8 Key Points You Need to Know From Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report
Mary Meeker’s (of Kleiner Perkins) annual “Internet Trends” report was released this month – a report that stands up as one of the definitive looks into the state of digital marketing and advertising for the industry. Covering topics from advertising spend, to gaming and specific deep-dives into the Chinese and Indian markets, it’s a comprehensive report with something for everyone in the digital industry – brands and agencies alike.
At Isobar we take clients like HBO, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, adidas and US Air Force through full-scale digital transformations. Over the years, the report has been a helpful tool for us since it has been a barometer for our industry. We pulled a few of our key takeaways from the report…so you don’t have to.
1. The Mobile Shift Is Here. For the past several years it was clear that “Internet” at large, including desktop and mobile together, was ready to overtake more traditional channels, such as TV and radio, for both consumption and media spend. Now that this has happened, we see our clients increasingly challenging the efficacy of their media spend in those traditional channels. What’s equally revealing is when we split out mobile from desktop. In the past year, both consumption and spend for desktop have flattened a bit, maybe even took a dip, while mobile has gone up drastically. Brands should take stock of this when determining how and where to allocate budgets between the channels if forecasting against future growth.
2. Bet, big, on Digital. At Isobar, we know there is a linear connection between revenue/EPS and digital strength. It’s something we proved in our proprietary Digital Strength Index, which uses historical data to show that ability to project revenue strength against digital sophistication. Mary Meeker’s report echoes our findings. 40% of the top 20 companies, in terms of current market value, are tech companies, with Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon leading the pack, followed closely by social media giant Facebook. This number has doubled from just a few years ago and tells us quite clearly, if you’re in it for the long haul, a near-term investment in digital solutions is a good bet to make.
3. Take It To The Clouds. Cloud adoption is occupying more and more of IT budgets and rightfully so. Providers such as AWS and Azure open the door to tremendous amounts of IT agility – from quick troubleshooting to performance management and data security – at a fraction of the costs we once experienced in privately-hosted server solutions. Companies should increasingly factor in platform migration and race to bolster their strength in the field of DevOps as part of the near-term roadmaps.
4. Digitally-Powered Customer Service. With chatbots, social media channels and voice interfaces on the rise, we have officially entered the age of digital customer service. Data shows that customers now expect and demand that mechanism for support (60% suggest better online support channels to improve customer service), and a lack of providing this service can put your brand at risk (80% of consumers turned off from a brand by a bad customer experience). Know your customers and be creative about how you can engage with them and support them through now-available sophisticated digital tools.
5. Mobile Advertising Will Take Creativity. With the mobile shift, mobile advertising will take on new forms to connect with consumers. Banners and disruptive advertising will fare equally effective as in the desktop channel – both having negative attitudes from customers with limited returns – and brands should therefore look towards more experience-based video content as a more effective solution. More than 50% of consumers have a favourable attitude toward solutions such as reward-based and skippable pre-roll advertising. They should also consider how to create more contextually aware experiences that can be distributed across mobile apps to reach the right customers. Perhaps, for example, virtual reality content or transactional widgets that make sense within the context of what the consumer is already interacting with on their device.
6. Retail Is Changing. Digital brand commerce continues to move towards the norm. Big players like Amazon, Lowe’s and Bonobos understand that the standard physical retail experience needs to change if it’s going to resonate with today’s customers. Brands should consider how to use innovative techniques – from location-based technologies to Augmented and Virtual Reality to interconnected app workflows, stringing together multiple apps such as “IFTTT” to better solve consumer needs.
7. Gaming Paradigms Become The Platform. Gaming experiences are heavy on aesthetic appeal, enjoyment, engagement and storytelling. Consumers will appreciate those same ideas when interacting with brands. Developers should take heed of platforms like Unity and designers should start incorporating game design into their digital experiences.
8. Digitised Health Management. Healthcare companies are ready to leap forward using digital solutions as their springboard. While this isn’t a surprise to us at Isobar given our deep history working in the healthcare space, the report validates our previous findings. Digital innovations (through tools such as AR & VR) and wearables have drastically expanded their ability to get vast amounts of data and, more importantly, use that data where it counts the most – better addressing the health and wellbeing of our population.
At Isobar, we help our clients navigate through these various topics to end up on the right end of the digital shift, setting them up for long-term success. We live with the trends of this report and, of course, it’s nice to see them so strongly validated year over year.
Saurab Bhargava is Vice President, Partner, at Isobar