Mad As Hell

Last week at Ad:tech, I took part in a panel of 30 luminaries who had a minute or so to provide the audience with wit and wisdom. The idea was to provide 30 great ideas in 60 minutes. Most folks provided great, sometimes funny, insights and tips. All were valuable, but none were particularly provocative, in my opinion. Since I was the last to speak, I decided the audience needed a little provoking. What follows is an expanded version of what I said.

I'm mad as hell. Is anyone besides myself angry at the poor performance of our trade organizations? Is anyone else frustrated because our trade groups seem more interested in organizing trade shows than running trade organizations? Take the problem with e-mail, the marketing channel with the second highest ROI index of any marketing channel, according to one trade group's own report. The highest ROI index of any interactive marketing channel! A marketing channel used by over 70 percent of ALL marketers, both online and offline.



Where are the lobbying efforts to shut down the vigilante blacklisters who act as judge, jury, and executioner, far from the reach of any government oversight, law, or appeal? Where is the legislation to prevent ISPs from blocking legal, Can-Spam compliant, opt-in e-mail messages? Where are our trade group leaders in counteracting the negative, exaggerated stories in the media about spam? Where are the positive stories about people who find e-mail marketing to be a positive experience--one that saves trees, decreases their postal mail, and is convenient and immediate?

Where is the support for the billions of dollars of commerce that transpires as a result of e-mail marketing?

Where is the battle against the insane Utah and Michigan laws! A little reminder: the Michigan law could prevent automotive manufacturers from e-mailing potential opt-in customers. Why aren't our trade organizations reminding the Michigan lawmakers that Detroit is in Michigan!

How much longer are we going to support endless and pointless committees whose sole purpose seems to be the aggrandizement of members' resumes? When the hell are the millions spent in supporting these organizations going to be used to hire someone who can actually GET SOMETHING DONE! E-mail marketing needs help NOW. We can't wait any longer.

And you need to get mad! You need to get mad NOW! It is time to hold the leaders of our trade organizations responsible and accountable. It is not about shows, and dinners, and drinks. It is not about committees, and membership drives, and press releases. It is about working your butt off in support of our industry. It is about taking an active role in educating lawmakers, sounding the alarm to our media outlets, and paving the way for marketers to succeed.

I am mad as hell and I, for one, am not going to take it anymore!

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