Let’s all exhale — dmexco 2017 is over! As usual, the expo focused on some of the biggest names in digital advertising while giving the up and comers some stage time, too. Now that it’s all over, so we can take a step back from our booths and contemplate. What have we learned? What are the trends? Are they different than we suspected? Four Smart employees with different points of view contemplate the takeaways.

dmexco 2017

What were the hottest topics at dmexco 2017?

Lucie: Ad fraud, brand safety, transparency and consolidation.

Edwige: Quality, ads.txt and header bidding.

Nikodem: Transparency and the black box.

Helie: Transparency, the Digital Duopoly and ads.txt. The last topic was in everyone’s mind considering the radical change of the industry towards a cleaner ecosystem.

What are publishers most excited about?

Lucie: I overheard a lot of conversations at the conferences about AI. Artificial intelligence was really at the top of exciting topics, and even the buzzword this year. AI will really be game changer in marketing tomorrow and will impact the advertising industry. It will be used to optimize website conversion rates and improve user experience during online shopping.

Edwige: A lot of my French clients are trying to monetize with video, so they’re interested in having access to specific cross-platform and interactive video formats.

Nikodem: I can speak for the Eastern European publishers by saying they are extremely excited for header bidding! They consider this approach something more efficient than the waterfall setup. They’re convinced it will bring more value to their inventory and result in higher revenues.

Helie: Clients were really excited about the capacity of Smart to deliver on the promises of programmatic in the Asian Market. PMPs [Private marketplaces] are now a popular method of programmatic trading in Europe. Still, it remains a complicated and a new topic in Asia where the publishers are not fully educated on its methodology. Who are the main buyers? How can you set up a deal? At what price should I sell my inventory? How can I do targeting? These might be simple actions, they can have a great impact on monetization. One client mentioned $40K of revenue for one single campaign!

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What are some concerns that publishers have expressed?

Lucie: One of the biggest issues looming front-of-mind is the eradication of fraud. Publishers need to deal with it NOW. The only approach is looking to transparency and quality. For sure that will drive many roadmaps for the rest of the year.

Edwige: Actually, I was expecting to hear more concerns about GDPR*, but didn’t hear too many publishers talking about it or where they want to position themselves…not yet.

Nikodem: As we know, the ad tech bubble is expanding, and there are a lot of technologies out there. I feel that my clients have a desire to cut back on plugging in too much tech.

Helie: Publishers are concerned about the rapid growth of the Google and Facebook Digital Duopoly; they see their audiences growing, but their revenues shrinking. That is why they want more than ever an independent, data agnostic platform.

*GDPR – GDPR is a regulation that requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states. And non-compliance could cost companies dearly. Here’s what every company that does business in Europe needs to know about GDPR (CSO.com)