Mary Meeker, a Venture Capitalist, and the legendary internet analyst is back with her Internet Trends Report, capturing the essence of global technology, advertising, consumer behavior and society. Meeker has released her report for 24 years. Needless to say, Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report is a really important document and helps business owners take critical decisions in their daily lives. The entire report is a hefty 333 pages, so we culled 5 most important findings. From the importance of technology, e-commerce, Interactive gaming, Omnichannel Personalization, mobile, and digital payments, here’s a look at the key Internet Trends takeaways you should know about in 2019.
You can read the full Internet Trends report (and the archive from previous years) here
1. Internet Trends Report – Technology Firms Dominate Global Business
Technology is officially dominating the corporate world. Mary Meeker says that seven out of the ten most valuable companies in the world per market capitalization are operating mainly in technology. The other three companies are Bekshire Hathway, Visa and Johnson & Johnson.
According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report, Microsoft is the biggest technology company at a market capitalization value of over $1 trillion, followed by Amazon, Apple, and Alphabet. Needless to say, it pays to be a tech company.
2. Interactive Gaming, Encryption & Data Collection
In 2018, there were 2.4 billion interactive game players, a growth of 6%, versus 5% the year before. As of April 2019, online game Fortnite had 250 million users and nearly one major update per week by May 2019, which Meeker said demonstrates innovation is rising across these platforms. And thanks to multiplayer cross-platform games, along with in-game events and experiences and collaboration with squadmates, Meeker asked if interactive games are the new social networks.
The Internet Trends Report also highlighted the implementation of encryption and growth of messaging services from companies like Telegram and WhatsApp. According to the Internet Trends Report, strong data collection, and analysis that helps with customer personalization, drive success at many global firms.
3. Customer Acquisition Costs are Rising
According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report, the average Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is rising. In hyper-competitive fields, this trend directly correlates with an increase in ad spend. After all, if it costs more for a prospect to see your ad, your overall cost of customer acquisition will rise as well. And the downside to this is that the acquisition cost could soon surpass the lifetime value (LTV) of the customer. So, if it costs more money to win a customer than they’ll spend once onboarded, that puts the company in the negative.
For this reason, Meeker suggests other ways to pull in new customers outside of paid digital advertising. In the Internet Trends Report, she recommends two different tactics as alternatives:
Things like free trials or a freemium product can attract potential customers into your product or service offerings, and keep them on the “hook” long enough for them to convert.
One of the examples Meeker uses is Spotify. Spotify offers an ad-supported free XDV product, with the option to access new features and remove ads for a free trial. Their efforts have proved to be successful – if a customer tries the free, ad-supported version for a few days, the upgrade is a no-brainer.
Despite how much marketing has evolved, one tactic that will always stay on top is the Word of Mouth. Happy customers are always your best marketing asset, and brands should use them accordingly to showcase their positive experiences. Of course, the key to getting happy customers is listening to their feedback and actively implementing it. To support this tactic, Meeker cites popular clothing subscription service StitchFix, which utilizes personalized recommendations from stylists and customers to create customized boxes for each client. The service utilizes customer feedback to make style recommendations stronger and stronger over time. This approach has proven successful, based on StitchFix’s active client growth year over year.
4. Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest & Twitter Show Strengths
The Internet Trends report reveals the top apps with the highest percentage of mobile users – Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, WeChat, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitch. It pointed to several key factors as contributing to advertising share profits, including
- Facebook’s Ad targeting and audience customization – Facebook Ads are ideal for targeting the right audiences. Also, customizations can improve targeting, which makes the ads more personalized and effective.
- Twitter’s high-relevance and promoted tweets – Twitter is a platform of high relevance and the ads help you improve the reach and the engagement of your tweets to the right people based on followers and interests.
- Pinterest’s commerce and shoppable catalogs – Pinterest has turned into an effective social media platform for e-commerce and the shoppable catalogs can be very effective when promoting products.
- Youtube’s machine learning and automatically time-edited clips – YouTube uses machine learning to enable automatic time-edits to clips and it also brings out a new concept that many other platforms would like to imitate.
5. Mobile Overtakes Television
Daily time spent watching TV is on the decline while time spent on mobile grows rapidly. This year, minutes spent on mobile exceeded minutes spent watching TV 226 to 216 – the first time this has happened. People view videos more and more online, with 28 percent of their time spent viewing videos on mobile instead of TV, with this trend growing steadily every year.
When looking at digital media usage, mobile continues to consume more and more hours of the day while Desktop / Laptop retreats to the lowest level (two hours per day) recorded in the last decade. What’s interesting is the surge of other Connected Devices, which claimed 0.7 hours a day in 2018. This figure was steady at 0.2-0.4 hours since 2008 but is now growing at 0.1 hours a year (up from 0.6 in 2017).
If you aren’t thinking about Artificial Intelligence, Mobile, Interactive gaming, smart speakers and IoT in your digital transformation strategy, here’s your wakeup call. How many years until other Connected Devices surpass Desktop / Laptop?