dmexco 2017 – “Location, Location, Location”

As dmexco 2017 comes to a close, and the dust somewhat settles after the largest conference to date (over 1,100 companies, and 55,000 people were in attendance), we take a look back on some of the more pertinent points being discussed throughout the event.

Location, Location, Location

One immediate point of interest lies in the old adage of “location, location, location”. Thankfully for those of us there from OMD EMEA, traversing our way through the hundreds of stands was made easier by Omnicom Media Group being situated at the very centre of Hall 6, within which were the world’s largest digital companies from all aspects of the ad supply chain – from Facebook to Google, Adobe to Salesforce.

Beyond the location of OMG’s stand, it was also interesting to note the lack of focus on location as an important consumer data point throughout the talks given within the Speaking Halls – despite many of the digital partners focusing on this important area in our one-to-ones. Where real-time marketing and consumer centricity rely on a thorough understanding of real-world human action and interaction throughout the marketing funnel, our vendor partners are being challenged to help address its place within our transformation strategies, along with the accuracy of the data collected and their privacy compliance.

This then brings us on to the critical area of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance for the year ahead. Many of the companies in attendance will be impacted by the upcoming EU legislation and yet few seemed to be addressing it upfront. Clearly, GDPR isn’t a sexy topic to be flashing across the façade of your $60,000 stand, and the fact that GDPR may in fact devalue the product of some of these companies by reducing the availability of the data within it could be enough to silence many. Within the OMG stand, Graham Swallow (Director, Consulting at Annalect EMEA) was overheard discussing the implications of GDPR with his guests and we would certainly encourage our clients who weren’t in attendance with us to reach out to Annalect to discuss this further.

Effective consumer communication

When looking at location from a viewpoint of being in the right place at the right time, many companies in attendance believed they had an Artificial Intelligence solution to aid in effective consumer communication. As Suresh Vittal Kotha (VP of Platform and Products at Adobe) discussed in his talk titled “AI – The Hidden Super Power Driving the Experience Business” no matter what business you’re in or product you’re selling, your consumers care about their experiences with you. These experiences must appeal to each individual, and as a business these experiences can only be personalised if the business transforms themselves to be adaptive and responsive. Elizabeth Buchanan – OMD’s Worldwide President of Global Transformation – put this succinctly in her catch up during her ‘DMEXCO:TALK’ session by saying that the top skill required of all transformation leaders of tomorrow will be that of ‘listening’. That listening skill enables brands and businesses to develop that adaptive and responsive mind set by taking a step back and listening to the consumer, listening to the data and listening to the insights.

Artificial Intelligence has the ability to empower marketers in real-time, if and when they have transformed themselves to become adaptive and responsive. Within Adobe, Suresh discussed four core competencies of an experience business, which enables marketers to “master the millisecond when the experience happens”:

Context – Where mass data, analysed at scale can provide actionable insights on consumers

Design for Speed and Scale – The utilisation of AI to develop effective dynamic messaging, powered by Context

Cross-device Interaction – Where AI allows marketers to test hypotheses within their attribution models

Consumer Centricity – Putting the customer first. AI can act as a catalyst to break down the silos within organisations by unifying data – delivering an internal streamlined mindset with a focus on digital transformation.

Clearly, with over 1,000 companies in attendance, and over 200 talks, debates and speeches throughout the event, there’s too much information to distill into one short blog post. However, we would highly recommend watching through some of the talks on the dmexco website. And of course, check out or video round-up of the event, where we speak to some of OMD EMEA’s key partners – such as Facebook, Oath and Integral Ad Science, where they discuss what the digital transformation means for them and their companies.

For more information about OMD or anything we uncovered at dmexco please contact emea.omd.com

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About Author

Stuart Morris

Stuart Morris is an Executive Director at OMD EMEA, who leads the Digital aspect of the Sony Pictures international team. With a remit covering 26 regions (EMEA, APAC and LATAM), it is his passion to deliver digital excellence via innovation and performance. Stuart joined OMD in 2013, having spent 8 years at ZenithOptimedia where he worked alongside a wide array of clients including Mars Inc., RAC, Gucci and eOne Films.

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