DMA Offers Data Governance Certification to Marketers

Posted on by Richard H. Levey

The responsibility for securing data has existed for a long time within organizations’ legal, privacy and information technology units. A new certificate program from the Direct Marketing Association seeks to give marketers a solid grounding in responsible data practices.

“Marketers are living in a world with mountains of data, changing technology and criminal activities which are out of control,” says Gina Scala, vice president of education and professional development at the DMA. “IT people might know about [data governance issues], and privacy folks are living and breathing it, but what does it mean to [marketers] as they handle and transfer data?”

The DMA’s three-day in-person course offers insight into physical security, virtual security, monitoring and business privacy rules, as well as compliance issues dealing with notice and customer choice. Course materials are geared toward individuals who sell information, use data for marketing or work with clients who access and use data.

“Marketers and salespeople need to be the visionaries as data use becomes more creative,” says Peg Kuman, vice chairman of Relevate, who serves as the course instructor. “To be ahead of the curve without impinging creativity and innovation, they need to understand the rules of the road.”

Individuals completing the course will be able to create and champion data best practices within their organizations; understand the latest rules of data rights management and be able to manage data in privacy-compliant ways based on user preferences and privacy agreements; and have the knowledge to recommend strategies that have a much better chance of preventing data breaches.

The course will not offer legal advice, Kuman notes. Nor is it intended for privacy professionals or compliance officers. That said, it has drawn heavily on the thought leadership, both on the customer and the regulatory side, of the top marketing privacy experts in the country, Kuman adds.

The course has been tailored for the needs of marketers who may be unclear on some of the concepts of privacy – such as some fairly young marketers who once defined personally identifiable information to Kuman as “everything”.

“That is when it occurred to me that there is a deep need for a conversation about governance across our very broad and expansive multichannel industry,” Kuman says.

It was a thought similar to that which caused DMA board member Bruce A. Biegel to begin mulling creating the course more than a year ago.

“We had been doing work in and around the intersection of online and offline data,” Biegel says of consulting firm Winterberry Group, where he serves as senior managing director. “Within the corporate world there were three distinct silos – digital, direct and advertising. When they all rolled up to a CMO, they didn’t necessarily interact.

“Data security is something that keeps people up at night,” Biegel continues. “They worry about security, privacy and what data they are allowed to reveal, show and use. Who makes those decisions? Someone in marketing? A privacy officer? We would argue that this is an issue that crosses from IT to legal to the marketing and public relations departments.

“There was no place, 14 or 15 months ago, where a marketer or a supplier could get a concrete education, including certification in what matters in data governance. You called your privacy consultant who would be familiar with what the DMA and Digital Advertising Alliance were doing, with the regulatory and legislative landscapes, but often that was lawyers talking to lawyers.”

Practitioners, he says, needed to know what they should and shouldn’t do. And, Biegel notes, what a marketer can do far exceeds what they should do.

The course, which costs $1,699 for DMA members and $1,999 for non-DMA members, is currently scheduled to be given nine times during the next 12 months in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Call 540-409-3306 or click here for more information.

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