If you’re thinking of attending Europe’s biggest digital media & marketing show next year take a tip from me – bring your walking shoes.
2 days and the best part of 10 miles later, trust me, I know.
Because the Digital & Marketing Exposition & Conference or Dmexco as it is known is huge.
Perhaps the biggest secret in the industry.
In it’s 9th year it now attracts 50,000 visitors and for the first time this year they were charged – the princely sum of €99; incredible value for what you get.
This was my first time in Cologne for Dmexco and was there courtesy of IBM, there to talk all things Artificial Intelligence, cognitive and of course Watson.
Stars of the show this year (that is if you don’t count the Flux Capacitor (aka the de Lorean car used in Back to the Future) was a chat between Sir Martin Sorrell and Jack Dorsey and a keynote from Sheryl Sandberg.
Both Twitter and Facebook heavyweights in the house!
The Expo halls were packed with some of the most innovative and incredible booths I’ve ever seen – Seven One Media take a bow.
But what of the sessions?
Dmexco 2017 – What You Need To Know
Never was the brand experience more critical than now.
Who would want to be a CMO in these turbulent times?
Dmexco didn’t have the silver bullet but certainly contained some strong clues as to where any marketer should be focusing their attention.
If you’re not harnessing all that data which is being generated in fantastic unimaginable volumes then you’re never going to be able to deliver a truly personalised experience.
The majority of it will be discarded but in order to do so and be able to generate relevant, contextual engagements, a marketer needs to be able to both see and manage all the data.
Consumer expectation these days is such that if a brand is to personalise, it must do so with laser precision.
In the new experiential retail age, effective personalisation at an individual level is now the accepted norm.
If you don’t have the technology to do this – get it. Now.
Brand experience, brand consistency – both must co-exist.
And you better be engaging, exciting, inspiring not to mention authentic.
The average attention span of Generation Z is 8 seconds, less than a goldfish which comes in at 9.
If you’re not using AI and cognitive or have clear plans to in the very near future then you’re already way behind the curve.
That was the message – loud and clear – coming out of Dmexco.
Whilst others lay claim to it, only IBM Watson can deliver and this was highlighted in a number of keynotes throughout the 2 days.
And for this writer, the entire 2 days was neatly summed up by Jean Lin, Global CEO for digital agency isobar:
“In a world of complexity, AI enabled creativity is key to powering simplicity in beautiful brand experiences”.
I doubt whether Watson could have put it better.