Three Takeaways From DMEXCO 2018

Marketing Innovation

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Three Takeaways From DMEXCO 2018

Marketing Innovation

Guten morgen! After a whirlwind couple of days in Cologne, Germany, we’re back from DMEXCO 2018. Below are my top three takeaways.

1. Measurement reigns.

The easiest way to demonstrate the need for change is comparing old measurement against new measurement. Old measurement is often tied to media metrics like CPM, CPC, etc. and not business results. But you don’t know you’re buying inefficiently when your measurement itself is inefficient. This creates a cycle of inaction where you don’t feel the need to change.

Smarter measurement incorporates offline sales, uses partners with relevant data, or leverages measurement experts to go beyond last-click attribution. Many brands are onboarding their offline transaction data to better optimize the media investment—after all, 90% of commerce in the U.S. still happens in the physical world. But the most advanced brands are going beyond onboarding and into identity resolution to connect the digital and physical experiences of their customers.

It’s ok if brands don’t have sales data since data partners can supplement transaction, location, loyalty, and other data to act as their truth set. But the first step is still to get the data set you need to measure, and then to integrate that with your platform partners. Swapping media is easy. Swapping data providers is easy. It doesn’t require you to rethink measurement. But once you upgrade measurement, the whole process changes.  

2. Humans at center.

It was exciting to see LiveRamp and Acxiom’s global chief data ethics officer, Sheila Colclasure, take the stage at one of the most important sessions at DMEXCO : Take C.A.R.E.: Driving Change through Curiosity, Action, Responsibility, and Experiences. The panel focused on the spotlight that has been put on brands to use customer data ethically, and how trust is key between consumers and brands (and between brands and brand partners).  

My take is that a culture of “move fast and break things” should be replaced by “move smart and balance things.” There’s no more excuses for the misuse of data. Take it from the Swedish and their concept of lagom which means “just the right amount.” If you don’t need or use something like location data, maybe don’t collect it in the first place.

3. Make it personal.

There is  a growing emphasis on personalizing interactions with people to take advantage of the one-to-one nature of interaction in the online world. The point was well highlighted by one presenter who took to polling the room on what language(s) they spoke — French, Spanish, German, Swedish, and English. Most of the room raised their hands at the latter, but many had another native language…thus why the presentation was in English. However, in the online world, you have the ability to personalize, with the use of data (and AI if you’re up for it), to “speak their language.”

Fun fact: DMEXCO gods provided great weather on day one and two, only to fulfill the tradition of rain once during the week on day three, reminding us that DMEXCO is all about preparation and tradition:

  • It will rain… somehow, sometime
  • The lunch time currrywurst lines can stretch to an hour, so go early or late or scavenge small sandwiches from your partner meetings. Better yet, combine two open-face sandwiches into one tasty bigger bite.
  • Embrace German efficiency and book 30-minute meetings and leave the gossip for happy hour. Get straight into it.
  • Traditional 0.2L Kölsch beer glasses are hard to keep track of, as they are the equivalent to half a beer can.
  • The expo hall always seems to get bigger and busier. Outside your meeting, grab a map, plot your course, and leave some time to discover new companies along the way.  

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