Mary Meeker’s 2017 Report: The Top 7 Highlights for the Advertising Industry


For the past several years, KCPB’S Mary Meeker has released a ”State of the Global Internet” presentation deck. The 2017 edition has 350 slides. To get the most out of it, you should read through the whole deck but if you’re short on time we’ve summarized and pulled out the top 7 things companies and marketers need to take note of:

1. While smartphone growth is slowing overall internet usage is rising, particularly the mobile internet.
Smartphones sales growth has slowed because the market is saturated (83% of Canadian cellphones are smartphones) and so ubiquitous that the business’ default assumption is that their customers have one. Now it’s time to tailor the business to that reality be it location targeted ads, omnichannel, in-store experience, etc.

See the slides: 7 – 9

2. Mobile advertising is taking a bigger proportion of usage and ad dollars.
Mobile ad spend overtook desktop internet ad spend but desktop internet usage remains flat so the move to mobile shouldn’t be seen as a shift but rather additive. eMarketer predicts that mobile media will get 70% of digital ad spending. Before considering the shift, it’s important to fully measure digital ad spend beyond impressions and clicks to conversions, assisted conversions, and path to conversion.

See the slides: 12 – 17

3. Ad blocking continues to rise but content marketing and contextual ads that mesh with the customer experience are continuing to do well.
It’s not new news that great content fosters relatability, trust, and loyalty among customers. But now, brands have powerful tools, such as SEM, hyperlocal targeting and contextual targeting (e.g. in-ride ads on Uber for nearby businesses to destination) at their disposal to deliver relevant content to key audiences at the right time. Better tracking + CRM = more efficient marketing spend and better customer profiles and data.

See the slides: 23 – 56, slide 18

4. E-commerce continues to rise and traditional retailers are struggling but innovative retailers are creating destinations with omni-channel technology assisted in-store experiences.
Omnichannel experiences that provide strong online shopping and technology-driven in-store experiences are becoming the norm for many customers. Store closings may soon break a 20-year record, emphasizing the urgent need for businesses to connect their offline and online channels – or struggle.

See the slides: 57 – 78

5. Social media customer service is now table-stakes.
Social media veterans have been talking about social customer service for years but now it’s gone beyond leading edge companies and has become mainstream and simply expected by consumers. See the slides: 53 – 55

6. Private and public cloud adoption is quickly increasing but with it, concerns about data security and IT costs.
Cloud adoption is growing with 85% of enterprises now having a multi-cloud strategy, up from 82 percent in 2016*. IT decision-makers need to plan for and adopt cloud services and solutions to streamline their operations and keep pace with competitors – as more and more businesses are leveraging this technology to remain cost effective and nimble.

See the slides: 178 – 185

7. Gaming continues to rise along with gaming as a spectator sport. Gamification and game-like experiences are more commonplace in customer experiences and employee training.
Zuck, Musk, and Gates all credit their success to childhood gaming. Video gaming is now the most engaging form of social media – but this doesn’t mean start plastering ads in video games, but rather leverage gamification techniques to drive user engagement. Gamified experiences engage consumers, gamified learning enriches employees.

See the slides: 113 – 150

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