Programmatic Trends Spotted at DMEXCO 2015

Following the Marketing & Ad Tech Conversation in Cologne


More than 40,000 marketing and ad tech players attended DMEXCO in Cologne, Germany last week, sharing the latest insights, trends, and learnings from the digital landscape. With more than 115 seminars, 12 keynotes, and 30 topic-specific sessions, the conference hit on topics as diverse as the Internet of Things, content marketing strategies, and what’s next for mobile and programmatic TV. A few themes came up again and again–here’s where we see the industry conversation shifting.

Progress Toward Viewability Consensus. Six months ago, viewability was the core topic at the IAB Leadership Summit. In the months that have passed, it seems that the industry is moving rapidly toward a consensus on viewability. In his Seminar on “Leveraging Publisher Data to Solve for Fraud and Improve Viewability,” Altitude Digital CTO Manny Puentes argued that we should be moving to transacting on the viewable impression instead of the rendered impression.

Though some say it is too soon or that publishers will be hurt by the change, Manny argued that the industry is moving in this direction regardless, and that publishers will actually benefit from higher CPMs in the long-run, as  dollars start to flow directly to the publisher instead of measurement vendors.

Beyond Big Data. Up until now, the collection of audience data has been a core part of scaling and targeting digital advertising. With that piece of the puzzle complete, marketers are now wanting more nuanced and actionable data. Marketers are increasingly interested in the context and placement of an advertisement or what stage of the buying funnel a particular user might be in.

The industry has also moved beyond data for data’s sake. “People think it’s about all the data or more and more data. It’s really not. It’s about the Right Data,” explained Kevin Akeroyd, General Manager for Oracle Marketing Cloud in “The Role of Data in the Attention Economy” session. According to Oracle research, 3 billion terrabytes of net new data was generated in the commerce, marketing, and advertising space last year, but less than 5% was actually used to target a commerce or marketing purchase. The right data should be used as a differentiator.

How to Tackle Ad Blockers. Now that viewability is being solved for (albeit slowly), the industry has turned its attention to ad blockers. Ad blocking apps have made their way to the top of the app charts in both the US and Germany, and even those in attendance working in the advertising industry admitted using the technologies.

Proposed solutions are clearly still in their infancy; experts have suggested things like micropayments to users in exchange for them to unblock ads, native advertising (making content users want to engage with), and publisher paywalls or other publisher-user agreements. (Check out some alternative solutions proposed by CEO Jeremy Ostermiller here: The True Cost of Ad Blockers). There’s a long way to go in this area and we expect a lot more conversation to come on this topic in particular.