written by
Dominik Matyka
Dominik Matyka
Food for Thoughts

Attitude matters, especially in times of crisis

Attitude matters, especially in times of crisis

Companies need to show attitude. That is the consensus of a recent DMEXCO survey. Now in times of Corona more than ever. The digital industry has a key role to play so it's high time we talk about how we as an industry and society understand this and what we stand for in reality.

When we decided on the motto of this year's DMEXCO - Attitude Matters - in January 2020, the Corona virus was far away. A purely Chinese problem that affected us somewhat, but didn't really affect us. Even before the global pandemic it was clear that we urgently need to talk about what kind of society we stand for. As people, but also as a company. And we want to conduct this discussion within the framework of DMEXCO @home.

The global outbreak of the Corona pandemic has further intensified this development. The survey results from the current DMEXCO Report, in its first edition, support this. 95 (national) and 90 (international) percent of those surveyed in the digital industry agree that companies need to show attitude. But in what areas? According to respondents, this is particularly important nationally in the areas of "trust/transparency towards customers" (64 percent), "climate change" (64 percent) and "easing of the corona crisis" (62 percent). Internationally, "trust/transparency towards customers" (63 percent) and "climate change" (51 percent) top the list.

In addition, our industry does not believe that there will be a return to business as usual after the Corona crisis. For the majority of those surveyed (70 percent nationally, 54 percent internationally), something has to change. The participants see a need for future action in three areas: companies need to build up buffers for coming crises (national: 62 percent, international: 53 percent), operate more sustainably (national: 72 percent, international: 58 percent) and take even more urgent action to improve opportunities for digital working (national: 85 percent, international: 79 percent). At the same time, 49 percent of national and 42 percent of international respondents believe that maximising profit should no longer be corporate management’s top priority. Although attitude in practice can also mean foregoing returns, 95 percent of the national and 86 percent of the international participants believe that attitude is important in the Corona crisis. More than half even say that attitude can help get us through the crisis.

The overall picture is clear. Something has to change. In our industry, in individual companies, but above all within ourselves. DMEXCO @home, the digital version of DMEXCO, aims to fuel this discussion. More than anything we want to achieve practical results. After all, the entire digital industry has a key role to play. Digital technologies have made many things possible during the crisis that seemed unthinkable not so long ago: video conferences instead of travel, working from home instead of going into the office, virtual workshops, global collaboration and much more.

We play a key role in determining the pace of economic innovation and are thus the driving force behind the fundamental development of economy and society. But because of this we also bear responsibility. That is why it is time to ask: What do we stand for? What is our attitude? How can we use data sensibly and still guarantee data protection? How do we ensure that sections of society are not left behind by digital transformation?

In an increasingly complex, increasingly networked world, the interaction between technology, business, politics and society is on the one hand more evident and on the other hand increasingly difficult for many to understand. This calls for leaders with a clear agenda, platforms with a sense of responsibility and politicians with know-how. Above all, however, it needs movers and shakers with a spirit of innovation and a society that is prepared to accept change as part of its future.

"What do we stand for?" Let us start by answering this question ourselves. At the same time, we also need a broad discussion in our industry on important questions like this. I look forward to the discussions on this topic at this year's DMEXCO @home.