It’s that time of year. For those of us--and many of you--who look to the trends of today to predict or make plans for the future, Mary Meeker’s annual predictions are highly anticipated, dutifully parsed, and widely distributed.
If you’re not aware of this annual ritual, Mary Meeker—formerly of Morgan Stanley, and since late 2010 at KPCB (the VC firm Kleiner Perkins)—produces a report every year that shares what she sees as the major trends in and around Internet usage and growth.
While much of what she discusses reflects things we all know to be happening, by putting hard numbers and defensible projections against these trends, she helps to quantify the biggest shifts in digitally driven disruption as they’re occurring around the world.
The Dominance Of Mobile
The following chart says it all:
We’ve heard that mobile Internet usage surpassed desktop sometime last year, and now we’re seeing it. The mobile growth everyone anticipated is happening. Time spent per day by adult Internet users has moved from less than an hour a day five years ago to nearly three hours a day today.
What this means for customer-centric companies (as well as customer experience strategists, designers, and innovators) is a significant shift in the way that customers interact with the companies that serve them.
A Vertical World
This means moving from a horizontal world to a vertical one:
This also means creating advertising that understands the ways consumers actually interact with content as they use their mobile devices. (Another way to say this is to understand the experiences customers want versus the experiences they currently have.)
Understanding The Customer
The need to deeply understand what your customers actually want will never change.
Most importantly, from a customer experience perspective, this means the ways we all connect with our customers--consumers or businesses--need to lean heavily on design and a deep understanding of customer wants, needs, and objectives to make the experience simpler, faster, easier, and more intuitive for those we wish to do business with to do business with us.
Yes, mobile interactions are driving the present and the rapidly arriving future of customer experience and digital connectivity. But the need for an institutional capability for deeply understanding what your customers actually want and need–and appropriately interpreting and taking action on it–will never change.
Which is why those companies that really understand this and make customer experience a core part of the way they do business are those that will not just survive, but will prosper and thrive (and will dominate their competition and their industries in the process).