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

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

Archive