Dmexco vs Cannes 2015: For creative, data-driven marketers, or data-driven creatives?


By Chris Le May, Managing Director UK & Nordics, DataXu

It’s hard to believe that just three months ago, we were nursing our Cannes hangovers, fired up by adtech that had taken centre stage. For the first time in the history of Cannes Lions, a dedicated stream focussed on tech-centred innovation, and the relationship – however harmonious or stifled, depending on which fence you sit on – between data and creativity.

These now infamous buzzwords were a recurring agenda, comment and social media theme. It was universally acknowledged that the crux of Cannes Lions had taken a fundamental shift from being a festival celebrating the creativity behind big above the line campaigns, to one that has opened up to the whole creative ecosystem and the technology that powers it.

Fast forward to September from La Croisette to Cologne, where we saw a continuing shift but in the other direction, for dmexco has been to technology what Cannes has been to creativity. Now, it seems like the two are converging. Big data and creativity were also buzzwords at dmexco 2015, with the conversation ignited around the adtech and creative industries now learning to speak the same language.

At dmexco 2015, programmatic was held up as an enabler of creativity – releasing agency teams from the shackles of spreadsheets and opening up resource to inject true innovation into not just campaigns but overall media and marketing strategies. Results of Forrester’s latest DSP Wave highlight how this conversation has not just continued but is being demonstrated in the industry, with their prediction that a distinct differentiator for future success of programmatic platforms is a “robust breadth of capabilities” and to provide “marketers with the tools needed for improving general marketing initiatives beyond just digital”.

Dmexco’s 2015 theme of “Bridging Worlds” elevated this debate beyond more than just observations. Certainly, there were many items on the agenda that came good on its “Bridging Worlds” theme, educating audiences on its new catchphrase of “digiconomy”. Sessions such as the IPA’s agency debate on ‘Gunning for market share – a new intersection of media, creativity and consultancy’ shed light on how “the transformation of the agency world has become a major challenge in the magic triangle of clients, media and creativity.”

But has the crucial role of data enabling creativity now been established? Are we now able to crack how data can reinforce the power of creativity by measuring its impact? Did dmexco 2015 shine a light on how data can be leveraged to guide the future direction for creativity, the way Netflix for example has done to develop new TV show ideas based on customer behaviour rather than a pure hunch?

This will pave the way for the direction of dmexco 2016 and who will get the most out of this: a creative data-driven marketer? A data-driven creative? Will we see a further shift in terms of who in the marketing ecosystem can access and leverage data to shape creativity?

I don’t know, but, I’m not sure it matters. We’re all here to do the same thing – achieve the best results to drive business forward. If the power of data can be opened up across the marketing world, it shouldn’t matter which team you play for.

Published by the Wall UK: