eMarketer’s Ramsey: Mobile Is Now ‘The No. 1 Medium’ For Content

“Where people spend their time is where you need to be as a marketer,” eMarketer’s Geoff Ramsey says. And that place is digital.

eMarketer's Ramsey: Mobile Is Now 'The No. 1 Medium' For Content

Asco-founder of eMarketer 23 years ago and now its chief content officer, GeoffRamsey has had a front-row seat to watching the many ways businesses have transformedand consumer behavior has evolved.

Ramsey keynoted at a Procter & Gamble alumni event about how consumers are navigating through a fragmented digital world. He covered a range of topics, including consumer media trends, holistic attribution, and artificial intelligence.

Ramsey kicked off his presentation by emphasizing this truism: “Where people spend their time is where you need to be as a marketer.”

And according to eMarketer, that place is digital.

“Digital across all devices is beating TV in all developed markets,” he said. “And this year, for the first time, mobile is the No. 1 medium [for content consumption].”

In addition, across all U.S. demographics, 71% of consumers are watching digital video, and that number goes up to 90% for Millennials.

“Streaming has also grown fast, especially among younger generations. The share of weekly time spent viewing TV content via streaming grew from 25% in 2013 to 55% in 2019 for Millennials,” Ramsey said. “For the overall U.S. population, the move to streaming is going to accelerate [as well].”

Ramsey also noted how voice technology is catching on among consumers.

“Voice-activated devices have rapidly grown, with 23.5% of the overall U.S. population and 38% of Millennials owning some type of voice-activated speaker,” he said. “And the penetration level and usage of voice tech is much higher if you factor in voice activation on smartphones.”

It should come as no surprise, then, that as consumers have been embracing digital, so, too, have marketers. According to Ramsey, the ad spend for digital is now about half of total media spending, “primarily driven by ad spend moves to social media and video. Every country will pass the 50% mark soon.”

Holistic Attribution ‘Holy Grail’

As marketers well know, the move to digital has created a wealth of data to better understand their customers, marketing ROI, and marketing’s impact on key business metrics. But plenty of work awaits them.

“We have a data problem and a people problem with too many silos that prevent marketers from fully realizing the value of data transformation,” Ramsey said. “Everyone is holding onto their data, and this is only going to get worse with the IoT.”

As a result, marketers need to become more sophisticated about marketing measurement “to understand the holistic view, attribution campaign ROI, and audience reach. Solving this is the Holy Grail. Every marketer agrees that data integration is important. But there is a massive gap between priorities and capabilities when it comes to data management.”

Ramsey said that only 58% of U.S. marketers will be using some form of multichannel attribution for their digital efforts by the end of 2019.

“And based on eMarketer interviews, we’ve learned that only 10% of U.S. marketers have reached the pinnacle of holistic attribution where they can understand the entire path to purchase, and how marketing and nonmarketing touch points influenced a specific business outcome,” he said.

His advice for how marketers can get there included:

• Moving marketing “from a ‘cost center’ to a ‘growth driver’ to prove [its] incremental impact on the broader business outcomes.”

• Taking “a more customer-centric approach across all touch points.”

• Embracing a data-driven culture “where everyone is involved in feeding data needs and there is transparency across the organization.”

• Hiring data scientists “to help with quality control and integration.”

• Balancing “third-party data with an increasing reliance on first-party data.”

The Power Of AI

Looking ahead, Ramsey was optimistic about what artificial intelligence (AI) will do for marketers.

“AI is starting to power and accelerate everything in marketing, including attribution. AI will help marketers with personalization, customer engagement, search queries, customer experience, customer service, and lead generation,” he said. “I believe that AI could eventually pull data from all of the different silos to provide a more holistic view of the customer journey.”

AI can also ensure content relevance, he added, especially important given consumers’ “growing resistance and ability to avoid ads.”

“Think of ads as magnetic content, designed to draw people in rather than push them away,” he said. “As consumers increasingly spend their digital time on smartphones, content [also] should be optimized for the most impactful and engaging mobile experience.”