The 2017 Digital Marketing Exposition and Conference (DMEXCO) took place in Cologne, Germany on the 12th and 13th of September. More than 40,000 visitors, 1,100 exhibitors, and over 570 speakers attended and Edelman.Ergo’s Paid Digital team met with global leaders in digital marketing and media.  From “techies” to content creators, we glimpsed firsthand the new, disruptive trends of the digital economy and the innovations to come.  Here are five major topics from the conference.

  1. Native & Programmatic Advertising Intelligence

The Native advertising battle is still in full swing.  Ads that are contextually served in a “native” publishing environment like news websites have been around for some time, but they are getting better – and smarter. While private marketplace (PMP) and big data battles are still fought in the background, ad intelligence has become a key differentiation point among the top native companies. It’s no longer enough to prevent a cruise holiday banner/native ad from appearing next to an article about a sinking cruise ship. New ad-techs are using artificial intelligence (AI) to scan articles and content for opinions, tonality, and emotion to better serve amplified content that is suitable.  The technology has come a long way from just connecting users’ interests and behaviors with content-related keywords.  Ad intelligence is improving both brand protection and user experience.

  1. Native Video on The Rise

Native video is coming to LinkedIn in the near future and along with it, more video amplification opportunities for marketers will be born in 2018. Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, Periscope (Twitter), Twitch, and VR / 360° experiences have all contributed to the expanding volume of video content and marketing opportunities.  The variety of unique video formats demonstrate that users do not want to just consume content - they want to experience it.  “Snackable” social videos, interactive livestreams, and experiential video have really come of age in 2017 – and all must be mobile.

  1. Speaking of Mobile...

Rule: Mobile-first…always.  Digital giants like Google and Facebook continue to stress the point of mobile-first, based upon their wealth of usage data.  Social media advertising has grown by a factor of five in the last five years, with much of that coming on mobile channels, apps, and content. Snapchat and Instagram embody how mobile-only platforms are pushing advertisers to rethink their content strategies and amplification approaches. Mobile consumer behavior is evolving and forcing advertisers and marketers to catch up, knowing that consumer purchase decisions are being made on-the-go.

  1. Quality and Measurability

In Germany, measurement of the quality of digital advertising has been centralized this year by the “Federal Association of the Digital Economy” (Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft or BVDW). The BVDW scores viewability, transparency, and fraud as the decisive quality indicators. The presence of many ad verification systems in the past often led to different measurement results and therefore distrust in digital.  BVDW hopes that a “Digital Marketing Quality” standard can be established first in Germany and then for Europe.

  1. Individuality as Mainstream

The emphasis on one piece of content for all seems to be fading.  At DMEXCO, there was a focus on individual, interactive, and niche content or experiences.  Creativity and storytelling is still crucial to engage audiences, but how the individual reacts and interacts with the content is now at the forefront. Individuality is becoming mainstream as creation is being democratized.

Esther Biere is an account manager for Paid Digital, based in Hamburg.