Key Takeaways from the DMEXCO 2016


16-September, Cologne – On the 14th and 15th of September we visited the DMEXCO in Cologne, Germany, to find the latest news in digital marketing and related technologies. DMEXCO stands for Digital Marketing Exposition and Conference and the event kept the promise of its name. More than 50.700 visitors (18% more than previous year), 1.013 exhibitors, and 570 speakers from all around the world met and exchanged thoughts about the future of their trade on more than one million square feet exposition space.

Among the speakers were a lot of CEOs from renowned companies as well as other future pioneers and digital enthusiasts. For instance there was Tim Armstrong from AOL, Sophie Blum from Procter & Gamble, Yonca Brunini from Google, Paul Bulcke from Nestlé, Carolyn Everson from Facebook and Jack Dorsey from Twitter even joined via video conference, even though it was 2 AM in the night for him. Check out the full list at the speaker website.

All these people had great stories to share and great visions to explain to the audience. In this article I am trying to compile the overall messages of the two-day event and share my key takeaways with you.

Standards are subject to change

Everything we know in digital media is somehow influenced by traditional media formats. Photos are taken in 4:3 ratio and video is produced in a landscape format. However, David Shing, Digital Prophet from AOL says that video formats were dominated by TV before but might be dominated by mobile in the future. It is a possibility that video will be produced in a portrait format primarily for phones and that they will be edited to be watched on TV. That would be exactly the opposite of how it’s still media production standard as of today.

More robots, more drones, more business cases

The companies presenting their solutions at the DMEXCO this year, of course had a few innovations to show. Unlike the companies presenting at consumer electronics fairs, the products at the DMEXCO usually came with at least one impressive business cases. The drones and robots, like the CarryPick solution by Swisslog (KUKA Group), were outfitted to support logistics operations efficiently.

Other more android-like robots, like Pepper by SoftBank Robotics, are designed to help with tasks in retail by giving customers information via digital signage and answering their questions or providing directions. If you leave out the fact that the robots had some troubles understanding you due to the general loudness in the exposition area, they generally seem to be ready for programming and deployment.

We are excited to see more of their kind in the near future.

Authentic and lovable brands

In social media they preach authenticity for a while now. Now it has reached the brands and their digital marketing efforts and it goes further. Natanael Sijanta from Mercedes-Benz has stated that they are respected and trusted as an automotive brand, but they pursue to be lovable as well.

Brands are putting up clear vision statements like that nowadays. Whether they are B2B or B2C oriented, they want to be known for what they do best and they want to be liked in order to improve their overall public relations. That way they can not only optimize sales, but also draw talent towards them to join their effort as new employees.


Leadership insight

“All customers have a voice now, and they waste no time using it. dmexco 2016 is the forum where we come to discuss, debate, and demonstrate how this massive transformation is playing out — how, as an industry, we can capitalize on this opportunity and make it work for the benefit of brands and our customers.” – Suresh Vittal Kotha, VP Strategy, Adobe

“As an international hub for sector leaders and specialists, dmexco offers the entire economy a unique point of access to global digital business. During the two days of dmexco, the participants established numerous new partnerships and groundbreaking cooperative projects that will have a sustained impact on the economic development of individual industrial sectors in the digital economy. As a result, in 2016 Cologne has once again demonstrated its undisputed position as the trade fair capital of global digital business,” says Gerald Böse, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH.


dmexco is the global business and innovation platform of the digital economy. It connects the real economy with visionary trends and defines the commercial potential of tomorrow. Within a few years, dmexco has developed into the pioneer of the digital transformation. Today it is the engine of growth that is driving the global digiconomy forward by means of direct business deals, valuable new contacts, the evaluation of business ideas, new standards for the digital economy, maximum value creation, and concrete added value. dmexco — the leading global exposition and conference of the digiconomy.

The Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (German Association for the Digital Economy — BVDW) is the owner of the dmexco brand. With special assistance from OVK — Circle of Online Marketers, the BVDW is also the conceptual and professional partner of the exposition and conference. dmexco is organized by Koelnmesse.

Save the date: In 2017 dmexco will once again take place in Cologne, on September 13 and 14.

YouTube: CrossOver – When the creative genius is a machine – A Day in Life of 2020

Photo credit: Author owned / DMEXCO photographers
Source: André Hoffmann (DMEXCO)
Editorial notice: The quotes and “about text” were provided by DMEXCO for generic PR purposes.

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Christopher Isak
Christopher Isak
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. ;)
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