DMEXCO 2021 Review– Challenges and Trends in Digital Marketing 2022

DMEXCO is where key players in digital marketing, innovation and business meet. September 21 and 22, 2022

For the second time, DMEXCO took place in virtual form. On September 7th and 8th, over 600 speakers, 20,600 participants and 240 partners discussed the latest developments in digital marketing and exchanged views on topics such as the elimination of third-party cookies or the steadily growing role of digital advertising.

Which topics dominate the digital world?
Although the motto was “Setting new priorities”, the overall focus was on uncertainties and fears about the future.

  • Before the cookie is after the cookie
  • Data analysis can no longer be mastered without AI
  • New meaning of videos
  • Generation Alpha: The children of millennials

Before the cookie is after the cookie
Despite their tastier namesakes, cookies don’t have a very good reputation on the web for many users. And yet cookies play an enormously important role for a positive user experience as well as for website operators and advertisers and it is hard to imagine the everyday life of an Internet user without them. A frequently discussed topic at DMEXCO 2021 was the abolition of cookies.

Post-cookie era the biggest fear driver
A frequently discussed topic was the elimination of cookies. The post-cookie era is making some companies sweat because no real solutions exist yet. Every agency, every provider and every platform works on its own solutions and hopes that its own measure will be the right one. The market players also admit that they should work together, but there is still no agreement on who actually owns the user data and how to build a relationship with consumers based on trust and mutual benefits. The current solution is: make better use of existing data, measure more than standard KPIs such as conversions, and design current campaigns according to the motto “privacy first”.

DMEXCO Conference

The masses of data can no longer be managed without AI

There is a mass of data that can no longer be evaluated manually – this was mentioned in many sessions. In the future, the amount of data sources will continue to increase, and at the same time people will use technologies more frequently and for longer – including different devices at the same time – which means that they will also produce more data faster. Not only in some BVDW master classes, but also in individual sessions, such as the fireside chat with Carlos Dominguez from Sprinklr, it was said that algorithms and therefore AI in the foreseeable future will be needed for the proper use of data.

Trust in Data – understanding and interpreting data
Overall, it was repeatedly emphasized that decisions should be made on the basis of measurement, not fear. Be it the “data-driven strategy” or the SEO strategy – it is important to test. This was illustrated using the example of gendering in texts on websites. Some companies have reservations about writing gender-specific texts. They fear that this could have consequences for their current ranking. Searchmetrics e.g. B. studied the impact of gender-sensitive language on SEO. The result: There is no influence on the rankings. It should therefore be borne in mind that the Google algorithms are designed to continuously learn and adapt to active language use. Accessibility is also often neglected.

With the motto “Trust in you”, DMEXCO already focused on the topic of trust two years ago. But this year, too, the focus was on how to win the trust of consumers, customers and partners. The central question was: “Which components are important and how can companies or brands meet these requirements?” This is easy to show using the example of sustainability: where should companies start, who should they get on board first (small spoiler: the employees) and at what point should companies start talking about their respective sustainability strategy in order to avoid greenwashing?

@iamitmm - Amit Mani Mishra for DMEXCO

New meaning of the format video

“Companies that are not represented on social networks are ghosts” – it was not even mentioned that there might be a way to success without social media. As a result, the next step – videos in social networks – is already being considered. If brands and companies want to grow, they couldn’t avoid video communication.

Platforms such as Facebook/Instagram, TikTok, Microsoft, Google and Twitch convinced with recorded advertising videos

Various platforms advertised themselves at DMEXCO 2021. Google, for example, used professionally prepared videos to explain how users can shape their privacy. Most platforms, on the other hand, showed which advertising opportunities they currently offer and how brands can benefit from them. Videos produced for this purpose had no flaws and presented a perfect picture. At the same time, these recorded videos do not present an opportunity for critical questions, which means that a certain distance remains. However, the open discussion rounds, in which potential problems and development trends were delved deeper, were also interesting.

Instagram and LinkedIn say: We are no longer an image platform

Instagram has long since emphasized that it is no longer an “image platform”. Instead, it is a video platform, and LinkedIn is taking the same path. There are alternatives for companies that are not yet ready for video communication. This includes advertising in various video streams (there are different formats on all platforms) and collaborations with the creators (influencers). If you have any questions or are interested in such a solution, please contact us – we will be happy to support you.

TikTok has shown the potential of short videos. Accordingly, YouTube and Instagram have followed this trend. In this context, it is important for brands to understand that each platform has a specificity. While the end result, for example publishing a short video, is the same, the purpose is not always under the same “mindset”. So e.g. For example, the so-called reels on Instagram are regarded as pure “entertainment videos”. TikTok, on the other hand, emphasized several times that the developers are also interested in educational and discovery content, which means that the platform also appealed to older generations (millennials). So as a content creator you can’t use the same videos everywhere, instead you have to adapt the production to each platform and audience.

Video is forcing agencies to rethink

It can be stated that all the changes that have taken place in recent years not only affect platforms and brands/companies, but also agencies in particular. The confluence of some tasks and the disappearance of others present them with important strategic decisions. The entire agency landscape is unstable. Some agencies therefore have to reinvent themselves to survive, but above all they have to be aware of the trends and needs of their and potential (new) customers. For this reason, we are now looking at the trends mentioned at DMECXO.

Generation Alpha: The children of millennials

Lastly, we want to talk about the next generation: Generation Alpha. These are the children of millennials, who are currently the focus of various brands and media. The pandemic has not only changed us, the way we work and our world, it has had a major impact on our children. We will see the effects in the next few years, but futurologists are already interested in them and are outlining various conceivable scenarios.

Would you like to learn more about a trend? Then write to us – we will be happy to inform you about it. 

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