Kleiner Perkins Mary Meeker’s 2016 State of the Net Address: What This Means for Businesses
The Internet is constantly changing. Anyone in the online world should be watching how the online economy is changing. This is a time of shift in the online world. With the recent announcement of London as the capital of Fintech, it signals that Silicon Valley doesn’t have it all its own way.
But far away in Silicon Valley Mary Meeker, from Kleiner Perkins, announced her State of the Net Address for 2016. Her words provided a lot for businesses to think about. So what do businesses need to take away from this address?
Global Internet Growth is Slowing Down
There were 213 pages in the original report, but it’s easy to boil them down to a few key points. The main takeaway for businesses is that global Internet growth is slowing down.
Over the last twenty years, we have been used to constant reports regarding how the Internet is growing everywhere. But that is changing because of the macroeconomic trends pervading the Western world, according to Meeker. The housing crisis and the financial crisis are helping to slow growth down.
For businesses this means they can no longer rely on a slew of new users to help companies from the average virtual office provider to fashion retailers grow.
Typing for Search is on Its Way Out
Google’s technology has advanced to such an extent that it is now able to handle image and speech search. This is a far more convenient way of searching, but the problem is that the technology wasn’t accurate enough to make it viable. That has changed, and the growth of mobile has helped to facilitate that.
Meeker predicts that within five years’ half of all searches will be made through images and speech. So what does that mean for businesses?
It reduces the need to hit exact keywords. Technical SEO will start to evaporate as search engines learn to bring up results based on the context of words. What it will mean is that a new generation of visual content is about to appear. Businesses will have to compete more on visual content than they have been doing.
The Home Screen is About to Come Under Threat
Any business marketing their company for mobile has become used to users starting at the home screen. This de facto portal has been in existence before smartphones arrived. Finally, there appears to be a challenger to this. And it’s all due to the increasing sophistication of apps.
Messaging apps, according to Meeker, could become the new starting portals for mobile users. If they come with both context and time they will force people away from the home screen.
Businesses shouldn’t automatically change their strategies based on this. What they should do is become aware of the various chat and messaging apps popular among their target audiences. Once they start to leverage these messaging apps they will have a higher chance of reaching their target markets.
Online Video Ads Are Not as Effective as People Think
One of the most shocking takeaways for businesses is that Meeker said video ads are nowhere near as effective as people think. She said that while Google had mastered online advertising, and demonstrated that it worked, certain advertising methods hadn’t gained the traction expected.
Video marketing has taken off in recent years, with most businesses trying it out. But what has quickly been discovered is that online video advertising is not gaining the conversions expected. Meeker said that at least 82% of users are muting video ads when they see them, and 93% of people consider using ad blocking software to avoid coming into contact with them.
Businesses can do something about this. They need to focus more on the role of data in discovering what customers actually want to see. Companies are not spending enough time thinking about what their audience really wants from the brands they care about.
Conclusion – Do Businesses Need to Make Changes?
Businesses have no reason to make immediate changes. Meeker’s address speaks about changes that are going to occur in the distant future. But companies should be aware of the direction the Internet is going. This will prevent them from being surprised later on by any upcoming changes.
What do you think is the main takeaway from Meeker’s presentation?