Mary Meeker's Internet Trends - 2017 edition

In today's post, I wanted to jot down my takeaways from Mary Meeker's 2017 Internet Trends report released on May 31. This is an enormous deck, 355 slides to be precise, but is chock full of data points and takeaways that nearly everyone working in the Digital / Technology space can benefit from.
For this year's analysis, I have looked at the report from the lens of my current job, working on the Digital Strategy for the American Medical Association. If you are in retail or in a space impacted by India / China, there's definitely other slides that might be more relevant. Without further ado, my top 10 takeaways.

1. Businesses are increasingly becoming subscription based (Slide 77):
Newspapers and magazines have always understood subscriptions. Adobe made a huge shift while I was there from selling an annual license for Photoshop products to a monthly subscription. Amazon’s Subscribe & Save, StitchFix, Sling, DocuSign, the list goes on…businesses are embracing the subscription model.

Questions to ask: Do you need to rethink your business model from a subscription lens?

2. User- And Influencer-Generated Content Works Better (Slide 38):
Effective user generated content can generate 6.9x higher engagement than brand generated content on Facebook. Brands are increasingly sourcing content from fans and then re-distributing it to drive engagement.

Questions to ask: Do you know who your influencers are? Are you optimized in this channel?

3. Voice & image are the next big search frontiers (Slide 46):
Last year, Mary Meeker predicted voice & image search will account for at least 50% of searches over the next five years. This year, we know 20% of mobile searches are now made with voice. Google Lens lets you take a picture of a flower to find out what it’s called, or a picture of a storefront to see the ratings and menus or a picture of a Japanese menu to translate it into English.

Questions to ask: Are you keeping up with the way consumers might be searching for products or services in the near future?

4. Customer Service is shifting to chat (Slides 53-55):
Increasing number of customer service conversations are happening via real-time online chat vs. on the phone. Nearly 60% of respondents said easier access to online support channels and faster response times would be the top two customer service improvements they would ask for. 82% of customers stopped doing business with a company after a bad experience vs. 76% in 2014.

Questions to ask: How do your customer perceive your customer service function?  Are you measuring the speed and satisfaction of your online chats? Have you looked into companies like Helpshift, Linc etc. to see what capabilities you can leverage from preexisting products?

5. Design is becoming increasingly core to enterprise R&D (Slide 188):
Customers are demanding great experiences in the consumer space as well as the enterprise space. Most big brands are increasing their designers to developer ratio. Users expect products to be well-designed, easy to use and reliable.

Questions to ask: Have you invested enough in design? What do your staffing ratios look like?  In a resource constrained market, how do you go about getting the right talent on the team?

6. Gaming tools are optimizing learning and engagement (Slide 81):
Gaming is a $100B dollar business which grew 9%Y/Y. Gaming covers everything from solving puzzles and planning workflows to interacting with data and building collaborative relationships. “Is the evolution of interactive gaming helping prepare society for the rise of human-computer interaction?”

Questions to ask: Have you thought about using gamification to engage your customers?  Companies like Shopkick are doing this and doing it really well.  If you are in retail / CPG, engaging through these concepts is a no-brainer.

7. Mobile advertising has finally outpaced desktop advertising but mobile is vastly under-invested (Slide 13):
People spend 28 percent of their media time on mobile yet it only receives 21 percent of ad spend, indicating there’s a $16 billion opportunity for more mobile ads. Time spent on mobile are new hours in the day that advertisers have never previously had access to. Time on mobile is short and focused so there are fewer opportunities to actually show an impactful ad versus older channels.

Questions to ask:  What does your mobile marketing strategy look like?  Does your mobile marketing work in the 'i-want-to-know', 'i-want-to-go', 'i-want-to-buy', 'i-want-to-do' micro moments?

8. Online Ad market becoming a duopoly (Slide 15):
Google and Facebook control 85 percent of the growth in online ads and their share keeps increasing. Contextual ads on Facebook are great at driving direct purchases. 26% of ad clicks on Facebook result in a purchase.

Questions to ask: Is Facebook a channel for you?  How do you go about reaching the right audience?

9. Internet Bigs are getting Bigger (Slide 327):
Today’s internet giants have seen big growth. This has typically resulted from expansion beyond the core businesses they started in, acquisition, investing in innovation and “seeing around corners”. Very interesting slide that compares the original business of companies like Google and Facebook to what they are currently doing.

Questions to ask: What is the next step in your journey as a business?  Is owning your current space good enough? Likely not, so what is next?  Your competition tomorrow is likely not the same as your competition today, so who are you watching and learning from?

10. Healthcare @ Digital Inflection Point (Slide 288-319):
Last but not the least, there is a section on Healthcare and I have jotted down some stats and points that I thought were useful.

a. Rapid proliferation of health data sources combined with speed in data analytics is compressing innovation cycle times.

b. 25% of Americans own a wearable. +12% Y/Y

c. Consumers have different levels of comfort with brands they are willing to share their data with – Google leads the pack at 60%, IBM is the last, at 37%.

d. EHR adoption ~90% compared to 21% in 2004.

e. 95% of hospitals now allow patients to have digital access to their health data compared to 24% in 2012.

f. Medical Research / Knowledge is doubling at a rapid pace. In 1950, it took 50 years to double medical knowledge. In 2010, it took 3.5 years.

g. Growing evidence that data and technology will significantly drive down the time it takes to complete a clinical trial and bring new therapies to market.

h. Consumers, especially millennials, increasingly expect and use digital health tools. CPT data democratization can play a role here to provide more transparency

i. Healthcare practices are being re-imagined through patient empowerment, improvements to clinical protocols and preventative health programs

j. In 1993, there were 114 genetic disorders with diagnostic tests. In 2017, that number is 5007. Accumulation of genomic data has led to a 19X increase in genomic knowledge.


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