Have you been to DMEXCO before?
This was my 4th consecutive year attending the conference and it’s definitely changed over that period. As the industry is evolving, there was plenty to discuss and many of the conversations that took place were aimed at sourcing solutions to the obstacles companies will soon be facing. DMEXCO is always a great reminder that the ad tech space is a global community innovating together.
How was DMEXCO 2019 different from all its previous editions?
The crowd was certainly thinner, so the halls were quieter, although this didn’t hinder the quality of conversation or volume of meetings. DMEXCO is always a very productive conference – meeting schedules are packed and business gets done.
However, despite the more subdued atmosphere, the current challenges—like recent data privacy regulations and the uncertain future of the cookie—have opened up exciting opportunities for both tech providers and advertisers alike. The subsequent discussions will continue to push adaptation and innovation in the year ahead.
Which topic was the most heavily discussed at DMEXCO 2019?
With Digital Advertising undergoing a revamp – underpinned by anti-tracking moves by browsers and tighter data laws – the ad tech world is steering away from third-party cookies. Many of the discussions that took place at this year’s DMEXCO were facilitated by companies seeking alternative ways to target consumers. Attendees set out to discover what the most viable solutions are for the cookie conundrum – with many believing that advanced contextual targeting is the most promising alternative.
Mentions of Digital Privacy regulations added further pressure to these conversations, as the emergence of data laws – spearheaded by the GDPR – continues to limit companies’ abilities to effectively target and measure ads. This led to the main theme (which is somewhat recurring, and for good reason): trust and transparency. Despite much of the industry’s improvement in this area, DMEXCO showed there is still room for improvement. The actions companies take to ensure a more open and honest environment for consumers will benefit all sides of the ecosystem.
Will the death of the cookie also be the death of programmatic?
The death of the cookie will mark a new age for programmatic as age-old techniques can no longer be relied upon. At Sovrn we believe a reduced dependency on the cookie can only be a good thing for consumers and will prove beneficial for quality content producers in the long-run. Intelligent advertisers will grasp the opportunity to evolve and transact in newer and more transparent ways, building long-lasting relationships with audiences without having to compromise either brand integrity or consumer privacy.
Lasting success for the programmatic ecosystem depends on AdTech adjusting data sources and targeting methods, and DMEXCO proved there are companies willing to adapt to ensure a more trusted and engaging era.
Did DMEXCO 2019 point to a more transparent future for AdTech?
Absolutely. I think recent changes are encouraging industry players to act in more open and honest ways. For some in the industry, an overhaul of established data processes is daunting, but the need for evolution is too great to ignore. With data regulations emerging with increasing frequency, this is the perfect time for companies to sit down and evaluate how they can create new targeting methods that do the job, whilst complying with these laws.
In a sense, 2019 has signaled a fresh start – an opportunity for companies to prioritize consumer trust and build an ecosystem rooted in transparency. DMEXCO demonstrated that many are already working to achieve this, and I hope that we will one day have a standard measure for transparency, which is vital to ad tech’s success and long-term growth. I’m confident that as a community we will achieve this and am hopeful for AdTech’s future.
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Sovrn is an advocate and partner to 20,000 publishers globally. We own and operate one of the largest global exchanges that connects publishers with tools, services, and analytics to grow their audience, engage readership and monetize their site. Sovrn is headquartered in Boulder, CO with offices in Denver, New York, and London.
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