In many areas of our lives there are certain annual events that are anxiously awaited and bring a reassurance that the rhythm of life continues. Holidays are celebrated. The swallows return to Capistrano. Farmers and traders anxiously await crop reports. And in the internet era, analysts and market participants alike anxiously await a presentation from Mary Meeker.
Mary, a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins, has been delivering industry reports on the internet and new technologies for several years. For the second year in a row, she delivered her most recent “internet trends” report at the D11 Conference. The report is characterized by big ideas, voluminous data, and more than a few shocks for those who think they know what’s going on. The degree to which her slides – which are immediately available to the public – are shared around the business world probably accounts for some measurable amount of bandwidth on the day of her report (something she might consider reporting upon in the future).
I recommend you set aside 20 or 30 minutes of quiet time to read through the slides yourself, but here are two nuggets that social media experts, marketers, and business leaders should consider.
Mobile advertising spend is lagging the time spent on mobile devices by a lot, and while the majority of internet properties are “made in the USA”, the majority of the world’s users live outside the USA.
The bar charts above tell the story, and it’s not a pretty one if you’re in the print business. To be sure, the methods for appropriate mobile advertising are nascent, and there is a particular difficulty associated with ad placements on devices that are considerable smaller than your flat-screen TV. However, when marketers see a gap like the one above, they should keep the following uppermost in their minds: First, mobile and internet are where your customers’ eyeballs are, and second, there will be a landslide of ad spending toward these media. Speed counts as your competitors view the same data.
The second chart demonstrates again why your market opportunities increasingly will include people who live in different time zones, speak different languages, and use different methods for eating their favorite foods.
Meeker’s report demonstrates that while the US is much more “smartphone penetrated” than most countries, the other countries are jumping into mobile in a more fundamental way, as they skip past landlines, newspapers, and even television (China leads the US in the amount of time they spend on mobile and internet versus television). While not every product or service will find a natural market in China, India, or throughout Africa, the business leader who doesn’t at least try to learn more about how he or she can leverage this global trend may be missing an opportunity.
Yes, there is a time and place for everything. And a daily challenge many of us have is balancing the urgent issues before us with important, but non-urgent, issues that we should be thinking about. You might find this report to be a good opportunity to turn off the phone for just a few minutes, read through the slides, and think about what the implications of digital trends might be in your business.