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“Trust In You”: Industry discusses the importance of trust in digital marketing at DMEXCO 2019

Starting today at DMEXCO in Cologne, Europe's most important event for the digital economy, the industry is not only discussing the latest trends in technology and marketing, but also the digital economy's responsibility and the required foundation of trust between companies and users. For the 2019 event, DMEXCO includes around 1000 exhibitors from 40 countries in six halls and more than 600 speakers, 51 percent of whom are from abroad and 35 per cent of whom are women. In order to partially compensate for the CO2 pollution caused by visitors traveling to the fair, DMEXCO is launching the DMEXCO Forest reforestation project together with sponsors.
September 11, 2019

Under this year’s motto “Trust In You”, the most important decision-makers from the worlds of digital business, marketing and innovation are once again meeting in Cologne for DMEXCO 2019. This year’s discussions are focused on the central role trust is playing in the further development of the digital economy. Companies need the trust of users to be able to successfully offer products and services. Users must be able to trust that companies in the digital economy will handle their data respectfully and responsibly.


A study conducted by Adobe and published in advance of DMEXCO shows that the digital economy still has some catching up to do in this regard. According to the study, 90 percent of all Germans are concerned about the misuse of their data. The stance Germans take to how their data is handled on the Internet depends on their age. Generation Z (up to 22 years old), for example, is much more willing to interact online with brands and their advertising than baby boomers, who are now over the age of 55.


With a recent survey of 1,042 consumers and 201 member companies, the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) e.V. also confirms that trust is gaining relevance, both for users and for the digital economy. For example, 72 percent of consumers surveyed say they prefer digital products and services that are developed and planned in such a way that they are guided by transparent ethical standards. On the digital economy side, 71 percent of companies believe that such products can potentially be more successful on the market.


“As AI applications become more numerous and smart home systems more commonplace, we need to talk about trust, transparency and ethics at DMEXCO. Our current study shows how much the topic of ethics has moved into the consciousness of the digital economy. This is increasingly becoming a serious factor for the European digital industry in competition with China and the USA,” says BVDW’s President, Matthias Wahl.


“Our industry needs society’s trust that digitalization will benefit people. Companies are obliged to provide proof of this,” says Dr. Dominik Matyka, Chief Advisor of DMEXCO, in his opening speech. Keynote speaker Stephanie Buscemi, Chief Marketing Officer at Salesforce, speaks in her opening keynote about how marketers can build trust with their consumers in a world of permanent online availability: “We have to establish a perfect harmony between privacy on the one hand and our personal experiences on the other hand.”


“DMEXCO stands for comprehensive dialog. Not only are all the major players in the industry represented, but also many small and medium-sized companies that shape and enrich the digital business ecosystem,” comments CEO of Koelnmesse, Gerald Böse. “Just a few weeks after gamescom, DMEXCO is therefore turning Cologne into a global hot spot for the digital economy once again.”


Digital display advertising is growing, ethical standards are gaining importance

The economic dynamism of digital marketing remains strong as the digital share of global advertising expenditure continues to grow—in Germany, as well. The Circle of Online Marketers (OVK) within BVDW published its new market figures for the digital advertising industry at DMEXCO. For the current year, OVK forecasts an increase of 9.7 percent to 3.593 billion euro for the display advertising market in Germany alone. Sales from search engine, affiliate or influencer marketing are not included in this. Pre-roll advertising in particular is showing high growth rates compared to the previous year and is now the form of advertising with the highest revenues. Significantly higher advertising expenditures are also being made in large-format ads to create brand experiences.


Conference: over 600 speakers on 9 stages including 35 percent women speakers

This year DMEXCO has more than 600 speakers for the first time. Top-class speakers are contributing to nine conference formats, four curated stages and over 150 seminars and WorkLabs on the DMEXCO stages. 49 percent of the speakers are from Germany and the other 51 percent are from all parts of the globe. With women accounting for 35 percent of the speakers, the share has been increased slightly compared to last year and by 10 percent compared to 2017. There are significantly more women on stage alone for keynotes (9 of the 22 single-person speeches) this year, as well. Due to the great interest, the conference portion of DMEXCO 2019 will be streamed live online. In addition to the lectures on the curated stages, seminars and WorkLabs can also be viewed live at


“The first day of the fair has already shown that the content offered by DMEXCO is being met with great interest at all the stages. And many discussions in advance and on site show that this year’s motto ‘Trust In You’ is reflecting the mood in the industry really well,” concluded the DMEXCO Board headed by Judith Kühn, Dr. Dominik Matyka, Christoph Menke and Christoph Werner.


Expo: highlights in the new Future Park of 100,000 square meters

980 exhibitors represent the entire spectrum of digital marketing in a total of six Koelnmesse halls on an overall surface area of 100,000 square meters. The total stock market value of the largest DMEXCO exhibitors is over 4 trillion US dollars. Many of the world’s most valuable companies exhibit at DMEXCO: Adobe, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Paypal, Salesforce, SAP and Verizon.


Technology leaders, visionaries and start-ups will also be presenting their products and services in the Future Park, which has been redesigned this year and covers an area of around 7,000 square meters. All the relevant technology topics of today and tomorrow are exhibited there: from artificial intelligence and big data to mixed reality, smart technologies, mobility, IoT and blockchain. Start-ups have the opportunity to successfully network and pitch their innovations to an expert audience at one of the two integrated stages and present their success cases in the future hub of DMEXCO.


CO2 compensation: DMEXCO and Treedom launch DMEXCO Forest

This year’s DMEXCO will not only focus on the latest digital trends and developments, but also on how the digital industry is responding to social developments. Sustainable practices and a return to taking a clearer stance in marketing are also playing important roles this year. As the leading trade fair for digital marketing, DMEXCO is committed to a sustainable project and, together with the social company Treedom, will plant trees in Kenya that will store a total of around 1 million kilograms of CO2. The first sponsors of the campaign are Productsup and DMEXCO’s Chief Advisor, Dr. Dominik Matyka. The DMEXCO Forest is intended to offset part of the CO2 emissions caused by the international DMEXCO community traveling to Cologne. Dominik Matyka presented the sustainability project to the DMEXCO audience at his opening keynote this morning and invited the industry to plant trees as well.


Using the code DMEXCO19, the first 2,000 interested parties can secure a free digital tree sponsorship for the planted trees. The code can be redeemed in the DMEXCO app or at If you also want to plant your own tree, you can use the DMEXCO app or go to to get active. Here you can also see how the DMEXCO Forest is growing and developing.


DMEXCO Party at Rheinterrassen

As the perfect conclusion to the first day of the fair, the official DMEXCO Party was already sold out in advance. This year the Rheinterrassen are being transformed into a late summer midnight dream with a panoramic view of the river and the cathedral. DJs Sumo, Phil Fuldner and Porto Bello provide the right sound to celebrate after a long first day at the fair. Chill-out lounges as well as relaxation areas in the outdoor area and feel-good food create the right atmosphere for networking in the DMEXCO Community.



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.

With 40,000 visitors, 1,000 exhibitors and more than 600 speakers from around the world for a one-of-a-kind event each year 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 e.V.) — with special participation from 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 2019 will be held in Cologne on September 11 & 12, 2019. You can find all the information about DMEXCO 2018, as well as photos, stories, events and the podcast, at,,, and