Cover Image Source: AdAge
Mary Meeker released her annual Internet Trends Report last week, and, as always, we can all agree on one constant in this fractious world: technology and internet use is growing. In that sense, nothing was “groundbreaking,” but there were some definite recurring themes, like growing internet and device use, privacy, the gig economy and China’s general dominance in internet and retail. Also, Fortnite made it in. Below, we round up our Top 5 Takeaways from the 333 slide deck.
1. The Mobile Advertising Spend Gap is Now Closed
Everyone listened up: there was no glaring $7 billion mobile advertising spending opportunity in this year’s Report. In 2018, the percentage of advertising spend in desktop and mobile channels was even with the percentage of time consumers spent in those channels-18% for desktop and 33% for mobile.
Overall Internet ad spend was up 22% (only 1% higher than 2017). Platforms that gain ad share are doing so with better targeting, new creative, commerce and high relevance. (Sooooo, Native and Content Marketing?)
2. Multi-Channel Approach…With TV…Leads to Success
Ever wondered how often people look up stuff on their phone what they are watching? Meeker measured it. 88% used a second digital device while watching TV and 71% look up content related to the content they are watching. Combine that with these statistics from Cell Phone Deal which say that more demographics are increasingly using their phones to purchase and what you have may be a unique opportunity for marketing.
3. Data and Personalization Make for Happy Customers
Despite your friends groaning about being “followed” by ads, Meeker found that, in fact, users do prefer it. In a survey of retail customers, 91% said they prefer brands that provide personalized offers and recommendations; 83% said they are willing to passively share data for personalized experiences, and 74% said they are willing to actively share data for personalized experiences.
Read more: How To Drive Awareness and Sales: E-Commerce + Native Best Practices
4. Adults Are Spending an Unprecedented Amount of Time in Digital…Which is Great for Advertisers.
E-commerce contributed to 15 percent of all retail sales (slide 20), meaning advertisers have a captive audience ready to click ‘buy.’ It is important for e-commerce websites to keep this going by appealing to their audience, using digital marketing techniques as well as look into things such as Search Engine Optimization Services so they are able to produce the results needed for their business. They want to appeal to their customer base in the best way possible to hopefully bring in more foot traffic and have returning customers, that is why designing their website to suit their needs is an essential component of being noticed as well as being able to sell their products. They will also look at how they can best ship their products using shipment resources like AfterShip and others within a similar line, to help their customers keep tabs on their orders which can promote brand loyalty.
5. China Dominated
The number of internet and retail users in China continues to soar, despite restrictions in China. This is an interesting thing to see in the key internet statistics that are put out around this time of year While the government in China blocks Netflix, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google, they’ve built their own versions like iflix, Baidu, WeChat, and the population consumes them. And seven Chinese companies in the top-30 spots for internet market cap leaders, namely Alibaba, Tencent, Meituan Dianping, JD.com, Baidu, NetEase and Xiaomi.
Also noted was the importance of Free Trials as the leading way services gained subscribers. The “free trial” model helped companies like Spotify and Zoom account for 60% of paid subscribers. In a similar vein, the “freemium” model of offering free use with extra cost add-ons (as Fortnite does) has proven successful, especially in gaming (slide 102).
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Since Mary Meeker boldly declared a $7 billion mobile advertising spending opportunity in her Internet Trends Report, the spotlight has shone bright on the future of mobile advertising. As smartphones’ capabilities advance and younger generations’ (especially Gen Z) appetite for handheld content increases, there’s no doubt that mobile advertising should follow suit – and style.
Let’s start with phone use: whether your source is eMarketer or AdWeek, users now spend between 3.5 and 5 hours (or more) on their mobile phones – ⅔ of which are on smartphones (eMarketer) – no surprise there. If you walk down any street or settle into any waiting room or, well anywhere, most people will have their phones out. I mean, are you on your phone right now? The proof is in the Text Neck – a new “modern spine ailment” the rampant neck pain caused by looking down at your phone too much! This can be a legitimate problem for some people, so finding ways to manage this pain is super-important. Those wishing to use a natural solution may wish to look up something like “is CBD oil legal” in their country to see if this could be a potential option for them, as well as look up
But how much interaction are these sore users having with brands? According to Google, people today have 2X more interactions with brands on Mobile than anywhere else (includes TV, in-store, you name it), and 89% of people are likely to recommend a brand after a positive brand experience on Mobile. Well hello engagement opportunity! Nice to see you there! Furthermore, this engagement might usurp even Desktop use: 83% of internet users will use a mobile phone to go online according to eMarketer.
This trend became clear in our own analysis of our 2018 data: mobile engagement is climbing. Average Mobile CTR for 2018 was 0.35%: in Q4 of 2018, the Mobile CTR was 150% higher than Desktop’s.
Not only that, Mobile Time On Site increased by 28% from Q1 to Q4 2018 and Bounce Rate decreased by 25% in the same time (Bidtellect 2H Native Report). It’s all happening! Engagement continues to increase in conjunction with the vast improvement in the Mobile web experiences from readability to relevant placement. Not only are users increasing engagement with Native ads on mobile, but they are also engaging for longer – and that engagement is climbing at a faster rate than on Desktop. We could expect to see continued growth in Mobile as users are on the phones more often, much longer, and for more important tasks.
Moreover, mobile is not just effective with native ads; it can also deliver great results with other marketing strategies like live events and virtual trade shows. While people are busy with their daily lives, online events have gained popularity, and with that, the audience can attend international events virtually, which highly benefits businesses since it could increase their outreach to a global extent. People all around the world can now indulge in business tie-up simply through the mobile phone.
Can Mobile completely take over the world?! Will we no longer need computers?!
Ok ok. Back to reality here. Have advertisers taken note of the trend? Spending indicates, yes. Mobile ad spend will top $93 billion in 2019, according to eMarketer, and over ⅓ of ad dollars worldwide will go to mobile in 2019 – for the first time ever (eMarketer). Woah! And as Native Ad Spending trends match Bidtellect’s findings: eMarketer measured a 30% growth in Mobile Native ad spend versus just 15% growth of Desktop spend last year. Which is to say, a Content Marketing and Native Advertising strategy – heck, any programmatic strategy – requires Mobile in the conversation. It’s non-negotiable at this point. But furthermore, more time and resources ought to be set aside for improvement of how Native ads are experienced on Mobile devices to ensure a positive user experience, that is, to create a positive and trusted relationship with a brand. Get on the mobile ad train then! Everyone is doing it!
But smaller screens mean less room for nonsense – so yes every programmatic strategy requires Mobile, but obnoxious display or banner ads will not cut it on mobile devices, and will likely become obsolete. And as users today seek relevant, high quality content they can trust from brands they respect, browsing on Mobile will cut the BS. Contextual relevancy, good creative quality that’s conducive to a smaller screen, and content that matches the brand are even more important than ever before. And lest you forgot, high quality content makes consumers 131% more likely to buy (Twitter via Nudge, “The State of Content“) and 70% of users who feel a connection to a brand spend twice as much as those who don’t, according to Adweek. Content marketing strategy coupled with Native Advertising is the secret sauce here, even for Mobile.
As our CEO always says, “When a consumer engages with a brand’s content, they engage with the brand.” A content marketing strategy that misses Mobile is a missing opportunity.
For these and more stats, Download our Mobile is the Move Infographic here!
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