News | RTLGroup, Gruner + Jahr, Arvato | Cologne, 09/15/2017

Bertelsmann at the DMEXCO 2017

Since 2009, Cologne has been the epicenter of the global digital economy for two days each year. The “Digital Marketing Exposition and Conference” or “DMEXCO” has established itself as the world’s leading tradeshow for marketing and advertising in the digital community. In its ninth year, it once again broke all of its own records: 1,100 exhibitors, 100,000 square meters of floor space, 570 guest speakers from around the world, and the number of visitors, which most likely surpassed last year’s 50,700 guests. Even the fact that, for the first time, free tickets were no longer available did not stop the influx of visitors. “DMEXCO” was once again able to post gains at all levels – and clearly underscored the how much the topics and trends of digital transformation occupy companies throughout the world. After all, the motto of the 2017 tradeshow was “Lightening the Age of Transformation” for a good reason.

Setting new standards –  the shared booth of RTL Group and Gruner + Jahr

Shedding light on the age of digital transformation and making it easy for their clients to handle – with this claim, several Bertelsmann companies presented themselves at this year’s “DMEXCO”. RTL Group, Gruner + Jahr, Arvato, and the Bertelsmann Printing Group are four corporate divisions that were represented in Cologne. After the marketing units of RTL Group and Gruner + Jahr presented themselves in 2016 for the first time, they set new standards with their shared booth: with more than 900 square meters of space, they placed the cumulative strength of their international and cross-media advertising services in the spotlight and emphasized the power of a broad network of marketing specialists that is able to fulfil every wish a client might have.

According to their size, IP Deutschland and Gruner + Jahr Electronic Media Sales (G+J EMS) and their strategic alliance, Ad Alliance, took most of the space. The national and international subsidiaries, holdings and business partners were placed around them like individual building blocks – each of them experts in a specific field of marketing. In the RTL section, SpotX, Divimove, Videoamp, Smartclip, Q Division, Clypd, RTL Ad Connect and RTL II presented their solutions. Ligatus and Trnd were on board with Gruner + Jahr (more information is available here). The whole is greater than the sum of its parts – the joint presentation impressively communicated this message.


While everything was about the diversified forms of digital advertising at the media companies of Bertelsmann, digital solutions for the improvement of business and marketing processes stood in the foreground at the joint booth of Arvato and the Bertelsmann Printing Group. Arvato Financial Solutions and Arvato Systems illustrated the benefits of their services based on an ordering process in an online shop, and used Lisa the robot as an eye catcher and expression of the progress in the field of artificial intelligence. The Digital Marketing Services of Bertelsmann Printing Group dealt with various key topics of the database control of multi-channel marketing campaigns.

Three obvious trends  

At “DMEXCO” 2017, three trends became obvious: the growing importance of artificial intelligence, the increasingly stronger networking of everyday objects (“Internet of Things”), and the interaction of data-driven, automated marketing processes on the one hand, and individual, creative and complex ad solutions on the other. A healthy balance is decisive for the consumer approach. “Digital first!” is not necessarily the motto for the media mix – here, the right mix is also decisive. Julia Jäkel, CEO Gruner + Jahr, emphasized this fact when she explained the philosophy of the publisher during a podium discussion at “DMEXCO”: offering digital and print products for a digital society.

 “The question is how and through which topics and technologies digital marketing is designed. Generally, it is about the optimal use of data, convincing the target group, growth, and the best possible positioning in the competition through contemporary business models,” Markus Slivovsky, Senior Consultant Marketing Solutions at Arvato Systems, summed up his impressions of “DMEXCO” in an interview with the trade journal “Absatzwirtschaft”. In other words: the ingredients are available, but the right recipe is what’s needed.