Expo-sing DMEXCO: Key picks from this year’s digital marketing conference | M&M Global

Expo-sing DMEXCO: Key picks from this year’s digital marketing conference

DMEXCO, Europe’s biggest digital marketing expo and conference is back again next week with more attendees than ever before, writes Phil Guest, senior VP international at The Exchange Lab.

Phil Guest

32,000 people descend on this year’s mammoth event in Cologne, to tour the multi-hall stands of publishing, marketing and technology players and watch experts from around the world share their views on where ‘digital’ is heading, in all its forms.

Taking a look at this year’s schedule, what can we learn about the hot topics and trends in the industry right now? And what are the key areas of discussion to look out for?

Connecting worlds and the need for collaboration

One of this year’s key themes for DMEXCO is ‘Bridging Worlds’ and today there isn’t an area of business that has not been transformed by technology in some way.

Business models are being reinvented on an almost daily basis at a rate of change that is dizzying. In our own space, we’ve seen the automation of advertising accelerate with the emergence of programmatic media buying, a key theme last year and a likely topic of discussion again this year.

One of the panels I recommend is Collaborative Growth, a debate exploring the merits of collaborating in order to reach the digital consumers of today and tomorrow.

Mobile First – Not An Option – A Must

There are more mobile devices than human beings in the world today and the power of mobile computing advancing at a significant rate.

Although mobile advancements are lauded every year, there is no ignoring how consumers rely on the super computers in their pockets, attributing such great value to their lives that many feel naked without their phone. Yet, marketers are still struggling to discover the best way to engage consumers on these devices.

As the mobile agenda develops, there will be much talk of what is really meant by a ‘mobile-first’ approach, hopefully more than just another media buzzword. Keeping mobile front of mind of a holistic multi-channel rather than siloed approach is key to digital success.

The Future Of TV

Possibly one of the most interesting debates at this year’s conference will be the evolution of TV and content consumption.

Anyone in a family with teenagers will tell you that kids today are consuming more American sitcoms than ever before, although not in the way we did. New forms of entertainment such as online webcam gaming communities and Netflix are opening up access to audiences never before reached by advertisers.

Although TV still has a long way to go to overhaul its approach to trading, by adopting emerging technologies that automate airtime trading it has begun the transformation process. The topic will be a keen one to follow at DMEXCO.

Social Big-Hitters Tackling Advertising

Proof is finally emerging as to the value social media plays in influencing decision making.

For those that started out on the social journey some years ago, it is an exciting time when studies reveal that customers who engage with brands over social media spend 20-40% more than other customers. New forms of social marketing are gaining traction, top of the list of which is native advertising, followed closely by influencer marketing.

This year’s DMEXCO social discussion is likely to be dominated by both and marketers will reset their content and engagement strategies with the new learning.


Possibly the hottest new topic in the online industry today, there are estimates that over 200 million people globally have installed ad blockers on their devices. Once only a concern for desktop business models, the challenge now appears for mobile advertisers too. Apple recently announced that it will allow ad-blocking software for iOS devices to much furore, sparking more debate into the future of content blocking technology.

There is no ignoring that the trend fundamentally undermines the very business models that publishers rely on and it will be interesting to hear how the industry will deal with this new challenge. Be sure to catch Ben Barokas from Sourcepoint’s talk on ad blocking and how advertisers may be able to overcome it.

Here are Phil’s top seven picks for marketers attending DMEXCO 2015:

  • Congress Hall, Bridging Worlds: Finding The Way To The Consumer (16.09.15, 11.20am-12.00pm) – Bloomberg Media, Unilever, TBWA Worldwide, IPG Mediabrands – How to bridge the gap with technology demand, brand building and creative process.
  • The Debate Hall, Collaborative Growth, (16.09.15, 11.55am-12.30am) – Yahoo, ZenithOptimedia, SCA – Looking at the converging world of agencies, media owners and brands, and their changing business models.
  • The Congress Hall, Hitting The Next Milestones, (16.09.15, 2.00pm-2.35pm) – Yahoo, Opera Mediaworks, Isobar, Telefonica – A focus on what the intelligent mobile strategy of the future will look like.
  • The Debate Hall, The Role of Data In The Attention Economy, (17.09.15, 12.45pm-1.25pm) – Oracle, Mastercard, Celtra, The Economist, Rakuten Marketing – Exploring privacy, processing and protection and what marketers need to be wary of when managing big data.
  • The Debate Hall, Solving The Marketer’s Latest Cross-Everything Dilemma, (17.09.15, 12.15pm-12.45pm) – Modern Times Group, Facebook, NetBooster – Investigating whether it is possible to accurately measure and target across devices
  • The Congress Hall, Navigating The Advanced TV Space, (17.09.15, 3.40pm-4.15pm) – NBC Universal, Google, Cadreon, Broadband TV – Discussing how advertisers can blend data from multiple sources and a look at the television models of the future.
  • The Debate Hall, Adblock: Catalyst for A Game Change, (17.09.15, 4.40pm-5.00pm) – Sourcepoint – Promises to restore ads blocked by ad blocker software.
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