Five PR and Marketing Takeaways from Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends Report

Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends Report outlines global internet trends, and the impact of those trends on today’s marketers, advertisers and corporate leadership. We asked Serena Ehrlich, director of product marketing at Business Wire and social media guru, to share her top five takeaways from this year’s report.

Here is what she told us.

I call the annual Mary Meeker report “data Christmas.” It is a 333-page presentation outlining global internet trends, and the impact of those trends on today’s marketers, advertisers, and corporate leadership. It is a must-read for every business executive.

So how does this year’s report influence PR and marketing? Here are five of my favorite data points. Lots of internet, device and platform growth but it’s slower than in the past It is no surprise that internet usage, mobile device penetration, and e-commerce are all up but with slower growth than in past years. More than 51% of the world (3.8 billion people) are now internet users. This means more opportunities to reach and activate audiences. While privacy continues to be a concern for users, social networks are taking more steps to increase transparency around their data collection.


The role of data in today’s marketing and communication program is huge. Organizations are learning to mine their systems to identify what their audiences really want, and how to improve not only their experience but internal processes as well. Customer data improves products, identifies process issues or redundancies, identifies new opportunities, drives the customer experience and ultimately builds a better company and a happier customer.

After all, customers are willing to share data for better experiences. It is time the brand provided them.

Do you know why your CMO is your best friend in a cyber event? Mike Neumeier does!  - CHECK IT OUT

Do you know why your CMO is your best friend in a cyber event? Mike Neumeier does!

Arketi Group’s Mike Neumeier, APR, will be speaking about how your CMO making an impact in a cyber event at the National Technology Security Coalition’s 3rd Annual National CISO Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.

Internet advertising continues to grow

Increase in the internet and social channel usage is driving internet advertising. Facebook and Google still receive the most ad dollars, but more ad dollars going to Amazon, Snapchat, Pinterest etc.

Better advertising tools, better data and better creative drive this increase. Social networks are offering more options, more data, smarter targeting tools, and more paths to purchase than ever before. To maximize their results, organizations are leveraging internal data plus new creative tools such as and Canva to create higher quality, more personalized content faster than ever before.

It is important to note that while internet advertising is becoming better, acquisition costs are increasing rapidly. Cost per user acquisition can, in some cases, be more than the lifetime value of the customer. This one area will need to change in 2019. Visual Storytelling is skyrocketing! Human brains are wired for images.

Social networks and mobile devices have given Humans the opportunity, on a mass level, to revive a centuries-old language — the language of visuals. Visual storytelling and engagement are at an all-time high.

Humans create trillions of images every year, with a billion of those images shared publicly or privately. Mobile device cameras are driving image creation and social channels, cellular data and WIFI reach are driving the shares.

Did you know that Google Image Search counts for about 23% of all U.S. internet searches? Google is also starting to show more images in core search results as well. This increase in visual creation and sharing has led to an increase in image-driven discovery and commerce tools. This is an exceptional opportunity for today’s PR and marketers.

Organizations should not discount textual marketing (in fact, long-form storytelling is all the rage on Instagram these days), but rather increase visual communications and touchpoints, allowing the consumer to choose their method of information consumption.

This means:

  • Creating visual branding guidelines
  • Creating story arcs out of visuals
  • Creating visual narratives
  • Naming all the images on your website using relevant search terms (alt tags, image captions, image sitemaps)
  • Seeding your visual content into optimized visual platforms like Pinterest
  • Creating visual counterparts to textual pieces like press releases and blog posts with DIY tools like Lumen5 and/or Canva
  • Tagging content in platforms like Instagram for the discover feature
  • Leveraging new social media purchase pages ad units
  • Creating inbound links to your site, giving your audiences off-ramps from content into action steps

After all, while Facebook still leads the world in social network usage, YouTube and Instagram are growing quickly.

Interactive engagement is also growing.

The interactive gaming space is growing quickly. The ability to communicate with the player, to engage in real-time with the content has attracted 2.5B participants. This provides a very interesting option for PR and marketers. Gaming relies on surprise and delight to retain viewers. What if you could gamify your brand content? What if you can turn your content discovery funnel into an interactive experience that surprised and delighted your audience?

By gamifying information consumption, communicators allow the customer to control the experience. Allowing your audience to engage with you when they want, to consume the content type they prefer and more. By putting your content experience in the hands of your customer, you get a more natural progression through your marketing funnel, while generating highly valuable customer-lead data.

Today, you can offer a series of interactive hotspots that take your audience through all of your supporting program content. Hotspots trigger interest through pulsing icons that literally attract and draw customers in. Today’s customers want something new. They want to control their journey. They like to be surprised. All of these elements all part of interactive media.

Click here to learn more about interactive.

The marketing landscape is finally set up to allow brands to create highly targeted, customer-lead programs, increasing brand value and revenues. It is about time! The customer is ready.

Click here to read the full report.

This piece was previously published on Medium. Follow @Serena for more of her thought leadership pieces.

Ready for a morning full of inspiration and opportunities to learn? Join keynote speaker Tiffani Bova, growth and innovation evangelist with Salesforce, at our Tech Roundtable!  - REGISTER NOW

Ready for a morning full of inspiration and opportunities to learn? Join keynote speaker Tiffani Bova, growth and innovation evangelist with Salesforce, at our Tech Roundtable!

Tiffani travels around the world helping companies solve their most vexing problem: how to keep growing in the face of stiff competition and a fast-changing business environment. Register now to save your seat for a productive and engaging morning!