What Mary Meeker’s report means for digital marketers

What Mary Meeker’s report means for digital marketers

An insight from Senior Strategist, Charlie Bloxham, M&C Saatchi Performance

Last month, Mary Meeker’s report returned with a deep insight into the latest internet trends. After first being published in 1995, it has become a defining document for those in the digital sphere. Speaking onstage at Vox/Recode’s Code Conference in Arizona, Mary Meeker delivered her 333-page report on what changes we’ve seen in internet usage in the past year and what we expect to change.

Key Takeaways

  • Internet Users have reached 50% of global population at 3.8 billion
  • Growth of these internet users is increasingly hard to find with growth slowing by 1% YOY ’17-‘18
  • US eCommerce sales growth rebounded in Q1 2019 having fallen consistently throughout 2018
  • Global programmatic is 62% of digital ad spend
  • Time spent on mobile surpassed TV time in the US in 2018
  • Ad spend on mobile in the US has now equalled time spent with mobile

What’s next for the digital industry

New sources of growth

APAC is currently leading in both number of internet users and potential internet users – particularly in China and India. Increasing social mobility and infrastructure investments in these regions are set to be the catalyst for further expansion of internet users in the coming years. Between the two countries, there’s a 1.6 billion sized potential market of people who are not internet users, that’s just under half of the current internet population who could join the digital economy and become users and customers of digital brands.

Different priorities for marketing metrics

While revenue growth for leading global internet brands is still increasing, the incline is starting to slow, mirroring the amount of internet users. In highly competitive sectors, e.g. mobile finance apps, the customer acquisition costs are rising and if these costs exceed customer lifetime value for too long, it becomes unsustainable. Where brands have previously focused on scale, these cost changes will demand a shift towards the prioritisation of engagement. You can read more about this in our ‘Inside Trends’ prediction from the start of the year that suggested brands would prioritise LTV over acquisition.

Emerging areas of digital media

An emerging area is digital TV ads, assisted by mobile dual screening. Time spent with digital media in the US is up 7% YOY and most of this is on mobile. Digital video is growing as a portion of TV – it’s doubled in 5 years and now accounts for 28% of TV.

One example of this is NBC who are using QR codes to help link adverts to websites and reducing the friction between someone seeing an advert and going on the website. Now you can simply scan a QR code with your smartphone while watching TV to engage more actively with adverts. As the friction is reduced, dual screening will lead to newer experiences.


The number of interactive gamers worldwide has grown 6% to 2.4 billion, which is up from 5% growth the year before and this growth has seen the time spent streaming on Twitch and the number of Twitch viewers increase around two times in two years.

Gaming is taking up more of consumers time with games, becoming more real time and increasingly social. Freemium gaming has driven this change, particularly with games like Fortnite. 5G is likely to have an impact on streaming, bringing down the barriers to allow console gaming on mobile devices without the need for the gaming console itself, which likely to be driven by Google Stadia in the fall of 2019.

This could see console games evolving to become more ‘snackable’ for mobile audiences used to gaming in short bursts. As gaming increasingly spreads into mobile, more native marketing opportunities will emerge such as sponsored content and deeper data driven partnerships, embedding brands much more into games than they previously have been. With more granular user data being collected through interactive gaming, these marketing opportunities will become increasingly personalised.

Marketing strategies need to adapt to changing consumer behaviour

Understanding where users are spending their time, and how they are spending it, is essential to developing a hyper-targeted strategy that effectively reaches consumers in a time of increasing media scarcity. To find out more about how we reach the cross-device always-on consumer, get in touch today