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"Don Draper's not taken a back seat - but he has equals" Sir Martin Sorrell

Disruptive technologies are changing the industry, a theme which stood out this year at the largest Dmexco conference yet...

There was no better place to witness the convergence of technology and creativity than Dmexco – where Xaxis’ global COO, Nicolle Pangis, said onstage that the coming together of man and machine is fuelling a "rebalance of what creativity means".

Campaign was onsite with Xaxis, meeting industry trailblazers to discover how programmatic technologies are reshaping advertising for consumers and what Artificial Intelligence is bringing in the next few years. 

Man, meet your new colleague Machine
Machines aren’t taking over. But the experts unanimously accepted that humans and machines need to work hand-in-hand to create effective campaigns. The value of AI lies in the speed at which machines can unravel vast amounts of complex data. But humans, with their emotional capacity and understanding of how to build relationships between brands and consumers, feed the decisions. So as co-workers they drive valuable, relevant user experiences.

This brings challenges, but also opportunities for teams to find new ways to connect people with brands. Ekapat Chareonlarp, global vice president, marketing at Xaxis, pointed out that machines can take full advantage of data to predict the future of consumer interaction with brands: "In five years we’ll be connecting the consumer to the brand in real-time. It will be much more seamless."

What’s next for advertising?
The role of advertising has changed forever. It’s no longer just about selling or pushing an agenda; it has an obligation to consumers to be intelligent and tailored. The industry must continue to make incremental changes for this to become the norm, including further integration and consolidation of creative and programmatic teams. As Sir Martin Sorrell said, "Don Draper’s not taken a back seat – but he has equals". The data side of the campaign strategy is just as important as the creative.

According to Jana Jakovljevic, head of programmatic at Spotify, the biggest change in advertising in the next five years will be becoming "truly cross-platform". This means delivering highly-targeted ads on any device – seamlessly following the consumer to their chosen channel, and enhancing their experience of it.

The future is programmatic
In the next five years, advertising will be predominantly programmatic. Arvid Bostroem, chief strategy officer at GroupM Germany, hopes all ads will be programmatic as soon as 2020. If you asked conference-goers what stood out at Dmexco this year, one likely answer would be the surge in the number of marketing tech companies exhibiting. This demonstrates not only the integration of creative with programmatic talent, but also the next phase for programmatic in building its scale and reach.

"We will continue to see everybody optimising towards relevancy," said Facebook's Yoav Arnstein, head of EMEA publisher sales. "You have to reduce the amount of noise that exists and be more selective with the messages." As it grows, programmatic will gradually change the way advertising is perceived by consumers, as it becomes useful on a personal level and creatively connects people to brands.

"There is going to be a rebalance of what creativity means, with technologists and creatives working together" – Nicolle Pangis, global coo at Xaxis, on the main stage at Dmexco 2016

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