Venture capitalist Mary Meeker’s annual presentation on the State of the Internet always gets my attention (and many other’s as well) as it outlines where digital trends and with it marketing are headed to in the next few years.
At 213 pages it is a lot to digest and here are my main takeaways;
Internet growth is slowing down. The adoption rate was flay YoY at 9%. At the moment it is reaching about 42% of the world’s population.
The smartphone is hitting the saturation point. There are 7.4 billion people in the world and about 2.5 billion smartphones. And it seems as though the majority of those who can or will own a smartphone already do. But marketers shouldn’t worry, mobile will only become more important as people spend more time on their devices.
Online advertising is up 20% and mobile is a big driver of growth. Google and Facebook are also big drivers commanding 76% of all spend. Meeker sees a $22 billion opportunity in mobile advertising based on data showing consumers spend 25 percent of their media time on mobile while advertisers spend only 12 percent of their budgets here. But if marketers want to be effective they need to fit in with consumer behaviours. Think fitting the content with the platform specific consumer behaviours such as vertical, short length, full screen.
Ad blocking is on the rise. Obviously the public is making a statement here – time for marketers to find some acceptance and start to create content that is truly relevant to our audiences.
Messaging apps are huge and over time could take over the home screen on mobile devices. After all, 80% of users time is spent on 3 apps: Facebook, WhatsApp and Chrome. We will see a shift from messaging being just for us to be social to include more business related interactions. We must not forget that in Asia messaging apps like WeChat are already more or less used as home screens with people going there to not only chat but also shop, order taxis, transfer money or play games. Plus the next generations prefer to chat than actually physically talk.
Visual is exploding and images are fuelling sales. Meeker says that in 5 years at least 50% of searches will be made through images or speech. We are using our smartphones more to tell and share stories – no wonder Snapchat has made such a huge leap recently. For marketers this means if we can help our target audience visualize how a product fits into their lives, we can help drive sales.
Video is also obviously exploding with Snapchat and Facebook Live which increases the pressure to produce relevant, authentic and real-time content. Funnily enough, video ads are not doing so well. Ad blocking plays a major part here and many people mute the sound. Once again it is all about relevant targeting and delivering the relevant content at the right time and place.
Privacy and personal data. Obviously marketers love digital data as it gives us the opportunity for effective advertising ROIs. But according to Meeker, 45% of people are more worried about digital security than last year. What does this mean? Do not risk the trust you have earned with your audiences and listen to their concerns.
And finally after the rise of text, images….now the rise of the voice interfaces. Voice is probably the best “real time” format we have. We can speak faster than typing and it is definitely much more personal. While we may not be there completely from a technological point of view yet this is open up new avenues for sales and marketing.
Hot off the press comes We Are Social “Digital in 2016”.
I always suck up this report on digital, social and mobile usage around the world which is seeing ever faster growth.
The key statistics for digital, social, and mobile media in 2016 are:
3.42 billion internet users, equaling 46% global penetration;
2.31 billion social media users, delivering 31% global penetration;
3.79 billion unique mobile users, representing 51% global penetration;
1.97 billion mobile social media users, equating to 27% global penetration.
This means more than half of the world’s adult population now uses the internet, and (something exciting for me) that well over one-third of the adult population uses social media at least once a month.
It is also interesting to see – just like I was telling the audience at this week’s ISPO Communication Day – social media is moving from broadcasting to being social. It is all about connecting, personalization and providing true value. This will mean a big change for us marketeers! We will need to activate our listening skills, understand what our audience truly wants and well yes…become social.
It’s that time of year again (or another year has flown by more like it).Last week Mary Meeker presented once again her deep dive into tech trends. A whooping 197 slides this year, here are my main takeaways about the state of the internet world in 2015:
39% of the world population (or 2.8 billion people) are now on the internet. Getting the remaining 5 billion people connected is a huge business opportunity. We have seen Facebook (Internet.org) and Google (Project Loon) make inroads. Of course their hope is by giving people in developing countries access to the web, they will become loyal customers.
Not really new news: the top internet companies are actually platforms. Think Apple, Google, Alibaba, Facebook and Amazon.
Whereas we have already seen massive transformation in the consumer space, great potential for new business opportunities lie in healthcare, education and government.
If you live in the US and are an adult, then you spend over 5.6 hours a day on the internet and that mostly via your mobile device. In Europe we are seeing a similar trend. And of course as our attention span gets shorter, we prefer shorter, bite-sized content.
And very important for us marketers: while consumers spend most of their time on mobile, ad spend on this medium is not on par. Another huge revenue opening.
Video viewing is growing. 9.9 hours a day in the US. And interesting to see that more people watch video vertically than horizontally (think Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram…) – so for content creators this means rethinking how they shoot their videos.
Messaging is KING! 6 of the 10 top apps by usage are messaging apps. Another potential opportunity for businesses by offering additional services like taxi, payment or food delivery services (similar to what WeChat is already doing in China). New messaging apps will have a hard time penetrating the market as it will become hard convincing people to join a new network their friends and family are not on.
Generation Z is shifting from text to visual social media. Facebook and Twitter are being used less, Snapchat and Instagram more.
With technology we are moving more to “just in time” products and services. Think grocery or food delivery, driver services, package pickups. Traditional businesses will become more and more disrupted unless they can find a way to compete with convenience. But online market places as well as on demand services are creating “part time jobs”. AirBnB, Uber or Etsy allow for supplemental incomes to people’s “regular” jobs. A trend that will continue to grow no doubt.
Drones are the new cameras. Fact: There has been 167% year-over year increase in consumer drone sales. But we also need to consider their commercial use. They have the ability to save money for businesses by replacing planes amongst others and worse case could replace human jobs.
And finally – millennials are starting to drive the economy. Not only are they an important consumer group that marketers need to consider in their strategies, but also employers. Millennials have grown up connected to the internet and expect their working experience to offer that same flexibility.
Of course working a lot with clients in the financial industry, what is missing for me is more insight into how the finance and banking sector is and will continue to be affected by the internet. Think peer to peer lending, crowdsourcing, Bitcoin or even just simply how millennials will want to bank in the future.
Maybe Mary Meeker will include a slide in next year’s report.
Vox has published a very interesting map from the Oxford Internet Institute which shows where the world’s internet users live. Amazing to note how many countries (and continents) still have pretty low usage but we all know that this will change dramatically over the coming years.
Mary Meeker’s State of the Internetpresentation gives us a great insight into the Future of Digital – albeit in a 164 page slideshow. Here are some takeaways that I find the most interesting:
Internet access growth may be slowing, but not on mobile.
Tablet shipments increased by 53% in 2013 – that is a faster pace than PCs ever had. And many consumers are leapfrogging the PC completely as we are living in an era of smartphones.
Mobile accounts for 25% of all web usage. That’s 14% increase from last year!
We spend 20% of our media time online. But there still is a huge opportunity for mobile ad spend growth.
We are using social networks to share more privately than broadcasting – just think of the rise of WhatsApp. This also accounts for photo sharing being up 50% over 2013 in just the first half of this year.
Mobile business since 2008 has exploded from $2 billion to $38 billion. This just shows how important it is for media companies to promote high-quality apps for their products and services.
Google and Apple are the future. While this may seem obvious we should remember that 8 years ago they had no phone business, today they rule our operating systems.
Video still is king. And YouTube cannot be underestimated. It creates stars and is getting huge monetization through ads.
And finally China. It is becoming a critical market with 80% of its internet user now on mobile. Plus China is not copying, it is innovating. So we need to keep an eye on that.
And to conclude: the future of the Internet, in one graph, showing screen time by screen type around the world.
Marketing into Asia one cannot ignore China and its 618 million Internet users (representing 45% of the country’s population!). With many home-grown platforms and a complex ecosystem here is an interesting presentation giving insight into China’s social, digital and mobile world.