2016 Mary Meeker Report: Voice, Video and Inbound Marketing

On the 1st of June this year, the venture capital giant KPCB (Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers) released their annual Mary Meeker Report on internet trends like media convergence and other tools. And as with previous reports, this one didn't disappoint.

Filled with statistics and trends defining the landscape of the Internet, the report highlighted valuable insights and proved itself to once more be one of the top reports on the Internet in the business. Among the insights that piqued my interest were these:

Video Viewership is On the Rise 

Snapchat and Facebook Live are leading the charge here, and yet video ads aren’t always effective as one might expect. Consider that 81% of people surveyed mute video ads, 62% are annoyed by pre-roll ads, and 92% have considered using ad-blocking software. This is a particularly useful insight for inbound marketers looking to capitalise on the rise of video in their marketing efforts. 

If video ads are not performing well, the next logical course of action is to look towards the types of videos that are performing, and possible formats that would work well for nurturing and generating leads. Instead of blatant advertising, this trend seems to support inbound marketing's belief that content should educate, inform and delight. So less advertising, and more educational and informative videos that help prospects make better choices.

Say "Hello" to Voice Interfaces and Image Searches

Meeker predicts that voice interfaces will experience a boom, based on their hands-free, personalised, cheap and easy-to-use nature. According to Baidu’s chief scientist Andrew Ng, by 2020, at least 50% of all searches online will be through voice or image search. This creates an interesting question – if users are choosing to search vocally or with images, how will that change the way we create our Search Engine Optimisation strategies?

The Observations and Insights That Got Us Talking

I asked our Executive Director Jonathan Wagstaffe to give us his opinion regarding key trends to note. Among his observations were the following:

The easy days are over. With multiple global growth drivers on the decline, easy growth opportunities are waning and the future looks tougher than before. However, as with any mature market, there's still success to be had. The future in the 21st global economy belongs to those brands that can innovate, save money or disrupt existing states of play.

Even with China dominating in the global GDP stakes, all is not lost. There is still GDP to be had, with old world GDP getting on for around $50tn.

Marketers are inexplicably still spending on print ads. While advertising spend across the board hasn't changed much since last year's report, it's still evident that a serious underspend in mobile ads shows plenty of opportunities to be had in this sector. Then there's the perplexing spend on print ads, which is high despite plummeting readership numbers (Well done print ad salespeople!).

It's time to start creating better online ads. With ad blocking software shipments up 100% year on year, it's imperative that online ads be authentic, entertaining, in context and brief.

The high street will get even more brutal. Retail has now become a connected online/offline story, spurred on and supported by the buying choices of Millennials, whose spending power is only set to increase in the next 20 years. It's critical that big high street retailers be present online, as those who fail in this regard are placing themselves in a perilous situation.

Voice as a computer interface. At last, voice is good enough to take its place as a legitimate interfacing option, and when coupled with mobile will drive fundamental changes in the future. Consider that voice assistant usage is up not 35%, but 35x the number it was at 8 years ago.

The rise of cars as interfaces. As technology becomes more central than ever in the automotive design space and acts out as a disrupting force in the market, America has an opportunity to steal back the car industry.

Once again, the Meeker report has offered readers critical insight into the forces and trends at work in the digital landscape, and how they impact our existence – along with what to expect in the future. If you haven't yet had the chance, consider checking out a video of the presentation - it's a definite eye-opener!

Are you ready to take your business to new heights? Find out how to be on top of what isn't just an internet trend, but a necessary reality: Inbound Marketing. This proven approach to conversational and contextual marketing helps generate sustainable leads that are much easier to turn into loyal customers. Talk to us about getting inbound-ready.

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