What We Learned | A Visit to DMEXCO 2016

- Mark Schwartz

Last week Team Crealytics visited DMEXCO, the largest gathering of marketing professionals in Europe. With over 50,000 attendees and 1,000 vendors, it’s seen as the place to be if you’re in the digital marketing business.

As a service for those that couldn’t attend (and as a summary for those that did), we braved the crowds to collect the most interesting content, thoughts and opinions that we heard over the course of the event.   

While the seminars and presentations ranged from eCommerce to Augmented Reality there were a few ideas commonly represented across the event.


  • Customer Experience (CX) must expand to include both offline and online experiences.


The current complexity of channels, touch-points, and advertising formats have generated Yottabytes of data. Making sense of that information across the consumer journey is key to maintaining and growing relationships.  We heard of brands using data in innovative ways to engage and improve customer experiences. Whether it is connecting online shopping with in-store pick-up, offering free Wi-Fi in stores, or using in-store devices to improve online retargeting and behavioural advertising, the role of technology to improve and enhance how customers interact with your brand was explored in depth.



  • We haven’t hit peak Programmatic yet.


While much of the event focused on the challenges posed by today’s fragmented and inconsistent programmatic ecosystem, there’s still opportunity and efficiencies to be found across the spectrum. We learned that mobile programmatic is still in its infancy, and that targeting continues to get more relevant and specific. We also saw growth in ancillary tools for the programmatic marketplace, particularly among fraud identification and prevention companies as well as brand safety.  



  • What’s Next: VR, AR, and Ad Blocker


With the recent announcement that AdBlocker is pivoting to join the exchange fray, there was a lot of conversation about how to best address consumer ad choice. Native advertising is an obvious answer to the challenge of relevance and ad-blindness and there was also excitement surrounding Virtual and Augmented Reality. These experiential marketplaces provide opportunity for branded interactions and a more nuanced and meaningful interaction with potential customers.



  • There is no more Digital.


Maybe it’s not that Digital is disappearing; instead, it has become obvious that everything is now digital. We learned that the idea of TV shouldn’t be considered the primary driver of audience engagement.  Now the primary goal is to create content that is relevant and meaningful and find the best distribution for that content. TV then becomes just one of many distribution points, just as social becomes just one of many measurement criteria.  Furthermore, organizing by silos (direct, traditional, email, search) leads to a disjointed and unmeasurable view of your customer. Without adequate cross- and omni-channel measurement tools, we lose valuable insight and understanding of what is meaningful to our customers.

Overall we found the conference to be an outstanding forum for idea generation and networking.  With DMEXCO becoming the place to “see and be seen” in digital marketing, we find the conference to be incredibly valuable and a worthwhile investment.    

If you’d like to add to the discussion, please comment or tweet us @crealytics. Sign up for our newsletter to keep receiving thought pieces from industry experts right in your inbox.


Mark Schwartz is the crealytics' US MD. He has over 20 years experience maximizing the operations of data-first marketing and digital advertising agencies. His experience as a leader of both start-ups and large scale agency networks has led him to inspire clients, engage co-workers, and transform agencies.

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