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What Marketers Can Learn from Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends Report

Mary Meeker, the “Queen of the Internet” has issued her proclamations on all things digital and, as always, there’s marketing gold to be found in the report from the venture investor who ranks #8 on the 2019 Forbes Midas List.

Meeker may have left Kleiner Perkins last year to spin off Bond Capital, but she continues to produce her closely watched trend report on technological evolution and its consumer and marketing implications. There’s a lot to unpack from the 333-slide report, but here are three quick highlights for advertisers.

Mobile a Must
Overall internet ad spend has accelerated by 22% since last year, with mobile ranking as the biggest contributor to that growth. In fact, as we noted in a blog post here, not only has mobile overtaken TV in terms of time spent with media, but the gap between time spent with mobile and ad investments in it has finally disappeared. More specifically, in 2010, time spent on mobile was 8% vs. 0.5% of ad spend. Now the split is even at 33%, which means in the years ahead mobile campaigns will be just as important for brands as those designed for legacy channels.

Video Growth Means More Work—and More Rewards—for Marketers
We say it all the time here at ER: video is the future of media and advertising. Meeker’s report bears that out via a number of different measures that speak to the veritable explosion of video across all age groups, platforms and geographies. China’s 800,000,000 internet users, for instance, spent 600 million hours per day viewing short-form on mobile. Nearly 60% of Gen Z users cite YouTube as their preferred learning channel, which is how Meeker counted 4.5 billion annual hours of how-to video viewership. There are more stats around video in the report, but no matter how you slice them up, they still suggest that companies will need to do more—and more sophisticated—video marketing going forward. This point, combined with the mobile on above, means brands will need to start producing multiple versions of each ad they produce for all the platforms and media they will have to campaign across. More ad formats and destinations means creative asset workflow will become an increasingly critical process to get right in order to reap the appropriate returns on investments.

Key Drivers of Ad Success
In analyzing the ad share of the most popular ad platforms such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, YouTube and others, Meeker found the most successful were doing so through a mix of better targeting, innovative creative, e-commerce and high relevance. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter and Pinterest, for example, collectively saw 6-times-year-over-year since 2017 due to their unique facilities in these areas. In fact, the success of these platforms continues to blur the lines between search, social and e-commerce reinforcing the importance of creative content and cross-channel strategies.

These represent just the tip of the Meeker marketing mountain. She also details the rise of Fortnite, not just as a gaming platform, but as a new social media channel. Images substituting for text was another point of import to advertisers. These and thousands more take-aways make a deep dive into the deck de rigueur for today’s brands that want to secure tomorrow’s consumer following.