The overwhelming takeaway from the annual Mary Meeker Internet Trends 2015 report, that now spans almost two hundred slides, is that mobile now dominates and all analysis points to continued growth overall. Another interesting takeaway is that the top ranked companies in the world (Apple, Facebook, Google etc.) are platforms that leverage network effects from developers to grow their businesses.
For those of you that have not yet determined what this means specifically for mobile advertising, we’ve summarized the main points below and what it means for the space.
1/ Time spent on mobile devices – mobile is overtaking all other media
North Americans now spend more time using mobile devices than any other digital media. Mobile devices are now the main channel for content consumption overtaking TV and desktop internet.
This should trigger brands to rethink their marketing communications and use of technology to acquire and retain consumers. That could represent a major shift in the way companies do things and rethink third parties and agencies brands work with.
2/ Mobile ad spend – strong growth head
Time spent on mobile devices still over indexes relative to mobile ad spend by 3 times. In USA alone, the mobile advertising opportunity gap in revenue terms is $25 billion. The report also highlights overspend on traditional media like print where time spent by consumers is shrinking; this highlights brands and agencies adjusting media plans with changing consumer behaviour.
The analysis on time spent and ad spend by media channel highlights the need for brands to adjust and better align their marketing communications with the channels used by their customers.
3/ Ad formats – video is king
What’s clear from the analysis, is that it’s the big internet players that are driving innovation around mobile video and native ad formats. These include big app players like Pinterest, Snapchat, Facebook and Google, which have massive global installed user bases and can turn on new ad formats immediately and make them available to hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide.
The key to building out the mobile advertising ecosystem will be adoption of video and native ad formats that have massive scale globally. Given the success of Facebook’s mobile advertising business to date, these formats are likely to trigger more brand spend and potentially close the ad spend gap.
4/ Mobile commerce – buy buttons now showing up
You may not have already noticed them, but buy buttons are starting to appear in ads (Facebook, Twitter) and functional apps (Google search, Pinterest).
Adding ‘buy’, ‘discover’, ‘wish list’ buttons across the top global apps opens the doors for brands to pour advertising dollars into mobile commerce to drive more sales.
5/ Reaching consumers – generations are ignoring TV
In addition to consumers spending more time on mobile devices versus other media, Generation Y and Z demographic cohort groups are spending time less time watching TV. These groups are growing up with connected to mobile devices and getting hard to reach via traditional media.
Generation Y (born between 1980s – early 2000s ) now represents the largest workforce in the US population and future spending power. This highlights a critical need for change on the agency and brands side.
Generation Z ( > 2000s ) represent the future, this groups is growing up hooked onto Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat and highlights the need for strong visual and video marketing communications.
6/ Asia is booming – mobile-first continent
The next Facebook will probably not come from Silicon Valley, but Asia. Some countries in Asia, like China, are skipping desktop and jumping into mobile-first countries. China has the largest population in the world, more that half of the top ten global app companies are Chinese and China now has the third largest handset manufacturer that many of us may not yet have heard of – Xiaomi.