dmexco 2017: “The digital transformation is not a completed project with a clearly defined beginning or end”.

“The digital transformation is not a completed project with a clearly defined beginning or end”. So say the organisers of this year’s dmexco conference, whose 2017 motto “lightning the age of transformation” shines a light on the key area of focus for the delegates this year.

The path of transformation is often unpredictable – forking and diverging as new technologies, new platforms and new measurement capabilities come to market. Most importantly however, we must always bear in mind for whom and often by whom the transformation is occurring – the consumer.

This year’s the dmexco conference puts the consumer at the very heart of the hundreds of talks, seminars and debates open to its delegates. Before we, at OMD EMEA, make our way over to Cologne to determine and challenge what digital transformation means to some of the industry’s best and brightest, we have put pen to paper to predict the five areas which will be most important for the not-too-distant future.


dmexco kicks off the two-day event with one of the most pertinent questions that will shape the future of the digital transformation – what does digitisation mean to the world? What impact will digitisation have on us as human beings and as businesses? How do we upskill ourselves and our local markets for an unpredictable future? Rather than answer these questions, we will look into what kind of mind-set is needed in the future of a digitised world, to ensure a successful transformation pathway.


A consumer’s expectation of appropriate (and successful) brand communication is an acutely personal aspect of the digital world we now live in. Personalisation through privately owned platforms (such as smart phones) is now being enhanced outside of the handheld into real-time data-powered DOOH executions and beyond. Not only can brands deliver an always-on marketing approach to consumers, they can do so in a hyper-personalised manner. We’ll be interrogating what it means to be reaching consumers on the move, and whether stationary and mobile media should be treated as two separate or connected worlds.


…but everything is nothing without data. One of the key themes that will be running through many of the talks during dmexco is ‘courage’ – the courage to experiment and take risk to rapidly advance your own digital transformation. We will be looking into some of the largest global brands who have taken calculated data-driven risks to deliver significant growth for their businesses. Within the performance aspect of our business, we will be investigating what the Coalition for Better Ads means to viewability, ad-fraud and brand safety and how worried should we be about GDPR.


It’s no surprise to see many speakers keen to talk about ‘The Age of Assistance’ via artificial intelligence, but what does this mean to us as marketers? Beyond the in-home opportunities, we’ll be looking into how brands have powered their own innovation and creativity through the use of cognitive systems and the first steps towards a powerful tool in any marketer’s armoury – predictive advertising through AI.


As mentioned above, the consumer should always be the focus of every digital transformation pathway. Many of the talks and seminars at dmexco will place the consumer front and centre. Whether it’s Deutsche Telekom’s “Journey to Digital Customer Service Excellence” or McDonald’s “Move to Customer Centricity” – many global brands are tackling how to address customers individually through digital channels. We will interrogate how to manage and build brand equity in a world of tech-savvy individuals that spans multiple generations across the globe.

OMD EMEA will be tweeting throughout the event – just follow @OMD_EMEA and Stuart Morris and Georgina Williams-Gray at @SG_OMD on Twitter and Instagram for live updates.


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