“Do everything short of illegal to find growth.” – Pierre-Alain Guillou, AirHelp. This was one of our favourite quotes from SCALE18. With 17 speakers in the hall and another 14 on our boat stage, the day was packed with information, insights and learnings for the marketers, founders and entrepreneurs who attended.

SCALE18 welcomed more than 800 attendees throughout the day – making this our biggest conference yet, both in terms of visitor numbers and the types of brands featured on stage. Here are just some of the highlights from across our two stages:

Did you know that according to Ali Hanan, Founder and CEO of Creative Equals, you can increase your profit by 35% if you hire women and people from different ethnic groups to work for your company? She enlightened the audience on how bias is bad for business and explained the different biases at work within a company. It was a rousing opening keynote that set the tone for a day of inspirational talks in the hall.

Next up was Ralph Pighin, Vice President and CEE of Deezer, who shared some real examples of localised campaigns that the music streaming company runs in different countries to infiltrate local markets.

Our first panel discussion of the day was moderated by DCMN’s Director of Offline Marketing, Sebastian Göritz, and featured Brian Norris, VPAd Sales of NBCUniversal and Stephane Coruble, CEO of RTL AdConnect.Discussing the challenges and learnings of programmatic TV, the panel agreed that the way viewers consume media is changing and media owners need to assess this new way of accessing content and react accordingly.

For brands wanting to scale internationally, the panel discussion on scaling in emerging markets delivered some insightful advice and learnings from Manuel Koser, Co-Founder & MD of Silvertree Internet Holdings in South Africa, Manan Shah, Director of Marketing in India for Truecaller, and Henrik Lysgaard Jensen, Director of International at Taxify. The session was moderated by our SCALE18 main stage moderator, Liz Osterloh. The members of the panel agreed that it is challenging to assess the demand in a new market since you don’t know the market yet, but by trialing and testing your product and listening to your customers and incorporating their feedback, you can experience real success.


“Be the content that people love and don’t interrupt the content they love.” This is the principle that BuzzFeed lives by according to Antonia Bonello, Associate Creative Director of BuzzFeed UK.  She shared the five pillars that all content they create is built on: human connections, emotion, inspiration, information and purpose.

Dr Markus Düttmann, Director of Product at DCMN, presented a talk on the changing face of marketing. According to him, some of the ways how advertising will change over the next 20 years include that all media will be traded automatically (on and offline) and that AI will take over all operative tasks.

After lunch the future of startup funding and growth was discussed by Marc-Olivier Lücke, Venture Partner at Atlantic Labs, Christian Szymanski, Co-Founder & COO of Stryking and Thorsten Voss, Partner at fieldfisher. The session was moderated by Tom Braegelmann of BBL. The discussion pivoted on introducing this new way of funding and how it is evolving with changing regulations worldwide.


When an ecommerce brand still has an active customer who placed her first order in 1951 they must be doing something right. Melanie Schlegel, Head of Paid Search at OTTO took the audience through the OTTO journey and which marketing tactics were used to facilitate their growth.

The art of emergent storytelling is a passion that Creative Strategist, Rachel Ginsberg, enthusiastically shared with the audience. According to her, storytelling is how to make sense of the world as it emerges; to explain the inexplicable; to make social sense; to contextualise our roles in society; to transform the present and to envision the future.

In the final section of the day, our program focused on new work approaches, company culture building and, of course, growth. Pierre-Alain Guillou, Head of B2B Products at AirHelp, shared their company’s take on growth and how to achieve it. They believe that it is a combination of the team, the company culture and experimentation that will lead a company to grow and that this growth should be designed, it doesn’t just happen by accident.


Our closing keynote, delivered in front of a fully packed auditorium, was from Felix Pace, Director of Marketing DACH at Netflix. Having this brand at SCALE was a long-time dream of DCMN and it was well worth the wait. He shared his inspiring personal journey of how he ended up at Netflix and how the company culture also gives him the flexibility needed to spend time with his family. He emphasised the importance of trust and feedback in a team, as well as the freedom and responsibility that is shared by everyone in the company.


On the boat stage, the sessions focused on more nuts-and-bolts topics with talks from brands, tech companies and thought leaders. One of the speakers was Philipp Koecke, CFO at deinSchrank.de who offered stories from behind the scenes of taking his previous company public. Koecke inspired the audience with his journey of success and failure. He shared notes from his interactions with the giants of the stock markets and investor community. Koecke encouraged the audience to take their company public but also warned them about the pros and cons of launching an IPO. The core takeout from his talk was to think rationally and not be consumed by greed.

Another interesting session was from Magdalena Flick, Director Performance Sales, Outbrain and David Sumner, Senior Programmatic Marketing Manager at Babbel. The session was a use case where Flick explained how Babbel benefited from the native discovery platform Outbrain. Sumner explained the reach and positive results their business received from working with Outbrain and how the platform was transparent and targeted.

In another session, Laurent Lasserre, Country Director France for Wibbitz, and Hendrik Baumann, Corporate Communications Editor at Bertelsmann, spoke about how automation technology is revolutionising video storytelling. Lasserre spoke on how Wibbitz produces a large number of videos with its AI technology on a daily basis and reduces the effort of editors and teams. Baumann from Bertelsmann backed Lasserre by sharing how they are able to create videos and be in sync with its audience thoughts.

This year was the fourth edition of SCALE. We are excited by the growing number of brands that not only attend the conference every year, but that come to the conference to share their experience and expertise with the audience. Let’s see what SCALE19 brings!

Add www.scale19.co to your bookmarks to get more information on next year’s conference. And don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter for updates!