The overarching theme of Dmexco in Cologne this year was how brands are activating real-time data and technology to enable better content delivery and story-telling across multiple channels. It was clear that whilst marketers are not data scientists, having the technology at their fingertips to gather and implement customer insights is key to creating a successful and measurable campaign. So if you couldn’t join us in Germany, here are my top three talks that every marketer should find time to watch: 

Instagram – The Next Steps For Advertising

With over 300 million users and 70m pieces of content shared every day, Instagram is a powerful community for brands. At Dmexco Amy Cole, Head of Brand Development EMEA at Instagram explained that the social network’s success comes down to the simplicity of images themselves. Humans only need to see an image for 13 milliseconds to identify it, we process images 60,000 times faster than words and above all, images tell a story. 33% of users log into Instagram first thing in the morning; it’s clear that people are engaging with content and stories at all times.  

Marketers should take inspiration from Instagram’s authentic images to create engagement. Insights about your audience, as well as the right creative, are crucial to storytelling and fostering brand loyalty. Instagram offers a unique opportunity as the platform potentially could advise you on how to best engage your target audience by offering insight into their interests and aesthetic preferences, thus allowing brands to go beyond creativity, to inspire and be inspired which is the perfect backdrop for advertising.

The New Brew – Data, Content & Relevancy 

It’s a great time for customers –as they become more connected, they’re more in charge than ever before. In comparison though, brands struggle to keep up with audience behaviour. In this challenging environment, relevancy is crucial for brands to win. It’s only when they create interesting stories that are communicated across all platforms that consumers sit up and take notice.

Heineken presented their #sharethesofa campaign at Dmexco. Data revealed that 76% of people were watching the Champions League match alone so the beer brand created a new, social experience of football for these viewers. Using the hashtag viewers could take part in a social media conversation about the match, feeling part of a bigger community and prompting meaningful interactions with the brand. 

Using the data points they had gathered Heineken were able to activate a campaign with their customer at the centre, evoking interaction and engagement. In addition, they saw their beer sales increase by 6% as a result.

As marketers, it’s imperative that we utilise the data in our planning. Don’t make assumptions about where your audience might be; look at data to understand where they are spending their time. With true customer insight you can understand which platform will be most valuable. Then make sure you can measure it properly to understand its return. With attribution technology for example you can understand how content on one channel interplays with other channels. There’s always going to be question marks over how your audience will respond exactly, but data makes your estimation more accurate.

Marketing Beyond Marketing 

The age of ‘digital everywhere’ means that consumers are interacting with brands in new ways. They use numerous devices but still expect continuity across those experiences. Consumers are constantly reviewing their experience of a brand and in a competitive environment this contract can easily be lost to a competitor. Jean-Michel Pittet, VP Engineering at Adobe argued at Dmexco that this means marketing has to go beyond marketing. However, marketing silos mean brands need to change how they deliver the complete customer experience across the whole of their business. 

Marketers firstly need to promote organisational change, where leaders across the business drive change in the customer experience, and secondly, technological change. Technology enables brands to connect their systems, and get a common view of the customer, in real-time. Only with an omnichannel approach to the customer experience can brands gather integrated data and content and then deliver the right message, to the right person at the right time. 

Dmexco continues to bring world class brands and technology players together and inspires innovation in marketing. This year’s event made it clear that in the world of digital marketing, data is currency. It’s through data insights that marketers can understand their audiences, identify the most engaging creative, and ensure relevancy throughout their campaigns. Make sure that you’re tapping into data and using it to fuel your creativity.