Dmexco 2017: Thoughts, trends and technologies for tomorrow
Last week, industry experts, media professionals and marketers descended on dmexco 2017 for the annual conference in Cologne, Germany.
Launched nine years ago, dmexco has become the global digital economy industry event to attend or follow. Each year speakers from well-known brands discuss, debate and inspire, sharing opinions about how our digital economy will look in the coming years and innovations to enhance business initiatives.
dmexco 2017 covered a diverse range of topics, though we saw some recurrent themes sing loudly throughout quite a few of the presentations and discussions. Among the most popular: artificial intelligence (AI), customer data and engaging with millennials. All tied in some way to their impact on the industry, enhancing engagement and experiences, and ROI. It became abundantly clear that these are the topics keeping senior decision makers awake at night.
AI in advertising
While AI in advertising continues to excite, at the same time I’m sure it also sends shivers down the spines of many. AI has already impacted, and continues to change, the advertising industry as we know it. In a nutshell, it’s making digital outreach feel more human, giving advertising a touch of something we’re all starting to get used to since we’re engaging more and more with AI on a daily basis.
With a number of brands still implementing the likes of chatbots into their customer journey strategy – Coca-Cola for example – there’s still anxiety around the impact AI will have on our everyday lives. Machines can handle vast amounts of data and as our world becomes even more data-driven, there’s a fear that robots could replace humans in some roles, causing massive job losses.
We’ve already seen cases of chatbots becoming too clever and starting to invent their own way of communicating (remember the iRobot movie?), triggering debates around the subject. Implemented correctly, however, AI should help enhance and engage consumers as well as empower brands to deliver better customer experiences. A number of households are introducing AI into their homes. Research by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners shows that more than 10 million Alexa-powered devices have already been sold since 2014 – it’s clear that consumers are ready for an AI revolution.
A millennial push
As 2018 draws near, echoes of research from PwC suggesting that by 2020 at least 50% of the workforce will be millennials, is starting to take shape. Never has there been more of a better time to get engagement with these digital natives right. Not only are brands tasked with getting the balance of engaging and interesting content right, they must also ensure that they’re catering to this powerful generation as more and more millennials flood the workforce.
The complexities of data
As GDPR (general data protection regulation) approaches, data discussions will reach an all-time high. Already a hot topic for every business, customer data will become much harder for businesses to access in the same way they do now. More processes and legal responsibilities will engulf them as brands and businesses must eventually embrace GDPR and its benefits. The extraordinary value of customer data is sparking a trend toward customers taking ownership of their data – playing broker by allowing access to, when and how businesses use their data. Businesses will need to engage customers in the right way, become more transparent and enhance customer experiences in order to convince customers to hand over their data.
On the subject of data and GDPR, Dr. Sachiko Scheuing, DPO (data protection officer) of Acxiom, gave great insight and tips on how businesses can be accountable and in full compliance with regulations while still owning and using data and producing successful digital marketing campaigns.
So, with all these trends and technologies set to turn our digital economy world upside down, it looks like next year will be pivotal for many industries, not just advertising.
What trends or insights stood out for you at dmexco 2017? Tweet us your thoughts!