Dmexco (Digital Marketing Expo and Conference) is a humongous event held in Cologne with a very friendly
atmosphere. With more than 1,000 exhibitors and over 40,000 visitors, it is the single largest European
conference about digital marketing, and the best place to learn about trends in digital for the upcoming year.
Our own Jan Randus distilled the trends for you and it all boils down to these three (plus one) topics:
1. Focus shifts from acquisition to retention.
2. Attribution is still an issue for most companies.
3. As markets get saturated with highly competitive offerings, understanding and working with CLV is the new
marketing gold rush.
4. If organizations want to successfully develop in these directions they need to establish a great working
relationship between their CMOs and CFOs.
1. Let’s mine our customer base
Aside from some some discussions and stands, I also had a chance to visit a few seminars. One was so
crowded, that there was no place to sit, even the floor was full. The topic was the future of CRM. The topic
is resonating throughout the whole community. It seems that the market is becoming saturated, firms have
learned how to use their digital potential and have learned how to grow through digital.
Most companies are far from being completely mature in digital, but the new challenge for everyone is already
clear – everybody knows how to acquire new customers, and retention becomes an issue. According to the
speaker, after the adoption of data management platforms, specialized customer data platforms will follow.
One way to deal with this issue is to create a new dedicated position – an Audience Manager. A person who
has all the insights and holds the focus on current customers. The importance of micro moments is also coming
to the forefront. As services are very often comparable, decisions of consumers are then mostly based on the
2. The last click is still an issue
Another seminar was about attribution, the topic that has been with us for a few years now. There are a few
barriers (resources, knowledge or dedication to change or cost of tools), that still hold firms back from a deeper
understanding of their marketing mix. Technology is closing the gap, yet 44% of marketers are still using the
last-touch attribution approach. Companies are slowly learning how to deal with attribution and are becoming
more educated. They successfully transferred from the era of clicks to era of KPIs (ROAS, ROI, CPA, etc).
However, the industry is already looking for a yet new era where incremental sales, the best marketing mix, and
lifetime value will become sources of competitive advantage.
The crucial step on the path to the next era then is establishing strong and productive CMO-CFO relationships.
Marketing is responsible for growth, finance is responsible for expenditures. One cannot exist without the other.
The CMO should take on the responsibility of making his or her CFO fully acquainted with what and why is going
on in marketing – to learn to speak in finance language, to find common ground in budgets and to be fully and
transparently accountable for results. All that without losing his or her creative side.
3. CLV FTW!
Speaking of customer lifetime value! It seems like everybody is talking about it, yet not many folks really know
how to use it – few companies are testing out CLV features, but the deployment is still far from perfect. Apart
from RFM analysis, which has become a commonplace practice by now, there is still quite a knowledge gap to
bridge. The notion prevails that whoever fully masters this area will get ahead of the market.
My last note belongs to the exhibitors. Plenty of firms that are focusing on data and business intelligence were
present, but every single one had a different approach, focusing on different aspects of business: Data and
attribution; Analytics in combination with data that are sent back to the marketing platforms; Data and the detailed
level of product analytics and so on. I can imagine that companies wanting to start or level up their data analytics
must have quite a headache choosing from all those vendors that differ just slightly in their offerings. The array
of choices is truly exhaustive and just browsing through all the booths inevitably wears one down.
To end on a positive note though, Roivenue is here to help you with all the challenges DMEXCO set us up for in
2019. Don’t be shy to get in touch!