- On September 27, 2017 /
- By paperplanes /
- In blog, Events
I attended my first ever dmexco event at the start of September. If you don’t know, dmexco attracts 50,000 visitors and 1,000 exhibitors from all over the world who are interested in finding out more about the ‘digiconomy’. I thought I would share some thoughts, comments and highlights from the event from the perspective of a first-time attendee and advocate of tangible media in a world where non-tangible marketing spend takes precedence. Here goes…
The event is bloody massive!
If you are attending for the first time you cannot really prepare for the sheer scale of what awaits. If anyone is familiar with the Birmingham NEC then multiple that at its busiest time by 2 and you begin to get the idea. If I were to do my time again I would leave the first morning free of meetings to take in the whole exhibition space. There are 8 to 9 exhibition rooms and a steady stream of tier 1 presenters and speakers that are showcased across the various stages. This really can be all very overwhelming when you first arrive so make the most of the dmexco app and schedule meetings prior to arrival to manage your time. Oh, and prepared for long queues for lunch along with an intermittent wifi connection.
Traditional media plays a prominent role
I was quite surprised to see the sheer scale and variety of promotional marketing that was utilised above and beyond digital. During my two days in Cologne I can’t remember one time when I was served a programmatically triggered ad on mobile or desktop encouraging me to visit a certain stall or presentation. I wasn’t geo-targeted with any relevant info based on brands in my vicinity at dmexco, I didn’t even receive an email from any specific brand communicating more about their product or service. I did however come across multiple sponsored taxis, ad-enhanced push bikes, branded street graffiti and good ol’fashioned billboards making me aware of who was present and where they were exhibiting. Seems to me traditional forms of media were doing wonders raising awareness;)
Influencers are soooooo in
Influencers seemed to be a focus for everyone at the event. Marketers have obviously been talking about influencers for a number of years but it felt as if the penny has now well and truly dropped. FMCG through to travel brands were highlighting the significance of all types of influencers from celebrity all the way through to the everyday type.
The big hitters are demanding more from digital
Much has already been said about Marc Pritchard’s take on transparency in digital spend, claiming only 25% of what is spent actually translates into ad advert a customer sees. Sheryl Sandberg utilised her speaking slot to emphasize that digital pioneers cannot simply focus on the bottom line, highlighting the importance of community and purpose for all brands. The message was clear for all those in attendance. We should be doing more to drive purpose and provide a reliable, effective marketing service.
In summary I really enjoyed my time engaging not just with some of the established brands but also with some of the pioneers who like Paperplanes are disrupting the status quo with their own innovative offers (Eversfrank and Deutsche Post deserve honourable mentions). Taking in stall after stall it really highlighted to me that the brand that can differentiate themselves with their offering stands a great chance of success. So on top of the points above I would seriously recommend that special time, effort and consideration for any start-up out there is placed on creating a unique value proposition. Ask yourself not how you can just be one of the many at these types of events but how you will stand out. With the sheer scale of dmexco trust me, it’ll be to your benefit.