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Microsoft Advertising at DMEXCO 2019: Day One

Microsoft Advertising at DMEXCO

After a full day of speaker sessions, booth presentations, client meetings and a huge after party, Europe’s largest marketing and advertising conference in Cologne, Germany was finally over. DMEXCO 2019 continues on for a second day tomorrow, which will no doubt be just as large, if not more so. Here are the three key takeaways Microsoft Advertising got from day one of the biggest event on the marketing calendar.

Diverse teams are key to venturing programs 

The importance of diversity and different perspectives in Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) was emphasised at the ‘New Ways of Best Practice of Venturing Programs’ panel, featuring Andrew Macadam (Western Europe Director of Microsoft for Startups). “People that just want to get s**t done are the people who tend to perform well,” he said. “They understand the challenges but they also just want to move through them. Today we have five men up here on the stage, but [at Microsoft] we are looking at diversity and inclusion. Now that I’m starting to build a team in Europe, I’m looking to get different perspectives and different ways of thinking. We’re uncovering 20-odd countries at the moment and we’re thinking in terms of culture, gender, inclusivity and accessibility challenges.” Jens Pippig (Managing Director of SevenVentures) agreed with Macadam, saying “If I had to name one single success factor for a successful CVC, it’s the team. It’s important to have the right people who are willing to drive and push through but also know when to accept a decision at a corporate level program.”

Andrew Macadam (Western Europe Director of Microsoft for Startups) speaking at the New Ways of Best Practice of Venturing Programs panel.
Andrew Macadam (Western Europe Director of Microsoft for Startups) speaking at the New Ways of Best Practice of Venturing Programs panel. 

Digital skills are the new currency

At the Experience Stage, the transformation of education and learning was the focus of the panel which also featured Microsoft Germany’s Chief Learning Officer, Mohanna Azarmandi. Pointing out that what we learn and how we learn has become entirely digitalised, she said that upskilling and training of employees was essential and that executives need to shift their mindset towards digital abilities. “The digital transformation is changing the way we operate. Five years from now, 70 percent of jobs today won’t exist. We need to start skilling people today so that they will have jobs in the future. We also need to invest in the right people so that they don’t leave. Employees actually hold the power, they are the ones that you need to make happy and then, of course, the customers.” Making learning fun in adult education, however, is the key to achieving success, Azarmandi said. “There’s a lot of research showing that educational content is more engaging when it’s fun, people stick with it longer. Even in Germany we are starting to understand that’s what our employees need. You can’t be serious all the time.”

Mohanna Azarmandi (Chief Learning Officer, Microsoft Germany) speaking at the Back to School: Technology is Changing the Way We Learn panel.
Mohanna Azarmandi (Chief Learning Officer, Microsoft Germany) speaking at the Back to School: Technology is Changing the Way We Learn panel. 

Marketers should remember they are also consumers

While the topic of ‘trust’ was the main focus of this year’s DMEXCO, it also took centre stage over at the Microsoft Advertising booth during the Trusted Partnership Interviews, hosted by renowned keynote speaker Jon Burkhart. Featuring Q&As with leaders from Performics, Dolead, iProspect, TradeDoubler, Reprise and Kenshoo, all agreed that trust is very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. Burcu Agma (VP Planning and Insights at Performics US) stated, “Sometimes we forget that we are targeting people. You might hear people in our industry go, ‘What do they want?’, like we’re targeting aliens. But if you put your marketer’s hat aside for a minute, you’ll realise that you’re a consumer too. Building trust is similar to building trust with your friends, family and significant other. It’s a very similar relationship with a brand. If you hurt the consumer once, or you creep them out, are being pushy, or taking their information for a reason they don’t benefit from–they’re going to remember that.”

Interviewer Jon Burkhart speaking to iProspect at the Trusted Partnership Interview Series on the Microsoft Stage.

Interviewer Jon Burkhart speaking to iProspect at the Trusted Partnership Interview Series on the Microsoft Stage. 

Watch all the highlights from the first day of DMEXCO in the video below and stayed tuned for another report from the event tomorrow.