DMEXCO 2018, this week in Cologne, Germany, has been a firework of debates, ideas, and technology. The digital marketing event attracted around 40,000 visitors and 1,000-plus exhibitors to its halls. CMO.com, which is a media partner, was also in attendance. Following are five topics that resonated most.
1. Artificial intelligence: Many speakers and exhibitors agreed that artificial intelligence should and will change marketing. Indeed, according to an Adobe Experience Cloud Twitter poll, 57% of 186 participants said they see AI as the most important trend at DMEXCO.
Suresh Vittal, vice president of Adobe Experience Cloud, emphasized the importance of AI during his session on stage. The technology, he said, "will change more than the computer and smartphone.“
His talk was followed by a demo in which he illustrated the power of AI for advertising, specifically in the automation of content creation. Using Adobe Sensei, the company’s AI and machine learning framework, Vittal was able to design a film poster from a sketch to a layout in just a few minutes and also created versions for targeting different target groups.
2. Personalization: Personalization is certainly not a new topic, but this year it has taken a big step forward, we heard at the conference. Marketers are coming to realize that it involves more than the collection of data. In fact, personalization requires an equal amount of creativity for it to translate well into a customer experience. That, in turn, means a close collaboration among data experts and creative people.
3. GDPR: A level of uncertainly about GDPR and its effects on business surfaced at DMEXCO, but marketers are coming to understand how the new regulation around data collection will lead to greater transparency and consumer trust. The keys to moving forward, according to a roundtable discussion about GDPR, include explaining to consumers why certain data is being collected and to communicate how use of that data will improve their experiences.
4. Customer-centricity: Creativity, personalization, data collection, and artificial intelligence are only useful if they are translated into an experience that puts the customer first. At DMEXCO, it was abundantly clear that digital marketing is no longer about selling products, but about selling good experiences.
5. Voice, virtual reality, and other technology trends: Digital marketing is, naturally, technology-driven. Throughout the halls at DMEXCO, attendees could be seen trying out VR glasses and marveling at the experience. Voice assistants, like Alexa, as well as the solutions around them, were also on display. What was clear is how these technologies are creating new playgrounds for creative experiences.