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Monday, 23 October 2017 00:00

Smartphone penetration to reach 66% in 2018

In 2018, 66% of individuals in 52 key countries* will own a smartphone, up from 63% in 2017 and 58% in 2016, according to Zenith’s Mobile Advertising Forecasts 2017, published. The rapid expansion of smartphone ownership across the world, which has transformed the way that advertisers communicate with consumers, is slowing down as penetration reaches 80%-90% in the most advanced markets. The number of smartphone owners will increase by 7% year on year in 2018, compared to 10% growth in 2017, 14% in 2016 and 21% in 2015.

The spread of smartphones and other mobile devices is increasing the number of contacts between brands and consumers, by giving consumers new opportunities to connect to media content wherever they are, at any time in the day. Some of these contacts take the form of paid advertising in third-party content, but mobile technology is also enabling broader brand experiences, such as branded content and social media engagement.

Western Europe and Asia Pacific continue to lead the world in smartphone ownership. We predict that five markets will have smartphone penetration above 90% in 2018: the Netherlands (94%), Taiwan (93%), Hong Kong (92%), Norway and Ireland (each at 91%). 11 markets will have penetration levels between 80% and 90%, all of them in Western Europe and Asia Pacific with the exception of Israel, where penetration will be 86%.

The country with the highest number of smartphone users will be China, with 1.3 billion users, followed by India, with 530 million users. The US will be third, with 229 million users.

Tablet penetration stabilising at about 20%

Tablet ownership is much less common than smartphone ownership, partly because they are more likely to be shared within households, and partly because consumers in some markets prefer to use larger smartphones instead. Tablets have not caught on at all in China, where we estimate their penetration at just 4.8% this year, compared to 85.4% for smartphones. Tablet penetration is even declining in Thailand.

Tablet ownership varies widely across the 52 countries in this report; it exceeds 50% in 12 markets, and is lower than 10% in seven. Tablet ownership is most common in the Netherlands (at 74% penetration is year), Australia (66%) and Ireland (65%).

Globally, we estimate tablet penetration at 18.7% this year, up slightly from 17.8% in 2016. It appears to be stabilising at about 20%: we forecast penetration levels of 19.5% in 2018 and 20.1% in 2019.

Mobile devices to account for 73% of internet consumption in 2018

Mobile devices (including both smartphones and tablets) are now the primary means of accessing the internet for most users, and will account for 73% of time spent using the internet in 2018, up from 70% in 2017 and 65% in 2016. Mobile internet use has doubled since 2011, when it accounted for 36% of all internet use. By 2019, we expect it to account for 76%.

The markets where mobile devices have the highest shares of internet use are geographically diverse. Spain is top, with an estimated 81% of internet use coming from mobile devices this year, followed by Italy (78%), China and the US (each at 77%) and India (73%).

59% of internet advertising expenditure will be mobile in 2018

As we have documented in our quarterly Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, the amount of money spent on internet ads going to mobile ads has overtaken the amount spent on desktop ads for the first time this year. We estimate that 53% of all internet adspend will go to ads viewed on mobile devices in 2017, and forecast that proportion to rise to 59% in 2018 and 62% in 2019. In 2019 mobile adspend will total US$156 billion, and account for 26% of adspend across all media.

“For most consumers and advertisers, the mobile internet is now the normal internet,” said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s Head of Forecasting and Director of Global Intelligence. “The ownership of mobile devices is beginning to saturate in some markets, but there’s plenty of room for further growth across the rest of the world.”

Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s Global Brand President, said, “Because the internet is now mobile, brands have the opportunity to use it to communicate to consumers during more of their lives – when they are shopping, socialising and travelling as well as when at their desk. By reaching consumers at the right occasions with tailored messages, brands can guide them through the consumer journey more effectively.”

*The 52 countries included in this report are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK and the USA, representing 65% of the world’s population.

In the world of innovation, there’s a clear line of separation between a concept and a product. A concept represents what you plan to offer; it’s a helpful tool for prioritizing features and claims and for determining how to communicate the product’s benefits. It also informs ideal price points and which varieties will be needed to drive trial. On the other hand, a product is a tangible object that consumers purchase and use; its long-term success (i.e., repeated purchasing) relies heavily on the experience that consumers have with it.


When testing innovations, it’s risky to ask consumers to compare a new concept against an actual product that they currently purchase. This unbalances the entire evaluation by setting up an unfair comparison. As a new idea, a concept lacks the dimension of experience—and it doesn’t benefit from advertising or marketing in any way. An in-market product is already familiar to consumers, and it has built equity that lends to its clarity and credibility. By contrast, a concept has none of these advantages. Therefore, pitting existing products against concepts unfairly asks consumers to compare something with tangible, experienced benefits to the mere promise of a good experience. In new markets where there are not many concepts to compare against, it may be necessary to include a product benchmark; however, in most cases, this is not necessary or advisable.


Another problem with concept-to-product comparisons is that, by nature, concepts are “fuzzier” in consumers’ minds. New propositions can be misunderstood and lumped into categories were they don’t belong, and the actual competitive set may be drastically different than consumers anticipate. Additionally, research from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science supports the notion that brand loyalty is often low, so asking consumers to single out one specific product as a point of comparison does not reflect the reality of how people make purchasing decisions.


So how can companies evaluate their innovation initiatives without comparing concepts against products? That’s where the value of a concept database comes in—this is a collection of new product concepts that have been evaluated by consumers before the products were developed and eventually launched. By comparing the scores of new test concepts against those in the database, companies can eliminate biases related to product experience and marketing awareness that are problematic with concept-to-product comparisons. In short, concept databases provide a much more reliable benchmark for comparison.

That said, not all concept databases are created equal. They should contain many concepts to ensure that a brand’s particular category and market are well represented. (Nielsen’s database currently contains more than 200,000 concepts). However, even more important than the size of the database is what it measures. A database that measures concepts against purchase intent, for example, will be only loosely correlated with in-market success and therefore not a reliable gauge of how a new product will perform in market. To get a better read, companies should select databases that are calibrated to in market success, such as Nielsen’s concept database. Over a five-year period, we studied more than 600 successful new product initiatives and identified the attributes that contributed to consumer adoption. Then, we linked the scores of concepts in our database to these same attributes, enabling us to evaluate new concepts against in-market success factors. Currently, Nielsen’s database is the only one in the industry correlated with in-market outcomes. As a result, it’s the most predictive of success. A concept that performs well in Nielsen tests has a 75% chance of succeeding in market.


Of course, product testing is a critical step—but, until you get to that phase, it’s essential to let concepts compete fairly by testing them against other concepts. A well-calibrated comparison allows brands to get key trial-driving components down first before moving onto other elements. Moreover, when choosing a concept database, ensure that its metrics are strongly correlated with in-market success for the most accurate read.


Written by Ben Schubert, SVP, Nielsen Innovation Practice

Last week Kantar Millward Brown hosted a webinar titled 'Create Digital Ads that Drive Brand Growth'. Tip number one was to “Make people feel something” and tip number two is the closely related “Stand out at the start”. Yes, with digital video you have to engage those emotions quickly.

The premise that you need to engage people quickly is well founded. With skippable video formats people start skipping as soon as the option presents itself. In an analysis conducted last year we found that by the 15 second mark on average only just over a third of the initial audience remained, dropping to around a quarter by the end of the video. However, the variation was huge. Not just by creative but by age (16 to 19 year olds are far less likely to hang in there) and primary reason for visiting the video site.

It is findings like these that cause senior marketers like P&G’s Mark Pritchard to challenge the industry to deliver better results. In a keynote at dmexco Pritchard suggests that low engagement cannot just be solved with shorter ads.

“What this did was raise a deeper question for us: If you look at it through the lens of the consumer, just how valuable are these ads? We can make a two-second ad work, and we do, but surely we can do better than that.”

Yes, we can, but not without a deep knowledge of the target audience and recognition that the challenge is not just to reach people but to engage them. Digital ads need to earn attention just like any other medium but the bar is set far higher.

We know that some video content has the ability to retain audiences far better than the norm, on average retaining over half their audience by the 15 second mark, even among impatient Gen Z. How do they do that? By matching the content to the interests and values of the audience and making sure that it is apparent within the first few seconds that the ad offers something of interest. This requires more than just a creative idea. It requires the right creative idea. And it requires crafting the execution in order to ensure the final video creates the right sense of anticipation.

How do you do that? Use all the consumer insight data you have available to understand what interests the audience, what they feel they are missing, what they might respond to if they knew it existed. Use multiple sources of qualitative and quantitative insight. And then test the final content before distribution. Do that and the chances that your digital ads do not just hold an audience but generate sales will improve dramatically, otherwise, you might just as well place your brand next to a cat and shoot some video on your phone. Someone will probably look at it for a few seconds.


Written by Nigel Hollis,Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst at Kantar Millward Brown

Catch Aerial Asia, starting 20th October, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 pm

Asia, the largest continent on Earth is also the most beautiful. If you think the myriad apps floating in the digital space have showcased all the views possible, you’re in for a sweet surprise. HISTORY TV18 brings breathtaking glimpse of Asia and India with Aerial Asia premiering on 20th October at 10PM.

Aerial Asia, brings mesmerizing views across Asia’s most massive metropolises. In this completely aerial series, get a bird’s eye view of the color soaked subcontinent of India, the coral gardens and menacing volcanoes of Indonesia, Malaysia’s rolling rainforests and many more.

Out of the 6 episodes that will be showcased, a couple of special episodes will be dedicated to Olympic hosts, Japan and South Korea. This series will show you the continent like you’ve never seen it before! Gear up to meet 60 percent of the world’s population from the skies and witness this mesmerizing continent like never before.

Tune into HISTORY TV18 20th October onwards every Fridays and Saturdays at 10 PM on.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 00:00

WPP and Sitecore launch global partnership

World-class digital solutions at scale will reduce marketing complexity and produce greater return on investment

WPP, the world’s largest communications services group, and Sitecore®, the global leader in experience management software, today announced a global strategic partnership, the WPP-Sitecore Alliance.

The partnership brings together WPP’s existing Sitecore partners – AKQA, Cognifide, Globant, Mirum, Ogilvy, POSSIBLE, VML, and Wunderman – and creates a single team to work with Sitecore’s product, sales, and support teams to develop innovative, personalized customer experiences. As a Sitecore Global Platinum Partner, the WPP-Sitecore Alliance combines the depth of WPP’s digital marketing expertise and breadth of its geographic coverage with Sitecore’s industry-leading marketing technology to deliver world-class digital solutions at scale that reduce complexity and cost and produce greater and faster return on marketing investment.

The WPP agencies involved in the partnership have extensive experience in implementing Sitecore and have successfully collaborated with Sitecore on custom product innovations that currently benefit joint clients. The WPP-Sitecore Alliance will further enable collaborations that aim to enhance customer experiences across all digital touchpoints.

Scott Spirit, WPP’s Chief Digital Officer said, “WPP is committed to working with marketing technology leaders to extend our offering, enabling our companies to provide businesses with the resources and support they need to connect with increasingly digital consumers. The organization of our combined resources is critical to delivering on this mission. We are enthusiastic about the recent Sitecore Experience Cloud release and see great potential for driving customer success together.”

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with WPP to expand the number of brands that are using Sitecore technology to deliver a more personalized, contextual customer experience. Marketers and digital teams will greatly benefit from the expertise and capabilities the WPP-Sitecore Alliance now has to offer,” said Mark Zablan, Chief Revenue Officer for Sitecore.

Sitecore today unveiled the Sitecore Experience Cloud™, which offers a range of content management, digital marketing, and commerce tools as well as continuously optimized experiences, new approaches for collecting customer data, and real-time insights using machine learning. As part of the announcement, Sitecore announced a significant Version 9 release of its flagship Sitecore® Experience Platform™ digital experience platform and Sitecore® Experience Manager web CMS.

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