Engagement is changing rapidly: Key points from the 2014 Internet Trends Report

June 24, 2015

Mary Meeker has been reporting on global internet trends since 1995 when she was an analyst at Morgan Stanley.  Now in its 20th year, the annual Internet Trends Report published by Kleiner, Perkins Caulfield & Byers (KPCB) has become an influential and valuable resource for executives, marketers, communicators and strategists.

Mary recently presented many of the findings of the 2014 Internet Trends Report at  Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. We recommend you watch Mary’s 30-minute presentation below, as well download the slide deck from Slideshare.

There are a number of highlights:

  • The “on-demand” economy is evolving and connectivity is changing how, where and with whom workers want to work, as well as and how consumers want to buy goods or access services.
  • Larger numbers of people are connected 24/7 via their smartphones, particularly millenials
  • Mobile messaging is dramatically changing how people communicate and engage
  • Innovation is providing enterprise solutions, affecting business communications, offline and online payments, business analytics, document signing, customer service, recruiting, training and visitor management.
  • Mobile data usage rose 69% in the US with 55% of that usage representing video streaming. People are viewing vertically as well as horizontally. Video streaming and live streaming represent massive opportunities for engagement, communication and marketing.
  • Buy buttons will become more pervasive and will make the purchase process seamless and efficient when on social platforms, such as Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Mobile advertising is estimated by KPCB to be under-invested by $25 billion in the US. Mobile internet usage represents 25% of consumer’s time connected online, but organisational advertising spend represents 8% of total advertising budget.

A resonating quote from the report is from Billy Bosworth, CEO of Datastax:

“Ten years from now, when we will look back at how this era of big data evolved, we will be stunned at how uninformed we used to be when making decisions.”

Here are two key points which are beneficial for leaders and marketers who are based in or do business in Australia and the surrounding region.

1. Australia has an all-pervasive smartphone culture

In the slide deck’s appendices, smartphone penetration is estimated and compared by country. Australia ranked 11th in size with its 22 million smartphone owners among established smartphone markets for countries which have over 45% smartphone penetration within their populations.

The top four obviously have larger populations in total: USA with 204 million smartphone owners, Japan with 104 million, Brazil with 96 million and Germany with 52 million. By and large growth is seen to be slowing between 2013 and 2014 for all countries in the top 15, other than Germany.

Where this gets particularly interesting is that Australia’s smartphone penetration growth slowed radically, from 40% in 2013 to 1% in 2014. How can this be?

It’s because according to this report, Australia is estimated to be the only country in the world to reach 100% smartphone penetration. 100%!

The closest countries behind Australia are Saudi Arabia with 91% population penetration, Japan with 82% and South Korea with 80%.

With an all-pervasive smartphone culture as of 2014, companies trading in Australia will need to prioritise how they are innovating for mobile in order to engage and communicate more successfully for the long term with their stakeholders and customers.

2. Digital connectivity is growing rapidly for Australia’s close neighbors

Internet usage and smartphone penetration have grown to significant numbers for Australia’s neighboring countries.

China has the largest internet user base in the world with 632 million users representing 47% of the population, while its 513 million smartphone users represent 38%. India’s 198 million internet users form 16% of the country’s population, while 140 million smartphone users make up 11%. Indonesia has 83 million internet users (33% of population) and 64 million smartphone users (25% of population). Vietnam has 41 million internet users (44% of population) and 21 million smartphone users (23% of population). Thailand has 20 million internet users (29% of population) and 29 million smartphone users (43% of population). Malaysia has 20 million smartphone users representing a significant 66% of population. Similarly, Taiwan has 14 million smartphone users representing 61% of population.

In light of these trends of connectivity among Australia’s close neighbors and partners, those companies which trade in the region need to re-evaluate where their marketing and communication spend is being allocated to ensure they are reaching their consumers where the consumers are: connected digitally.

You can download the slide deck as a pdf file from Slideshare or view them below.