Here’s What Marketers Can Learn From Mary Meeker’s Internet Report

Business professionals love their reports. But not many have the power to transform marketing and tech professionals into giddy schoolchildren on the brink of summer break like Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report.

Needless to say, the Internet’s been keeping busy over the last year—so much so, that there are over 160 slides of insightful info to prove it! While there’s a lot to dive into and analyze, here are some of the top trends for marketers:

1.  The Internet Trifecta. 

I love this phrase. Internet Trifecta. Has quite the ring to it. But what is it exactly? 

Internet TrifectaContent (Provided by consumers and professionals) + Community (Context and connectivity created by and for users) + Commerce (products) 

When it comes to branding and marketing online, some organizations have thrived where others have struggled to get with the times. Those who found success created this trifecta, in which content, consumers, and products work together in perfect harmony. The product? Kick-ass online brand presence. This is what makes a brand powerful on the Internet, what separates the winners from the losers.

We’ve said over and over again that you need content in order to even stand a chance against the competition, so hopefully this one hits home. Content is essential to business, and it can’t be ignored.

2.  Mobile Consumption

Yes, yes, mobile is the place to be—you already knew that. But, there still remains a significant growth opportunity for mobile devices. According to Meeker, only 30 percent of 5.2 billion cell phones in the world are smartphones, which means mobile growth will only rise as more people switch from feature phones to smart devices. Additionally, significant tablet growth is on the horizon; it’s only in its earliest stages of growth, so you’ll want to stick around for what’s yet to come.

3.  Visual Sharing

Say what you will about the intelligence of modern society, but people can’t seem to get enough images and video to satisfy their appetites. Visual sharing continues to thrive, thanks largely to the rise in platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat.

Even if your brand isn’t on any of these channels (although you should be on at least one of them), let this be a friendly reminder to always include images in your content strategy. You can communicate messages instantly with compelling, visual content—and now’s the time to start doing so if you aren’t already.

4.  Data Sharing

Digital data shared on the Internet is growing 50 percent each year and 2/3 of the data shared over the Internet is created or consumed by consumers. What are they doing? Watching videos, using social media, sharing images, and more. Hopefully, your brand is tapping in on this opportunity by creating content that people will want to share as well.

5.  Re-Imagining Content & Content Delivery

The news industry may be struggling as a whole, but some have figured out a way to successfully present news to web-centric consumers. Buzzfeed and Huffington Post, for example, captured audiences with their lists, quizzes, explanatory articles, breaking news, video, mobile content, and more – all in a fun, quirky manner. And they did it all through social media (and with the help of cute animals).

Here’s What Marketers Can Learn From Mary Meeker’s Internet Report

6.  Messaging and Communication

The rise of messenger apps such as Whatsapp and Snapchat has ignited a change in the way people now communicate online. Years ago, people broadcast a few messages to large audiences on apps such as Facebook and Twitter. Now, however, we’re seeing more frequent interactions with smaller groups of close contacts.

7.  Shareable and Well-Designed Content

The report mentioned a bunch of important content trends, but there were two that marketers should absolutely strive to achieve: Uploadable and shareable, real-time content and beautiful app interfaces.

When creating content, make sure it’s compelling and either educates or entertains your target audience. But don’t neglect the way in which you present your content, either. No matter what people say, they can’t help but judge a book by its cover.

8.  Personalization

Consumers love personalized content. Netflix, for example, does this well by recommending shows and movies that align with an individual’s interests. When reaching out to your consumers, don’t hesitate to give it a personal touch. Retail brands have found ways to incorporate this into their strategies by suggesting items customers might like based on past purchases.

9.  Gaps in Advertising Spend

Although content is key, those who invest in advertising need to re-focus their efforts, turning from traditional media (i.e. print, TV) to Internet and mobile. According to the report, fewer people are consuming print and TV content, yet advertisers continue to throw tons of money towards them. Meanwhile, an increasing number of people are spending their time with the Internet and mobile, but only a small percentage of marketers place ads in these locations. The solution to this is pretty obvious.  

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider— and we’ve only grazed the surface. Just make sure you do something about what you’ve learned. Your consumers are waiting for it.