Sep 18 2017
6 minute read

#DMEXCO2017: How Do You Stay Personalized and Relevant at Scale?

TL;DR At ROIHunter, we take the time and travel to the industry’s most important events each year. Not only to pursue new business contacts and foster relationships with our partners but to also get inspired by thoughts from transformational leaders, hackers, and revolutionists. Here’s a summary of five (plus one) main thoughts, as noted by me.

The biggest challenge for brands now is to gain clients and to keep them. Brands have to stay relevant to the individual client.

Ben Jankowski (Group Head, Global Media at Mastercard) and Gerry D’Angelo (Global Media Director) held a very interesting fireside chat. When asked about what they see as the biggest challenge, both agreed it’s gaining customers and keeping them by staying relevant. No longer is B2C marketing purely about biggest reach at the lowest cost. It is crucial for brands now, to be contextually relevant and specific to that given customer’s need at that point in time.

Embrace new behavior, use your data and always meet expectations.

Chad Stoller (EVP, Global Chief Innovation Officer at UM Worldwide) spoke about the three pillars of success in modern (digital) marketing:

  • Firstly – It’s all about embracing new behavior – it’s not uncommon, that people buy a book on their phone on Amazon, while at the bookstore or for people to watch an NFL game on their Twitter app.
  • Secondly – Embrace new media and personalize creatives. Customers no longer want to see generic ads, relevancy is the key! In another presentation, Adobe showed off their AI-powered web management system capable of automatically showing various creatives to each web visitors based on age, gender, race and other characteristics. Although that was a little Orwellian for us, it did confirm what Stoller said and highlighted just how quickly personalization is evolving.
  • Finally, always meet the expectations of your clients. Loyalties can sway and customers have no problem fleeing services that aren’t providing them with 100% satisfaction. So make sure your customer journey is spotless from awareness to purchase.

The role of agencies is changing – technology is now an enabler.

When asked about which buzzword she would like to delete, Jean Lin (Global CEO at ISOBAR) quickly noted the word technology. She no longer differentiates between tech and no tech. Every experience is technological in some way and technology is simply an enabler of that given experience. She agreed with Ben Jankowski and Chad Stoller that agencies have to change. They must have experts on various technologies and enable brands to create the best and most unique experiences for their customers. At the same time, certain tasks, traditionally done by agencies now have to move in-house. Deep customer understanding using data analysis is no longer an outsourceable project but an ongoing live-or-die core competency of the brand.

To discover growth on digital, you have to focus on your mission, build communities and be authentic.

Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook’s legendary COO) killed her presentation, which was by far the most visited keynote of the conference, with over two thousand people filling the Speaker’s Hall. She spoke about the future of social media and ways for companies to grow on digital. Focus on mission, building communities and authenticity are key. Don’t try to be something you are not or something your customers aren’t expecting you to be. But as Stoller said, be there to exceed expectations for them.

Technology start-ups, choose one sub-segment of one complicated challenge and focus on it.

We strongly believe that start-ups should specialize in one challenge (which, by the way, is the suggested approach of Margit Wennmachers from Andreessen Horowitz). At ROIHunter, we know digital marketing is an enormous field, that doesn’t have one single silver bullet to solve all the challenges. We believe, we can help brands and e-commerce brands create relevant and personalized creatives for huge target markets at scale. Whether that’s using Dynamic Product Ads, Dynamic Creative Optimization, CRM connectors or other solutions we have or others we will develop in the near future.

To finish off, here’s a couple interesting data points from Dominik Woeber, Google’s Head of Performance Sales for Central Europe:

    • 66% of Germans use mobile as primary device for web browsing
    • 69% of Germans purchase using the phone
    • 72% of Alibaba Single’s Day purchases were done on mobile
    • 70% of Amazon Christmas purchases were done on mobile
    • 6 in 10 purchases are done across multiple devices, where Cross Device Measurement is crucial
    • 92% of purchases are still done in stores, but out of that, 56 % are influenced digitally
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