2015: A Year of Digital Darwinism?

Digital trend 12014 witnessed some ground breaking digital marketing initiatives across domains. This gave rise to an avalanche of users, adopting digital marketing in their core marketing plans. As we move ahead into 2015, one thing becomes clear: we are in the middle of a Global Transformation where the world is rapidly moving from the offline and disconnected world to a ubiquitous one. Consumers all around the globe are adopting smart devices at an astounding rate, opening up numerous opportunities to engage in new ways, changing the way we interact, socialize, educate and shop.

As per a report by wearesocial, the digital world passed some impressive milestones in 2014:

  • Worldwide social media users exceeded 2 billion back in August;
  • Worldwide penetration of mobile phones passed 50% in September;
  • The number of global internet users passed 3 billion in early November;
  • The number of active mobile connections surpassed the total world population just last month;

All these facts definitely pull up our expectations from 2015.

Global Digital Footprint Overview

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With 42% of the total global population having access to internet as of Jan 2015, there is a rise of 7% compared to last year. Based on the trends within this data, we expect that mobile will help to push internet penetration beyond 50% of the world’s population during mid to late 2016. This rise not only highlights the rapid adoption of internet across demographics but also concurs with the role mobile devices played in achieving it, mainly in the developing economies.

Currently the mobile penetration stands at an impressive 51%, giving ample scope to marketers to exploit this domain. Around 72% of the population in emerging economies like India, access the web using a mobile device thus making mobile one of the most sought after distribution channel globally.

Another dominant pillar of Digital Marketing is Social Media. Currently about 29% of the global population has access to an active social media account. A year on year growth of 12% has been reported for this domain which added an additional 222 million reach, something that cannot be overlooked. Below is a snapshot of the year and year growth rate of the various parameters taken into consideration over the past 12 months.

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The above describes the state and potential growth trend of the major channels of digital media. This gives us a brief idea of about the important marketing trends that needs to kept under watch; but what’s more relevant to marketers today is “Most Commercially Important Digital marketing trend” since most of us are working in marketing to get better results for our companies or our clients.

Related Read:  Untapped Potential for eCommerce in Rural India

Below is a report of a poll conducted by smartinsights among its readers highlighting the commercially important digital trend for 2015.

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Image Source: SmartInsights

Internet Trends

With roughly half of the global population having access to internet and growing every day, it would be interesting to see what 2015 has in store.

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But one of the most important issues that need to be looked upon is the haphazard distribution of resources and access which in turn inhibit to create an efficient, optimized and generic global web experience.

Internet connection speeds vary significantly around the world too, from an average of more than 25 Mbps in South Korea, to barely 2 Mbps in India. Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the USA make up the top 5 fastest nations after South Korea, with each registering speeds in excess of 10 Mbps, putting them well above the global average of4.5 Mbps:

However an average internet user spends around 4 hours and 25 minutes using the net each day, with Southeast Asians registering the highest average daily use. Research conducted by GlobalWebIndex shows that Filipino internet users spend more than 6 hours per day using the net, with Thais, Vietnamese, Indonesians and Malaysians also all averaging more than 5 hours of use per day.

The massive adoption of internet by the global population and the amount of time spent on it shows the mammoth potential of Internet for 2015 and beyond.

As of India, with about 243 million users, 19% of its population has access to internet, making it one of the key areas to be checked upon in 2015. As per wearesocial, an annual growth of 14% in the number of active users has been recorded since Jan 2014 making it one of the fastest growing internet bases on earth.

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Mobile Trends

Mobile’s share of global web traffic leapt 39% since the same time in the previous year, with one-third of all web pages now served to mobile phones:
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In countries like Nigeria and India about 70% of web traffic comes from mobile devices thus showcasing its ability and reach among the population of the concerned demographics.

The good news is that the potential for faster mobile internet access has grown exponentially in the past year, with 39% of all global mobile connections now classified as ‘broadband’ (i.e. 3G or 4G). However, mobile’s share of the web also varies considerably around the world: mobile phones account for 89% of all pages served in Papua New Guinea, but barely 0.1% of pages served in some of the smaller Caribbean islands.

Related Read:  10 Reasons Why Progressive Web Apps Can Kill Mobile Apps

It’s worth highlighting that India’s web traffic is dominated by mobile devices, with phones alone accounting for 72% of all web pages served in the world’s second most populous nation:

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Another important mobile trend to watch for would be seamless content transfer across devices. “Apps are increasingly becoming experiences that live across multiple endpoints — from wearable’s to phones, tablets, and web applications.” As this trend proceeds in 2015, offerings that can seamlessly transfer between these states as you move from one device to the next will have a huge advantage.

With already over 950 million mobile connections and having an annual growth rate of 6% the mobile space in India seems to be a de facto avenue for indigenous marketers.

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Social Media Trends

Social Media continues with its impressive growth, with active users accounting to approximately 29% of the world’s population. According to the report, Monthly active user (MAU) figures for the most active social network in each country add up to almost 2.08 billion – a 12% increase since January 2014.

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According to a resarch conducted by GlobalWebIndex, the average social media user spends about 2 hours and 25 minutes per day using social networks and microblog. This higlights the level of engagement that the consumer enjoys and that a brand can leverage.

According to the wearsocial report, Facebook continues to dominate the global social media landscape, claiming 1.366 billion active users in January 2015. Crucially, 1.133 billion of the platform’s global users – 83% of the total – now access the service through mobile devices.

As of India, currently there are 118 million active social media accounts which accounts roughly about 9% of the total population. Out of the odd 118M accounts about 100M accounts are accesed through moblie.

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As our society races towards striving the perfection in ‘technology’, it certainly has to make its presence felt across domains. With mobility, social and technology penetration on a rise across the world digital ecosystem is getting stronger. You can have a look at the complete report below

  • Shirish Gone

    @chandan-mohapatra: Kickass article dude.

    • Chandan Mohapatra

      @shirish Thank you!