As my tenure as chairman draws to a close, I’d like to reflect on some of the high points from this past year. Working with Julie Coons, the ERA staff, and the Board of Directors, I’m proud to say that we have made headway in transitioning from an administrative board to a strategic one.
We see the bigger picture by acknowledging that the industry is evolving from a single-channel marketing platform into an omnichannel environment. We ask questions like, “How can ERA become more valuable to its members in a rapidly changing marketplace?” and, “As an industry, how do we stay on the forefront of change?”
The solution, of course, begins with education and thought leadership—the chief drivers behind ERA’s three-year strategic plan. To that end, The Great Ideas Summit and ERA D2C Convention offer high-level Masters Series sessions featuring leading experts in social media, omnichannel marketing, online video, and mobile. What’s more, the lineup for the D2C Convention Masters Series sessions include speakers from the online space such as AOL-Convertro, Marketo, Adconion Direct, and adMixt.
We are not abandoning our DRTV roots; we’re simply helping marketers expand their breadth of experience to become stronger leaders in a multichannel world. The same applies to digital marketers who want to enhance their marketing efforts by incorporating television. This subtle shift is helping ERA grow its membership, offering everyone greater networking opportunities by bringing new faces into the fold.
After all, companies in the digital marketing community can gain a lot by becoming ERA members, especially when it comes to advocacy. This year’s ERA Government Affairs Fly-In was undoubtedly one of the best ever. No other industry event enables you to meet face-to-face with the leaders of the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and other government agencies to discuss the issues that matter the most to marketers.
The fact that we celebrated the 10-year anniversary of ERSP at the Fly-In makes it even more significant. The FTC’s implicit endorsement puts us in a position of great strength, and shows potential members in the online space that ERA has a solid reputation on Capitol Hill. Working collaboratively with regulators as opposed to being adversarial is a quality that sets us apart from other trade associations.
Over the past months, I’ve gained a new appreciation for the work ERA does for its members on a daily basis by championing our causes and providing us with the tools and resources to help achieve greater success. It has truly been an honor to serve as ERA chairman.