10 Things We’ve Learnt from KPCB’s Internet Trends 2014 Report

Internet ReportMary Meeker, a partner at venture capitalist Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) has published her annual Internet Trends report.

The 150+ page report is packed with valuable data and insight about Internet trends. Here are some highlights and my take on the implications for brand marketing and organisational communication.

Huge growth in devices

Highlight: 30 per-cent of the installed 5.2 billion mobile phones are smart phones. That’s a 3.6 billion opportunity. Tablet growth was 52 percent in 2013, outpacing the historical growth of PCs by every metric.

Implication: marketers should design for tablet and mobile first, and ensure your owned digital platforms are responsive. 

Social network revenue per user

Highlight: There is lots of upside potential still to exploit based on Q1 2014 average revenue per user data and year-on-year growth: Google $45 (8 percent growth), Facebook $7.24 (57 percent growth) and Twitter $3.55 (78 percent).

Implication: Facebook and Twitter will continue to seek ways of increasing average revenue per user.

Education market disruption

Highlight: The cost of education is rising (the average U.S. college graduate has debt of $30,000). Digital simplifies communication, teaching and workflow (for example, platforms like Duolingo have 25m users and Coursera has 7m users).

Implication: Organisations as educators is a  huge innovation and threat to traditional learning and development organisations.

Healthcare market disruption

Highlight: The cost of healthcare is rising (17 percent of GDP in US, $2.8 trillion in 2012) and digital has the potential to drive workflow improvements and improve patient engagement (what we call the direct feedback loop).

Implication: There is tremendous opportunity for entre into in healthcare market through fitness and wearable apps and devices.


Highlight: The new wave of networks (for example, Line, Snapchat and Whatsapp) is shifting social networking towards a person-to-person form of communications rather than person-to-many (Facebook and Twitter).

Implication: Marketers need to figure out how to incorporate word-of-mouth and social referrals into campaigns.

Apps as a single-function service

Highlight: New apps are focused on a specific task (for example, Foursquare Swarm, Runkeeper’s Breeze and Dark Sky) rather than being always-on. They are purpose built and informed by contextual signals and real time data. Implication: There is potential for organisations to add value and disrupt customer experience with utility apps.

Supply chains redefined

Highlight: Related to apps, digital is adding value and redefining supply chains in every market that it touches. Dating, retail, music and money are all cited as examples facing change.

Implication: Business needs to figure out how their organisation can use digital to simplify or disrupt its supply chain.

Social media traffic

Highlight: Social media provides significant global referrals (Facebook 21 percent, Pinterest 7 percent and Twitter 1 percent) but the half-life is short (users typically spend 6.5 hours on Twitter and 9 hours on Facebook).

Implication: Businesses need to follow the audience, especially if it’s on Pinterest.

Rise of real time data

Highlight: Consumers are uploading and sharing huge amounts of data such as images, fitness and location, in real time, giving organisations an opportunity to develop insights and solve big problems. Implication: It’s important to understand what data you can access to help inform better decision making.

The Internet is big, continues to grow

Highlight: 2.6 billion people are connected to the Internet, up 9 percent from 2013. The top five connected markets are China (618 million, 10 percent growth), U.S. (263 million, two percent growth), Japan (101 million, static), Brazil (100 million, 12 percent growth) and Russia (76 million, nine percent growth).