Ten things we learned at DMEXCO 2018 : including 5G, Pornhub & Bid Caching

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The 2018 Dmexco event felt quieter than previous years - particularly on day one when it’s usually a scrum to move through the halls. There were certainly more breakout areas – which were there to mask the fact that there were a couple of unfilled stands.

Generally, there were a few more consultancies and business services exhibitors, less ad networks, email vendors and affiliates than other years too.

But less busy made it a more pleasurable experience to walk around overall. You could actually move. You could actually stop and chat when you bumped into someone you knew, including your competitors - and this is what the event is great for - those informal chats in-between meetings.

DMEXCO is still a who’s-who of digital marketing and technology. The decision makers are in the room still. Deals get done here. Here’s my takeaways.

The Bidswitch Express - The now annual event from Bidswitch takes the UK’s programmatic leadership to Cologne by train, via Brussels. It is the only way to travel to Dmexco these days from London. Great for networking and kicking off digital advertising chats ahead of the first day.

Barneys – The unofficial official ‘Gutter Bar’ of Dmexco according to many. Apparently, Amir Malik was first there on the Wednesday evening. But who was last to leave?

5G - It’s happening. Sooner than we think according to those in the know. So get ready for the creative disruption and marketing opportunities this will bring.

Artificial Intelligence – AI was prominent across many stands at Dmexco this year. Everyone is shouting about their AI capabilities. Has AI reached wider marketing acceptance?

Metaphorical walled gardens – As Ben Walmsley from News UK pointed out “Facebook and Google stands at Dmexco featuring a lot of actual “Walled Gardens”. Deliberately and possibly brilliantly tongue-in-cheek, or a lack of awareness in an ivory tower?

Pornhub - Pornhub went big at DMEXCO with their own stand targeting advertisers with the messaging that amounted to saying ‘your customers are here, so you should be.’ But the best contextually relevant ads of the event were their toilet ads. Appeared in all conference toilets throughout. Well played.

Video - Video is still big news. We all know that. Dmexco confirms the prevailing trends year on year. Video was ever-present. Native video in myriad different guises seems to be growing - there’s a lot of talk about video capabilities and formats.

Context - Targeting capabilities, particularly around the value of context seems to be a constant in chats and on stand marketing collateral. As Oracle had across their marketing collateral: Context is King.

Less - Not just in terms of quieter, but in terms of brands going over-the-top in their stands. In previous years there’s being a plethora of out there Dmexco stands – and even white-walkers on one stand. This year seemed more toned down. Lots of stands opted for that hipster minimalist look in an attempt to look ‘cool’, but we know it’s to keep costs down too!

Bid Caching – Everyone’s new favourite topic of conversation! But Dan Larden Global Strategic Partnerships Director at Infectious Media, after picking his brains on Dmexco, believes transparent bid caching could be a thing next year if his conversations in Cologne are anything to go by. Let's wait and see.

Dale Lovell is co-founder & chief marketing and partnerships officer of adyoulike

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