Today’s digital world explained by Facebook

A few days ago, I attended a Facebook event in Paris. Besides their amazing offices, the foosball tables, and the snacks, the speakers intervened on a very relevant topic: the challenges of measuring efficiency on the web. It is challenging for both marketers and data analysts and researchers. Customers and Internet users in general have a very short attention span: But this is completely normal. They use multiple devices, while multitasking. Just think about yourself every evening, watching TV, with your Laptop on your lap, and your phone in on hand (and probably a tablet charging in the other room). Do you imagine how difficult it can get to captivate users’ attention?

The online environment seems super easy and fun, but behind the scenes, it is a very complex world. As Richard Moore, author of Writing the Silences, would say “Simplicities are enormously complex”. This is why it is important to always measure, analyse in order to understand this environment. During this seminar at Facebook, Anne Bioulac, partner at Roland Berger consultancy gave us an overview of the environment: how mobile is growing and how it is impacting consumer behaviour. Then, Georges Augué, Facebook’s regional measurement lead talked about the different approaches and methodologies used to measuring effectiveness. Following that, Anais Abbou who works at Kantar worldpanel made a speech about consumer panels, and the impact of a given campaign. The last part of the seminar presented by Kathy Dykeman, Monetization and Analytics Manager, and Manohar Paluri the applied machine learning manager at Facebook, was extremely interesting and impressive to my taste. I think that it is impossible to explain everything in one article, but I will summarise the key points.  

Ever evolving environment

Growth that is taking place today in terms of data sharing and content is exponential. In the past it took a year to sell 1 million iPods Paris today it takes half a day to sell 1 million iPhone 6.

All this change is obviously impacting consumer Behavior in all the industries and all the sectors. If in the past it was easy to forecast and come up with predictions in terms of evolution technology and change today it’s possible to do so. The company that survives today is a company that is agile and always ready to adapt.

As you might have guessed, mobile is growing at an incredible pace. On the street everyone is looking at their smartphone. 60% of the population in 2020 would be using a smartphone. But people are not using smartphones only, the use multiple devices anywhere and anytime: This cross-device trend is spreading across the different generations. E-commerce is the third key trend of of 2014-2019: It is becoming a natural act to order different categories of items online.

Today’s consumers seek information: they browse and search for products on the Internet, before going in-store, or ordering them directly online. And social media is a main source of information for them. They get reviews and opinions from people with the same interests and taste. And last but not least, the new star of digital: video. As you might have seen, everybody is going crazy over videos. They are a fun and creative way to captivate a user’s attention.