Starting in 1995, star-analyst Mary Meeker, “The Queen of the Internet,” co-founder at ReCode, and partner at the investment firm Bond Capital delivers a 30-minute presentation on the state of the digital landscape. The presentation is always the talk of the digital town as it has been the definitive source of major trends backed by quantitative evidence. This year, a couple of weeks ago, Mary gave the 2019 update and the presentation stretched to 333 slides.
While the presentation covers lots of interesting topics including China, healthcare, education and more, we took the liberty of highlighting the 13 most essential slides for bankers that you may want to think about and even use in your own updates.
Digital media usage is accelerating at 7% last year compared to 5% the previous year. While smartphone sales have slowed, smartphone power continues to increase, giving users more capabilities, including processing speed, storage, and wifi reach.
26% of adults are now “constantly online,” which is up from 21% back in 2016. The average adult spends 6.3 hours per day, up 7% from the year before.
Mobile viewing is still highly visual as image creation and sharing continue to ramp steeply. In 2006, Twitter was text only. By 2019, graphics and video now account for more than 50% of all engagement.
Humans were made to be visual, and writing was a short cut that we invented when we could not use pictures to convey our thoughts. Social media is showing us that we are reverting to what is natural for us.
Banks continue to have the difficult job of making their products, customers, and content visually appealing. Bankers should develop skills in digital image-based design fluency so that we can convey stories to our customers and prospects. Social media has given us an unprecedented feedback loop to improve our communication skills.
This year mobile viewing time should pass average TV time for American households. Moreover, 88% of viewers use a second device while watching TV, with 71% tied to the content they are watching. With regard to mobile, 28% (up from 25% in 2017) now watch video on their phones with the average viewing time of 60 minutes. The takeaway here is that banks should consider more mobile video content and advertising.
If you are thinking about retail advertising, here are the rankings of platform usage. Note that YouTube and Instagram are gaining the most.
70 million Americans now listen to podcasts, which have doubled in the last four years. Podcasts remain one of the more underutilized channels for banking due to the higher correlation between bank engagement and podcast listeners.
Next to podcasts, the second most overlooked content and advertising channel in banking are Nextdoor. 29 million Americans used the app, a 71% increase over last year. Banks should consider supporting referrals, advertising, and placing content on the platform.
47 million Americans now have and use an Amazon Echo device, which has more than doubled from last year. Voice banking should be on every bank’s radar screen to execute over the next three to five years.
The Problem of Digital Communities
One downside of social media, search, and digital media, in general, is that it allows the connection and amplification of your beliefs. Consider the time series of a Pew Study that was done tracking a 10-point profiling of Democrats and Republicans.
The takeaway here is that as people gravitate towards groups that are likeminded and where they feel that there is little competition amongst each other, banks need to keep this in mind when they personalize the message to specific segments.
Digital payments now account for 59% of all daily transactions. While most of this is e-commerce, banks should note the rise of P2P payments, the use of QR codes and the use of payments over both smart home devices and wearables.
Mary told an interesting story how in the ’70s, companies gather data on their products by having their employees test the products (i.e., Nike) or by using focus groups (i.e. Chrysler). By the 80’s, product development revolved around user testing and user observation. By 1995, product improvement started to be driven by the statistical analysis of customer data. Capital One was the perfect example of this as they started to mine their data to gather customer insights. By 1997, companies were doing this in real time and making adjustments with each click (i.e., Amazon).
In 2019, companies like Salesforce, Slack, and Adidas are not only doing this but using machine learning to mine the data to discover the next product the customer wants. For financial services, this is being done at Venmo, Plaid, Betterment, and others. This is another skill and capabilities set that banks need to develop as the future is to be able to deliver high-quality insights that are personalized and at scale. This is not an easy task how most banks have their technology architecture and will thus take some restructuring.
Further complicating matters is the fact that banks will also need to manage multiple channels and bring that information together, including online, mobile, chat, text, voice, wearables, and video.
While harnessing reviews is also important, Airbnb has made it part of the experience which has added greater accountability and transparency for all. Banks should consider more work on collecting and managing online referrals and reviews.
The U.S.’s on-demand workforce continues to grow and is up 22% to 6.6mm workers. Uber, Etsy, and DoorDash are the most significant examples of this trend. Underemployment, the need for flexible hours, the desire to learn new skills, the need for additional income, and the need to work with others are all motivations driving this trend. Banks should consider creating special operating accounts targeting these works that come with additional tax education and tax-saving sub-accounts.
Putting This Into Action
To sum up the presentation, we are still in the early stages of digital business. It is clear that the digital environment will continue to grow and to rapidly change. While we highlighted the action items above for most of the salient points of the presentation, consider that along with the skills of visual marketing, storytelling, and data management, bankers will need to create a culture and toolset that allows them to rapidly experiment, iterate and change in order to keep up with the increasing pace of change.
Submitted by Chris Nichols on July 01, 2019