DMEXCO, Europe’s largest digital marketing conference, last week opened its doors to the media masses for two action-packed days in Cologne. With more exhibitors, speakers and delegates than you could shake a Lumascape chart at, this year’s event promised thought-provoking discussions and inspirational keynotes under the theme of “Entering New Dimensions.” But with so much on offer, and miles of exhibitor halls to navigate, what were the key takeaways?
DMEXCO is Germany
On the world stage, Germany has a reputation for efficiency, financial competency and superior build quality. DMEXCO is no different. The show’s organisers run a tight ship. Slick, organised and runs like clockwork. No other conference I’ve been to has booths so creatively executed and built to such exacting standards, used for meetings during the day, followed by raucous networking drinks in the evening. The mullet is alive and well at DMEXCO. Business at the front and party at the back.
Everyone’s talking convergence
With 470 international speakers, producing over 200 hours of content, on six stages, it was impossible to see it all. For me, from the sessions I managed to attend, the one topic that sang out loud and clear was convergence. With the line between TV and online video continuing to blur, consumers are watching sight, sound and motion content where they want, when they want. The question is what does that mean from an advertising perspective? The general consensus seemed to be that we’ll see a merging of the most familiar and beneficial aspects of the TV and video worlds in this new reality, something which our latest Forrester Consulting research study, released last week at DMEXCO, also highlights.
Digital marketing is dead
The reality is that our lives, in one way or another, are now digital. The Internet of Things is upon us and multi-screen consumption of content is a reality, so it’s not surprising that conversations about “post-digital” (it’s all digital) or “post-programmatic” (it’s all automated) were topics discussed at length during this year’s DMEXCO. Digital marketing is no more, it’s all simply marketing.
Simplify the complex
I think it’s safe to say that as an industry, we still tend to overcomplicate things, especially when it comes to explaining the intricacies of our technology. Acronyms here. Technological jargon there. It can be confusing for those au fait with the lingo, let alone those who aren’t. The hundreds of visitors who dropped by our stand came looking for simple solutions, not complex conversations. The most successful interactions came via relatable, real-life examples that focused on solving specific problems.
Entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking
One of the most inspiring areas of the conference for me was the newly introduced Start-Up Village, an area dedicated to the many innovative and high-growth start-ups of the digital economy. Sitting in on a few of the lectures that took place, it was hard not to feel inspired by the next wave of entrepreneurs entering the industry. Comprised of a number of businesses founded by millennials, a generation that’s never known the world without the internet, their ability to look at the world from a different perspective, and challenge norms was inspiring. An excellent addition to the DMEXCO programme and a fitting homage to this year’s “Entering New Dimensions” theme.
Read the takeaways from other industry insiders on The Drum.