So much happens in the digital space every day – it can be difficult to keep up. Below, one of DAC Group’s digital strategists, Rob Walker, shares his recap of some of the more interesting bits of news as they relate to brands, business and marketing in a connected world. Game on!
E-Sports Set to take the marketing world by storm
In the late 90s, my friends and I were part of a gaming team (a ‘clan’) that played high level competitive online games (Counter-Strike). We won a number of online tournaments and for a few brief but shining weeks we were the #1 ranked team in the world. Turns out that if I had been born 10-15 years later I could have been a professional competitive gamer and made a living through prize money. Brands would have been paying big money for endorsements and coverage.
At least, that’s what the latest data is showing from the E-sports community, where millions of people are watching live online (and increasingly through TV) as competitive gamers play for high stakes at huge stadiums. Viewership topped 100 million in 2014 and is expected to exceed 135 million in 2015.
Brands like Coca-Cola, Reebok and Intel are among a number of brands that have jumped on board as sponsors. With Amazon having bought game live caster Twitch for $970 million in 2014, E-sports are set to be the premium live events of the future.
Mobile will account for 72% of US Digital Ad Spend by 2019
It’s no surprise that mobile advertising is growing at a massive rate – we’ve seen exponential growth in the market. As smartphone and tablet usage has exploded, we’ve seen fantastic leaps in both mobile technology and sophistication of the advertising. eMarketer says that by next year, worldwide mobile ad spend will top $100 billion and they calculate we’ll be spending nearly $200 billion by 2019.
The United States is leading the pack with a predicted spend of $40 billion next year, while China and the UK will be spending $22 billion and $7 billion. Canada is looking to spend around $2.2 billion, up from $1.4 billion in 2015.
What’s driving all this spending? Usage, usage, usage. The numbers show a distinct upward trend of usage with their devices year over year. In 2014 in the US, adults were spending an average of 2 hours and 51 minutes on mobile devices each day, up from 2 hours and 19 minutes in 2013. In 2014, desktop use dropped below mobile use for the first time after being equal in 2013.
Facebook challenging Paypal with Messenger for business
It’s pretty rare when a company can successfully get their user base to utilize two apps at the same time, but Facebook seems to have nailed it with their Messenger app, which splits out your chat functionality from the main Facebook app.
The next logical step for Facebook then is to ensure they can monetize the new app – which they’re on track to doing with the announcement of Messenger for Business. In short, Facebook is going to be taking on PayPal by allowing payments from one user to another. More importantly, the update will eventually allow users to make payments to businesses. This is huge and can be a big step for Facebook in keeping users within the FB ecosystem if they want to buy tickets, items via e-commerce and any other payment method.
Right now, credit cards and prepaid debit cards won’t work, and you can’t send money to businesses – it’s only set up for people to send money to each other via debit cards. This is probably just a test phase for them and we’ll start seeing more integration with business services in the near future. This could include messaging users about shipping and receipts, updates on orders, customer service feedback and more.
The amount of opportunity for businesses to gain more data and interact with customers through a system they’re already comfortable with – let alone payment systems and invoicing, etc., is a fantastic one that all brands should be keeping a close eye on.