10 planning insights from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2016 report

10 planning insights from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2016 report

There’s lots to learn for media, marketing and public relations from Mary Meeker’s annual Internet report but be wary of the US bias if you live or work elsewhere.

Mary Meeker, an analyst turned venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB), has published her annual Internet Trends report for 2016.

Brands as experiences, voice recognition, and the over valuation of print advertising, are all highlights from the report. I’ve worked my way through the 200+ page report this weekend. Here’s what I spotted.

#1 Three billion people online

Worldwide Internet usage reached three billion at the end of 2016. Growth has flattened to around 10% year-on-year since 2012 (9% year-on-year in both 2014 and 2015). However, in India growth is accelerating. It’s now the second largest internet market by users behind China, and ahead of the US.

#2 Online advertising booming

Internet advertising in the US has climbed from $23 billion in 2009, to $60 billion in 2015. Year-on-year growth in 2015 was 20%. Mobile grew 66%, and desktop 5%. Google and Facebook’s advertising businesses posted growth of 18% and 59% respectively in 2015.

#3 Print advertising over valued

Print media accounts for 4% of consumer media consumption time, and 16% of advertising revenues. Radio, television and internet are more balanced. Consumption and investment track each other within 3%.

#4 Mobile advertising opportunity

The discontinuity in advertising investment lies in the mobile market. It accounts for 25% of consumption, and 12% of investment. Meeker suggests this is a $22 billion opportunity in the US alone. It’s an opportunity that will inevitably see further pain for print publishers.

#5 Ad blocking vs innovation

Mobile advertising is an opportunity that will create further tension between consumers and media. More than 13% of consumers use ad blockers worldwide, equivalent to 400 million users. Retrofitting traditional advertising solutions on the Internet simply doesn’t work. It’s an area ripe for innovation.

#6 Products as experiences

Organisations are building services around their products, underpinned by the Internet, to create consumer experiences. Here, the Internet is used as both sales channel and means of relationship management, creating a social organisation.

This provides a smart means of differentiation, huge value to consumers and rapid growth. Meeker cites Casper (mattresses), Thrive (wholefood) and Stitch Fix (clothing) as examples.

#7 Image as search and shopping

Meeker has spotted a trend for visual search. Pinterest is used by 55% of US consumers for finding and shopping for products. No other social network comes close. Facebook and Instagram are used by 12% of consumers for shopping; and Twitter 9%.

#8 Messaging is massive

Monthly active users on messenger apps and social networks show no sign of slowing. This is a market that has been created in the last decade. WhatsApp (1 billion active monthly users) launched in 2010; Facebook Messenger (800 million active users) and WeChat (700 million active users) in 2011.

#9 Messaging commerce

Meeker points to Asia, China and the US for innovation in the messenger market. Organisations such as Hyatt and Rogers Communication have created service bots. In China, Weixin (WeChat) integrates social media, messaging, payment, and relationship management.

#10 Voice as an interface

Improvements in hardware, software and artificial intelligent have made voice a viable interface. Accuracy rates have passed 90% for Baidu, Google and Hound.

65% of US smartphone users have used voice recognition. Luma, Ford and Fiat have integrated it into products. Amazon, Apple and Google are all developing virtual assistants. It’s a nascent market but Meeker calls it out as set to go mainstream.



Disruption in public relations

Disruption in public relations