Dmexco 2015: Thoughts on The Digital Evolution Within Companies

Fol­low­ing my vis­it to Dmex­co, the largest dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing con­fer­ence in Europe, I would like today to share with you some thoughts that came to me after my stay in Cologne, and which are also fol­low­ing my recent arti­cle “The age of dig­i­tal matu­ri­ty for every com­pa­ny?”. Dmex­co is def­i­nite­ly a very inter­na­tion­al expo­si­tion, where we can find all the actors of the online mar­ket­ing mar­ket: agen­cies, adver­tis­ers, soft­ware ven­dors (such as Adobe Syst­tems), start-ups, all com­ing from all over Europe, but also US and Japan.

For me, it is the per­fect place to exchange views with our part­ners (inte­gra­tors and agen­cies), our cus­tomers, our prospects, but also to have your fin­ger on the pulse of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing in gen­er­al. So here is an express sum­ma­ry regard­ing what I thought of these two days of con­fer­ence, with 4 points stand­ing out in particular:

The real issue of digital is a business one

2 or 3 years ago, when we use to meet adver­tis­ers at a trade show, we use to most­ly meet peo­ple belong­ing to the IT depart­ment. Today, we meet many mar­keters but also exec­u­tives, who have a real deci­sion pow­er on spe­cif­ic tech­no­log­i­cal choic­es. There has been a real real­i­sa­tion that deci­sions around the dig­i­tal are first and fore­most busi­ness choic­es, which engage a com­pa­ny and can­not be lim­it­ed to pure­ly tech­no­log­i­cal choic­es. This devel­op­ment is also linked to the fact that lead­ers must be dig­i­tal evan­ge­liz­ers. In the words of Thier­ry Ben­haim, CEO of La Grande Recre, when he dis­cussed the dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion of its busi­ness at an EBG con­fer­ence, the dig­i­tal is, more than any­thing, “a pow­er issue.”

The digital has become the number one channel to interact with consumers

Today, adver­tis­ers have real­ized that dig­i­tal could no longer be treat­ed as a chan­nel “apart”, but was, on the con­trary, the first chan­nel with which they can engage with their cus­tomers. And this, whether the final sale is made online or not.

The customer experience is at the heart of all current digital issues

What also strike me dur­ing these two days at dmex­co is that the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence is part of all dis­cus­sions. All busi­ness­es, regard­less of their size, are aware of the impor­tance of the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence, and the need to put the final con­sumer at the heart of their approach. The goal for all adver­tis­ers today is to pro­vide the best pos­si­ble cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. A uni­fied expe­ri­ence across all chan­nels, a flex­i­ble expe­ri­ence (a “seam­less” one, like our Amer­i­can friends would say) which doesn’t use dig­i­tal as a sep­a­rate chan­nel, but as a moment sim­i­lar to anoth­er in all inter­ac­tions of a brand with its audience.

Integrated solutions are gaining ground on “point solutions”

Final­ly, one gen­er­al­ly encoun­ters two major types of play­ers in this type of event: pub­lish­ers offer­ing “point solu­tion”, which give a solu­tion to a spe­cif­ic prob­lem, or com­pa­nies such as Adobe, offer­ing a range of inte­grat­ed and uni­fied solu­tions. At the moment, more and more adver­tis­ers opt for the sec­ond option, and the inte­gra­tion of solu­tions has become a real chal­lenge in terms of pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and cre­ation val­ue. In fact, com­pa­nies do not want to see their team man­age dozens of dif­fer­ent providers, and pre­fer to free up some of their time so they can focus on tasks with real added value.