Has smartphone usage fallen among young people?

According to new research by Kantar TNS, smartphone usage has fallen among 16 – 24-year olds for the first time.

The report states that mobile device owners in that age group spend an average of 2.8 hours using their phones daily. This is down from 3.9 hours last year. While this doesn’t sound like a lot, it is significant for a number of reasons.

Firstly, if accurate, it seems to fly contrary to the conventional wisdom that people (especially young people) are spending more time on their devices. Secondly, if the dip is indicative of the beginnings of a perception among young people that they are spending too much time on their devices, this could have wide-ranging effects across the marketing and advertising industry.

“Thanks to the growing number of social media channels and a consumer demand for everything on-the-go, I don’t see this decline as reflective of a nation looking to move away from mobile phones,” Josh Krichefski, CEO of MediaCom UK, said.

“Smartphone penetration is now at 85% of all adults, and video – which companies like Facebook and Twitter have invested in massively of late – is now most viewed on a mobile; video consumption has more than trebled in the last five years and it’s only going to keep increasing.”

“Too late to put the genie back in the bottle”

34% of the young people interviewed as part of the study reported feeling that they spend too much time on their phones and said that they want to cut down on their usage time.

There is, however, a disconnect between intention and action, as the 16 – 24-year-old age group still spend significantly more time on their phones than any other. The 3.8 hour daily average is way above the 2.4 hour average across other generations.

“According to our own research, there’s been a significant rise in teenagers, in particular, viewing TV on smartphones. This is most likely due to phones getting bigger and content optimised to fit them, allowing teens to tap into their favourite shows and entertainment channels on-the-go and when it suits them,” continued Krichefski.

“Young people now have greater autonomy over how and when they watch TV, and so one reason for the decline in smartphone usage could be the popularity of ‘multiscreen’ services, allowing the viewer to pick up exactly where they left off when watching content between devices – Sky Q is a good example of this. The smartphone, though, isn’t going away anytime soon.”

One of the authors of the report, Michael Nicholas, agrees that the findings most likely don’t signal the end of mass smartphone usage.

“It’s too late to put the genie back in the bottle — phones are too entwined in our everyday lives, so we’re not likely to see many young people taking the radical decision to ditch them,” he said.

“However, there’s clearly a conflict between our perceptions on phone usage and acting on it.”

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 31 Oct 2017

‘Segment of one’, the future of consumer marketing

Think with Google’s Guest Editor, Unilever’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Keith Weed, shares his perspective on the shift from mass marketing to mass customization and how brands will adapt.

The connected world and the ubiquity of technology have rewritten the rules of building brands, innovation, media, creativity, and retail forever. While the internet served as the enabler for this transformation, the real driver has undoubtedly been the mobile phone.

Mobile is unlocking consumer control, empowerment, and choice to an extent we have never seen before, driving a hyper-segmentation revolution. As we move from mass marketing to massive customization—from focusing on averages to individuals—I believe that in the future we will build brands in segments of one. For marketers who have traditionally created and marketed brands to the dominant majority—the largest segment—this means thinking about marketing very differently than in the past.

Who is today’s consumer?

Today’s hyper-empowered, tech-augmented consumers are increasingly in control of the branded messages they receive and how they shop for brands. As micro-moment behaviour—where people instinctively turn to their device to act upon a need—becomes the norm, consumers’ expectations of value, convenience, and immediacy of response from brands are becoming increasingly demanding.

Search is absolutely central here, acting as the filter that enables the empowered consumer to get what they want, when they want, wherever they want. People—myself included—can’t remember what it was like not to be able to do things before their mobile was in their pocket.

This gives rise to two key characteristics of today’s consumer: immediacy and relevance. For example, searches for “open now” have tripled since 2015 and mobile searches related to “same-day shipping” have grown over 120% since 2015. And when it comes to relevance, expectation is accelerating rapidly. Since early this year, the volume for local searches without including the specification “near me” have outgrown comparable searches which did include it.

What does this mean for brands?

For brands to be allowed a part in the hyper-empowered consumer’s life, they have to be able to both anticipate and assist with their needs. This means being relevant, tailored, and personal—a huge shift from when brands (especially CPG businesses like Unilever) tended to be built for the masses. And they need to do it all in real time, in context, in the language.

There is a huge opportunity here for brands to help simplify lives in this complex world—to make massive choice digestible. Just think about how long it takes you to shop in a foreign supermarket where you don’t know the brands. Similarly, brands can help simplify the online world of seemingly never ending content to help organize people’s experiences in a connected world.

So what should marketers be doing?

It can certainly feel daunting and at times overwhelming to face this new world order. But I genuinely believe that there has never been a more exciting time to be in marketing. Still, what does all this mean for marketers in the day to day? In practice, I think it means three things.

Put people first. Leverage data to deeply understand the new and complex consumer journey, and be clear where your brand should be present to add the most value. Keep your consumer as the true north to connect with them on a one-to-one basis.

Cut through the clutter and build brand love by standing for something meaningful. People don’t just want a product to buy, they want an idea to buy into. Millennials and Gen Z show us time and time again that they want brands rooted in purpose and doing good for the world. Once that purpose is clear, it allows brands to create engaging experiences that sustain a far longer and richer consumer conversation than simply talking about a new product variant or a seasonal promotion.

Unlock the magical combination of data-driven consumer understanding and brilliant purpose-led creative to build deep and meaningful one-to-one relationships at scale. Marketing is magic plus logic, art plus science. Never before have we as marketers had the ability for the logic half of the equation that data affords us today. At the same time—as consumer attention is more selective—never before have we had such a need for the magic. At Unilever we have an ambition to have a billion one-to-one relationships—I don’t believe that a focus on the individual has to mean “niche.”

Mobile is rewriting communication and commerce, changing the relationship between brands and people forever. And with half of the world still waiting to join the online world, we are only at the foothills of what is possible. The brands that lead this, providing consumers with a frictionless experience online and off, are the brands that will win in the future.

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com; Oct 2017

Apple’s decision to limit cookie tracking upends targeted mobile advertising

The repercussions of Apple’s recent decision to limit cookie tracking on the new Safari 11 browser will be felt by all advertisers across mobile.

With cookie data restricted after 24 hours and purged after 30 days, Apple’s intelligent tracking prevention (ITP) means marketers’ ability to deliver targeted campaigns is hampered.

In the United States, where Safari accounts for more than half the mobile browser market, ITP has produced a strong reaction, with six trade associations from the digital advertising community having published an open letter objecting to the development.

Cookie crumbles

On the surface this is about advertising, and Apple putting pressure on the advertising ecosystem formed around its rival, Google. But when the trade associations wrote, “The infrastructure of the modern Internet depends on consistent and generally applicable standards for cookies,” they touched on the real war being fought, of which ITP is the latest battle.

The sustainable strategic advantages lie in the widespread use of proprietary unique persistent identifiers. Whoever scales its identifier can lay claim to a large slice of “the infrastructure of the modern Internet” and the benefits that will bring.

But GAFA – Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – are not the only industry players with access to valuable identifiers.

Mobile network operators (MNOs) – the sleeping giants sitting on a telecoms market worth more than $1 trillion – have their own massively scaled mobile identifiers: billions of them, matched against real customers with real billing relationships at their root.

Apple’s announcement could be just the trigger MNOs need to make use of their own identifiers.

So, what makes identifiers the key currency of the digital advertising world, and, in an era of global data protection regulations, how can wireless carriers take advantage of Apple’s decision?

Value of identity

In an increasingly competitive landscape, brands depend on accurate and current consumer profiles to deliver relevant, personalized messaging.

Continuous consumer interaction with digital technology produces vast amounts of valuable information about who they are, what they are interested in, and how they behave, but to be used for effective targeting, each piece of data must be linked back to the consumer using some form of identifier.

Propriety persistent IDs – which are embedded directly into a device operating system (OS) or formed from registration based log-in data – are a more effective identifier than the traditional cookie in today’s mobile-first world.

The dominant propriety persistent IDs in the market are owned by Google, Facebook and Apple, allowing these companies to offer brands precisely targeted advertising opportunities. Anyone hoping to rival these ad-tech giants must have equally powerful persistent IDs at their disposal.

Publishers are already throwing their hat into the identifier ring.

In France, more than 20 publishers have banded together to challenge the “duopoly” of Facebook and Google, while Germany’s Verimi data platform initiative includes heavyweights Axel Springer, Lufthansa, Deutsche Bank and Allianz.

But it is hard to see how these publisher-driven models are anything more than walled gardens that will find it hard to scale beyond their members.

MNOs hold a wealth of first-party data

Mobile operators are uniquely placed to offer an alternative to the ad-tech giants as they have an abundance of deterministic first-party data that is verified with the customer.

More than three-quarters (77 percent) of U.S. citizens now own a smartphone – which are consistently switched on and always to-hand – providing a wealth of granular data relating to location and context, alongside more traditional demographic and behavioural information, all linked back to a persistent device ID.

Verizon’s acquisition of AOL and Yahoo, and the creation of Oath, is a signal of the potential that some MNOs see in the combination of identifiers and data attributes.

By making use of this in-depth, real-time data, brands can be far more creative with their advertising campaigns, reaching the right audience at the right moment with insightful, relevant and personalized messaging that builds enduring consumer relationships.

Challenges of data privacy and control

But making use of this mobile data to offer targeted advertising is not without its challenges, and there are two key obstacles for MNOs to overcome, the first of which is privacy.

While brands and advertisers increasingly understand the power and value of data, so do consumers, and the call for personal information to be protected grows ever louder.

High-profile data breaches – such as the recent Equifax scandal, which exposed the data of up to 143 million U.S. consumers – dramatically illustrate the need for data protection measures, and new privacy laws such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will have a global impact on data monetization practices.

The second issue faced by MNOs is one of control.

To achieve the scale necessary for effective monetization, their data must be combined with information from other providers and released to advertisers via the open ecosystem. But in taking this path, MNOs risk losing control of their data and diluting its value.

Dynamic de-identification is the answer

To capitalize on the valuable information they hold, without jeopardizing customer privacy, falling foul of data laws or losing control of their data, MNOs need ad-tech solutions that help them make the most of their persistent identifiers.

One possible solution is dynamic de-identification, which takes persistent IDs and converts them into non-persistent tokenized IDs.

Unlike persistent, dynamically changing identifiers make it impossible to identify the data subject, called “unlinkability.” They also allow proportional use of data where only the level of data attributes necessary for a specific task is revealed.

When MNO data is transformed into hyper-accurate verified profiles that are linked to tokenized IDs, it can be used for accurate targeting across multiple channels and devices without the raw customer data attached to a persistent ID ever leaving the MNO’s secure network environment.

As the data cannot be linked to individuals, its use remains compliant with data regulations, and is likely to be more acceptable to customers, providing the process is clearly outlined in conversations with them.

The need for detailed consumer profiles to inform relevant personalized advertising experiences continues to grow – especially now that Apple is effectively making the cookie obsolete – and MNOs are ideally placed to fulfil that need.

By joining forces with ad-tech vendors and moving away from persistent IDs, MNOs could create a mobile identity ecosystem to rival the likes of Apple, Google and Facebook, while remaining compliant with privacy laws, building consumer trust and retaining control of their valuable raw data.

Source: luxurydaily.com; 13 Oct 2017

India’s Mobile Ad Spending to Grow 85% This Year

A growing demand for smartphones will fuel mobile ad expenditures

Traditional media still takes the majority of ad spend in India, but mobile platforms are becoming increasingly popular with advertisers. This year, mobile ad spending in India is expected to increase by 85.0%, which will help boost overall digital ad spend to $1.21 billion, according to eMarketer’s latest media ad spend forecast.

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Further double-digit growth for mobile is predicted over the next few years; by 2021, mobile will account for just under 62.0% of digital ad spending’s $2.80 billion.

The growing demand for smartphones—which are becoming more affordable in India—coupled with strong social network usage has led advertisers to increase their ad budgets on mobile alongside traditional media options. In 2017, smartphones will make up 36.6% of all mobile phone users; come 2021, this share will rise to 47.4%, eMarketer estimates.

Additionally, mobile social networking has also been booming in popularity in India. This year, it is expected to rise 24.3% to reach more than a quarter (26.8%) of all mobile phone users and three-quarters (74.9%) of social network users.

Despite this, traditional media still continues to hold its own in India, with TV taking the majority of ad budgets. eMarketer forecasts that TV will take $3.13 billion of media ad dollars in 2017, equating to 39.3% of media ad spend.

“While television continues to be the most popular advertising medium, digital is the fastest growing, with ad spending recording double-digit growth rates up to 2021,” said Shelleen Shum, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer.

“Driven by increasing mobile internet penetration, falling data prices and the availability of low-cost handsets, mobile will be a major contributor to the growth of digital advertising in the years to come as marketers embrace this channel to reach a new generation of young and digitally savvy consumers,” she said.

Source: emarketer.com; 5 Oct 2017

Well now: Mobile usage is even bigger than you think

Study: Time spent on smartphones has double in just the past three years

We laughingly say we’re addicted to our phones and joke about finger injuries caused by too much texting.

But do you know exactly how much you use your phone? Do you know how much we all do?

It’s become a shockingly dominant pastime. In fact, Millennials spend more time on mobile than they do watching live TV, and TV’s big advantage among adults 35-49 is shrinking.

That’s according to a new report from comScore, which examines cross-platform media consumption.

It finds that smartphone usage has not simply grown over the past three years. It’s actually doubled.

In that same period, tablet usage is up 26 percent, while desktop usage is down 8 percent.

Interestingly, time with smartphones doesn’t seem to be replacing desktop – it’s not shrinking fast enough to draw that conclusion. Instead, smartphones offer people additional time on the internet when they wouldn’t have otherwise been going online, such as when they’re out of the house or watching television.

The study found the average person spends two hours and 51 minutes a day on mobile. Per month, that translates into more than a trillion minutes of smartphone usage across America.

ComScore notes that’s roughly double the usage for desktop at its peak.

Mobile now accounts for 70 percent of all digital media time. It’s little wonder, then, that advertisers are rapidly moving their dollars to mobile. They need to be where the eyeballs are.

A recent forecast from ZenithOptimedia predicted that worldwide mobile spending will top desktop for the first time this year, and eMarketer puts mobile at nearly one-fifth of overall U.S. ad dollars.

Catching up to TV
Among young people, mobile has already caught up to TV in time spent. Millennials spend 23.1 hours per week on their smartphones, compared with 19.1 hours watching live TV.

By contrast, adults 35-54 remain more devoted to live TV (26.6 hours) than their phones (18.5 hours), but the gap is getting smaller.

This is, in part, why digital overtook TV as the No. 1 advertising medium last year. Advertisers want to reach young people, and the place to find them is now online rather than via TV.

Mobile vs. desktop
Perhaps another question is how long until desktop disappears entirely—will that ever happen? ComScore notes almost one in eight internet users currently are mobile-only. The number’s much higher among younger users, with nearly a quarter of women 18-24 mobile-only.

Does that mean desktop will someday die out? Probably not entirely. Desktops remain practical options for work, and some people simply don’t have the desire to be connected 24-7.

Still, that number is clearly dwindling—and the people who do use desktop are of less interest to advertisers than the Millennials who are chained to their smartphones.

Source: medialifemagazine.com; 23 March 2017

WeChat leads China’s mobile messaging market

Mobile messaging service WeChat is by far the No. 1 chat app for users in China, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast of worldwide mobile messaging users.

This year, more than 494 million people in China are expected to use the app at least once per month, with 84.5% of all mobile phone messaging app users in the country on the platform.

WeChat’s dominance in a market that effectively skipped email and went straight to instant messaging creates huge opportunity for marketers. eMarketer estimates that more than 585 million individuals in China will use a mobile messaging app this year—equivalent to 75.8% of all internet users.

WeChat, known as Weixin in China, was created by Chinese tech giant Tencent in 2011 and expanded overseas the following year. The app has since grown in scope and has transformed the way users in China live their day-to-day lives. Aside from sending messages, users can order food, transfer money and book airline tickets on the app. In addition, WeChat also functions as a social media platform, where users can post pictures, videos and articles.

Unsurprisingly, smartphone users are often WeChat users. eMarketer expects 79.1% of smartphone users in China to use WeChat this year.

“WeChat is by far the most advanced mobile messaging app worldwide in terms of its functionality and the services it offers users and businesses,” said Cathy Boyle, eMarketer’s principal analyst of mobile. “Where the app falls short is in its global reach. However, for businesses interested in marketing products and services in China—and increasingly to Chinese people living or traveling abroad—WeChat is the best messaging app to use.”

Source: marketing-interactive.com; 12 July 2017

The tablet market just keeps on falling

It seems safe to say that tablet sales have peaked.

According to the latest preliminary figures from research firm IDC, the global tablet market shipped 36.2 million units in the first quarter of 2017, a decline of 8.5% year-over-year. As this chart from Statista shows, that is the lowest total since the third quarter of 2012, and the tenth straight quarter of declining growth.

As IDC notes, the drop here is coming from traditional “slate” tablets, like the standard iPad. Those appear to have dipped for a number of reasons — the rise of big-screen smartphones, the rise of “convertible” touchscreen laptops, samey designs, certain tablets being good and/or not-used-enough to require regular upgrading, and so on.

On the other side are “detachable” tablets, like the iPad Pro or Microsoft’s Surface Pro, which come with a keyboard. Those are growing with each passing quarter, but they tend to be pricey. We’ll soon see if the launch of Apple’s more affordable iPad affects things, but for now, the tablet seems to have settled into a spot of influencing the PC more than supplanting it entirely.

Tablet

Source: businessinsider.my; 9 May 2017

Why mobile video is massive and other lessons from Mobile World Congress 2017

Forget 5G, connected cars, virtual reality and waterproof phones; the most important trend at Mobile World Congress was mobile video.

How do we know? Look at the keynote speakers: the top dogs from Turner, Vice, Netflix and Discovery were all in town.

On other stages numerous TV networks, media and social media companies, as well as the biggest brands, e.g. Shell, Red Bull and Lufthansa, were talking up mobile video.

Why are these media bosses doing keynotes in Barcelona? Partly they are looking for new distribution networks for their own video content, such as Netflix. But mostly they are wooing brands to the lucrative branded/sponsored video market.

If video is the new mobile (Facebook CEO Zuckerberg told shareholders in February 2017 that the company was going “video-first” because “video is a megatrend on the same order as mobile”), then mobile video is the giant honeypot.

And publishers, broadcasters, social media, content creators and creative/digital agencies are swarming all over it.

…The highlight of Shell’s multi-platform #makethefuture campaign is a music video entitled ‘Best Day of My Life’ that showcases six artists and six alternative energy ideas from young innovators, which has racked up 48 million views on YouTube in five months.

If branded content can achieve stats like that, it’s no wonder brands are falling in love with video.

Click here for full article

Source: clickz.com, 15 Mar 2017

Find Out How You Stack Up to New Industry Benchmarks for Mobile Page Speed

Consumers are more demanding than ever before. And marketers who are able to deliver fast, frictionless experiences will reap the benefits. Global Product Lead Daniel An set out to help marketers better understand how various industry sectors are performing when it comes to mobile page speed.

The average time it takes to fully load a mobile landing page is 22 seconds, according to a new analysis. Yet 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. That’s a big problem.

It’s no secret that shoppers expect a fast mobile experience. If there’s too much friction, they’ll abandon their cart and move on. Today, it’s critical that marketers design fast web experiences across all industry sectors. Consumers want to quickly pay bills on finance sites, get rapid results when they’re browsing vacation reviews, and view an article immediately when they click through.

Despite the fact that more than half of overall web traffic comes from mobile, our data shows that mobile conversion rates are lower than desktop. In short, speed equals revenue.

Click here for the full report

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com, Feb 2017

Dynamic emails lead to 18pc higher click rates on mobile: report

While standard email campaigns have become stale, kinetic email marketing optimized for mobile devices and with interactive elements can enhance click rates by almost 20 percent, according to a new report from Experian.

The report looked at the difference between static emails and more kinetic, interactive email marketing to gauge how much more effective the latter is than the former. The data found that kinetic emails performed significantly better than static in terms click rates and engagements from consumers.

“Kinetic email opens up a new approach to how we interact with our mobile inbox, and it is starting to show some real results,” said Yara Lutz, senior vice president of client success for Experian Cross-Channel Marketing. “It’s best to roll out simple techniques to start, in order to introduce the experience and continue to build upon it throughout your program.”

Kinetic email

In the modern age, even as consumers are becoming more and more reliant on mobile devices and remaining connected to their digital lives at all times, email marketing has slowly fallen by the wayside compared to social media advertising and native advertising.

Where once email marketing served as one of the best ways to connect with customers on a digital level, it now is often overlooked as a marketing opportunity in favour of other strategies.

Part of this has to do with the static nature of emails. Most emails come in plain text or HTML format, with occasional images and links.

But this is not the only way email marketing has to be. Many brands should be more aware of the possibilities of kinetic email, or email that is more dynamic and interactive.

Some brands have already taken advantage of this strategy, adding interactive elements that play best on mobile devices and mimic app-like behaviour.

Experian took a look at the data behind kinetic email to get a better handle on how much it affects customer engagement.

The data unsurprisingly showed that kinetic email had significantly better returns on engagement than static email.

Kinetic emails had an 18 percent higher click rate and a 10 percent higher open rate than standard email marketing messages.

Additionally, average revenue-per-email increased 8 cents from 6 cents in the previous quarter for brands that began using kinetic emails.

Dynamic and interactive

This strategy of offering kinetic emails with dynamic, interactive content is especially well suited to mobile devices.

While brands have long been able to format emails to look good on mobile, it is only now through kinetic email that they are beginning to take full advantage of what mobile can do for email marketing.

This is important given that 56 percent of total email opens in Q4 of 2016 were on mobile devices.

Some of the brands who have taken full advantage of the powers of kinetic email include Sephora, which used a dynamic email quiz, optimized for use on mobile devices, to recommend products to its customers.

Elsewhere, Vivino saw an increase in app opens thanks to an AI-based email campaign that automatically generated dynamic newsletters.

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Vivino saw app opens rise after a kinetic email campaign

These campaigns show the data Experian mined in practice, exemplifying how dynamic and interactive emails optimized for the mobile device can have a positive impact on email marketing.

“Email has been going through an evolution for several years now, as mobile has become a dominant force within the space,” Ms. Lutz said. “We’ve already seen a shift in how marketers approach all types of campaigns and cater to the possibilities that mobile can provide.

“What started with designers optimizing campaigns to be responsive and updating content to be geared toward the mobile open, has advanced into new opportunities where users can interact with their emails mimicking an in-app experience. As devices become smarter, we can only expect the same with email as we tag along for the ride.”

Source: luxurydaily.com, 14 Mar 2017