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DMEXCO @home 2021: Digital marketing remains the driver of the advertising industry and global economy

More and more companies are relying on digital marketing to advertise their products. Video advertising, social advertising, and search engine marketing are also some of the disciplines that are benefiting strongly around the world. Globally, digital advertising is expected to grow by 20 percent in 2021, and nationally the digital display advertising market is expected to grow by as much as 23 percent. At DMEXCO @home on September 7 and 8, 240 partners and sponsors, around 20,600 participants and more than 600 speakers shared their thoughts on the newest trends and developments. The next event on the DMEXCO platform is already taking place in October.
September 8, 2021

Over 600 top-class speakers from the global digital industry and 20,600 participants from all over the world met online to discuss the latest developments in digital marketing with the motto “Setting new priorities”. In the second year characterized by the coronavirus pandemic, DMEXCO @home, one of the few digital events in the industry with over 240 partners and sponsors, also offered the opportunity for networking and exchange on a shared platform. All global players from the digital industry and many decision-makers from around the world were represented. The experts agreed that data and marketing automation are playing an ever more important role in addressing users in a personalized or individual way. The elimination of third-party cookies does not seem to have a negative impact on digital advertising as a whole. Most sales forecasts for 2021 and 2022 predict two-digit growth.

Digital marketing is the global driver of the advertising industry and global economy

Accordingly, four leading global media agencies (Dentsu, GroupM, Magna Global and Zenith) predicted an average growth of 20 percent in digital advertising for 2021. The global advertising market should recover from the consequences of the pandemic in 2021 and grow by 13 percent to a total of 678 billion US dollars. Around the world, the proportion of total spending on digital advertising is already around 60 percent in 2021. It will continue to increase in 2022 and it is expected that, by 2023 at the latest, every two out of three advertising dollars and euros will be invested digitally.

For Germany, the Circle of Online Marketers (OVK), part of the German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW), estimates even stronger growth for 2021. The digital display advertisement market is expected to grow by 23.4 percent to 5.1 billion euros within this year. The FOMA trend monitor, an up-to-date expert survey of the members of the “Fachgruppe Online-Mediaagenturen” (FOMA) and the members of the OMG, which was presented at DMEXCO @home, also forecasts strong growth for 2021 and 2022. FOMA predicts that digital advertising will grow by 19 percent in the coming year. The market drivers here are search engine marketing, paid social, and video advertising.

DMEXCO platform impresses participants

Around 20,600 participants followed the DMEXCO conference on both days of the event: on a total of four virtual stages and in seven masterclass streams, marketers and communicators from all over the world discussed industry topics such as online privacy and data protection, brand safety, and digital marketing in the post-cookie era. On average, users registered for 8 sessions per day. Almost half of the speakers (47 percent) in the curated sessions at DMEXCO @home were female (previous year: 39 percent). The proportion of international speakers there was 57 percent.

“The second edition of DMEXCO @home has once again managed to bring together the relevant players from our industry on one platform and to discuss the industry-relevant topics. It was a rendezvous for the global digital marketing scene — from Adobe, Facebook, IBM, and Google to Oracle, Salesforce, TikTok, Twitch, and Zoom. And our new digital platform was impressive. But we’re already looking forward to the hybrid version of DMEXCO 2022 and the opportunity to personally welcome all of our partners and participants in Cologne once again,” said Oliver Frese, COO of Koelnmesse.

“Despite video meeting fatigue and the coronavirus restrictions, even this year we’ve proven that we are a reliable partner for the industry in difficult times. We would like to thank our partners and sponsors for their commitment to DMEXCO21. We’re looking forward to many more events throughout the year — following August’s kick-off, there is Adobe’s partner event in October. But of course, we’re even more looking forward to seeing you all again in person in Cologne in 2022,” added Professor Dominik Matyka, Chief Advisor of DMEXCO.

“The pandemic made clear the digital deficits in all sectors in Germany and around the world. Which is why we need a global flagship event for digital economy to provide inspiration. As the German Association for the Digital Economy, we are proud to be the ideational partners and trademark owners of DMEXCO and therefore to be able to make such a contribution,” added Matthias Wahl, President of the German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW).

Adobe event at on October 5

Just a few weeks after DMEXCO @home, Adobe will celebrate the premier of their partner event at, where the DMEXCO community can host their own events. With the motto “Hero Content, Zero Time – Innovations in Content Marketing”, Adobe invites visitors to the digital innovation update of their content- and digital-asset management system “Adobe Experience Manager” on October 5, 2021 from 9:30 am. The diverse possibilities of the system will be highlighted by a varied conference program of keynote speeches, innovation sessions, showcases, and live demos. The DMEXCO platform features remain unchanged and the personal visitor profiles can still be used. Participation is free of charge.

“Many marketers and IT decision-makers are confronted with growing demands: customers expect a consistent and personalized brand presence; management expects measurability in all marketing measures. This is where content management plays a decisive role. Because today’s CMS not only supports in creation and distribution, but also enables continuous content optimization. I am therefore very much looking forward to an exciting exchange with many interesting speakers and great examples from IBM iX, Digitas Pixelpark, and Valtech, who are already putting this into practice,” says Hartmut König, CTO Adobe Central Europe.

DMEXCO 2022 will take place as a hybrid event on September 21 and 22

Presentations and panels from DMEXCO @home 2021 will be available online for ticket holders as video-on-demand from September 9 on. For participants with a premium ticket, they will even be available until September 2022. The DMEXCO community continues to remain networked on the platform throughout the year. On September 21 and 22 next year, DMEXCO will take place as a hybrid event, both in person at the Koelnmesse exhibition center and across the world online.


What a selection of partners and speakers have to say about DMEXCO @home 2021


Yves Bollinger, Director of Digital Strategy & Innovation, DDB Düsseldorf: “Even though we all want to be able to personally attend on-site trade shows again soon, I’m a fan of DMEXCO @home. In a virtual setting, I simply have a lot more opportunities to join the wide range of sessions without having to rush and even still have access to all the events afterwards. Hopefully the concept will also continue after the pandemic. But I’m looking forward to personally networking again nonetheless!”

Judith Bremer, Marketing Lead DACH, IBM iX: “I’m impressed by the vast array of topics and the quality of this year’s DMEXCO agenda. The #SettingNewPriorities motto was also well chosen in two respects. On the one hand, it refers to new requirements that successful marketing has to meet today. At the same time, it explores the changing priorities of marketing decision-makers when it comes to their technological basis and organizational setup. There was an incredible amount of inspiration in this regard at DMEXCO @home 2021.”

Shruthi Chindalur, Executive Managing Director EMEA, Criteo: “This past year has been one of constant learning and development for our industry – change has been unavoidable. From building future-proof addressable advertising solutions to redefining the role of commerce in the marketing landscape, resetting priorities has been the number one task for us and everyone in the martech universe. One thing that hasn’t changed though, is DMEXCO remaining at the frontier of development in our industry, helping to set the tone for what comes next for advertisers, media owners and agencies. This year, that means three big priorities: tapping into the full power of your data, turning towards new advertising solutions to test and optimise your future-proof marketing approach, and shifting the focus to the promising opportunities this change presents. The future promises to be incredibly exciting – and we are right at the heart of it.”

Dr. Bernd Fauser, Managing Director, Google Ad Platforms, Central Europe: “Every year, DMEXCO is the moment where the whole industry comes together to discuss burning topics such as online privacy. This year we were very happy to be part of the discussion again and look forward to DMEXCO 2022.”

Rasmus Giese, CEO, United Internet Media: “Hats off to the industry and the speakers: that much value in one place is rare. The audience gained a wealth of insights in the masterclasses given by the companies and associations. On another positive note, preproduced sales pitches hardly made an appearance. A sign of quality: participants were spoiled for choice.”

Anne Jarry, Director of Marketing, Europe and North America, Selligent Marketing Cloud: “September is DMEXCO time! Though we would have loved to meet the DMEXCO audience at a physical fair again (and drink actual coffee together), the DMEXCO team have created a unique digital experience to bring industry-leading insights and inspiration to marketers. The ability to offer our sessions to the DMEXCO audience over a whole year rather than just 2 days was a key factor in our decision to attend. I think it’s almost overwhelming to consume all the DMEXCO content within 2 days – so the replay option is a real plus!”

Dino Kuckovic, Director of Community & Events, “In line with this year’s DMEXCO motto ‘Setting New Priorities’ we at are thrilled to be part of the second DMEXCO @home series. We are given the chance to meet clients, prospects, network with industry professionals as well as get the chance to be thought leaders in a truly international forum, which becomes even more international and united given its virtual aspect.”

Frank Schätzing, author and keynote speaker at DMEXCO21: “Artificial intelligence presents great opportunities. It can analyze big data in real time and draw conclusions that we would never be able to. Especially in terms of energy management, that creates ways of efficiently balancing surpluses and deficits.

…Every individual has a sphere of influence that they can utilize. Together, we have caused the planet to teeter on the edge of the abyss, so we can also bring it back from it together. Digitalization and AI can help us massively here.

…Climate protection is less about having to sacrifice something and more about the art of the better offer.”

Lisa Utzschneider, CEO, Integral Ad Science: “The pace of transformation and growth has significantly increased in the digital advertising sector over the past year. That makes DMEXCO 2021 a place for important discussions that will drive our industry forward. The relevance of digital media quality has really taken center stage here. Advertisers and publishers are increasingly implementing new tools to optimize their media campaigns and turn every single impression into success. Looking ahead to the future of digital advertising in a world without cookies, the increasing relevance of context in global marketing strategies is one of the key takeaways from DMEXCO.”

Ilhan Zengin, CEO, ShowHeroes Group: “For us, DMEXCO @home once again offered it all this year: networking, fascinating discussions, and new potential partners. In addition to topics such as cookieless targeting and e-privacy, we were able to start our CTV campaign and impress lots of participants with our presentations and products. High praise to the DMEXCO team – despite some things not working perfectly, the event was a huge success.”

Roman Zenner, omnichannel expert, Shopify: “DMEXCO is a central meeting place for the industry and always features in Shopify’s event calendar. We’ve been actively involved for years, whether in the form of speaking commitments, workshops, or interaction with customers and experts. Even as a digital event, DMEXCO has once again managed to give digital experts valuable networking opportunities this year. Shopify has marketing in its DNA, and DMEXCO is truly an excellent match as a digital marketing trade show.”

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DMEXCO is Europe’s leading digital marketing & tech event. We are the meeting place and a community for key players in digital business, marketing, and innovation. We bring together industry leaders, marketing and media professionals, and tech pioneers to set the digital agenda. Both globally informed and locally focused, DMEXCO offers an ecosystem with seminars, debates, expositions, and masterclasses outlining the future of the digital economy and driving market value.

In Cologne and online, we set the benchmark as a network and business platform for the digital economy. Decision-makers continue to educate themselves and be inspired, make contacts, and conclude deals. DMEXCO — where tomorrow’s digital business happens today. DMEXCO 2022 will take place on September 21 and 22, 2022.

The German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW) – with the special participation of the Circle of Online Marketers (OVK) – is the ideational and professional partner of DMEXCO and owner of the DMEXCO brand. DMEXCO is organized by Koelnmesse.

Information, along with photos, videos, and original sounds and audio clips, can be found at, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.