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Bratwurst, beer, and even tattoos being done onsite. Throughout the amazing experiences offered to attendees at DMEXCO 2017, ad tech and its ever growing landscape remained the constant. Hot topics including viewability, transparency, and GDPR were the focus of the thousands of publishers, advertisers, and ad tech companies in attendance.  Although I had a great time in Cologne connecting with partners; customer experiences were the key focus of DMEXCO. Here are my takeaways:

DMEXCO Continues To Get Bigger
While Cologne certainly is not as flashy as Las Vegas for CES or the French Riviera for Cannes Lions, it is quickly becoming a go-to global event for the ad tech industry.  It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago DMEXCO was mostly a German media and tech event.  Now with over 50,000 attendees from around the world, DMEXCO is now a must-attend event for publishers, brands, and tech companies.

Transparency Remains The Most Important Word In Ad Tech
Whether you are on the supply-side or buy-side, transparency is essential.  Those who cannot provide it, will not survive. Publishers are now demanding transparency on how their supply is being monetized and brands want to know how effective their campaign and marketing dollars (euros, pounds, etc.) are being spent.  One thing is certain, trust from both sides is imperative for the ad tech ecosystem to sustain. Those companies that can provide real value and transparency to their partners will win.

GDPR Will Soon Be Here
By the time DMEXCO rolls around next year, GDPR will be nearly four months old. It will be interesting to see how major companies will address the European legislation which will aim to protect the personal data of consumers. Not everything is clear around the EU’s regulation and enforcement of user data collection, but what is clear is that companies must be prepared for what’s to come.

Customer Experience Must Remain At the Core Of Everything
It may sound cliché, but the customer remains at the center of everything.  Whether you are a publisher or a brand, the “what, when, and how” of how ads are delivered to the customer is paramount.  We all remember when Marc Pritchard, the Chief Brand Officer of P&G sent shockwaves through the industry earlier this year when he said it’s time for ad tech to “clean-up” its act. He furthered his stance at DMEXCO as he urged marketers, tech partners, and online media companies to focus on the end-user and customer experience.

Time-In-View is the Key Metric
The current IAB standard for viewability is that an ad must be 50% in-view for at least one second. With 20% of ads being viewed for more than 2 seconds, it is no wonder key marketers are questioning this logic and the effectiveness of online ads overall. According to the IPG MAGNA Programmatic Report, programmatic and automated digital media transactions are expected to grow to $42 billion by 2020.  With this, time in-view seems like the logical evolution of the viewability metric. The correlation between how long an ad stays in-view and performance is evident.  See our study here.

By: Yuri Burka | Managing Director of Europe for 33Across