At the European event par excellence for digital marketing, over 2,000 participants gathered for the second consecutive time in a purely virtual realm. The more than 600 speakers at DMEXCO discussed what could shape marketing in future.
DMEXCO 2021: the largest trade show for the digital industry
The DMEXCO digital trade show is Europe’s leading digital marketing and tech event. Its aim to create a space for exchanging information and ideas with others and for jointly defining a digital agenda for the future. At the centre of this year’s event in September 2021 were talks from more than 600 international opinion-leaders, exhibitors of leading digital brands, and business-centric master classes – all with a view of digital trends and the immediate business potential of realising these ideas. As in the previous year, the trade show took place completely digitally. More than 20,000 participants logged into the event. Of these, 84 per cent were decision-makers, according to DMEXCO, nearly half of those involved were Senior Executives, and over one-fifth work on the C-level.
Insights, highlights and innovations at DMEXCO 2021
As every year, the topics of focus at DMEXCO in 2021 piqued the special interest of the participants. Some insights, highlights and innovations at a glance:
1. Diversity – just a buzzword?
One of the topics of focus was diversity. Just like many companies often greenwash when it comes to their sustainability efforts, many teams in companies of the digital industry are only diverse and inclusive on the surface. According to Jacqueline Routier and Constanze Osei from Facebook or Dora Osinde from Granny, some merely practice activism with the aim of showing the public how much they consider diversity in their workplaces, thus anchoring this thought among customers, at least for the short term. However, this topic does not have the priority it should by far. It’s not a trend, but a long-term strategy. For instance, only around half of German marketers would agree to date that it’s important to support gender fluidity in campaigns.
2. Influencing purchasing decisions
Davide Falzone, Commercial Director of the Swiss start-up Bring! Labs, explained how digital advertising formats could effectively control purchasing planning and purchase decisions in advance. App-based forms of advertising, which enable actions based on native advertising formats to influence the purchasing planning of consumers, would be suitable for this. These could be formats such as sponsored products which are listed on the same level next to “normal” items and can be added to the shopping trolley at a click. Or recipe ideas which steer purchasing planning while taking into account the products bought. In this way, the brand is anchored in the minds of consumers. Prize draws ensure additional attention.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the DMEXCO 2021 has taken again place completly digital.
3. Mastering the climate crisis with the help of digitalisation
Many discussions at DMEXCO revolved around climate change and the possibilities of counteracting it with the help of technical solutions. After all, digital technology is considered highly relevant when it comes to a climate-friendly conversion of energy supply, industry, transport and living. One of these talks was with bestselling author Frank Schätzing, moderated by Emily Whigham. In his new novel, Was, wenn wir einfach die Welt retten?, Schätzing sketches out future scenarios and illustrates options that could contribute to slowing down global warming. Artificial intelligence, in particular, seems to be very promising, in the author’s view.
4. Agility in marketing is gaining importance
To be able to survive within the competitive arena, digital companies have to increasingly become agile, in other words react quickly and flexibly to external events – this was another learning from the trade show. The marketing department plays a special role in this respect: as an interface to the market, it is directly confronted with changing customer requirements on an ongoing basis and has to introduce these into the company without endangering the customer relationship. Transparency and authenticity are also keywords which are gaining relevance for digital companies.