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12 Global Internet Trends to inform your 2017 strategy

Key Insights and implications for marketers from Mary Meeker's latest annual report for KPCB

Have you seen Mary Meeker's latest report of Internet trends? There's a fair chance you have. The Slideshare featured at the end of this post has been viewed by over one million since it was released on the 31st May. It's testament to the quality of insight in the report, with a reputation built up over 10 years. What we can add, other than alerting you to it, is a summary of implications for marketers since many of the charts in the 355(!) slide report are similar to previous years and not directly relevant to digital marketing.

Trend 1. Global Internet and Smartphone growth has slowed

Well, it had to happen, after banging the drum about the rate of mobile growth for many years, Mary Meeker leads with this summary of the main trends:

  1. Global Internet Users = 3.4B…Flat Growth +10% vs. 10% Y/Y…
    +8% vs. 8% Y/Y (ex. India)
  2. Global Smartphone Shipments = Slowing +3% vs. +10% Y/Y
  3. Global Smartphone Installed Base = Slowing +12% vs. +25% Y/Y

This chart shows how smartphone shipment growth tailed off dramatically in 2016 (and the dominance of Android).

Marketer's implications: The main implication for marketers here is in forecasting marketing leads and sales, where upward trends in online contributions from annual marketing leads and forecasts should be reduced.

Trend 2. Growth in the Facebook/Google Ad Duopoly Continues

In our regular update on digital marketing trends for 2017, we have featured the growing importance of this duopoly. As with much insight from this report, Meeker's example is from the US, but shows the dominance and growth of these two platforms against other platforms. Facebook's ad revenue growth in particular is marked.

Marketer's implications: If you're not using these paid platforms, at least for re-targeting, then you are likely missing out on driving visitors through the customer lifecycle stages.

Trend 3. Ad Blocker growth continues

The impact of this trend is shown by Google's recent announcement of the inclusion of an Adblocker in Chrome, albeit for its own ads, but poor quality ads.

Marketing implication: This and low ad clickthrough rates suggests the importance of using Native advertising and content marketing to get your message through. Some publishers like Adage.com are encouraging whitelisting of ad blockers.

Trend 4. Voice input on the rise

You will have heard, or maybe experienced, the growth of Amazon's Echo featuring Alexa. The report has an interesting chart showing the shipments of Echo which are significant.

Also interesting, is the rise in voice search with these stats from use of Google's Assistant showing that nearly 70% of Requests on Google's Assistant are Natural / Conversational Language and perhaps more surprising 20% of Mobile Queries are made via voice.

Marketing implication: If they're not already, search marketers should be trying to answer their common users questions by featuring in Google's rich snippets format.

Trend 5 Customer Service

The customer service trends focus on:

  • The ongoing requirement for better options and quality of online customer support channels

  • Messaging apps - including the popularity of Facebook Messenger for this
  • Using more interactive dialogue solutions such as Intercom which has featured tremendous recent growth:

Trend 6 Retail innovation

Meeker's report should be a must-read for retailers since she has many examples (e.g. p58 to 78) of retailers with high growth rates that are adopting innovative techniques including Untuckit

Other Innovations:

The report has many other slides which may be of interest if you specialise in working in one of these market sectors. Tends in these areas are:

  • 7 Gaming and Gamification examples (p80 to 150)
  • 8 Music and video streaming (151 to 178)
  • 9 The Cloud, enterprise and security (178 to 190)
  • 10 China Internet trends, particularly in Entertainment + Transportation (193-231)
  • 11 India Internet trends = Competition Continues to Intensify…Consumers Winning (232-287)
  • 12 Healthcare trends (288 to )

Full report is on Slideshare

By Dave Chaffey

Dave is CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our Expert members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing. For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Emarketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

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