How Does the Latest Data in Digital Trends Affect Your Marketing?

With 12½ trillion hours spent online last year, and new records for social media use, the data available to businesses about consumer behaviour is growing. 
Following a new Digital 2022 Global Overview Report, there is plenty for business leaders and marketing experts to digest and consider when updating their marketing strategy in line with business objectives. 
The report is extensive, although it makes for interesting and recommended reading for CEOs and business leaders, giving you an insight into the behaviour of your customers to maximise opportunities. Here, we have pulled out some of our observations to help you plan for the upcoming financial year. 

Consumer behaviour and social media

In an exciting development, 67.1% of the world’s population now uses a mobile phone. Internet penetration now stands at 62.5% of the world’s total population, which gives a critical insight into the market potential online.
When it comes to social media, two things struck us as being particularly interesting in terms of consumer behaviour:
  • The evolution and scale of social media use
  • The impact of advertising

The evolution and scale of social media use

The growth in social media use isn’t entirely surprising. There seems to have been some level of ‘Covid effect’ as people sought out more digital connections in the various lockdowns. Still, it sits alongside a sustained double-digit annual social media user growth over the past decade.
Key stats include:
  • 58.4% of the world’s total population now uses social media. 
  • Global social media users have grown by more than 10% in the last 12 months. 
  • TikTok was the most-downloaded mobile app in 2021 and seemed to be the fastest-growing social media platform in popularity.
  • WeChat ranks fourth as the most popular app globally, but 99% of its votes come from China. 
  • 15.7% of working-age internet users choose WhatsApp as their favourite social platform. 14.8% of global internet users identify Instagram as their favourite platform compared with 14.5% for Facebook.
  • YouTube accounts for the most significant total time spent using social media apps on Android phones and the highest average time per user (23.7 hours per month).
  • People spend approx 2.5 hours a day on social media.

The impact of social media advertising

What’s particularly interesting about social media platforms and how businesses use them as part of their marketing suite is the increased growth in social media advertising and the traction that brands can expect from it.
  • YouTube’s global ad audience has exceeded 2.5 billion, with ad reach surpassing 12% in the last year.
  • Instagram’s ad reaches data shows year-on-year growth of 21%, more than a quarter of a billion new users in 2021. It takes their ad reach to nearly 1.5 billion.
  • TikTok is growing even faster. Data was only available since October, and the latest figures show ad audience grew 7% in the last 90 days of 2021 alone. They have 885 million users aged 18+ globally, and more than half of US adults use TikTok every month.
  • Social media ad spending grew by 14% in 2021 compared to 2020. 
With these evolving consumer behaviour stats and indications, it’s an invitation for marketing experts and CMOs to review their marketing strategy. This will ensure it’s relevant and maximising the opportunity with their target audience.

E-commerce and paid content trends

The insights into e-commerce trends were also especially interesting, presenting opportunities for businesses and marketing experts. They may offer opportunities to explore different avenues of revenue and understand the efficacy of your channels within the wider market.

Paid digital content

Interestingly for prolific content producers, research shows that people are significantly more likely to pay for digital content than stereotypes suggest. This seems like a particular opportunity for those with a specialist target market like finance or gaming, 
Key insights include: 
  • 7/10 internet users pay for digital content each month, especially video and streaming. 
  • 1/5 say they have downloaded music in the last 30 days.
  • The world spent US $126 billion on apps in app stores alone last year (up 19%), which equals roughly $27 per smartphone. In context, consumers now spend more money on mobile apps than all the world’s brands spend on social media advertising. 

Online spending increases

It will probably not come as a surprise that online spending has continued to grow. In particular, this applies to food and beverage, with more people buying groceries online each week. Undoubtedly, this habit became entrenched during the various lockdowns of 2020, but the trend has continued to grow in 2021.
Key insights include:
  • The typical e-commerce shopper now spends more than $1000 per year on e-commerce sites. 
  • The largest share of online consumer goods spent is electronics, but F&B saw the fastest growth (up 35%). 
  • Worldwide spending on online flight and hotel bookings are also up again in the last six months. However, it’s still understandably lower than the 2019 figures.

Using data insights to inform your marketing strategy

There is a vast amount of information in the report, and not all of it will be relevant to you and your business. However, the best and most effective marketing strategies are those that genuinely tie into your company’s business objectives. They are informed by analysis of the data to maximise the opportunities to reach your target market.
One way of ensuring that your marketing remains relevant and effective is with an annual review of your marketing strategy. It will enable you to understand better what has worked, what has changed and where improvements can be made. 
Doing this in a manner driven by insights and data, our Fractional CMOs are incredibly proficient at providing guidance. They help business leaders and full-time CMOs create a plan for the year ahead.
Our Roundtable service is especially effective for this to supercharge your conversations with an outside perspective. Meanwhile, our Talent on Demand services is an excellent way of providing project or ongoing support to implement strategic marketing plans and updates. 

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