Each year, analyst Mary Meeker from Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers brings out a report on the state of the internet and digital economy – Internet Trends 2015. This highly respected research covers global internet and smartphone usage, amongst other things. This year, the report shows that whilst internet adoption is still an area which is seeing growth, this has slowed when compared to recent years.
It’s the same story when it comes to smartphone adoption too. Whilst the market is strong, overall it’s slowed globally.
As you can see, the use of desktops for accessing the web is dropping, whilst the use of mobile is increasing. This is no surprise, as mobile has become increasingly used for searching, browsing and consuming content. Add to this Google’s recent ‘Mobigeddon’ update, which rewards sites that offer users a good experience on mobile, and it’s clear that if a business hasn’t yet optimised its website for mobile, now is a good time. It’s likely that in years to come, we’ll see desktop usage drop further, although it will still be used. As tablets become more user friendly though, it’s likely that eventually, we could see desktops disappear altogether.
Interestingly, the report showed that the time spent by users on print publications isn’t relative to ad spends. According to the report, “print remains way over-indexed relative to time spent” and this suggests that companies are not making the most of their advertising dollar. As the image show, the advertising spend stands at 18% whilst the time spent is the lowest across all mediums at just 4%. However, mobile ad spends are still relatively low compared to the time spent, so this means that there is plenty of opportunity when it comes to advertising on mobile.
The spend on print is interesting as it suggests that many companies are not moving forward digitally, preferring instead to concentrate on traditional and more familiar media. For marketers, this is a frustrating problem as clearly the ROI from print advertising is not as easily measurable or significant as digital. Marketers should concentrate on proving the ROI of digital media to demonstrate why an increase in digital spend will deliver greater measurable value to the business.
This is easily achievable. Whilst it was once difficult to prove ROI on social media, it has now matured enough for marketers to effectively prove ROI. When it comes to content marketing, it’s encouraging that this year has seen more and more marketers prove ROI. This is more achievable for marketers who create a content strategy, so this should be carried out in order to convince finance departments and other executives that their money is better spent in other areas.
This is further illustrated by the global internet advertising data, which shows that desktop internet ads are on the decline, whilst mobile continues to experience growth. As such, we’re seeing ads become optimised for mobile to provide a better overall user experience. This is evident in Facebook ads, which allow scrolling to access a carousel of images, for example.
We’ve also seen ‘buy’ buttons being added to social media ads in order to “minimize friction to purchase at the moment of interest.”
All of this makes it very clear that brands can no longer afford to ignore either social media or mobile. However, as the Mobigeddon update made clear, many brands have already realised this and have adjusted both their websites and strategies to suit.
Mobile Video on the Rise
We’ve also seen a shift take place in the way that we consume content, and video has in recent years become increasingly important to marketers. Mobile video consumption continues to rise and we now spend 29% of our time watching video on vertical screens.
This is compared to just 5% just five years ago and as technology enables even faster internet connections and more powerful devices, this is sure to continue to show strong growth. When it comes to advertising, the report found that full-screen vertical video ads on Snapchat showed a completion rate of 9x that of horizontal video ads.
With this in mind, brands and marketing managers should consider how they can best make use of video advertising and in what format and on which platforms. Video consumption isn’t really slowing and a very good illustration of this is the success that it’s seen on Facebook. The social media site recently overtook YouTube for video views and engagement and as such, represents an area of advertising opportunity.
It’s clear that marketers should already have mobile covered in terms of the user experience that they offer on their websites. Mobile has been impossible to ignore for a while now and it’s likely the most serious marketers have ensured that the sites they manage have been optimised to suit.
What marketers need to consider is that mobile still has a lot to offer. Advertising on mobile offers a great deal of opportunity, as does vertical video (especially on messaging platforms such as SnapChat where vertical orientation of video is the norm). Social video too should be worked into advertising budgets as a matter of urgency. The kind of engagement that can be garnered on social video is more than desirable, it’s necessary for brands to compete with the top players.
When it comes to overall marketing budgets it’s necessary for brands to increase spend in digital which offers greater ROI, creative flexibility, instant measurable results, quick low cost modification for testing, mobile access and the ability to engage audiences for conversion to sale – traditional media is expensive to measure and once published expensive to change.
Specialists like Datalicious assist organisations to better understand media attribution to allocate budgets where ROI is greater.
Organisations who are not using mobile to reach audiences are missing the market, websites need to be optimised for mobile and using mobile platforms to convert interest to action is critical to business growth and sustainability,
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