We know what you're thinking: who is Mary Meeker?
She's the Miss Cleo of tech trends, the oracle (no pun intended) of the Internet. Every year, her Internet Trends report provides insight into traffic trends, user behavior, and predictions for the next year. Though her 164-slide presentation contained a lot of information, one trend is especially important for legal marketing: the continued rise of mobile.
Mobile is important? Shocker, right? Any idiot could see that coming.
Mobile is Growing, Ads Lag Behind
We're running out of people who stay offline -- growth in Internet users is down to less than 10 percent year-over-year, mostly in developing markets like India, Indonesia, and Nigeria. Smartphone growth is strong at 20 percent, but slowing, while tablet growth is up a massive 52 percent globally.
The most impressive stats, however, involve mobile data: traffic is up 81 percent, and makes up 25 percent of total Internet usage globally (19 percent in North America). Much of the traffic growth is from video, where users watch 22 percent of their video on the go.
Despite these states, only 5 percent of advertising spending was directed at mobile, with print still being overemphasized.
Why You Care
These stats and others point to a clear trend: more mobile. More mobile users, more mobile traffic, more mobile advertising. As we noted last week, when discussing the rise of $100 smartphones (which will likely accelerate the mobile trend further), lawyers should be adopting a mobile-friendly advertising strategy, including websites with responsive design (the layout adjusts automatically to account for the user's screen size and more spending on mobile advertisements. (Yes, FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing division can handle both of those needs.)
The really interesting trend is the increase in mobile video. Though we have yet to see lawyer commercials interrupting our YouTube viewing, is that on the horizon? Will ambulance chaser ads soon appear in between music videos and television shows?
Editor's Note, April 29, 2015: This post was first published in May 2014. It has since been updated. Even though the data cited is from 2014, it is more important than ever, given the latest Google update.
- Rolling out the mobile-friendly update (Google Webmaster Blog)
- State of the Internet: Still Growing but More Mobile Than Ever (New York Times Bits Blog)
- How Does Your Legal Website Look on Mobile Devices? (FindLaw's Technologist Blog)
- Your Law Firm Website is (Probably) Designed to Fail (FindLaw's Strategist Blog)