get full value?
We are an industry that lives and dies by the ROI of our
campaigns, so why is it that we don’t understand the
ROI of membership? Okay, I’m no math
major, but as best as I can figure,
the DRMA is the one trade group
that actually saves money and
pays back its tiny membership
cost with media efficiency ratios
(MERs) that resemble a fishing
infomercial from 1989.
Full disclosure: I don’t work for the
DRMA. And, in fact, I didn’t always
have full appreciation for all they offer. But
since I have taken advantage of some of these
many things, and reaped the rewards, I thought I
would share them with you. And you don’t even have to pay
me a finder’s fee.
As response marketers already know, data is key — especially good data. Did you know that when you join the
DRMA, it actually sends you a contact list of all the members?
And not just snail mail addresses like some groups, but phone
numbers and emails. Bingo. I have reached out to some of
the folks on the list and guess what? I actually scored not just
meetings, but actual business. Ding, ding, ding! My MER for
membership on this alone was at least a 20-to- 1 — no lie.
Now let’s take research needed to review the competitive
landscape if you are pitching new business or need to research
a category. I don’t know about you, but as a small company,
I just can’t belly up to the bar and pay upwards of $300 per
month that some research companies charge. Guess what?
For those low dues, DRMA serves this up to you for free! It
is exclusive research, not just on traditional DRTV, but also
lead-gen, brand response, and Hispanic. Ding, ding, ding!
The MER just soared closer to 30-to- 1. And that doesn’t even
include the DRMA white papers and industry research that
DRMA members also get as part of their membership.
But wait, there’s more! Face-to-face networking. Okay, I
will admit that I’m a social media fanatic. But nothing beats
face-to-face meetings with clients, prospects, referral vendor
partners, and even friendly competitors.
Guess what? DRMA has four events per year around the
country, free of course, and I assure you they don’t skimp on
the booze and food. And that does not even include all the
events at Response Expo in San Diego, which is a relaxed,
powerful, fun, and inspirational show that has become a
must-go for anyone serious about being a real player in the ev-
er-evolving omnichannel, performance-based marketing
world. Of course, DRMA members get a steep dis-
count on this event as well. Ding, ding, ding!
That membership MER is now at 40-to- 1.
Let’s talk briefly about PR. There are
terrific PR shops out there, and many are
friends. But, honestly, how many small
companies can afford to pay PR people
to get stories placed in publications of
influence like Response Magazine, read by
over 68,000 people? Well, guess what? If you
are a DRMA member, you can send a press release
about you or your company and it may just show up
in print or online. What is that worth? It could be hundreds
of thousands — or even millions — of dollars if the right peo-
ple see it. And, if not, your relatives
will be impressed.
Then there are some intangibles
that are impossible to quantify. Like
a couple of things I experienced
recently at Response Expo: petting
a dolphin at Sea World and getting
personal motivation from Philippe
Petit — priceless.
There are many other perks and
advantages to being in the DRMA,
but they gave me a word limit so I
can’t hit on everything. Get off your
duff and look into it yourself. But,
suffice it to say, I would calculate my
own MER to be somewhere well over
1,000-to- 1. When do we see numbers
like that in our business? So what are
you waiting for? Time to flex those
muscles and call now. ;