Mary Meeker released her annual Internet Trends report, which serves as a de facto “State Of The Union” for the tech world. The 352-slide report touches on virtually every corner of the tech world, but there were a number of findings that jumped out, both because of their general intrigue and because of the opportunity they offer for effective PR and communications. Here are three highlights:
- Digital advertising is becoming increasingly measurable and actionable
- Cloud adoption is up – as is the need for cloud security
- Healthcare data continues to increase in volume
Digital Advertising Is Becoming Increasingly Measurable and Actionable
Despite the consistent increase in ad blocking usage, companies are devoting more resources to digital ads than ever before. In the U.S. alone, digital ad spend topped $73 billion in 2016. This increase is mostly driven by mobile ad spend – in fact, desktop ad spend actually decreased in 2016. Advertisers have known that mobile usage has been growing; however, it wasn’t until the latter half of 2016 that technology could accurately gauge ROI from mobile ad spend. Additional insight on who is (or isn’t) engaging with ads allows advertisers to optimize accordingly for more efficient spend.
The good news is the additional data from mobile advertising will give companies more insight into their audiences. This will allow communicators to develop better strategies to reach audiences beyond mobile ad displays. To stand out against competitors, a company will need to create fully integrated campaigns that include both digital advertising and great story telling through public relations.
Head in the Cloud, Feet on the Ground
Cloud has been the buzzword for what feels like so long it feels as though its degree of popularity has been firmly established. It may be surprising to learn adoption of public and private clouds is still on the rise. Since 2014, cloud adoption has risen 37 percent and the total spend is approaching the amount spent on traditional data centers.
Considering its proliferation in the news, cloud adoption has been slower than expected. There are several concerns that prevent companies from adopting the cloud. However, it may be surprising to learn that concerns over data security has dropped by seven percent and cloud-related matters by 17 percent. The majority of enterprises now state their most pressing cloud concerns are vendor lock in (15 percent increase) and compliance/governance (six percent increase).
However, given recent massive global cyberattacks like Wannacry or Petya, security should still be a concern. For cloud-based companies, it is critical to have the right messaging for customers to understand what security measures are in place. The right communication strategy can demonstrate to customers – both existing and potential – their data will be protected, secure and the right measures are in place to mitigate risks.
Heath Care Must Tread Cautiously With More Data
The amount of usable healthcare data available is increasing exponentially. Over the past year alone, healthcare data has grown by 48 percent. This trend has been primarily driven by wearable technology. In 2016, 102 million wearables were shipped. It’s not just the public’s increased desire for gamified fitness devices, though. Because these types of wearables track heart rate, exercise duration and blood pressure, an increasing amount of crowdsourced data are being leveraged for medical and pharmaceutical studies.
More data means potentially more insight into healthcare, but it also means increased responsibility. It’s up to healthcare organizations to communicate how they collect and use data responsibly, and the best way to do that is through a strategic communications plan. A single campaign isn’t going to be enough to convince people that the data isn’t being abused, especially when stories surface seemingly every week about leaked or misused data. Healthcare organizations need to have a partner to help craft and update their messaging to put the public at ease.
The good news is that people are more willing to share sensitive data with organizations they view as “trusted.” Sixty percent of people polled said they’re willing to share their health data with Google, 56 percent with Microsoft and 50 percent with Apple. One reason these companies are so trusted is because they are consistently in the media and communicating with their customers and the public. People feel like they know these companies because constant communication breeds familiarity. Good PR can go a long way in people’s minds.
These are just the tip of the Internet Trends iceberg. You can check out the full report here.
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