At least once a year, its important to step back from the marketing industry to provide some context as to what is happening and, more importantly, why it’s happening. It’s also important to know what these statistics mean to marketers.
As a marketer myself, I find that having additional context about the landscape can be helpful. To that end, let’s take a look at the bigger picture, starting with global population. There are currently 7.3 billion people on the planet Earth. Of those, over 40 percent, or just over 3.4 billion, are online. What’s astounding is that fact that in 1995, less than one percent of the world had internet connectivity!
The mobile web is exploding
As fast as the internet has grown, the mobile web has expanded exponentially faster. In 2007, mobile users numbered around 400 million versus 1.1 billion desktop users worldwide, according to comScore. In 2017, there will be north of 2 billion mobile users, IDC estimates. That is 400-percent growth in just under a 10-year period. And going forward, nearly all new internet usage growth is expected to come from mobile.
Media consumption is moving to mobile
Marketers should make note of is how users are engaging with different channels. As you can see in eMarketer’s chart below, digital and mobile usage are increasing and television, radio and print are diminishing.
While people are watching and listening to less content on their physical televisions and radios, consumption of video and audio content isn’t going away, but it is migrating over to mobile platforms.
According to ComScore smartphone usage has doubled in the past three years, and since 2014 it’s driven all of the growth in digital media time spent. Total digital media usage is up 40% since 2013, with smartphones driving those gains. Smartphones has continued to expand on its role in digital, even in just the last two years, as desktop and tablets have both experienced declines in engagement during this period.
Mobile is the fastest-growing ad format
As our marketing budget is never big enough, I want to take a look at mobile advertising to provide insights on how to best spend vital dollars. As the fastest-growing segment of advertising (30 percent of the $27.5 billion in global digital advertising pool in 2015, according to MobyAffiliates), it’s an important area to keep an eye on.
Key takeaways ::
- Display and video will be the fastest-growing mobile ad formats as digital ad dollars quickly shift from desktop to mobile, and ad products improve. US mobile display and mobile video ad revenues will grow at an astonishing CAGR of 96% and 73%, respectively, between 2013 and 2018.
- But search and social media will still account for the largest share of US mobile ad revenue during the forecast period. Search is a strong format on mobile because of its convergence with local-mobile targeting.
- Mobile programmatic ad revenues, including ads sold through real-time bidding (RTB), will account for 43% of US mobile display-related ad revenue in 2018, up from only a 6% share in 2013. But programmatic will still be limited by the lack of robust cookie-based targeting on mobile.
Users crave visual content
This may not come as a surprise :: Visual content continues to be queen. With YouTube appearing on 60 percent of all smartphones (with native mobile web usage probably bringing that number to closer to 85 to 90 percent) and Instagram (38 percent) and Pinterest (25 percent) bringing up the rear in ComScore’s top 15, it would be foolish not to exploit these channels in our marketing plan.
The majority of email opens are on mobile
While in most marketers’ minds, email is its own separate channel, it’s worth noting that more than 50 percent of emails are opened on a mobile device, according to email service provider Litmus. This is critical because, as most of you have probably witnessed, the way an email renders on a mobile device is radically different from the way it renders on a desktop or laptop.
Social is king on mobile
ComScore’s recent ranking of top US smartphone apps, which has Facebook (78 percent) and Facebook Messenger (62 percent) listed as the top two used apps by a wide margin, reinforces the fact that social is king on mobile.
Mobile now represents almost 7 in 10 digital media minutes, and smartphone apps alone account for half of all digital time spent. Google Sites, Facebook and Yahoo Sites remain the top digital media properties and the only ones with 200+ MM visitors according to ComScore.
The average Top 10 digital media property has 40% of its audience visiting only on mobile and 35% visiting on both mobile and desktop. For five of the Top 10, a majority of their digital media audiences are mobile-only visitors, highlighting the importance of mobile as a primary touchpoint for many large digital media companies.
Social media and video viewing are the two most popular online activities, together accounting for more than a third of all internet time. Social Media leads all categories in engagement, accounting for 1 out of 5 minutes spent online.
Problems for marketers
Nearly half of digital ad impressions can’t have an impact because they’re not viewable or not delivered to a human. Nearly half of all desktop ad impressions are unable to deliver an advertising impact. While most of these non-viewable ads are simply delivered to parts of the web page that are out of view, a meaningful percentage is being delivered to bots and other forms of invalid traffic that is by definition not viewable to a human.
Both desktop and mobile ads deliver branding effectiveness, but mobile performs better –particularly at the bottom of the funnel. Mobile ads caused point lifts up to 3x greater than ads on desktop across four key brand metrics and performed especially strong in middle and bottom-funnel metrics, such as favourability, intent to buy and likelihood to recommend. Less ad clutter and proximity to point of purchase may be driving better effectiveness for mobile ads.
What must we do to be successful?
- It is critical to continue to rally around the PESO media planning model (paid, earned, shared and owned) to create “surround sound” experiences for customers
- If marketers aren’t focused on paid social to drive share of voice, consideration and ultimately purchase, they are missing the boat.
If you have additional advice please share below. Thank you.