Mobile-First Insights from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2018

Jonathan Liew headshot bw copy

Fetch Strategy Director, Jonathan Liew, reviewed all 294 slides of Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends from 2018 and has summarized the goods for mobile marketers.

It’s less about mobile-first consumers – today’s consumer IS mobile-first 

For the first time, there was no YOY growth in smartphone shipments suggesting a maturing category. On the flipside, engagement is up – time spent on mobile engaging with digital media reached 3.3 hours a day – more than double that in 2012. In fact, mobile accounts for more daily hours spent with digital media than any other device – a trend that’s continued since 2014.

Implications: Mobile is more than a device or channel. It’s how we connect online and live our lives; bridging digital with the physical.

$7B disconnect between mobile media consumption and ad spend

Consumers spend 29% of media time on mobile yet it only accounts for 26% of advertising spend. Meeker estimates this 3-percentage-point gap amounts to a $7B missed opportunity. Overall digital advertising spend is up 21% YOY.   

Implications: With consumer media behaviors skewing towards mobile, brands need to consider more opportunities to engage with customers via mobile.

An ad platform as a commerce platform; a commerce platform as an ad platform
Consumers often find products by starting with search (e.g. Google, Amazon) but increasing personalized product discovery in feed (e.g. Facebook, Instagram). Data enables more personalized product recommendations (e.g. Google Home Ordering)   

Implications: Better understand the customer journey to combine performance-driven search with social-driven discovery to drive product purchase.   

Return on ad spent (RoAS:) Costs are rising faster than reach

Increased competition for top placements in performance-based digital channels is reducing ROIs and adding pressure on margins. This increases the importance of customer lifetime value which is the top optimization metric for ad spend

Implications: Balancing customer lifetime value and customer acquisition costs will help marketers make smarter and more informed marketing decisions.

The Customer. The Customer. The Customer.
Innovation and competition is driving product improvements that increase customer delight. Examples include easy and simple user experiences, mobile payments with less friction, and greater customer personalization via personal + collective data.

Implications: Marketers that want to engage the mobile first consumer need to always think customer-first. They want seamless experiences and interactions across devices that add value to their lives vs. just interrupting them in their day-to-day.