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Lessons from dmexco 2016 – by Gamewheel CCO, Olcayto Cengiz

What I Learned in dmexco 2016

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This year I was at dmexco (Digital Marketing Exposition & Conference) 2016 as an exhibitor first time in my life with Gamewheel. It was quite an experience to be there as an exhibitor but not as a visitor. But I didn’t just sit and wait, instead spent my time with collecting some knowledge and here are my learnings from dmexco.

Exhibitor vs. Visitor

First things first. Being an exhibitor is far more exhausting. Spending the 2 days in a row from early morning till the late night is something that requires energy.Being a visitor can be fun and more comfortable but being an exhibitor gives you the chance to discover all the halls and booths without crowd.It is hard to make new friendships if you are a visitor. But if you are an exhibitor, you are having so many “BFF”s for 2 days 🙂

Pure Business

This years motto was “Pure Business”. And at the end of 2 days, I want to shake hands of the fella who came up with this phrase because it was totally bullseye. dmexco was full of business.

It was all about experience. VR and AR were the sexy topics but the real issue were PaaS and SaaS providers.

Seems that ad blocking and the need to find a way around this resulted as the birth of so many startups with the claim of “finding a new and unique innovative way” solutions which were, to be honest, almost identical.

Cloud was another big player. So many cloud companies came up with offerings like a dozen different types of packages.

Where the Frak are Creative Agencies?!

It was a big shock for me to see -or maybe I should say not to see- none of the digital creative agencies in dmexco. Or worse, none of any advertising agencies. There was a lounge for ad agencies, called as “Agency Lounge”, that was it. HAVAS was the overweighting company in the lounge, but that was it.

Lounge for Agencies.

Dentsu was there and they acted more likely as the media agency but their message was to the point.

Sum of dmexco, sum of future

Only Digitas LBi was holding the doors as a “Marketing Agency” with creativity and media assets.

Meanwhile there were like DOZENS of media agencies, and the “Big Guys” were there, embracing the digital era.

More surprisingly, the “usual suspects” were there, as expected, but they were acting as a “media platform” instead of a search engine or social networking platform. Yes, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, Bing, ViceSpotify, Tumblr etc. Everyone was there. And they were positioning themselves like “media agencies” not any type of social platform. Even Adobe! They were there to show that they are the best friend of media agencies.

“Usual Suspects”





Big bosses were there; WPP, Publicis. But their creative and advertising branches were nowhere around. Imagine a conference where one of the opening talk is “Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP in a conversation with Jack Dorsey of Twitter” and none of the WPP agencies -despite media agencies- were there.

There was only 1 other gamifying ad company at the whole dmexco and it was not even a platform like us. Our approach with Gamewheel Creatorhad a magnetic effect on the visitors because there were no really creativity. I mean, of course there were creativity all around but not in a visual way. Mostly solution based. When we put on something which combines solution AND creativity, it was a blast. That gave me more hope about our future, we really may lead the way.



#GamifyYourself

So the results,

Yes this is me and this is my “The Results” shot.

What I learned from this view is, if it will go like this, future is going to be written by media agencies, service providers and solution partners. This may sound boring and yes I know it is very nice to say that creativity is sexy, but to be honest business is grey suit, not the red night dress.

Every company trying to reserve a place in the future must reposition themselves and embrace the new way we are leading.

Mad Men era was good, but now we are entering the Mad Code era.

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