Dmexco was all about Data


This was my 5th time at dmexco, which might make me a newbie in some peoples’ eyes. But 5 years is a long time in the digital marketing space and I have seen some fundamental changes in that time.  This year it really became obvious to me how important data has become to marketing. Just looking at the agenda for the conference and debate hall showed how critical data & analytics have become. From the global MD of Havas Media , a debate entitled the ‘Efficiency Summit’, to Marc Pritchard, Global Brand Building Officer at P&G, who said in his keynote that “digital technology is a means to reach people” and how “marketing needs insights about how people think and feel” – all those sessions and many more discussed the importance of data for today’s marketer.

During a panel on the first day, our CEO and co-founder, Mike Baker, and Sacha Berlik, EU General Manager discussed how “Understanding the Power of Data & Analytics” can benefit today’s marketer. The session kicked off with the widely acknowledged fact that digital has transformed our personal lifestyles, and now this change is affecting businesses, and especially marketing. For marketers, understanding the needs of the consumer and delivering a personal and relevant message is the key to success in this fast changing world.

Collecting, analysing, understanding and using the data from this increasingly multi-channel consumer in a meaningful way, is what we are determined to help you to do.

A similar discussion took place on day two, when Mike joined a panel titled “Problematic or Programmatic – Killing or Creating Opportunities?“. The panelists from Mediabrands, Neo@Ogilvy and AppNexus all agreed that programmatic is the future, although Richard Wheaton, EAME CEO of Neo@Ogilvy would rather use a different term, as he thinks the term ‘programmatic’ undervalues the role of people. This statement led to a discussion about a talent shortage in today’s marketing teams and agencies. The industry needs more people who have the skills required in traditional marketing combined with a q quantitative mindset and a genuine interest in data and insights.

I’d really recommend that anyone who wasn’t able to join us in Cologne has a look at the recording of this very informative and engaging discussion:

In addition to this brief summary, I’d like to share some of my personal highlights from the session:

Brendan Moorcroft (moderator): What are the myths that you want to debunk about your company?

MB: “DataXu is known to be a Demand Side Platform (DSP) but I’d like to debunk the myths that a DSP is just a bidder on an Exchange.  DSPs and technologies like DataXu have really become decision and data management systems for brands and agencies.”

BM: “We created this industry because there was a fundamental problem with the way we bought and sold media. We are only 5 years in and traded about 4 billion worth of dollars but we are only 10 – 15% in every geo around the world of concentration of activity just in digital display. What’s next? What brings us from 10 – 15% of the display industry to the predominant way of trading across all media? “

MB: “Programmatic is about data. You can use data on the consumer level for one to one stuff but also data about your investment. We are getting much close to solving the existential problem of -what is the incrementality of this one ad vs. that one – and that’s really the trend I see. It’s almost like the rise of cheap computing and lots and lots of data is empowering people to say forget my econometric modelling and tops down pokey regression analysis and I’m going to go bottoms up and really figure out a real-time media mix. I think it is data that is the big change agent here. And for that reason the channel matters less and less and the device type and the ad size – they are all just parameters!”

I’m excited to see what the ‘hot topic’ will be at dmexco 2014, but personally I’m putting my money on data again.