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
Unusual things are happening this week, from people freezing for the mannequin challenge and UFO emoji’s, to futuristic vending machines appearing in towns to sell spectacles (but after the result of the recent US election, we should be prepared to no longer be surprised). If you are lucky enough to be strolling down the road and catch sight of one of these unusual-looking vending machines, you could be forgiven for thinking that you have walked onto the set of Despicable Me 3, but draw a little closer and you discover that this vending machine is in fact a very cool bit of tech. Left unattended the machine is just “sleeping”, but motion sensors wake it up as you approach. You are met by a big digital eye that interacts with you…it’s not a Minion, it’s a vending machine and it wants to sell you a device for $130 – The Snapchat Spectacle. Whether this new product will become more popular than the Google Glass is still to be decided; however, there are certainly some interesting opportunities for brands wanting to reach an audience of Snapchat loving millennials.
The annual tech and innovation fest gets under way in Cologne this week. This year’s tantalising premise is that, “Digital is everything — not every thing is digital.” Why? Because digital marketing is about to get personal.
In recent years there has been the perennial focus on smart data, the internet of things and convergence. But, this year the ‘tip of the spear’ will be about people-based marketing. As all forms of communication become increasingly addressable the undeniable truth is that we now have the capability to reach people on a one-to-one basis and that represents an opportunity to speak to consumers in an eminently personalised fashion.
Delivering relevant messages to an individual based on registered user data, on a specific identifiable device and doing all that at scale, basically, means that marketing will evolve beyond all recognition over the next decade. From ‘marketing to the many’ to the ‘marketing of the individual’ will virtually eradicate wastage and revolutionise the way we interact with consumers and augment their online experiences. All sounds very ‘Minority Report’ doesn’t it?
Since the advent and meteoric rise of programmatic over the past few years, we have used technology to reach consumers much more efficiently. However maybe, as an industry, we didn’t focus enough on how effective the messaging could be by harnessing the power of personalisation.
Research from Adobe suggests that some marketers already believe they understand the role of personalisation in the buying process – according to their numbers, around 83% of retail marketers think they do a decent job in personalising experiences for consumers. Conversely, consumers clearly don’t agree, as only 29% of them feel that retailers effectively offer them personalised content or offers. Patently there is a disturbing disparity between client perception and customer reality.
TECH VS REAL WORLD
No one would argue that technology could ever really replace the prominence of real world experiences and the need to truly understand consumer need states and motivations. But, as the event organisers put it:
“Even though there are still some things in consumers’ lives that do not look digital at first glance and perhaps may never become digital, we are convinced that everything — including the relationship between consumers and brands — can be further improved through digitisation”.
So, if the solution lies in the enhancement of the online experience to make it more idiosyncratic and engaging for the consumer then that begs another question – how do marketers achieve that enhanced experience?
The answer is to make the experiences more powerful, consistent, sustainable and meaningful. The research is clear that Gen Y consumers prefer experiences to possessions and actually want brands to interact with them. In fact, according to Google, 16% of them actually want you to provide decent content so that they can share it with their friends.
Of course, there are already some excellent examples of clients who are already adopting a more customised approach to delivering personalised content to their consumers. For example, starting in Denmark, McDonald’s have begun the move away from pure demographics and started focusing on behaviour and needs in order to become much more relevant and targeted. They have adapted their marketing to highlight every single moment in a customer’s daily media usage and apply a ‘My McDonald’s’ strategy instead of a ‘Mass McDonald’s’ approach delivering dynamic creative messages at the right time, to the right person, on the right platform.
The point is that although there are some pockets of excellence around the globe, the reality is that many marketers haven’t yet embarked upon this kind of transformational journey towards enhanced personal online experiences. A panel moderated by Adweek will debate this very topic featuring speakers from IBM, Publicis and OMD entitled ‘Changing Marketing Agency Landscape: Building the most rewarding customer experiences‘. It may well prove to be a rallying cry for the industry and a catalyst for accelerated adoption of personalisation.
PERSONALISE OR DIE
To conclude, I decided to garner the opinion of a leading marketer from one of the world’s biggest advertisers. Bastien Schupp, vice president of global marketing communications at Groupe Renault, made it very clear that agencies and marketers who fail to react positively to this paradigm shift will be the ones who ultimately lose out.
“Communicating with individuals is undoubtedly the single biggest challenge ahead of us. The transformation of the creative and media buying processes will profoundly disrupt the way we do marketing. Getting big agency and client organisations to adapt to this change will define who stays in the game.”
The message is simple and somewhat stark. Personalise or die.