The DSA Is Done, Replaced By New Word Jumble Thingie

February 25, 2015 by Dave Haynes


The Digital Screenmedia Association has been taken out back and shot – the organization shut down and its members rolled into a new tongue-twisting aggregate entity called the Interactive Customer Experience Association, or ICXA.

Ick-zah. Nice!

This new entity will roll up the interests of companies in the CRM, POS, digital display, self-service, e- and m-commerce and mobile payment businesses. This, of course, makes perfect sense – since companies developing and marketing CRM platforms have so much in common with companies that make kiosks.

What? Huh?

Anyway, this explains why DSA head Paul Flanigan got bingo’d recently, and means, as Adrian at Daily DOOH points out, that the Hatfields vs McCoys war between rival digital signage associations is over and the newer guys – the Digital Signage Federation – won.

Whatever winning means …

The new association, like the now defunct DSA, is sugar-daddied and directed by the for-profit Networld Media Group – which makes its money publishing online periodicals about different technology verticals. If you look at what the ICXA now represents and what Networld publishes, you can easily see what’s going on.

icx2I get it as a business. I don’t get it, and never really did, why member companies saw this thing (when it was the DSA) as something that was genuinely about them, as opposed to about being an advertising and advertorial vehicle for Networld. As you will read below, the first thing out of the gate for the ICXA is a three-day conference in June.

Who knows how this will work for Networld, not that I suppose anyone other than Networld’s CFO should care. JD Events tried to roll up all kinds of technologies like this into the equally tongue-twisting Customer Engagement Technology World trade show, and we saw how well that went.

Says the news release:

“The need for ICXA reflects a rising emphasis among brands to create superior customer experiences through multiple technologies,” said Networld Media Group’s CEO, Tom Harper. “Our membership unites professionals from such disciplines as customer experience and service, loyalty, merchandising, marketing, sales, and retail operations.”

Technologies employed by these innovators encompass CRM, POS, digital display, self-service, e- and m-commerce, mobile payment, and much more. ICXA represents a broadening of scope to understand how various technologies can be combined to create unique and unprecedented consumer experiences.

ICXA will host its first annual ICX Summit in Chicago on June 28-30, 2015. Keynote speakers include Blaine Hurst, EVP of Panera Bread and Paul Price, CEO of Creative Realities.

The soon-to-be-launched website will feature a members-only education archive, including videos, webinars and podcasts covering the association’s educational activities. The site will also offer an industry blog and supplier directory.

To jumpstart its launch, ICXA is merging with and absorbing the full membership of the Digital Screenmedia Association (DSA), which had focused previously on the self-service, kiosk, and digital signage technology segments.

“The DSA board is excited about this new direction,” said Bill Lynch, DSA president and new ICXA board member. “The emerging customer experience market encompasses all of our member industries and much more. Our research into market trends and member needs finds most DSA members either expanding into broader customer experience solutions or aligning with partner companies. It became clear that our association must evolve to better serve the expanding needs of our members.”

Existing DSA members will receive full membership in ICXA and enjoy increased benefits with additional learning, networking and peer groups. Technology innovators and suppliers will be invited to participate as instructors in a new online learning series.

Under the leadership of Executive Director Scott Slucher, the new ICXA will continue to expand and develop membership across such industry verticals as banking and payments, retail and restaurant, healthcare, hotel and entertainment, education and government. Slucher brings to his new role many years of professional experience in sales and marketing, digital media, and market research disciplines. His specialty is helping organizations make deeper connections within their industries.

The DSA was never really going to work well the way it was set up. The optics were all bad. So now we have the DSF – which looked seriously goofy when it launched (the first chairman was a guy, Rich Cooley, almost completely unknown in the industry), but has grown into a real thing.

Now that I don’t have to choose sides, maybe I finally join the DSF.

Maybe …

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