As marketers, it’s our job to understand how target audiences interact with the world around them. If we can qualify and quantify a demographic’s behavior, we can put our brand’s message in front of them at the right time and right place, hopefully with positive results. 15 years into the 21st century, the developed world has gone digital. The average person now spends more time consuming digital media than they do sleeping on a daily basis. Television consumption is declining for nearly every age group on an annual basis, and social media continues to explode, with developing markets driving adoption at unprecedented rates.
Many of us are tasked with developing forward strategies for our employers or clients. We’re asked to peer into our crystal balls and know where our targets eyeballs will be tomorrow, next quarter, next year, and in the years after that. To help make that easier, we’ve traveled into the future and returned with three bold statements that you can use to fuel your marketing strategies over the next few years.
American adults will consume nearly a billion hours of video per day by 2021.
The proof is in the past. Data presented by Emarketer shows a double-digit increase in per-day digital video consumption each year over the last five years. (1) Current per-person rates paired with population data from the US census suggest that adults in the USA watch roughly 259 million hours of video per day on computers and mobile devices. If we assume that the annual increase in video consumption slows down drastically, and that the government’s population projections are nearly accurate, then we’re staring down the barrel of a billion hours of video watched each day early in second decade of the 21st century. (2) If the growth of digital video continues unslowed, American adults will blow past the billion hour mark well before the ball drops in 2021.
Asian & Indian markets present the greatest opportunity for digital marketers over the next five years.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen some of the world’s largest brands pour capital into these emerging markets. Apple released the iPhone 5c as a low cost option for Indian & Asian consumers, with low-cost Windows Phones and Android devices popping up as well. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has been vocal about expanding his brand into India, Africa, and Asia, and the acquisition of Whatsapp was a $22 billion step in that direction. LinkedIn already boasts more than 13 million users in Southeast Asian markets, and is growing in the region at a rapid rate. (3) As consumers and businesses in Asia and India come online and become more social, look for digital growth that makes what we’ve seen in the USA over the past five years look miniscule in comparison.
Branded Experiences will become central to success.
We’re already seeing evidence of this with Red Bull’s huge impact on the extreme sports community, Chipotle’s masterfully produced videos, and Marriot’s multimillion dollar content studio. It’s no longer enough to put branded messaging in front of your audience. As we move forward, consumers will expect, even demand memorable, engaging experiences from the brands they favor. Virtual reality is looming large on the horizon, with both Microsoft and Sony looking to put VR in hundreds of millions of living rooms around the world in the next five years. By the start of the next decade, branded content and experiences will be a major focus of nearly every marketing team.