The Direct Marketing Association on July 7 named John Greco Jr. president/ CEO. He replaces Bob Wientzen, who left the New York-based organization at the end of June.
Greco has no background in the catalog business, although he did hold several executive positions with printer RR Donnelley between 1996 and 2000. Last year he cofounded Enterprises, a Watchung, NJ-based holding company that includes Greco Associates, a marketing, business development, and association management services company, and Greco Development and Construction, a real estate investment and management company. He was previously president/CEO of the Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association.
Greco is confident he’ll be able to serve the interests of DMA’s catalog members. “The bottom line is, my background in marketing, direct marketing, and all the print and electronic interactive world cuts across, whether it’s catalog or not,” he says. “I spent significant amounts of my time at AT&T [where he worked until 1996] at Bell Labs running the consumer laboratory, which at the time was one of the foremost places where consumer market research was being done. It focused on how consumers interacted with media of any kind, be it catalog, direct mail, electronic, etc. So I have a strong background in consumer marketing.”
What’s more, “as an officer at Donnelley, I sat on the corporate committees that included work in the catalog arena,” Greco says. “So from my years at Donnelley, I understood the challenges and opportunities catalogers faced.”
Catalogers contacted approve of the DMA’s appointment. “He has practical experience, he has the background in our industry with Donnelley, and that’s good because he knows his way around,” says Gary Giesler, chairman/ owner of Cleveland, OH-based multi-title mailer AmeriMark Direct. Peter Rice, president/CEO of Madison, VA-based home and garden products cataloger Plow & Hearth, agrees: “He understands the role of quality and consensus-building within an organization, and those traits will be very important with the DMA.”
Kathryn Morley, CEO for Penny Wise Office Products, calls Greco’s hiring “an exciting change for the DMA. He brings a strong business-to-business skill set to the organization, as well as an understanding of the association marketplace.”
Catalogers shouldn’t expect radical changes at the DMA under Greco. “I think the DMA is heading in the right direction,” he says, “and I’m not looking at it from a [turnaround] perspective.” The DMA and the interactive marketing industries are at an exciting and challenging point in time, he notes, “and the DMA will have to work on the political front and the media to tell the industry’s great story. So I view the challenge the DMA has ahead [as one of making] sure the perception of the industry continues to improve.”