Since 2009, DMEXCO has been gathering digital experts from around the world to discuss the future of digital business, marketing, and innovation. This year, the conference themes extended far and wide, covering all the hot topics from blockchain to AI, voice search to digital transparency, and everything in between.

Whether it was formal panels or casual chatter around the watercooler, DMEXCO 2018 offered an incredible wealth of insights from the best and brightest in the industry. To help break it down into a few core takeaways, we’re sharing the top four trends from the conference floor:


1. Make AI Accessible


It comes as no surprise that one of the most talked-about topics at this year’s conference was artificial intelligence. One of the key learnings from these discussions was the recognition that AI still needs to become more accessible. In order for AI to succeed, it needs to be something that any type of company, big or small, feels confident to utilize.

Accenture Interactive’s Nikki Mendoca spoke on the subject of AI, sharing that, according Accenture research, only 3% of executives today are actively investing in AI. This goes to show that for such a hot topic, the number of companies getting involved is still low.

The solution? Gather your data.

Every company should gather as much data as possible to use as intelligence, which AI can then apply to improve products, user experiences, customer service, and more. Only once we’re able to prioritize this can we really begin to leverage the power of AI.


2. When It Comes to Video, There’s No One Size Fits All Rule


Our own VP of Sales, Melissa Dickman, joined Tremor Video DSP’s Gabriela Maestre and M&C Saatchi Mobile’s Alex Hewson on a panel about the convergence of data and creative in video.

Here, the team tackled questions surrounding the best platforms to use for video, how to curate video for global audiences, and the importance moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach in order to promote a new standard that effectively combines data and creative in a personalized way.

Two take-home keywords from this panel were transparency and flexibility.

To succeed, video must be transparent. That is, viewers must know what the next steps are after clicking your CTA. While video should always be high quality and entertaining, at the end of the day, it’s always going to be ineffective if your audience feels tricked.

The second necessary quality for video success is flexibility. On this topic, Alex Hewson of M&C Saatchi referenced the simple yet effective Old Spice ‘The man your man could smell like’ campaign, which provided personalized video responses to user-generated questions on social media.

Hewson used this example to remind the audience that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to video. It’s not always about taking advantage of the latest technologies and platforms, but sticking to engaging, personalized video content that evokes some kind of emotional response.



3. Trust is Trending


With blockchain and GDPR buzzing throughout the two-day conference, it comes as no surprise that many panels focused on how advertisers can build better trust with consumers, and how advertisers can trust that their messaging strategy is in the right hands.

First, consumers are becoming savvier to the protection of their personal data. This makes it imperative that advertisers study up and comply with the latest regulations to reassure users that their data is safe.

Moreover, advertisers should make sure that their ads are free from fraud. As the industry trends more toward quality assurance, marketers are looking to new strategies, like blockchain to support their fraud-fighting initiatives and to ensure their ads reach their intended target audience.


4. The World Is Vertical


Try to take a horizontal picture of a millennial and you’ll quickly find out the world is now vertical. This year, Jim Squires, Head of Business at Instagram stressed the importance of creating a vertical video strategy on social media and beyond.

In the panel, Squires discussed a few key stats that advertisers should keep on their radars, including:

● 3 million stories are shared to Instagram every day

● People hold their phones vertically 90% of the time

● 65% of people see branded vertical videos as more innovative

Social has been around for a while now, but the continual release of innovative new features like IGTV remind advertisers that it should still be a key player in every digital advertising strategy. Moreover, advertisers should start focusing in on vertical content to reach vast mobile audiences in a way that feels natural to their typical online experiences and behaviors.


And that’s a wrap! It’s hard to believe another installment of DMEXCO has come and gone, but as they say… time flies when you’re having fun. Now, who’s ready to start the countdown for 2019?