Professor Derek Holder, co-founder of the IDM

Professor Derek Holder F IDM, co-founder and managing director of the IDM, was among the first to recognise direct marketing as a critical stand-alone discipline, as well as a respected and respectable career choice.

In 1981, as an academic at Kingston Polytechnic Business School, Derek designed and created the world’s first ever professional qualification in direct marketing, the Diploma in Direct Marketing. He went on to launch the Direct Marketing Centre, which later became the IDM.

Derek understood that, for the direct marketing industry to thrive, it needed a constant stream of bright graduates entering it. They needed practical and commercial business knowledge – as well as the inspiration – to take their work to the highest level throughout their careers.

The current chief executive of the DMA, Chris Combemale recognised his immense contribution: "Derek was an inspirational leader of the direct marketing industry. He realised many years ago that the industry needed professional skills and talented people to achieve its potential. He founded the IDM with a passionate commitment to academic rigour and professional excellence. In today's world of modern marketing, every marketer and every company have become practitioners of the skills Derek cared so much about. Derek educated generations of direct marketers. Many of our members feel indebted both professionally and personally to Derek for the skills they learned from him.”

On his death in 2012, Derek Holder left a legacy to the IDM Trust that he wished to be devoted to education and the continued development of the profession.

The IDM Trust has now merged with the DM Foundation to form the DM Trust. You can read more about the DM Trust here.

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