I don't want another human in my home: What to expect at DMEXCO 2017


It took me a little while to unpick the DMEXCO theme for this year, ‘Lightning the Age of Transformation’. Its nod to the constant evolution of new technology was what really caught my imagination.

We’ve seen this time and time again over the last year with technology quickly outpacing its predecessor and the rate of consumer adoption accelerating. TomTom, then Siri and now Alexa, they’ve all become not only our best friends but household names. Technology is changing our lives – and changing them at pace – and the question we are often left with is ‘how do we keep up?’

Often this conversation is framed with the word ‘humanising’. If we humanise brands, we should therefore humanise technology, right? But I don’t want another human in my home! And this is why…

Humanising brands implies a mutual benefit between brand and consumer, but if we humanise technology, how can it continue to evolve our capabilities if we’re simply replicating our current strengths? Technology benefits our lives as an enabler, but if we simply replicate human traits in technology, we’re not advancing our capabilities, we’re just replacing ourselves.

Much of the debate around whether machines will replace our jobs hinges on this: do we create machines to help with capabilities we don’t have, so we can work more efficiently, or do the machines take over? Especially if we invite these technologies into our homes and give them names… I’m calling the intruder alarm.

For me, the most exciting advancements that tech will bring are not benefits for brands to communicate with audiences, but the improvements in the processes to get there.

Therefore the thing I’m looking forward to seeing most out of DMEXCO is twofold: I can’t wait to hear ideas and see some tech that hasn’t only been developed to advance our marketing objectives or our way of life in a siloed way, but that takes both into consideration concurrently; I also can’t wait to see some new developments that benefit brands but, more than that, develop our abilities as strategic marketing professionals.

This article was written by Harriet Swinburn, Account Director for the Multiply Team at Posterscope.