Why storytelling is so powerful in this digital era

Monday, July 24, 2017

Ashley Fell is a social researcher, keynote speaker and head of Communications at McCrindle. In her recent TED talk on The Visual Mind; Why storytelling is so powerful in this digital era, Ashley elaborates on the power of stories on our mind, and how to use them to communicate data-rich stories.


Communication has never been as important as it is today, because so much of our world is changing. We live in a world where our learning has changed. Where our interaction and how we ‘share’ has changed. Where even the concept of a story, has changed.

We are living in an age of digital disruption, in what we call 'the great screenage'. Where we now spend more time on our devices, than we ever have before. 

We live in technologically integrated times, where our attention spans are short. In times of message saturation and information overload, if you have important data to communicate, it is harder than ever to cut through the noise. 

The key to unlocking effective cut-through, is in an understanding of how the brain works.

For we know the brain is wired to processes visual imagery. When we look at how the brain retains information, words are processed by our short term memory, whereas visuals go directly into our long-term memory where they are indelibly etched.

And so the key is to present information in a way that appeals to the visual mind.

When we communicate data, our job is to move from the complex to the simple. Because the brain is more naturally wired to engage with the human, with the relatable, with a story than with just data, information and complexity alone. 

And when we think about engaging stories, whether they be novels, infographics or songs, they always have the four I’s.

Great stories create interest and capture our attention. Great stories instruct and communicate meaning. Great stories involve us. And importantly, a great story inspires. It connects not just with the eyes of the head but with the eyes of the heart.

We know the mind looks for direction and coherency. It doesn’t respond to ambiguity. And so as researchers, we navigate spreadsheets and find the intrigue and interest in the data. We fill in the blanks and communicate through the use of infographics and visualised presentations. We believe research is at its best, when it tells a story. 

When we think about visuals that create interest and engage our minds, there are three key elements.

The first is colour. Our eyes and our minds are drawn to colour. The second is picture. The content of the visual. And the third is movement. Motion and movement attract and retain our attention. That is why YouTube is so popular. For why would we read it, when we can watch it?

And so when you next have a story to tell, remember that the mind responds to visuals. That we are wired to engage and retain information visually. And that creating interest ad intrigue, especially when you are communicating data, has never been more important than in the great screenage we are living in today. 

ABOUT ASHLEY FELL

Ashley Fell is a social researcher, TEDx speaker and Head of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst and media commentator she understands how to effectively communicate across diverse audiences.

From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms and content creation, Ashley advises on how to achieve cut through in message-saturated times. She is an expert in how to communicate across generational barriers.

Download Ashley's Professional Speakers Pack here and see the McCrindle Speakers professional presenter showreel here

Contact us today to book Ashley for your next event. 

Changing Face of Sydney Transport

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

From high above, aerial images show Sydney un-earthed. These before and after images detail the changing face of Sydney’s suburbs. Major progress is being made on key Sydney infrastructure projects as the city prepares for ongoing population growth.

 Before After 

Sydney’s growing population

Sydney reached 5 million at the end of June 2016. While it took almost 30 years (1971 – 2000) for Sydney's population to increase from 3 million to 4 million people, it took only another 16 years to reach its next million. 

Growing by 83,000 people every 12 months (at 1.7%, above the national average of 1.4%), the city needs infrastructure to keep pace with this population growth.

NSW projections show that NSW will grow to 9.9 million people by 2036. Sydney is two-thirds of this number, so will reach 6.5 million in the next 20 years, and 8 million by 2050.

How we commute to work in Sydney

Almost 2 in 3 Australian commuters get to work by private car (65.5%, up from 65.3% 5 years ago) with just 1 in 10 relying on public transport. The 2011 Census showed that 58% of Sydneysiders commute to work by car, 9% by train, 5% by bus, and a further 4% walked. 

Social researcher Eliane Miles notes, "Sydney-siders are spending a significant amount of time moving each day. While the average work trip for a Sydneysider is around 35 minutes, for many Sydneysiders the journey to work takes much longer. Commuters in Sydney's outer suburbs are often spending five times this length (up to 2.5 hours) per trip each way. Sydney is investing more in infrastructure than other world cities of comparable population size, and it is critical that investment in both roads and public transport options continues." 

You can watch the full story on Nine News here


About Eliane Miles

Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a data analyst she understands the power of big data to inform strategic direction. Managing research across multiple sectors and locations, she is well positioned to understand the megatrends transforming the workplace, household and consumer landscapes. Her expertise is in telling the story embedded in the data and communicating the insights in visual and practical ways.

From the key demographic transformations such as population growth to social trends such as changing household structures, to generational change and the impact of technology, Eliane delivers research based presentations dealing with the big global and national trends.

To have Eliane speak at your next event, feel free to contact Kimberley Linco on 02 8824 3422 or kim@mccrindle.com.au.

Download Eliane’s professional speakers pack here

External Trends Impacting the NFP Sector in 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The year 2017 has begun in an environment of perplexed global sentiment. From Brexit to the election of President Trump, the last 9 months have been far from a smooth ride on the world stage, showing a trend towards growing isolationism and increasing uncertainty.

At the national level, for most advanced economies, this uncertainty has bred an increase in nationalism, and a move away from globalisation. In Australia, our response – in part fuelled by our strong work ethic and historic undercurrent – makes us all just want to ‘get on with it’ and get the job done.

For the not for profit sector, this means working hard at strategic initiatives, managing external risk, and taking bold initiatives to engage donors. Our conversations with the NFP sector at this time of year often involves developing strategic brand tracking to measure public engagement, or testing specific brand assets to develop powerful advertising campaigns.

Yet, before delving into the tools of marketing and communications, it is critical that NFPs grasp the trends and undercurrents taking place in the external environment, particularly those that impact donor giving. Here are three trends we feel are critical for the NFP sector to grapple with in 2017:

1. Charity saturation and the need for brand differentiation

According to JBWere’s Cause Report (2016), Australia has 56,894 NFP organisation, one NFP for every 422 individuals. The number of not for profit organisations has doubled every 20 years over the last 60 years – and despite cancelling and closure of some charities by the ACNC, there are still around 10 new charities established every business day.

2. Overall decline in public giving necessitating new fundraising initiatives

Charitable giving has been lower in Australia in 2016 than in years prior. The NAB Charitable Giving Index indicates that national giving is down, by a decrease of 0.3% growth in the 12 months leading up to Aug 2016. This compares to 5.1% growth a year earlier. While there has been resilience in the Australian economy during this time, consumers are more cautious than before, reflected by these figures.

3. Younger generations giving less and seeking experiential engagement

60% of Australian donors agree that charities will face a more difficult future as younger generations don’t seem to volunteer in an ongoing way or give as much as the generations before them (McCrindle Australian Communities Trends Report, 2016). NAB data shows that those aged 15 to 24 give just $135 on average, annually, to charities, compared to those over 65 who give $452 on average.

BEHIND THE TRENDS

A number of these trends are explained by a rise in the cost of living across Australia. Take Sydney housing as a case example of the growing cost of living pressures. In 1975, Sydney house prices were just 5x average annual earnings. By 1995 they had risen to 6x average annual earnings, but today – when taking the average annual salary of $80,000 per year and the median house price of well over $1 million – the average house price is 13x the cost of an average annual full-time salary.

Australian donors are finding it more difficult to give, and to give regularly. As the traditional, dependable, regular donor shrinks as a proportion of all donors, new types of donors are emerging –brand responders and opportunity givers.

ENGAGING AD-HOC DONORS


Brand responders and opportunity givers donate sporadically, in an ad-hoc way. These types of donors are still more likely to give to a single charity or cause than to multiple causes, and have a strong preference for a particularly cause or charity.

Through speaking with more than a dozen NFP experts, 54 donors face to face, and surveying 1,500 Australians, we have identified four key next steps for the charitable sector to take into account in 2017:

1. Develop Multi-Tiered Levels of Engagement

Donors want to be involved with charities, but on their own terms. Rather than fixed contracts, they desire flexible giving and varied involvement. The demand for personalisation is growing as donors expect charity engagement suited to their age and life stage.

2. Build Communities for Social Impact

Australian donors desire to be part of a community of activists that bring about social change. They want to be involved in something bigger than themselves, knowing that together they can make a difference. This is not just ‘clicktivism’, which is seen merely as a form of virtue signalling through web-based activist organisations. Globally, networks like Avaaz.org and Change.org have created opportunities for real-life engagement of social issues, facilitated first through online platforms.

3. Communicate Results in Real-Time

Donors want real-time results and transparent reporting of admin costs. Platforms such as GiveDirectly.org now enable donors to give directly to an individual living in extreme poverty via mobile giving. KIVA, a lending platform facilitating crowd-sourced micro loans across the globe, displays the giving of loans in real-time via an interactive world map. When donors have this type of visibility, trust and engagement follow.

4. Create Fun and Engaging Experiences

The donor of the future is looking for participation and memories created through experiences. Nearly half (46%) of 18-29 year-old Australian donors have volunteered for a charity (compared to 31% of 30+ donors), and they are looking to do so in new, fresh ways. This is not just contained to events and a physical presence at sporting events or music festivals. Many young donors (1 in 4 of those aged 18-29, compared to just 11% of 30+ year-old donors) prefer the creative challenge of conducting their own fundraising events, providing them with the opportunity to harness their unique gifts and talents for a great cause.

-Eliane Miles

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information on Australian Donors, see the Australian Communities Trends Report Infographic.

Connect with us if you would like more information on environmental scanning for strategic forecasting.

ABOUT ELIANE MILES

Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a data analyst she understands the power of big data to inform strategic direction. Managing research across multiple sectors and locations, she is well positioned to understand the mega trends transforming the workplace, household and consumer landscapes. Her expertise is in telling the story embedded in the data and communicating the insights in visual and practical ways. Download Eliane's professional speaking pack here.

To inquire about Eliane presenting at your next event, please feel free to get in touch.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare


Last 150 Articles


Tags

JOMO financial independence sydney hills Cobbitty-Leppington schools brand experience royal family winter blues cica Adelaide charities workshop EFF financial research data micro graphs networking McCridle report acf15 leader social change work society trends conference presentation ashley mckenzie public holiday faux-cilising Australia Day 2017 state wellbeing product property data researcher owning a home Word Up transport divorce rate tips Myth government paying to work sun community 1968 cancelling plans Australian Home visual census 2016 news sunny days overcast affordable norwest goal wealth distribution Australian communities breakfast mateship relevant the great screenage Vocational education education research newspaper australian social research "know the times" communications property price mining boom sydney speaker grandparents communication children speakers pack youth unemployment professional speaker donation cooking optus my business awards 1980 jobs of the future generation alpha click affordability ACF17 learn commute repayments millenials presentation learning styles Australia street innovative choice workers purpose faux-cilise 40 million teacher engagement selfie car forecast engage media commentary skills Macquarie University Real Estate demographer happiness money sector wide study victoria high density living Bathburst Charlotte REIV Conference mccrindle in the media water gig Res Vis language micro apartments event VET know the times ethnography daily telegraph contiki conference ABS hopes workforce moreton bay new york times school satisfaction world bureau Assistant Store Manager high density belief travelling spend survey young people the hills shire staying in future of shopping annual income collaborative vegetarian not for profit research royal influence social shifts culturally diverse mover and shaker the australian dream society Australians mccrindle tea office stay home media activity moderators guide tea Queensland: QLD travel the average aussie proactive TED dreaming Work place middle class anzac qualitative research Northern Beaches leadership NBRS year 7 fresh bus not-for-profit father's day group session baby name sector wide Australian Trends wealth work mates budget local friends ideas market research speajer entertainment celebration chairty Australian Census social researchers Jura Australia generations greatness in depth interviews workplace culture cancelling event future proofing stats CBD Social Trend housing market futurist land of the middle class Australian Bureau of Statistics trades home dare to dream Financial Planning Association pyrmont emerging technologies infographic wall alpha gender social enquiry small business going out communities What is food insecurity? outsourcing investor future of education cold rise of local teach households education princess charlotte FPA Australian community trends group area poor wage research pack trends analyst the hills food insecurity ageing population FOMO teaching residents mortgage business performance office space debate 2016 culture education sector SMSF REIV National Conference australians staying home more Financial Planning Association of Australia organisations VET sector salary coffee lovers slideshare infographic 2020 tertiary education teachers mccrindle research 2014 financial planning cancel plans parents parenting DESTEL sydney event baby name predictions social trends Deaths holiday NT eliane miles shopping centre supply and demand customer ageing rent Research Executive HSC quote trend tuesday gig economy aged care puzzle forum omnibus food authenticity divorce Aussies lifestyle online Merry Christmas research visualisation NSW conference speaker Melbourne shifts earn meals average Australian Do It Yourself global financial crisis potts point TED talk christmas collaboration education future pharmacies intern growth optimistic housing trends capital cities Andrew Duffin care support Christmas season eliane population milestone hobart public speaking perth Wellington responsive Australian Dream students VIC workplace rule keeper suburb wages waverton consumer mythbusters thought leadership non profit Australian Communities Trends 1975 women ACT child care Real Estate Institute of Victoria Caregiver monarchy SRE NBRS Architecture employment sector shopper's pick speaker capital city hills shire huffington post states dreams renting real shbc social tuesday internet NEETs Sydney Hills Business Chamber program sydneycity post rationalism medicine February 16 global keynote speaker Love woolworths 24,000,000 cloudy days motivate consumerism resilience manly employmer English future of work townhouses pharmacy media infographics baby boomers Canberra sunburnt country visualisation volunteer Territory list lalor park personalities sydney metro live the dream tv internships australian communities forum narcissism unaffordable Channel Seven names 2012 poker master data visualisation interactive Christmas presents village environment darwin families city The Daily Edition australian community trends report social lives men Royals World Water Day 2016 census results Tasmania Population Clock church screenage donate australian communities trends report life finance cost of living Wagga Wagga Crime Rates suburbs brands SA baby names impact safe events spirituality professional services housing growth summer the changing face of demographic 10 years employmee criminal low density sustainable typical australian TEDx new office daily commute equip award winner Hornsby Shire Council aussie culture emerging trends gold coast religion house price rise digital insight future ACT Report demographic trends megatrends McCrindle Speakers housing baby names report food bank relational financial dreams neutral bay Jura Coffee define ferry urban living trends clothing Kiwi australian royal baby university Generation X giving educated GPO Willowdale Christchurch Valentine’s Day urban taskforce rich volunteering data hello fresh social researcher Wodonga faith litter Netflix Christmas lunch baby names australia report long weekend christian census data gen alpha ACF2017 PSI home owner christianity deloitte cars ashley fell 2015 professional presenters keynote weekly earnings generational trends easter innovation kate middleton debt high school online shopping hunger storytelling New South Wales marketing speakers Gen Y dream population 2017 entrepreneurial conferences demographic transformations casual vegemite seasons training holidays Australian Families social commentary goals staff professional development presentations coffee rental stress aged care challenge 2016 census investing Hills Shire Council #censusfail Queensland tattoos Western Australia Tuesday Trends royal schools students mccrindle cartodb apartments TDE follow social research mother's day Mount Annan-Currant Hill house prices rising house prices school students cultural diveristy research services Sydney keynote speaker urban community event youth Kirsten Brewer insights builders wealth inequality statistics balance student healthy future employers domestic wealth and income commuters Research Director 23 million leadership workshop global generations business index data analyst Duchess of Cambridge retirement facts volunteers world youth day thrive rain Scouts friendship bondi organisational culture Northern Beaches Christian School volunteering professional public speaker mythbusting financial fears WA change ipswich Sydney’s south west personal growth publication marriage urban living index financial future New Zeland entrepreneurs of today not for profit Sydney australian real estate snapshot wolloomooloo community engagement careers ultimo education future report living offenders panel suburban living trends of 2016 Australian schools Channel 7 easy rider sydneysiders video mobile etiquette google participants baby home ownership 24 million energy couple the lucky country buildings plans toys wealth and income distribution work-life national wealth house cash school house price Geoff Brailey Financial Planning Week brand case study unemployment New Zealand socialites trends of 2017 research report crows nest Education Future Forum brisbane Elderslie-Harrington park jobs forecasting geomapping social commentator millionth charity population growth demographics generation family local community Births average sydneysider in the media social media results recap blaxland career winter prince george learner local communities mentor socialising renter of the future priorities fears sentiments focus group cost future proof internship social life sydneysider business tableau January 26th showreel emerging generations census results Northern beaches Event focus groups Generation Y research university degree wedding gen z social impact DIY SMART IT Specialists sports Australia Day train teleworking high density apartments Skilling communicate cultural diversity experience economic educhat Australian demographics baby boom environmental scanning Northern Territory faux-ciliser TAS resource dessert study shopping apartment office opening System's Architect South Australia economy demography ACF 2016 media release optus crime curiosity hills The ABC of XYZ analysis Gen X story social issues investment income grave decision marrickville australia year 12 identity increasing densification CPI google for education logan earnings menai generation Z household housing affordability nfp politics Mark McCrindle future-proof entrepreneur research on coffee millennials Engineering Manager average aussie ACF national crime rates marriages earning learning James Ward property market census changing face of sydney Tuesday Trend meetings 2013 population map national private wealth 1994 NFP event young australians census fail baby name trends growing population technology Aussie award ease of travel hornsby weather social analysis trend twentyseventeen Australian Population survey design

Archive