Mary Meeker’s annual presentation on Internet trends is among the most highly-anticipated slide decks of the year in Silicon Valley, and that’s a place that admittedly produces a lot of slide decks every 365 days. Meeker’s slide deck for 2018 was 294 slides deep, and people still seem to hang on each one.
Before we get into three main areas, let’s hit some 35,000-foot views:
Some specific areas to focus on:
Check out this slide (it was the 84th in Meeker’s deck):
Mobile is largely powering the growth of ecommerce, and ecommerce is largely powering the growth of retail:
This makes perfect sense, of course: more and more people have smartphones, those smartphones are always with them, they’re using said smartphones over 3 hours/day, and the amount of data collection and personalization that can take place through that device is significantly more power than a 1955 Sears catalog might have been. It makes complete sense for brands to use mobile as a customer acquisition/retention strategic pillar.
The broader lesson of this section, then: mobile is important, and increasing in importance. It is absolutely essential to telling your brand’s story and connecting with consumers where they spend most of their time. If you lack a defined mobile strategy, you need one.
Ad spend outpaces time spent on various media in most cases, but…
… as you can see on the far right, there’s a roughly $7B opportunity to make up the gap in mobile. People are increasingly using mobile as a place to spend time (see above), but advertising hasn’t fully caught up there.
Again, this is logical: mobile has less available screen space and CPC/general customer acquisition costs are rising overall. A very conventional attitude in marketing and advertising is “Why pay a lot to be seen by a few on a small screen when I can pay more to be seen by millions on a TV screen?” This is completely outdated thinking -- in fact, you can largely argue Trump won the Presidency in 2016 because of effective micro-targeting aimed at sometimes 10-15 people at a time.
Lesson here: there’s a lot of money to be made in doing mobile targeting correctly, so let’s help you do that.
Sales-wise, voice-controlled products like Amazon Echo are taking off. The Echo’s installed base in the U.S. grew from 20 million in the third quarter of 2017 to more than 30 million in the fourth quarter.
Meeker even had “voice” as one of her top trends of the year.
Voice allows brands new opportunities to engage customers in every element of their lives. While there’s an initial learning curve and element of comfort that must be reached, consumers have shown they are quick to engage with voice technology because it feels less intrusive to their day.
Bottom line: Create a voice strategy. People want things to be easy. They want to simply say something into their phone and have an outcome/result from it. We’ve previously covered where voice is going, and even how voice recognition is driving AI forward. In short: this is all going to be big. Get on this train now. Can you incorporate a simple voice feature into your app to make it easier for someone to search a feature or product? Start small and then iterate from there.
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