Lightening the Age of Transformation

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Dmexco has come a long way since the beginning. No more than 8 years ago, under a different name, this event was in the diaries of only a few hundred.

Clearly this has changed.

These days, it is one of the most important dates for the Digital Media world. A world that is always evolving – as Margit Wennmachers from Andreessen Horowitz said: “Digital disruption happens in a cycle of 4-7 years”.

Well, the pace certainly feels even faster these days. Buckle up, a lot of work and challenges are on the horizon. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg described it as “The fastest change in communication technology” in her key note speech.

At Dmexco this year, there was a lot of hype around IoT and AI but, the voices that are warning the industry to sort out the now rather than jumping to the next trend, were clearly audible and the main topic of most conversations.

So it is no surprise that ad fraud, brand safety and transparency, in programmatic advertising, were amongst the most discussed topics this year. P&G’s Marc Pritchard used the Dmexco stage to, once again, up the pressure on the digital media industry to do something about the current problems. The title of his speech was ‘A wake up call’ and he repeated his thread to pull the plug on a media spend of over $100m.

At Flock, we have helped clients set up a Marketing Tech-Stack and helped clients to get more transparency into agency contracts, saving $545 million across all our clients and projects.

It was also very interesting to see how Amazon is emerging as a big player in the digital data industry. WPP reacted and recently bought a company that specialises in Amazon e-commerce advertising. According to Bloomresearch Amazon Report 2016, product search behaviour has already shifted with 55% of product searches done directly on the Amazon platform versus 34% on Google.

The agency of the future was also a topic of quite a few panel discussions. Whilst everyone seems to agree that the agency model is changing, or needs to change, there was little talk about the client of the future and what needs to altered internally to enable an agency ecosystem to be successful.

At Flock, we always look at both optimising processes internally and the external agency ecosystem:

These days, it is evident that the digital world is changing the way marketing works – it certainly doesn’t get any easier, however, the main question is, are marketers ready to adapt to the change fast enough?

The future will be even faster and more complex, with more data collected, more personal consumer stories and greater content produced for mobile messaging.

I’m already looking forward to next year. To see how we, as a marketing community, acted and resolved the current challenges. To be inspired by great talks and presentations like the one from Kay Hsu’s on Instagram stories, or Marco Bertozzi’s Spotify for Brands presentation. (Highlight videos can be found here: And of course, to meet old friends and ex-colleagues.

See you at Dmexco 2018.

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