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5 Surprising Digital Marketing Insights from Deloitte’s Director of Research

Since 2001, Deloitte, a UK-incorporated professional services firm, has published their predictions for the Technology, Media, and Telecom sectors in the coming yearDuncan Stewart, Deloitte Canada’s Director of Research was kind of enough to come into the StackAdapt office & take us through this year’s predictions. We’ve rounded up our top 5 digital marketing insights and their impact on how we acquire customers.

1. Mobile Speeds Are on the Rise, Globally

Deloitte predicts that while 5G technology is still a ways off, interim technologies like 4.5 and 4.9G (also known as LTE and LTE A Pro) will lead to increased speeds in urban areas and the developing world.

“Where does all this get exciting?” Duncan asked. “Fixed Wireless Access. The idea is that instead of running a Fiber Optic Network cable to your home for $1,500-$2,000 per home pass, I can stick a cheap as dirt, 50 Kilo box on a phone pole and as long as I have line of sight, I can use millimetre away frequencies to beam a Gig directly into your home”.

What this means, Stewart continued, is twofold: “We are going to see, first of all, everybody in Canada have potentially access to much, much higher speeds at lower prices, and in the States, and in Europe, and in the rest of the world. So you can kinda play with that idea for ubiquitous ultra-high speed fixed wireless access.”

Impact on Digital Marketing:

If you’re going to do mobile, do it right. Mobile first efforts should be top of mind… Not just in North America and Europe, but globally. Major cities in developing nations now have the advantage of leapfrogging expensive technology like fibre cables and can potentially have the same mobile access as someone in Manhattan.

Therefore (though this should hardly be news to a technology driven marketer), programmatic strategies should include mobile friendly creative such as short, high-quality videos (don’t forget the closed captioning—85% of Facebook video is viewed without sound!), and display and/or native strategies that include in-app inventory. Optimizing for mobile includes proper image size and clear CTAs that won’t lead to accidental clicks!

2. Form Factor

As advertisers, we tend to think “cross-device,” which can sometimes cause us to neglect the disparate ways we use them. As humans, we prefer different gear for different activities, and no amount of technology is likely to change how we interact with various hardware. This is due to something Duncan Stewart calls “form factor”.

“Why do you buy shoes on your laptop instead of on your phone?” asked Duncan. Answer: “Because it’s got a bigger screen and I can see more shoes at the same time. Apps get better over time. The apps we’ll use for shopping on our phone 5 years from now will be awesome, the payments on our phone will be way more secure 5 years from now… Do you know what phones 5 years from now will not have? [Bigger screens.] It’s about form factor. Form factor stuff is way, way stickier than software stuff… You gotta look at it that way.”

Impact on Digital Marketing:

The device ecosystem is changing. Laptops are the new televisions and phones are the new laptops. But digital marketers beware: don’t mistake shifts in the market for a one-way street to Mobile. Take the time to research which device actually converts for your brand—depending on your target demographic, product, and industry, you might be surprised by the results.

3. Duncan’s Law

When Duncan asked our staff if any of us (mostly Millennials) did our banking online, 100% of us raised our hands. We have no problem paying our bills, transferring money or checking our balance through an app. “Now I’m going to ask you a different question,” he went on, “Would you buy a house on your smartphone?” To which we all murmured a general… probably not.

This is because, as Duncan pointed out for us, “When you look at financial service transactions, the simpler and the cheaper they are, the more likely they are to be done on a phone… This is also true of many of our retail categories. ”

“As [transactions] become more complex or higher in value, all of a sudden the PC becomes ever more likely to be used while the phone becomes less likely… to a point. After that point, we begin to see the PC also begin to decline along with the phone, and instead people start picking up telephones and calling 1-800 numbers and actually going to bank branches,” Duncan continued.

Makes sense, right? We’re just not comfortable making unfamiliar purchases, or major life decisions like real estate, without first-hand knowledge or experience.

Since he was the first one to ever record this phenomenon, Duncan has jokingly referred to it as “Duncan’s Law”. Let’s make this a thing, shall we? Spread the word!

Impact on Digital Marketing:

Duncan’s Law states that the more complex or higher value a transaction, the less likely we are to buy online. This data backed principle should make marketers think twice about how and when they expect potential customers to convert. Buying a home online is an extreme example, but the lesson here is to respect your customer journey.

No one is going to buy your $10,000 diamond ring on your online store without first seeing it with his or her own eyes. In this case, advertising should prompt in-store visits and online research rather than digital banners exclaiming “buy now!” Customer acquisition gets a heck of a lot easier when you meet your customers on their level rather than trying to force a transaction that just doesn’t feel right.

4. Pareto’s Ratio

Otherwise known as the 80/20 rule: 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. When it comes to digital marketing and advertising, turns out this rule is off: “When I look at streaming audio and video on a computer,” stated Duncan, “87% of views comes from 20% of your customers. Meanwhile, when I look at radio and TV, only 50% of views come from the top 20.”

Why? It has to do with targeting, of course. Digital advertising is laser focused. We’ve seen this in the way programmatic can target not just demographically, but on a user-centric, intent based level. It’s the reason the shoes we browsed last week are still calling our name across many, many websites. Fun fact courtesy of Duncan: Adidas has completely stopped advertising on television, opting for the accuracy and scale of digital advertising for acquiring new customers.

Traditional media, on the other hand, casts a wide net. As Duncan put it, “when you sell soap and shampoo and toothpaste you don’t want to target, you want to reach everybody”.

Impact on Digital Marketing:

Television and radio are still valid mediums, especially if your audience is older, or your product is a universal utility. And, we’re most likely preaching to the choir here, but digital advertising is the best way to reach niche audiences, younger audiences, and specific people who have shown some sort of intent towards your product or service.

5, Ad People vs. Normal People

We’ve saved the best for last, ready for it? Ad people are not normal people and Deloitte has the graphs to prove it. You’ll see below that the assumptions ad people make about both themselves and the average consumer are very, very wrong.

Why? “You are not everybody. The average Canadian watches 4 hours and 50 minutes of TV a day. It’s not you, it’s probably not your boyfriends and girlfriends, it’s probably not your close friends. But there are 35 million Canadians out there and a lot of them do stuff that you don’t do in ways that you are desperately and grotesquely wrong about.” Duncan calmly explained to our room of startup employees in oversized glasses and plaid shirts.

Impact on Digital Marketing:

As digital marketers and advertisers, we tend to (due to our extensive education and training), make assumptions about so-called “consumers” without much hard evidence to back them. Why? Because we are surrounded by other marketers who all believe the same thing. The “above the fray” point of view that is supposed to mark us as objective can act as the very ivory tower that skews our perspective.

Admittedly, this issue goes beyond marketing. In the algorithmic age of social media, our views are rarely challenged. So, we challenge you, as marketers, to do hard research on your target market. What do they really think? What do they really need? It’s time to climb out of our ivory towers and mingle with masses. Remember: “you are not everybody”.

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