Digital Dash: 8 global digital stats & more

1. Global report: 8 digital stats to shape your 2018 strategy
2. New Pinterest research proves purchase power
3. The next frontier in digital advertising? GroundTruth debuts ‘pay per SKU’ model
4. Two more ads announcements to take note of, this time from Google
5. Facebook helps marketers save time with rollout of automated insights


1. Global report: 8 digital stats to shape your 2018 strategy

In a world full of opinions, data is a wonderful thing.

‘Facebook is dead!’ is something we still hear from time to time. Yawn. We know it’s not true – far from – and the word know, as apposed to think, is what’s key.

Insights and analysis drawn from accurate stats and facts is the only real way to know what’s actually going on. So we try to work mostly with those.

On the subject of important data, comScore has just released its 2018 Global Digital Future in Focus report, which presents some really valuable information on how digital is used and consumed in 13 international markets, including the US, UK, Canada, India, Mexico, Brazil and more.

Let’s break down 8 of the most significant stats from the report.

As we’ve already touched on Facebook, I’ll start by delving into results related to The Social Network.

Stat #1: The report shows that Facebook is among the top 5 apps in 7 out of the 13 countries studied, ranking as #1 in the US and Canada and #2 in the UK. As you can see below, Facebook-owned apps accounted for 9 of the top 13.

Interesting to see Snapchat breaking into the top 5 for two countries for the first time too.

Comscore_top 5 apps

Stat #2: Facebook also did well in terms of share of time spent across 4 major social networking apps, accounting for the vast majority of minutes in all countries.

Comscore_time spent

The report also brought to light some really interesting insights on a broader level.

Stat #3: Looking at how digital content is consumed, it revealed that multi-platform users (those who access online content via desktop and smartphone/tablet in a month) make up the majority across most markets.


Stat #4: Drilling down into the difference between mobile and desktop usage specifically, it’s interesting to see the split between markets that are considered truly ‘mobile first’ and those where the mobile audience either matches or is less than the desktop audience.

comscore_mobile mins 2

Stat #5: In terms of time spent, mobile users consume more than twice the minutes of desktop users across all countries.

Comscore_mobile minutes

Stat #6: Sticking with time spent, smartphone proved the most dominant platform, with France ranking highest for time spent on desktop, and the UK, USA and Canada for time spent using a tablet.

Comscore_smartphone minutes

Stat #7: Unsurprisingly, app usage massively outweighs time spent using a mobile browser.

comscore_share 2

Stat #8: Trends were also spotted relating to the patterns of mobile or desktop usage by category, with banking most desktop dominant in both India and the UK, and job searching almost entirely mobile for both markets.



2. New Pinterest research proves purchase power

We love Facebook here at SMSW (despite recent News Feed sabotaging behaviour). Instagram is great too – both are key platforms for most businesses we work with.

And in a lot of ways, it’s hard for other platforms to compete with what these two can offer businesses.

But Pinterest has always stood apart for us.

Because while it crosses over in many respects with social networks, there’s a really important differentiator: purchase intent.

Essentially, Pinterest users are looking for ideas and inspiration – and when they find them, they’re ready to buy. This is quite different from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. where users come primarily to browse content and socialise.

To back up what a unique opportunity Pinterest users represent to retail brands, the company has surveyed 4,061 weekly Pinners about their shopping habits. The results reveal just how powerful the platform is as a purchase-driver.

Participants rated Pinterest their go-to spot for shopping ideas – above search engines, friends and family, and other social media platforms.

Pinterest_shopping 3

90% said Pinterest helps them decide what to purchase, and really interestingly, 72% said Pinterest inspires them to shop even when they weren’t actually looking for anything.

Pinterest_shopping 2

Additionally, the platform drives more referral traffic to shopping sites than Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.

Pinterest_shopping 1

All in all, the survey supports our belief that brands should be taking a serious look at integrating Pinterest into their strategy. As soon as advertising expands globally and becomes more sophisticated in terms of targeting and self-management, Pinterest will become an irresistible proposition for many.

One quick word of warning though: if you are considering Pinterest, just know that it requires a completely different approach to Facebook, Instagram etc. You’ll need to dedicate time, effort and resource to a Pinterest-specific strategy if you want to get the best out of it.

If that’s something you need a hand with, give us a shout. We’d be happy to help you get started.


3. The next frontier in digital advertising? GroundTruth debuts ‘pay per SKU’ model

The majority of pioneering digital advertising developments we report come courtesy of Facebook or Google.

But this week, we were stopped in our tracks by a new ad model from a much lesser known source – location technology company GroundTruth.

The new type of ad will charge advertisers per item sold. Now, that might not seem revolutionary, Facebook does the same thing, right? Yes it does, but only with online sales.

The important difference with GroundTruth’s new model is that advertisers will pay per item sold in-store, so per Stock-Keeping Unit (SKU).

This is the next level up from pay-per-visit systems or other ways of measuring online-to-offline return on ad spend.

As reported on Marketing Land, verification of in-store sales will come from a group of third-party vendors, including: IRI, Kantar Worldpanel, Nielsen Catalina Solutions and Ansa.

The pay-per-SKU model will only be available to CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies.

It will be really interesting to see if any of the major players begin to move in the same direction as GroundTruth, and whether a broader range of product categories will eventually be included. If so, this could be big.


4. Two more ads announcements to take note of, this time from Google searches offer great insight into what people are looking for online.

While a lot of other platforms decipher interest using a whole range of different indirect indicators, Google has the major advantage of an enormous amount of direct intelligence into its audience’s pre-purchase intentions.

Increasingly, Google has been adding value to advertisers by letting them tap into this goldmine of data by targeting people based on specific keywords they’ve used in Google searches (provided the users are signed in).

These ‘custom intent audiences’ were introduced to the Google Display Network back in 2017, and as of this week, they will also be available to YouTube advertisers.

An example of this in action, provided by group project manager for YouTube ads Nicky Rettke is: ‘an airline could reach people on YouTube who recently searched for “flights to Hawaii”.

Another ad announcement for YouTube was also announced this week in the form of ‘TrueView for Action’ ads for direct response.

Designed to work in tandem with the custom intent audiences described above, this new ad format allows advertisers to customise calls to action and add logos or images to video ads. This static element then stays in place beneath the video (on mobile) even when the ad ends or is skipped, or while the host video plays.

YT_new ad

Photo cred: Marketing Land

While we’re talking about YouTube, it’s worth mentioning another cool new feature we heard about this week, although note that this one is only in testing as of right now.

Users of YouTube’s version of Stories, called Reels, might soon be able to change the background of their clips using a new tool called real-time video segmentation.

Switching from background to background will be as easy as switching between different filters. This is all thanks to AI and machine learning tech, which can easily separate a subject from its background.


As this technology evolves, I can see it becoming a huge trend and being adopted by the other platforms too.


5. Facebook helps marketers save time with rollout of automated insights

The rich, granular and omnichannel data Facebook offers is one of the main reasons the company has continued to be an unstoppable force in digital.

But while having access to the data is really important for businesses of all sizes, it’s really what you then do with that data – how you understand it and shape your strategy around it – that counts the most.

The trouble is, most businesses don’t have a data scientist on hand to help. And without this, it can be very difficult to discover what the data is actually telling you.

Here at SMSW Media, our team literally spends days upon days crunching numbers, identifying patterns and analysing performance at a seriously in-depth level for clients.

But like I said, not everybody has the time or experience to do this.

And to help businesses use the incredible amount of data Facebook generates, the company is launching Automated Insights – a new tool within Facebook Analytics that uses statistical analysis, data scientists and machine learning to provide powerful insights based on your pages’ numbers.

In short, Facebook will save you a load of time and effort by telling you what’s happening across your various channels. This is assuming you have the Pixel properly embedded of course.

The insights are split into two categories:

  1. Dimension based insights: e.g. ‘people who use the latest version of your app spend 46% more time in your app compared to all users.’
  2. Trend based insights: e.g. ‘people in Pennsylvania used your app 11% less this week than last week.’

Automated Insights could be a bit of a game-changer for some. The performance headlines it provides will mean that action can be taken much quicker and data won’t go to waste.

For really advanced digital marketers though, it’s not enough to just know what’s going on. The ‘why’ is also really key, and there still needs to be a big element of individual analysis to drill down into this.

Having said that, Automated Insights will definitely still add value even for advanced marketers.