I Read Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report… So You Don’t Have To. Quick hits From a Tech Marketer.

Jeff Berezny
7 min readJun 3, 2017


It’s that time of the year. Time to pour through hundreds of slides in rapid fashion with the annual Mary Meeker report on Internet Trends 2017.

Rather than flip through 353 pages, I’ve done it for you and pulled out the trends that I found most interesting. I focused on advertising and media along with a few other nuggets that may be of interest.

Here’s what I dug in to:

1. If you’re not a digital marketer today, you’re not a marketer. Period.

2. The Triple-Edged Sword of Personalized Advertising

3. The demise of big box retail and the rise of small box delivery

4. The Evolution of Entertainment: From MASS to PERSONALIZED

5. China, Design, Healthcare Quick Hits

Here we go:

1. Digital advertising is ACTUALLY real advertising. In fact its bigger, better and more effective than TV.

First of all, I’m embarrassed to even write a headline like the above… as it is 2017. The fact that “going digital” or “digital marketing” is even a term is sad.

“If you’re not a digital marketer today, you’re not a marketer. Period.”

Finally, it appears that industry media dollars are catching up. See below as global internet Ad Spend surpasses that of traditional TV spend.

Keep in mind though, its not that Show/TV-based advertising is ineffective or is going away. It is just shifting to internet based streaming, where the eyeballs are, and the targeting and tracking is phenomenally better.

Note, this is NOT limited to YouTube and Instagram! (see below)

I’ve spent several millions of dollars in Facebook and Google advertising through my career and I often hear people say that you’re not really serious about advertising if you’re just spending on Facebook or Google. This is absolutely not true as both these platforms provide an extraordinary way to reach new audiences very quickly and efficiently. And they are only getting better (albeit more expensive).

What I respect most about Ad platforms like Google and Facebook is that they treat their Ad products, well, like products. And are constantly iterating to make them better for advertisers, introducing innovative new features, targeting, tracking and more.

This is a far cry from TV and Print, which basically hasn’t changed in 100 years.

This certainly isn’t to say that Facebook & Google should be your sole marketing channels. As a marketer you should be creative about how to ignite brand loyalists and influencers to speak about your brand/product and target niche channels that are relevant to you. BUT, Facebook and/or Google ad networks should form a solid foundation for advertising before going anywhere else.

2. The Triple-Edged Sword of Personalized Advertising

Mary Meeker referred to it as a Triple-Edged Sword. Not sure I like the analogy, but I’ll run with it.

Edge 1: Woohoo! I can target exactly who I want!

Today, there is no excuse not to create campaigns and experiments that micro-target your audience. All the tools are there to be efficient, and it is your job as a marketer to think about how you can be creative in that targeting to reach the audience that is most relevant to you.

This is only getting better all the time with device level targeting, interest-based, location-based, time-based, activity-based, lookalikes and more. Get your hands dirty and play with it.

Uber has recently begun to do this brilliantly with their Uber Eats product and Foursquare (below). When you’re on a way somewhere in an Uber you’re often looking for things to do in that area. There are few more relevant times to send a message to someone. Then it stops being ads, and starts being useful. Google worked with Uber to do the same in reverse by putting ads for Uber in Google Maps when you’re trying to map a route there, again providing usefulness, over simply advertising.

We need to move from a position of pay and spray advertising to a position of providing the right message at the right time to the right people.

Edge 2: Dang! I can now see that my advertising doesn’t work…

For some “traditional” marketers, having visibility to the results of their advertising could be the worst thing that has ever happened. Now, they’re suddenly 100% accountable for every dollar of spend, instead of hoping that something is working. The data tells the story today and we need to take advantage of that, not shy away from it.

If something isn’t working, iterate and try something else, quickly.

Edge 3: People are increasingly turned off by data collection from ads

While an age of personalized advertising that provides genuine value is in theory a good thing for everyone, including customers, there is a serious downside for many as it relates to their personal data.

Personal information is currency and, for many, they have no interest in having orgs like Google and Facebook knowing everything about every move they make. Which is fair enough!

See below the huge spike in ad blockers for an indication of the hesitation when it comes to internet ads.

My personal opinion on this though is that people are primarily motivated to use an ad blocker because they’re seeing ads that they hate. If we can push the industry and ourselves to provide genuine value and not spam people, then I believe that people will actually want to see many ads.

3. The demise of big box retail and the rise of small box delivery

Where is your storefront? How many different storefronts do you have? How do you manage them all? There has never been a time that this becoming more blurred. New types of storefronts are popping up (and closing down) everywhere. In fact, your Facebook feed itself can now be a browsable storefront (see below).

This shift in storefront from physical location to websites, Facebook feeds and apps is leading to a massive increase in parcel delivery. See below:

And if you live in an apartment or condo, the role of the lobby concierge is changing to a warehouse manager!


This trend is happening ACROSS the board in retail and also in dining. New delivery services are simply making it SO easy to get what you want, when you want, entirely from your phone, that people are opting out of in-person experiences that are simply not worth it.

What’s more… all of this is trackable and measurable!

I have no doubt that shopping malls and big box malls will soon be graveyards, torn down and replace with warehouses and condos.

That being said, there will still be a place for in-person experiences… they just have to be exceptional.

4. The Evolution of Entertainment: From MASS to PERSONALIZED

The media landscape has changed so dramatically in the past 15 years, it literally looks nothing like it used to.

Take the music industry for moment. We’ve moved from the dominance of physical albums until Apple changed the game with downloads/iTunes in the early 2000s and then that was disrupted AGAIN with streaming services like Spotify.

The key takeaway here for me in the entertainment industry is that we’ve moved from a posture where everyone gets the same mass offering to everyone getting exactly what they want, when they want, where they want.

Services like Netflix and Spotify have actually created millions of different products for their audience via their customization engine… at one low monthly price. Pretty awesome.

One more slide for the road…

5. China, Design, Healthcare Quick Hits

And finally, the following are a selection of other slides from the behemoth deck that I found particularly interesting. Enjoy.

That’s it. That’s all. Let me know any thoughts or comments!



Jeff Berezny

Adventurer. Entrepreneur. Storyteller. Exploring life @ the collision of love, work & play.