Experience matters – that was the OMR Festival 2023

Jan Pilhar am Stand von IBM iX auf der OMR während seines Bartalks

When players from the digital and marketing scene get together at the OMR Festival, it’s not all parties and white sneakers. At the 2023 event, it all revolved around artificial intelligence, digital customer experiences and the big questions about the future of the industry.

If you were to judge purely on the mood at the OMR Festival 2023 in Hamburg, things couldn’t be better for the marketing and creative industry. A full house, full stands and a vibe that was full of positivity. But behind the high spirits, there was also reflection – technological breakthroughs and a new focus on user experience are currently shaking the industry to its core.

Generative AI – disruptor or partner?

It’s not hard to identify the topic of the year at the OMR Festival. Generative artificial intelligence was everywhere – at almost every stand, in the lectures, and in our masterclasses too. At heart was a question: to what extent will artificial and human intelligence work together in the future? Or will humans will be replaced by machines?

The fear that AI could make a lot of jobs in the industry obsolete was on the minds of the younger generation in particular. On the other hand, experts were enthusiastic about the opportunities that tools such as ChatGPT and Midjourney can open up for marketing.

They pointed out that artificial intelligence will turn creatives into curators of creativity; new occupations will emerge but established skills will not disappear. Either way, things are definitely changing.

Composable instead of consolidation: it’s a people business!

Despite all the digitalisation, the sold-out OMR Festival showed what the industry is really all about: personal relationships, face to face. Collaboration between specialists helps to advance projects and ideas. Nobody can do it all on their own, and after years of consolidation of services, the composable approach had its big moment, and not just in MarTech tools.

Our masterclass with our partners commercetools & Contentful on the substance behind buzzwords such as composable digital experience platform (DXP) and headless highlighted the fact that an individual combination of tools and talents is a quicker, more individual route into customers’ minds while reflecting the rapid development of channels and touchpoints.

As green as can be (?)

The issue of sustainability is everywhere – in customer requirements, in products, in campaigns. The creative industry normally has the task of showing green messages in the right light. But at the OMR Festival, industry players were examining their own sustainability practices. Despite the effects of networking, and despite the added value that comes from talking to movers and shakers and opinion-makers in person – is a spectacle like the OMR Festival really still appropriate?

Only the future can tell us. Either way, sustainability has emerged as a fundamental social concept that nobody can avoid, and one that has also permeated into the marketing industry.

Technology for customer dialogue across all channels

As customers disclose more and more information about their needs and preferences online, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the industry to collect and use this information. Why? Too many touchpoints and channels, overly complex data and increasingly stringent regulations, among other reasons. Which is why the solutions presented at the OMR Festival attracted the keen interest of industry professionals.

Technology is no longer just a tool; it’s also a solution to the multi-optional dilemma. Digital asset management (DAM), customer data platforms (CDP) and the digital experience platform (DXP) bring together systems, approaches and tools to create a seamless workflow that can also create seamless user experiences. In our joint masterclass, we discussed how our client METRO is converting a central pillar of its digital growth strategy to individualised multichannel customer communication with a new MarTech stack.

So what now? The OMR Festival 2023 is over, yet the challenges for digital business remain. But the industry is not standing still, and is definitely capable of reinventing itself time and time again.

What’s up?

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