YouTube Shows Little Sign of Old Age/eMarketer

The grandfather of the digital video space is still looking pretty youthful. Despite an increasingly competitive digital video space that is packed with new (and successful) properties, usage of YouTube remains strong and the unit continues to be an important part of parent company Alphabet’s portfolio.

Select Over-the-Top (OTT) Video Service Users, by Provider, 2015-2020 (% of total OTT video service users)

On Thursday, Alphabet reported that its fourth-quarter revenue was up 22% year over year, and cited YouTube, as well as mobile search, for the performance.

eMarketer estimates that YouTube had 180.1 million US users in 2016. The US user base isn’t expected to grow much—growth will be just 3.2% this year, eMarketer estimates—but that reflects the fact that it is at near saturation levels: eMarketer estimates that nearly 85% of digital video viewers are YouTube viewers. And among users of OTT services, YouTube is essentially at true saturation—over 95%.

YouTube ad revenues are on a strong growth trajectory. eMarketer estimates that ad revenues for the unit rose roughly 30% in 2016. New initiatives, such allowing ad buyers to layer in search data for more robust targeting, are likely to keep growth high. eMarketer currently projects 20% ad revenue growth for YouTube in 2017.

But Google faces a different challenge in another area of the video business: developing strong, subscription-based businesses to rival Netflix and paid music streaming services.

In its earnings call, the company said it is investing “a lot” in two premium channels, YouTube Red and YouTube Music. “You’ll see us invest more—more [availability in] countries, more original content,” said Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO. But he was typically close-mouthed about performance at specific units. “We are seeing traction with the rate of sign-ups for YouTube Red, but we’re not disclosing specific numbers.”

—Rimma Kats

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Four key factors for success during the strategic planning process.jpg

In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell. – Jack Welch, Winning

When looking at your company’s strategic intent, the Senior Leadership Team will take stock of the company’s position based on the research conducted during strategic analysis, determine your mission and intent, and build out the strategic plan.

When constructing your strategy for consistency and ensuring you’re playing to win, it’s important to remember the success of your strategic intent hinges on four key factors:


Determining who will be part of the Strategic Planning Team should be easy. You want to pull in the key decision makers across the breadth of the company. You want to keep the group small – less than 15 people. Remember, those who build the plan don’t fight the plan. Your Chief Strategy Officer or Advisor should be leading the process, focusing not just on compliance but on the overall direction of the company.

If you don’t have anyone in this position, or previous strategic initiatives led by your advisors have focused too much on compliance, you need to talk to a strategic partner like Advisory Works to assist you through the process. The outcome of having others involved enables them to take ownership of the plan and help communicate and execute it into the business.


Your strategic goals are a set of broad, long-term statements addressing your company strategy across all areas of the organisation. When planning your goals, look at how you will build you people and culture, how you will develop and implement key systems and processes for scale, how you will build your brand, and how you can be competitive in the market while winning.


Having determined your strategic goals, a huge part of developing your strategic intent will be identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats against those goals. By studying your company’s internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as looking at opportunities and threats presented externally by the market or competitors. you’ll be able to identify potential options and strategies.

Once you’ve identified a series of options, choose those that give the greatest benefit and have the greatest potential for success. Make simple objectives for the priorities, allocate a person accountable and a timeframe to deliver it by. Now it is time to implement like hell – disciplined execution.


As you’re setting organisational-wide goals and objectives, you may come across team members who are confrontational – who are fighting against the strategic direction. This is perfectly fine during the initial stages, but when the plan is solidified and being brought to the whole organisation for execution, the strategic team has to be united in their vision. The team that makes the plan cannot fight the plan.

Discussion will help team members to align their own thoughts and values with the strategic plan, as well as work through potential issues as they come to light. Sometimes, you need to step up as leader and make a solid decision to bring discussions to a close. Business is not a committee, the leader needs to make a decision and the team needs to be able to align and present the outcome as a united front – a single message.

It’s important to always keep strategy closely aligned with the research you completed. Once everyone is in sync, allocate projects and ensure everyone is responsible for the projects that resonate the most with their particular values.

Is your company’s strategic planning using these four key success factors? If not, you need some serious help. Download our free guide, The Four Cornerstones of Strategic Execution.

The Four Cornerstones of Strategic Execution


Shopping the Future – from KR blog


Worldwide retail sales hit $24 trillion last year, not exactly small beer. The massive retail business is switching on technology and is changing so fast that analysis is always chasing reality. That doesn’t it mean it shouldn’t try, and IDC have some useful signposts for retailers in its top 10 predictions for worldwide retail 2017.

Watchwords are transformation, disruption, integration, expectation and security. Here are five IDC predictions that lift the experiential side where the game will be won:

1. By 2019, digital transformation Investments will triple, drawing funds away from store capital and profoundly changing the retail industry

2. Intelligent assistants will become a must-have app in 2017 and support shoppers’ “jobs to be done” in context-aware omnichannel conversations by 2018

3. Retail mobile enablement will triple mobile investments in 2017 and double spending on wireless infrastructure through 2019

4. By 2019, 20% of major retailers will use augmented reality to enrich the product selection experience and convert shoppers to buyers three times faster

5. By 2019, artificial intelligence will change how 25% of merchants, marketers, planners and operators work, improving productivity by 30% and key performance indicators by 10–20%

How technology and emotionality come together with a human touch is the key. Is it convenient and compelling, intimate and inspiring? Retailers need to be irresistible, not robotic, across all four consumer touch points: See it; Search it; Shop it; Share it


What Marketers see as Critical Emerging Technology/e-marketer

IOT tops the list as more businesses are in mature deployment stages this year

A survey of advertising and marketing executives indicates that, of a variety of emerging technologies, the internet of things (IoT) is seen as the most important.

Importance of Select Emerging Technologies According to US Ad Agency/Marketing Executives, Oct 2016 (% of respondents)







According to data published in November, about half of US advertising and marketing executives identified artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented realities, the internet of things and “conversational marketing” as at least somewhat important. But almost a quarter called the IoT very important—distinctly more than the other platforms.

In October, MediaPost Communications and Advertiser Perceptions surveyed 303 advertising and marketing executives in the US on their understanding of emerging technologies.

According to the data, IoT was rated “very important” by 24% of executives, in contrast to only 14% feeling this way toward each of the other technologies.

While the rankings were clustered in a close range, VR/AR was perceived to be slightly less important than the others, with 48% said it was “somewhat important” and a total of 38% saying it was either “not very important” or “not at all important.”

This could be related to concerns about the market for VR products and experiences. A recent survey by Greenlight Insights found that fewer than half of VR professionals are confident that their products will be profitable in the near term.

By contrast, the internet of things is seen by many as a near-term business reality. In research released in August, Deloitte found that in 2016 more than one-third of executives polled said their companies were actively deploying IoT, while nearly 20% described their company’s efforts were already at the mature stage—effective deployments. A similar number said their company’s efforts were in the early, experimental stage.

Implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) at Their Company According to US Executives, 2015 & 2016 (% of respondents)

Marketers interested in IoT may want to take a cue from the retail industry. A year ago, more than half of retailers worldwide told Retail Systems Research that they believed the technology was poised to dramatically change the way companies do business in the future. Through IoT, retail executives said they are able collect, share and analyze real-time data that can be useful to supply chain and inventory management, as well as in delivering personalized promotions and enabling ecommerce.

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Japan’s Consumers Expect Big Changes in the Way They Interact with Companies/eMarketer

Firing up web chat and messaging apps to make contact

Of all the myriad ways consumers can connect with companies, web chat and messaging apps are hardly used at all, according to a recently published survey. But consumers expect that to change—a lot.

Current vs. Planned Channels Used by Internet Users in Japan to Interact with Companies, Aug 2016 (% of respondents)







Just 5.3% of internet users currently use web chat to interact with companies, but more than one-third expect they will in the future, according to a survey by Transcosmos. Similarly, around 5% use messaging apps to communicate with companies now; 43% expect do so in the future.

The dominant communications mode today is the telephone: More than 86.1% of the survey respondents said they had interacted with a company via telephone sometime in the last six months. That mode is expected to decline, but even then telephone is still expected to be the most commonly used channel to communicate with companies. Likewise, email interactions, in-store interactions and forum sites are all likely to decline but will remain significant communications channels.

The results of the Transcosmos survey stand in contrast with data from a report released earlier in the year by JustSystems. In the earlier survey, nearly 60% of smartphone users in Japan ages 15 to 49 said they used Line, the popular messaging platform, to get information from companies or brands.

Mobile Channels Used to Get Information* from Companies/Brands According to Smartphone Users in Japan, Jan 2016 (% of respondents)

The widespread use of Line would suggest that messaging apps are already in wide use for interacting with companies—no waiting for the future to arrive. But it may be that the relatively young survey group (ages 15-49, all smartphone users) was the most likely to tap into Line for these types of interactions.

In any case, together the surveys indicate that messaging and chat are likely to play a significant role in consumer/company communications in the future.

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Marketers Say ‘More’ to Search, Mobile, Facebook/eMarketer

Social is also a priority beyond Facebook

Three-quarters of US marketing professionals said in August 2016 that they plan to increase their AdWords budget in the next 12 months, according to a survey from pay-per-click optimization firm Hanapin Marketing. Nearly as many said the same about mobile budgets and Facebook ads.







Over 50% of those surveyed say they’ll spend more on Bing. With 41% saying they’ll spend more on Instagram, 34% on LinkedIn, 21% on Twitter, 18% on Pinterest and 15% on Snapchat, along with the 69% who will increase spending on Facebook, it’s clear that social is eyed as massively important to US marketers.

In fact, the same survey highlights that both brands and agencies said in August 2016 that the most important tactic or metric for the digital marketing industry over the previous 12 months was social advertising.

Over 50% of brands cited social advertising as most important over the prior 12 months, while 46% of agencies did the same. But with social, it isn’tonly about advertising—38% of agencies, for example, also called social commerce one of the most important. Brands, however, find it less critical: Only 26% of respondents called it most important.

But marketing love for social media doesn’t necessarily prove it be effective. While 42% of respondents did call social effective, mobile, remarketing and text ads all got higher marks in the survey about pay-per-click ads.

eMarketer estimates a total of $15.4 billion spent on US social network ads in 2016, which accounts for 21.3% of all digital ad spending.


Is Internet Time All About Apps?/e-Marketer

Strong majorities of smartphone and tablet time are spent with apps

Mobile apps are taking over the digital world, according to research on the amount of time US consumers spend with media. eMarketer estimated earlier this month that 85.7% of nonvoice time spent with smartphones was spent with apps, as opposed to just 14.3% spent on the mobile web.

Share of Average Time Spent per Day on Mobile Internet Among US Smartphone and Tablet Users, In-App vs. Mobile Web, 2016 (% of total)







On tablets, too, mobile apps are dominant: About three-quarters of tablet time is spent with apps. Overall, eMarketer estimates that the average US adult spends 2 hours 28 minutes each day with mobile apps, or about 20% of their daily media time. Among mobile device users only, the average time spent daily with apps is 3 hours 18 minutes.

That’s more time than they spend with desktop or laptop PCs, a finding echoed by comScore as far back as June 2014. The internet users studied by comScore have continued to spend more time with mobile apps each year since then, opening up the gap between mobile app time and all other digital media time even further.

Time Spent Online Among US Internet Users, by Platform, June 2013-June 2016 (billions of minutes)

Mobile web time spent is up slightly as well, from 118 billion minutes in June 2015 to 125 billion a year later.

But smartphone apps account for the lion’s share of growth in time spent online since June 2013, comScore reported.

Tablets apps also contributed 9% of growth in time spent online.

Share of Growth in Time Spent Online Among US Internet Users, by Platform, June 2016 (% of total change vs. June 2013)

Aggregate figures only tell part of the story: Younger smartphone users overindex in time spent with apps, while the same is true of older tablet users. For example, 18- to 24-year-old smartphone users spent an average of 93.5 hours using smartphone apps in June, compared to 73.8 hours among the overall smartphone population. Meanwhile, on tablets, those 55 to 64 spent the most time with apps that month, at 28.0 hours. Average time spent with tablet apps among tablet users was 22.6 hours.


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