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DMEXCO report: attitude matters for almost 90 percent of the digital industry

This year’s motto for DMEXCO @home – Attitude matters – is more relevant than ever in light of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. During this crisis, many companies have demonstrated a clear attitude and shown themselves in a positive light through social commitment and engagement. In keeping with the motto, we have published our first-ever DMEXCO report this year, featuring a comprehensive study on the topic of attitude and interviews with experts Dorothee Bär (German Minister of State for Digitalization), Eike Wenzel (head of ITZ, a German institute that researches trends and the future), and Claudia Hartwich (Microsoft). The survey explores what challenges await the digital industry, what role attitude plays in various business areas, and what difficulties can arise in this context.
August 26, 2020
The latest DMEXCO Report provides answers to the question of why it is particularly important to adopt an attitude in the digital economy.

With a unanimous result of 95 percent (Germany) and 90 percent (internationally), the digital industry agrees that companies must show a clear attitude. In Germany, this is especially important in the areas of “Trust/transparency when it comes to customers” (64 percent), “Climate change” (64 percent), and “Negative impact of the coronavirus crisis” (62 percent). In the rest of the world, “Trust/transparency when it comes to customers” (63 percent) and “Climate change” (51 percent) also ranked highest. However, the market representatives surveyed internationally put “Negative impact of the coronavirus crisis” on a par with “Personalization vs. data protection” (both 49 percent).

Discrepancy between aspiration and reality

It is interesting to draw a comparison between aspiration and reality in the different areas. Climate change plays a role in only 44 percent of the German-speaking companies, although 64 percent believe that it is important to show a clear attitude in this area. Internationally, the figure is even lower at a mere 32 percent compared to 51 percent. Among the German-speaking market representatives, there are similar discrepancies regarding the topic of “(Socio-)political issues”: only 28 percent say that this topic plays a role in their company, although 39 percent find that companies should show a clear attitude in this area. 96 percent of German respondents and 89 percent of international respondents generally think that companies can also help solve social problems.

Attitude is not a question of money and is helpful in the current crisis

When asked which companies can most afford to demonstrate their attitude, 51 percent of German respondents and 49 percent of international survey participants said that the type of company doesn’t matter. Over 50 percent of German respondents and almost 50 percent of international respondents do not feel that the profitability of a company conflicts with values-based corporate management. Only 3 percent and 6 percent, respectively, think that a company has to be able to afford to show attitude. Many also view the implementation of specific measures within individual business sectors as being unproblematic (over 60 percent in Germany and nearly 50 percent internationally).

95 percent of German participants and 86 percent of international participants agree that attitude is important during the coronavirus crisis. More than half of respondents even say that attitude can help companies get through the crisis.

No return to business as usual

The majority of both German respondents (70 percent) and international respondents (54 percent) believe that there will probably not be a return to business as usual after the coronavirus crisis and that something will have to change. In three areas in particular, the respondents see challenges and a need for action for the future: companies must build a buffer for future crises (Germany: 62 percent, internationally: 53 percent), do business more sustainably (Germany: 72 percent, internationally: 58 percent), and focus more strongly on the opportunities presented by digital working (Germany: 85 percent, internationally: 79 percent). At the same time, 49 percent of German respondents and 42 percent of international respondents believe that profit maximization should no longer be the overriding principle of corporate management.

“The DMEXCO report really highlights that the digital industry must demonstrate a clear attitude. It is becoming increasingly important to employees and customers. It’s no longer enough to simply manufacture and market a product. With DMEXCO @home and our #AttitudeMatters motto for this year, we are giving the digital industry a platform to come together and discuss how we can define attitude and put it into practice. The magnitude of this issue is even more underlined by the interviews we conducted with digital experts Eike Wenzel, Claudia Hartwich, and Dorothee Bär,” says Milko Malev, Director Communications and Media at DMEXCO.

“The economy as a whole is transforming and becoming more digital. Business models are changing, and companies are more frequently also taking a stance on sociopolitical issues. The DMEXCO report serves as an industry barometer of the digital community and proves that this positive trend is welcomed by the market and consumers,” says Christoph Werner, Senior Vice President of Koelnmesse.


The DMEXCO report can be found here:


Tickets for DMEXCO @home cost 99 euros and are available from the online ticket shop at

Image material for DMEXCO is available online at



DMEXCO is 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, and expositions outlining the future of the digital economy and driving market value.

Having brought together 38,000 visitors, around 1,000 exhibitors, and more than 700 speakers from around the world in 2019 for a one-of-a-kind event in Cologne. DMEXCO has set the standard as the place for business minds to learn and inspire, build connections, and for ideas to become actions. DMEXCO — where tomorrow’s digital business happens today.

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 the owner of the DMEXCO brand. DMEXCO is organized by Koelnmesse.

DMEXCO 2020 will be held online as DMEXCO @home on September 23 and 24, 2020. Information, along with photos, videos and original audio clips from DMEXCO 2019, can all be found at,,, and