June 5, 2018: Mary Meeker’s 2018 Internet Trends Report, Facebook rocked by another privacy scandal, Reddit becomes the third most-visited website, Cannes Lions get restructured, Mavrck’s 2018 Influencer POV Survey

Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:

Mary Meeker 2018 Internet Trends Report

The wait is over – Mary Meeker’s 2018 Internet Trends Report has arrived. The most anticipated industry report of the year reveals several key trends driving internet use, mobile engagement, e-commerce and healthcare across the U.S. and China. Here are some key highlights:

Screen Time At All-Time High: Despite slow-to-no gains in the number of smartphones shipped and internet user growth YoY, overall internet usage and engagement by smartphone owners has steadily increased. In 2017, adults spent 5.9 hours per day with digital media, up from 5.6 hours in 2016. And, with 3.3 of these hours being spent on mobile, mobile is responsible for the majority of the overall growth in digital media consumption.

Amazon Dominates: E-commerce sales growth are continuing to accelerate, growing 16% YoY in 2017, compared to just 14% in 2016. Did we mention Amazon sales made up 28% of all e-commerce sales in 2017 and has overtaken Google for product searches? Conversely, physical retail sales are continuing to decline.

Worlds Collide & Converge: The big five are directly competing in more arenas, with Google making moves to become an ecomm platform; Amazon emerging as a dominant advertising and WOM platform; and video owning the majority share of attention across all platforms.

If you don’t have time to read the 294-slide deck, check out this summary.

What it means, IRL: As internet speeds become faster and more efficient, consumers are spending more time online now than ever before, primarily via mobile. U.S. adults now spend 3.3 hours per day on a mobile device. As Meeker points out, people are shifting their time to mobile faster than ad dollars are following, creating a $7 billion opportunity to engage consumers on mobile through user- and influencer-generated content. As a marketer, how do you design for a complex, increasingly mobile world?

Make it work: The ability to capture attention and dollars is still about the right content, at the right place, at the right time. With an increasing percentage of time spent on mobile and connected devices, the number of consumer touchpoints continues to grow and converge.  Algorithms, location-based targeting and re-distributed UGC/IGC are driving marketer’s ability to deliver contextually relevant, personalized content to their audiences. This in turn is increasing product discovery, improved scale, and purchase behavior as consumers engage with the content they increasingly want.

With this in mind, given Amazon’s utter dominance and growing popularity & scale, marketers should consider the platform as a channel & develop a strategy in a similar way as they would paid, social, or search. As such brands have the opportunity to collaborate with influencers to create content that maximizes  the breadth of content available for personalization on Amazon’s product pages. High performing influencer-generated and user-generated content can then be repurposed across paid and owned assets (i.e. brand & product pages and paid ads), and in turn – highly searched for and reviewed products should be core products featured in influencer-generated content – both reinforce consumer trust in that product across the customer journey.


Cannes Cans Categories in the Name of Relevance

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has been revamped. The awards restructuring includes the addition of Social and Influencer Lions, among others. Cue the removal of more than 100 subcategories, and campaign entries have been limited to just six, giving smaller, independent agencies a better chance of being recognized. Notably, these changes have been amended to “put creative content back at the heart of Cannes Lions.”

Through the addition of Social and Influencer Lions, Cannes gives a nod to the value of social and influencer marketing as a critical component of the modern marketing mix. And, most notably, refutes the idea that influencer marketing has a sell-by-date, and instead speaks to the longevity and stability of the industry at large.

Moving forward, brands have ample opportunity to work with influencers to harness the power of human storytelling. Afterall, “influencer marketing and human-to-human interaction provides a space where everyone has the freedom to be a creator in their own right.” #Preach


Facebook Privacy Scandal Round 10,934

Despite passing 2 billion monthly average users and nixing its “Trending” feature, Facebook has found itself at the center of yet another data-sharing controversy. Most recently, The New York Times has accused Facebook of sharing user data without consent with major device makers including Apple and Samsung. According to The NYT expose, the data-sharing partnerships that Facebook created allowed “device makers [to] retrieve personal information even from users’ friends who believed they had barred any sharing.” Not good.  

Facebook, however, disagrees, saying shared data always required user permission, furthermore admitting to making deals with around 60 companies – not for inappropriate reasons but instead to “recreate Facebook-like experiences” on their devices.

In the latest case of “he said-she said” involving FB, it appears only time will tell. In the meantime, have fun with Facebook’s newest pride features – and Happy Pride month!


Reddit Blows Past Facebook

Reddit has officially surpassed Facebook to become the third most visited site in the US. With the shift, Google is still the most visited site, followed by YouTube, Reddit, and Facebook, with Amazon coming in at number five. Visitors, however, spend more time on Reddit than its aforementioned competitors, logging 15 minutes daily, in comparison to second-place Facebook at 10 minutes and 49 seconds.

As the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet,” Reddit is the go-to social network for user content consumption of high variety and volume. Reddit boasts insanely high visitor traffic numbers, but unlike networks like Facebook that are friendly to advertisers, Reddit has a strict no-ads policy that can make it tricky for brands to take advantage of with an influencer marketing strategy.

Here, we break down how to create an influencer marketing strategy on Reddit: what Reddit is optimized for, which influencers perform best on it, and what objectives are the most common.   


Influencers’ POV on Marketing

We know it, you know it and Adweek knows it – influencer marketing is here to stay. According to Mavrck’s 2018 Influencer POV Survey, over 50% of influencers started producing content for brands within the past two years, while about a third started just last year. And influencers are committed as well, with 79% saying they plan to create more branded posts than they currently do. Check out the full report here.



“[The Mary Meeker Report] is the only report that connects the dots between the macro-trends among culture, technology, and consumer behavior to economic impact. It’s interesting that as consumers’ time on mobile continues to increase and it’s easier to make purchases on-demand, that we’re also seeing the greatest disparity between consumer debt and savings, as well as increasing spends in healthcare.” – Liz Gottbrecht, VP Marketing at Mavrck



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