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The Post-Event Pulse: dmexco 2014

Thousands of people meeting face-to-face to discuss digital strategies: Isn't it funny how the new marketing generation meets through one of the oldest marketing tools that we know—a trade show?

When attending dmexco (short for Digital Marketing Exposition & Conference) on the second day, I could clearly see why it has developed into one of the leading events for digital marketing. Combining an exhibition on three show floors with numerous seminars and workshops, dmexco has become a valuable industry event, giving international brands, agencies and publishers the opportunity to network, exchange ideas and close business while offering various educative sessions on hot digital marketing topics.

Obviously the industry needs such a "physical" platform: According to the organizer, the event experienced overall growth of 20% compared to 2013, with more than 30,000 visitors gathering in Cologne for dmexco 2014. In terms of trending topics, we could see Content and Native Marketing were discussed in numerous sessions.

Content - The Future of Marketing

With the digital world rapidly advancing and growing, marketing is in a constant state of change. No matter if a company sells to consumers or to other businesses, there is one particular element that every organization has to incorporate into their marketing strategy – valuable content.

While content may be easy to create in the B2C area, experts agree that it certainly takes time and resources to create valuable content, and even more time and expertise if you sell a complex product or if you are operating in a B2B environment.

As we are all shaping this relatively new and heavily growing area of Content Marketing, we are all part of its "formative years" and contributing to its further development. According to the Content Marketing Institute who conducted a survey among North American technology content marketers this year, 73% of them are producing more content than they did a year ago. On the long run, companies will have to consider putting together full-time teams of content creators to be able to produce significant amounts of content.

High-quality, Engaging Content

Now, the true beauty and art lies in creating engaging content. Insightful case studies from "big brands" at dmexco, including a key note from Nestlé's Tom Buday (Senior Vice President, Head of Marketing & Consumer Communication) showed how companies use storybuilding and storytelling elements to build an emotional story around a brand and encourage consumers to share their stories on Social Media.

While I mostly prefer words to images, I can see why imagery and photography in particular have become central elements of our lives. Whenever we want to capture a moment of happiness, we take a photo with our phones. Even if we don't look at the pictures again, it makes us feel good to keep hold of a particular moment. People connect emotions with visual elements.

Especially in B2B marketing, visual content is extremely helpful to boost website traffic. Colors, charts, photos—from a neuromarketing perspective, the brain processes images much faster than words. As a result, visual elements often have bigger power than words—just think of the numerous infographics shared on Social Media every day.

So how can a company measure the outcome, the success of their content? You can see a great tendency towards the usage of engagement- and attention-based metrics, such as scrolling behavior, dwell time or engagement with multiple pieces of content.

Did you attend this year's dmexco? What did you think of the discussed topics? I'd love to hear what your personal highlights were—just contact me via email.

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