I am feeling pretty lucky right now as this is my first time attending dmexco. There are so many interesting sessions and keynotes running in parallel, great topics and inspiring speakers. My biggest frustration is that you simply can't manage to attend everything you would like to. Also, there are many exhibitors and it's impossible to see everyone. To top it all off the host told us that this is the hottest dmexco ever, 30 degrees we are all just sweating bullets. So dmexco 2016 is simply just hot. Hot weather and hot topics. 

But let me share with you what hot topics I have seen coming live out of dmexco 2016:

1. Innovation is out, invention is in

Dmexco 2016One of the most interesting and engaging sessions that I attended was no other than the legendary "digital prophet" at AOL, David Shing. David discussed what the lexical itinerary for dmexco is and he thinks the most important keyword out there is "experience". He boldly proclaimed, that innovation is out and invention is in. David explained, "if you think about change, which is really what innovation is about, that’s different to creation, which is really what invention is about." And that is where he thinks where we are today. And this is the direction AOL has taken. "We have built brands that people love and then we get people to the brands that they love". The key he says is understanding human behavior. Our behavior is being changed by technology. Change has to be grounded by emotion and reality. There is nothing more real than real itself.Just like the example he used with Jaguar. Jaguar 'pranked' unsuspected participants into believing they were going to experience a virtual reality ride in a Jaguar, when really they put a race driver in the driver's seat next to them and took them on a real track ride. Samsung got it right by giving tools to the creators to see if they can experiment with it in order to create demand with this hardware. An example he gave was of a skier using a smartphone with a wire and filming his ride down the hill in slow motion, "this cannot be scripted". This is about the experimentation world and this is where we are today.

.@shingy boldly proclaimed #innovation is out and #invention is in
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2. Marketers need to unify data to drive real-time customer engagement

Meeting digital marketing demands today is quite a challenge. The key is to engage with your customers on a truly personal level. As Will Swayne stated, "behind every digital engagement and data point there's a person. Connecting them drives valued engagement." Finding a balance to leverage all your data sources in order to understand your customer's behavior is the difficult part. In today's day and age customer engagement is more than just one channel rather you need to engage via email, mobile social and web marketing. It has been mentioned that big companies need to watch out for the smaller companies and it is a good thing that Teradata Marketing Applications, now Mapp tries to have this start up approach. We are known for providing a customer engagement platform where you have access to all our data in just one solution. We made our big reveal of our new brand name. Now see what it means to be truly digital, with Mapp. And again Swayne backs us up by stating, "addressability, real time and personalization determine success in the digital economy".

Addressability, real time & personalisation determine success in the digital economy - Will Swayne

— Carat Global (@CaratGlobal) September 14, 2016

3. Teradata Marketing Applications becomes Mapp

It was especially exciting for me to be at an event where our company was launching their new brand name right before our eyes. With our rustic warehouse the reveal of the brand name was a really creative way of introducing it to everyone at dmexco 2016. And naturally our stand stood out as this building site was something special next to all the other shiny booths.

Teradata Marketing Applications brand becomes @Mapp_Digital
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Dmexco 2016

4. Bots will become our 24/7 digital concierge

Just like Siri, Chatbots are becoming  "the new voice in consumer communications". Essentially these computer conversations are mimicking human conversations with the help of Natural Language Processing (NLP). The capabilities are advancing and this is soon to be a hot topic on the market. The benefit for marketing is that these "conversations" can reflect the brand's identity.

Bots can become your 24/7 digital concierge — Veronika Ferianček (@veronikagburik) September 14, 2016

According to Daniel Ilkovich the founder of Chatbot, "in the Chatbot era, writers are the new designers. They are becoming more and more responsible for the early impression a customer gets from your brand". But he warns that we are still in the early days of this up and coming technology and that Chatbots will become more advanced in more complex areas such as customer service and e-commerce and that the interactions should remain simple like encouraging customers to get to their webpage or customer service representative.

1st gen of bots will focus on transactional services — Veronika Ferianček (@veronikagburik) September 14, 2016

5. Video will dominate the mobile web

As stated by dmexco's director Christian Muche, one of the highlights this year is video content. He said this is clearly evident by how many exhibitors are offering video creation. So much so that video seems to be playing an integral part at dmexco itself. According to Chris Cox, the Chief Product Producer at Facebook, "70 % of all mobile traffic will be video by 2021." However, he also discussed the problem with video. That being that the internet connection is not great worldwide, if you are an international company and run campaigns in countries with poor internet connection you need to take this into account. He also mentioned how Facebook is trying to bring internet to as many people as possible, for example with solar planes.

According to @facebook, video will dominate the mobile web by 2021. Do you agree? #dmexco2016 w/ — The Drum (@TheDrum) September 14, 2016

Another interesting remark was from Snapchat with Imran Khan. He stated that when people watch video without sound, they basically see a moving banner, they don’t get the whole message and the experience is limited. Your brand really wins when viewers plug in their headphones and turn on the sound. That is considered 'true engagement'.

dmexco 2016


We can see this already taking effect with brands. When it came to Jack Dorsey's session, he stated in live chat that Twitter wants to focus on live video in the future in order to give people the opportunity to follow live events and have the commentary option at the same time. The balling has started rolling.

6. What we can learn from creative efforts

The CMO of Lego, Julia Goldin talked about UGC (User Generated Content) as Lego is all about it. UGC is the one thing that brings the most credibility to brands but also the one that is the most difficult to control. The most important values for Lego are creativity and learning and those are especially important when creating marketing campaigns as well, the combination is crucial for innovation. Brands should incorporate innovation but always check if it also makes sense for the product (i.e. VR). At Lego they don't distinguish between traditional, digital or social media, those categories are outdated.

Surprisingly, Lego is the #1 viewed brand on @YouTube bc of the content adult fans create - Julia Goldin — MediaLink (@MediaLink) September 14, 2016

7. We are no longer waiting for the Mobile Revolution - it has happened:

Listening to S. Rmaswamy of Google I came away with some powerful information. The main message was brands should not ask if they should invest in mobile but how they should invest. He explained Google's story about moments that matter; it's critical for marketers to know which moments matter and which don't. Moments that matter are those when people turn to their phones to make decisions, to find information for their decision - this is an opportunity for brands to connect with customers in a meaningful and relevant way.

.@google Revolution has already happened. The world is now #mobilefirst. #dmexco2016 — Agentur Frau Wenk+++ (@Wenk_PR) September 14, 2016

It was interesting to see how much attention Facebook and Google were able to acquire at dmexco 2016. Katie Deighton stated, "I would say dmexco felt a bit like a love-in for Facebook and Google this year. They had two of the biggest and the coolest stands and many of the talks focused on which upcoming platform would uproot their duopoly in the ad spend market, whether it be Snapchat or the upcoming Yahoo/Verizon/AOL stack, which we found out will be an open data, mobile-first offering."

#dmexco2016 felt a bit like a love-in for Facebook and Google @DollyDeighton
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How can you make the most out of events?

According to Jack McDermot, Account Director at LogoGrab, dmexco is a whirlwind event that you just need to be part of. But here are some general guidelines he has provided for future events. His tips:

  • Reserve meetings in advance.
  • Try to group them by location: getting between halls takes time.
  • People will hear what you're saying if you mean business and tell them exactly what you can deliver.
  • Talk to that unassuming-looking person next to you at the agency cocktail party because they might just turn out to be a VIP!

Closing Remarks

As dmexco director Christian Muche said: The motto should show the ambivalence about digitalization; what makes dmexco unique is the intersection of tech and marketing although they don't want to become a tech event as it's still about the opportunities digitization creates for addressing customers. Have you been to the event? What are your takeaways? Please share with us in the comments below.

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