White Ops recently got back from a whirlwind trip to Cologne, Germany for this year’s Digital Marketing Exposition and Conference (DMEXCO), one of the biggest events in the digital marketing industry. We had several folks from our team on hand to chat with the attendees at what was a truly international and loud event. Here’s what they had to say about what they saw and learned:
This is the highlight of the year for many companies in the marketing technology space–it’s an enormous business and PR event, and the sheer number of announcements and noisy stunts is just staggering. The major DSPs and SSPs of the world throw massive, expensive parties just to try and capture a sliver of every attendee’s attention. And everything has to get bigger and bigger to find that sliver. Our clients and prospects may have a good understanding of White Ops, but many of the other companies at the event didn’t know us or what we’re really about.
One of the biggest themes from my perspective was the need for evidence. Marketing bluster is unimpressive to marketing and advertising decision-makers, they want proof of what you’re talking about. It’s why research like our Bot Baseline is so important–we show not just what the numbers are, but how we get them.
I’m fairly new to White Ops, so much of my time in Germany was focused on understanding what aspects of what we do resonated with different folks. What’s particularly compelling to one person wasn’t always compelling to the next, and learning those pain points and how we address them felt like a crash course in White Ops.
The other thing that really struck me was how smart the people there were. And I don’t just mean my White Ops colleagues, although they’re certainly very intelligent. I mean everybody who was there. In the time I spent in the booth, I don’t think I got a single “stupid” question. The expo was jam-packed, but I wouldn’t have it any other way; it was a great hands-on opportunity.
I’ve got to admit, there was a little bit of whiplash going from the show floor, where there was a zero-tolerance policy about alcohol, to the streets of Cologne, where people walked down the street with Radebergers in hand. You can tell that Oktoberfest is coming on fast.
For me, I found the conference to be an absolute whirlwind. In two days, I took more than 40 meetings with White Ops enthusiasts from more than 12 countries. The spectacle of it all was something to behold, too, with exhibits for some companies topping out over a million or two dollars for two days...ad tech and martech are clearly still flashy industries.
It was rewarding and validating to find that ad fraud and bot mitigation were among the biggest topics of conversation in Germany during the event. When you go on the road for a show like this, you can only hope that the theme you’re taking to the meetings you’ve scheduled lines up with the theme of what the people want to hear and talk about, and this year, that worked out very well. Our Bot Mitigation Platform was definitely a highlight for many of these folks.
And speaking of, getting to meet so many of our customers and partners face-to-face was exhilarating. We hosted a dinner with our friends at MediaMath at a classic German bierhaus, and it’s always a blast to get to chat with close partners off-the-clock. I’m looking forward to next year’s DMEXCO and how we can meet and chat with even more folks there.