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Digital advertising opportunities and threats from Mary Meeker's Internet Trends Report

Advertising was not a major theme of Mary Meeker's Internet Trends report this year, but the well-known Internet analyst pointed to several interesting developments affecting the industry. Here we present some of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for the digital advertising ecosystem.


The time we spend on our connected devices continues to grow. The daily use of digital media in adults now comes to 5.9 hours, and most of that time is spent on mobile devices. We are hooked. In fact, mobile is the only medium with which users have increased their time compared to the previous year.

And yet, with all the innovation in experience, format and measurement, marketers continue to underestimate the ad spend compared to the time spent. Users spend 29% of their mobile time on the mobile, while advertisers only allocate 26% of mobile budgets.

This gap has narrowed in recent years, but Mr. Meeker believes that there is still an opportunity to spend $ 7 billion for mobile media. It also means that mobile ads continue to benefit from a relative reduction . Printing, television and workstation expenses all remain overexpressed over time.

What is missing in the table above? Vocal devices. The number of appliances installed in homes has skyrocketed in 2017. And where the scale goes, advertising dollars follow.

From products and services to selling apps / skills to develop, voice devices offer a new frontier for advertisers and marketers – and an opportunity to find balance and learn from mistakes made on the web and the mobile.

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We're just starting to see the first ad format iterations with Google Shopping Actions, Google's foray into monetizing voice search on Google Home devices and the Google Assistant. . This solution is billed at cost per sale.

Meeker is much interested in e-commerce in this year's report (see our coverage of the main trends in e-commerce), but in terms of e-commerce-based advertising, the behemoths still have more leeway. Amazon may be the most interesting to watch next year, as its advertising activity begins to take off.

Citing Morgan Stanley's research, the report states that Amazon's advertising revenue reached $ 4 billion in 2017, up 42% over last year. The company's advertising platforms, Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) and Amazon Media Group (AMG), are both about to grow.

The question is whether Amazon will start siphoning the advertising budgets that currently go to Google and / or Facebook, or whether the three ships will continue to increase.


Let's take a look at some of the threats and challenges that have arisen in the report.

Artificial intelligence (AI) now underlies most of the current innovations in advertising. As consumers and new regulations put privacy first, it is possible that less data is available to support computer-assisted personalization and campaign optimization.

Concerns about brand security and the integrity of platforms at the time of false news, bots and offensive UGC have led major advertisers to rethink their digital strategies. There is also the fact that the market is dominated by two players – the ancestry of Amazon by bringing advertising to its commercial platform is uncomfortable for the likes of Snapchat, Pinterest and even the publishers who are trying to develop their own ads.

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Then there are macro trends. There is nothing like a comparison to 2008 to make you shudder:

The United States is close to full employment (at 3.8% today), but household debt is now higher than it was before the Great recession, boosted by housing, student loans and auto expenses. Individual savings rates are falling and the annual debt-to-income ratio is rising.

Meeker has highlighted the high consumer confidence and improvement. Consumer confidence was also high in 2007:

Returning to the advertising landscape, price increases and higher costs of acquiring new customers from advertising lead marketers to rethink the measure.

The lifetime value of the customer is the new metric of choice, according to a Salesforce survey. To end on a positive note, 2017 can probably be considered the end of the domination of last click attribution.

About the author

Ginny Marvin is Associate Editor of Third Door Media. She assists in the daily writing of all publications and oversees paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes on paid online marketing topics, including paid search, paid social, posting and retargeting for Search Engine Land and Land Marketing. With over 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held internal management and agency positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.