This week, Mary Meeker, partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, unveiled her report on internet trends for 2016 -- the latest in an annual tradition.
Meeker has provided a lot of information that travel marketers can leverage. But one slide has stood out to us. It notes that Google and Facebook, combined, accounted for three-quarters of internet advertising growth in the US in the past year.
Just two companies seeing most of the growth! Google saw 18%, year-on-year growth, while Facebook saw 59% year-on-year growth, from a smaller base.
Everyone else who does online advertising took up a minority of overall advertising revenue, in comparison -- and the combined growth rate for everyone else was a slower 13%, year-on-year.(Click on this image for a larger view.)
A related slide shows that, in the US, mobile advertising expenditure grew 66% in the past year. Based on her research, Meeker believes that users are spending far more time on mobile devices than advertisers are spending on trying to reach them on mobile devices. That was a missed $22 billion opportunity in the past year, she says.
But Meeker didn't address what is probably the biggest problem that advertisers face in filling that gap. Consumers still aren’t used to buying products in the context of Facebook or Messenger -- two of the most heavily-used mobile apps.
Yet Meeker did note the other big challenge: Ad blocking software, including on mobile devices, is growing exponentially. That poses problems for marketers.
Given these changes, travel marketers are experimenting with blended campaigns that use traditional avenues, such as TV and billboard, with new forms, such as social media.
Not mentioned in Meeker's report but relevant as an example is Yelp's new $13 million campaign aiming to get more people to use it to research hotel stays, dentists, and yoga classes -- not just to find restaurants. The national TV campaign will include video ads on Snapchat and Instagram. A blend of old and new channels, to reinforce each other.
To go back to Meeker and the big picture, digital advertising is ripe for disruption.
One possible new player arriving this autumn is IBM, which plans to roll out Watson Ads, where consumers will be able to ask IBM Watson's supercomputer questions via voice or text and receive answers related to the product or solution through the advertising.
Let's leave the last word to Meeker. The ad trend she thought was the most-promising was video ads, as demonstrated by Snapchat -- due to its unique traits as a format. (Click for larger view.)
Last year's report: Mobile changes everything: The big world of internet trends in 2015