Take C.A.R.E.: DMEXCO 2018 launches debate on the future of the digital economy

At DMEXCO in Cologne, yesterday the digital economy started discussing not only the latest trends in technology and marketing, but also its self-image and its responsibility towards users. In 2018, DMEXCO, the meeting place for all major decision-makers from the digital economy, marketing and innovation, will feature 1,000 exhibitors from 40 countries in six halls and more than 550 speakers – 48 percent of whom are from abroad and 33 percent of whom are female. Two start-up pitches are also taking place: the winner of the “SevenVentures Pitch Day” is the platform for online therapy courses Selfapy. The final of “The DMEXCO & Unilever Foundry Start-up Hatch” will be held on September 13 on the Debate Stage.


Under this year’s motto “Take C.A.R.E. – Curiosity – Action – Responsibility – Experience” the top digital experts and innovators are discussing the future of the digital economy at DMEXCO 2018. In addition to the latest trends and technologies, the industry’s self-image and its responsibility play a major role at the leading event for marketing and innovation. “User centricity means more than just selling more to customers and optimizing efficiencies. It means making our digital world easier, safer and more trustworthy,” said Dr. Dominik Matyka, DMEXCO Chief Advisor, opening the event.


Keynote speaker Timotheus Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG, warns, for example, that the high speed of digitalization also harbors the risk that some users will feel left behind: “Everything is accelerating. We feel excited. But: A lot of people feel overstretched.” At the same time, according to Höttges, the current political situation and the rise in populism in Western societies show that companies should be aware of their social responsibility: “I think that we as the leaders of our companies should stand up for what our society should stand for.” From an economic point of view, change is the foundation of a sustainable economy: “The greatest risk is not to constantly change. Companies have to embrace modern technologies otherwise they are dead.” Consumers also expect companies to take a stance, Höttges says: “If you want to sell products in the future and you are not ethic or not thinking ecologically and if you are not trustworthy, the Millennials will not buy your products. And they are right. We have just one planet and we need to take care.”


In his speech on the DMEXCO Experience Stage, Kevin Cochrane, CMO SAP Customer Experience, also points out the growing importance of the user: “It takes you eight seconds to activate customers and just a moment and a second to lose their trust.” The marketing industry must react to this: “Protecting consumer rights is the foundation for every customer experience – otherwise we have no right to be a player in the customer journey,” says Cochrane. “Brands must connect as people with their customers,” he adds.


OVK forecast 2018: German advertising market grows by seven percent


Just in time for DMEXCO 2018, the Circle of Online Marketers (OVK) of the German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW) presents the figures for the German digital advertising market in 2018. For the current year, the OVK forecasts a seven percent rise in net advertising expenditure for online and mobile advertising to over 2 billion euros (€2.06 billion). With an advertising market share of 32.3 percent, online advertising (as the sum of display advertising and search term marketing) remains the leading category ahead of television (29 percent) and daily newspapers (15.1 percent). The General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force in May, slowed growth somewhat.


Conference highlights: Artificial intelligence as a megatrend


The central topic at DMEXCO 2018 is artificial intelligence in its various forms. One of the Conference highlights of the first DMEXCO day was the presentation by Alex Cheng, Vice President Baidu. Using the example of the open source platform Baidu Apollo, he showed how artificial intelligence with face recognition helps truck drivers not to fall asleep while driving and thus prevents accidents. According to Cheng, artificial intelligence can also improve the advertising result: “We have reached a new era of Internet Advertising. The next generation of Artificial Intelligence is Reinforcement Learning. This will triple effectiveness in advertising.”


The study “Business Relevance of Artificial Intelligence” by the German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW e.V.), which was presented at DMEXCO, documents how there is still some catching up to do when it comes to AI in Germany. “78 percent of those surveyed said artificial intelligence is important or quite important for their business model,” says Matthias Wahl, President of the BVDW. At the same time, only one in five companies (21 percent) sees itself in a position to fully exploit the potential. “Our study shows that AI is of great importance for our economy, but we still face major challenges in Germany,” says Matthias Wahl.


Selfapy wins “SevenVentures Pitch Day”, final of “The Hatch” today


For the first time, two start-up competitions are taking place at DMEXCO: the “SevenVentures Pitch Day (7VPD)” and “The DMEXCO & Unilever Foundry Start-up Hatch”. The winner of the 7VPD has already been named: the platform for online therapy courses Selfapy. Jury member Astrid Teckentrup, Managing Director Sales at Procter & Gamble DACH, praises the start-up’s wealth of ideas: “It is incredible to look at young companies with such fresh ideas that big companies say, why didn’t we think of that.” Selfapy offers scientifically based online therapy courses for stress, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety and eating disorders in the form of videos, articles and interactive exercises that teach users the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy. The start-up wins an extensive media and service package consisting of 3 million euros in TV advertising money, 200,000 euros in online marketing budget and 30,000 euros to create its own TV ad. The final of “The DMEXCO & Unilever Foundry Start-up Hatch” will be held on September 13 on the Debate Stage.


The Expo highlights: Major players, start-ups and World of Agencies


DMEXCO 2018 features around 1,000 exhibitors from 40 countries on a total floor space of 100,000 square meters, among them 170 start-ups. 40 percent are international exhibitors. Among the exhibitors are companies such as Adobe, Amazon, Bertelsmann, Burda, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Magento, Microsoft, Payback, ProSieben Sat.1, Salesforce, Showheroes, Springer Verlag SE, United Internet Media, Webtrekk and Xing.


The World of Agencies is celebrating its DMEXCO premiere with its own stage and 16 exhibitors in total. Market players such as Collabary by Zalando, Echte Liebe, madvertise and nayoki put in an appearance for the premiere.


Digital signage navigates around Expo and Conference


A flexible digital information and guidance system on the north part of the Koelnmesse exhibition center navigates DMEXCO visitors around the Expo and Conference this year for the first time. From room signage and information pillars to display walls and LED displays of up to 26m² in size, over 200m² of digital signage space has been created here. This makes it easier for guests to find their way around and provides exhibitors and visitors alike with information.


Live streams from four stages and two seminars for the first time


Because of the huge interest, the four big stages Congress Stage, Debate Stage, Motion Stage and Experience Stage as well as the seminars (rooms 4 and 5) are being streamed live at DMEXCO 2018. You can follow the lectures on the DMEXCO website (https://dmexco.com/de/) as well as on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/DMEXCO/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/dmexco).


DMEXCO meets I LOVE ENGTANZ – Party in Wolkenburg


The first day of the event was ending with the official DMEXCO Party, which was already sold out in advance. Taking as its motto “DMEXCO meets I LOVE ENGTANZ”, the Love Invasion of Picknick Berlin with its legendary Berlin format I LOVE ENGTANZ and a mix of love songs and hip-hop/R’n’B melted the party location Wolkenburg. Heart balloons, disco balls and confetti create the perfect environment for Bonnie Tyler, Robbie Williams & so on.


“The first day of the event has already shown that this year the DMEXCO stages and halls are focusing not only on technology, but above all on people and users. This year’s motto “Take C.A.R.E.” perfectly reflects the mood in our industry. The winning start-up of the SevenVentures Pitch-Day, Selfapy, is also an expression of this new awareness in society, as well as in the digital economy. Today, day one of 365 ends. More highlights will follow, tomorrow and throughout the whole year,” was the summary by Philipp Hilbig, Dominik Matyka and Christoph Werner on the first day of the trade fair.




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.

Bringing together 40,000 visitors, 1,000+ exhibitors, and 550+ 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 2018 takes place in Cologne on September 12 & 13, 2018. You can find all the information about DMEXCO 2017, as well as photos, stories, events and the podcast, at https://dmexco.com, www.facebook.com/dmexco, http://twitter.com/dmexco, and www.youtube.com/dmexcovideo.