January 2011 This edition covers: •Data Visualisation •Gamification •The Power of One •Food Security
DATA VISUALISATION Infographics are big ➔ Regardless of the medium, PR professionals are still essentially in the business of creating compelling ways in which to get their client’s messages across. ➔ One of the key trends in this area is Data Visualisation or Infographics. Impactful ➔ A study at the University of Pennsylvania showed that in presentations, when information is conveyed orally, people retain only 10 percent of the content. But when a presentation includes visuals and words, that number increases to 50. ➔ In an era when we are inundated with news and media stories that have to fight for space amidst this deluge, infographics can make a real difference in helping a client stand out from its competitors. Not just a pretty picture ➔ Infographics are much more than a pretty picture. ➔ They provide users with 4 distinct elements: 1. same mental model 2. attention-getting mechanisms 3. content retention 4. engagement from start to finish
Many Eyes “living laboratory” ➔ Data visualisation is something that IBM – one of the most innovative companies in the world – is taking a keen interest in. ➔ They have even launched a website called Many Eyes which they see as a “living laboratory” allowing you to upload data sheets and see them be transformed into a variety of visualised formats. Best practice ➔ You are sure to remember the story of the Chilean miners. There were 33 Chilean miners trapped in a mine who were not going to be able to be freed for months. Although this was headline news when it first broke there was an element of compassion fatigue over time. To counter this Newsweek produced this amazing infographic called “Think of the Miners” showing how small the bore hole was that was used to send them all their daily needs. As you can see, it’s a very powerful medium for getting your narrative across. ➔ Take a look at these stunning examples of creative infographics and these data visualisations. ➔ This video is well worth taking the time to watch – journalism in the age of data: http://bit.ly/idY8ki ➔ The New York Times and the BBC websites are also good reference points, as they are both at the forefront of data visualisation.
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF INFOGRAPHICS: ➔ Ideas should be topical ➔ Research is key and data needs to be accurate ➔ Design is critical to take you on an entertaining visual journey ➔ The title is important and needs a recognisable theme ➔ Spread the word aggressively among key online and offline influencers ➔ Promote your content/Infographic on social media e.g.. Digg, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and StumbleUpon,etc. ➔ Establish metrics to measure success ➔ Make sure you have the URL of your firm and the research links embedded in the image so that you always get the credit for your work and in return, credit those whose research made it possible for you to create a visual representation.
READ: 10 Awesome Free Tools To Make Your Own Infographics http://bit.ly/hwQmx7
GAMIFICATION Gamification is the use of game play mechanics or non-game applications, particularly consumer-oriented web and mobile sites, in order to encourage people to adopt the applications. ➔ Gamification works by making technology more engaging, and by encouraging desired behaviours, taking advantage of humans' psychological predisposition to engage in gaming. The technique can encourage people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring, such as completing surveys, shopping, or reading web sites. Facebook at the forefront ➔ The phenomenon of gaming , particularly Farmville, on Facebook has been something of a surprise success. ➔ The statistics speak for themselves: • 53% of Facebook users play games • 19% say they are addicted • 69% of Facebook gamers are women • 56 million people play daily Crossing into business ➔ It’s a phenomenon that has inevitably been latched on to by marketers who have seen the potential benefits of tapping into the growing “gamification” of our lives. Big brands getting in on the act ➔ Big brands also understand the need for game-like connections. Traditional advertising continues to lose effectiveness with younger consumers, and customer acquisition costs remain stubbornly high.
➔ Interestingly, 30% of gamers “like” real world brands. Some of the world’s biggest brands have taken notice of how game mechanics can help their strategies. Airlines, hotels, and credit card companies all understand our desire to be rewarded and to achieve status and have recognised that gaming is just making it more of an adventure, and more social. The scale of the social gaming is such that, according to TechCrunch, Google has invested US$100M in the social gaming behemoth Zynga and is preparing to launch Google Games in the very near future. The next frontier ➔ In 2011, watch out for major media companies and consumer goods brands launching gamified experiences. Expect to see the most innovation in finance, travel and TV. ➔ A Farmville equivalent will become a useful teaching and/or business simulation and learning tool in the enterprise; perhaps a user-powered cooperative. Companies like www.wisestep.com [Beta] are also pushing the boundaries of traditional business networking sites like LinkedIn by adding a gaming element that encourages and rewards interaction. ➔ 2011 will be a very exciting year for gamification and customer engagement overall. From small start ups working on energy consumption to the world’s biggest media properties, tools like points, badges, leader boards and challenges will be increasingly deployed to create emotional and brand loyalty.
HOW TO USE GAME MECHANICS: ➔ Integrate games from the outset Start with your vision and work backwards. Define your end goal: what do you want to accomplish, what’s the big vision? ➔ Make a list of required user actions What behaviour patterns do they need to adopt in order to sustain your business model? Think in verbs, not nouns. What do you need people to do? Once you have this list, rank the items from most to least critical and from most to least plausible. Now you know where to focus your game-based psychology experiment. ➔ Motivate the most important
behaviours Give users a series of meaningful choices. Layer tasks over time to create a share sense of past, present and future to make the experience “sticky.” Pull them towards the most critical behaviours with rewards. ➔ Evaluate and adapt Success lies in evaluating and adapting both the game mechanic layer & the behaviours that are critical to motivate. Both change as you learn about your customer & they learn how to play your game.
READ: 5 Predictions for Game Mechanics in 2011: http://on.mash.to/fIjzZV
THE POWER OF ONE It’s a lonely planet – or is it? ➔ The rise of social networking over recent years and the internet over a longer period, has seen a concurrent rise in lone communication. Keeping in touch with friends does not necessarily need to be made face to face or in groups - each user is alone with his or her computer. ➔ The mobile phone has perhaps been the prime modern cause of this solo communication, however. Texting and the ease with which conversations can be cut down to ‘txt spk’ has meant that the need to physically interact with others has been dramatically reduced. ➔ We are becoming more and more accustomed to being alone – but with the rise of digital entertainment and the ease with which we can travel the world in our second lives online, being lonely does not have to mean being bored. Socio-economic drivers ➔ The slowdown in growth of the global population has been matched by a growth in the number of households - meaning that more people are living alone. ➔ According to the UK Office for National Statistics, as people marry later and live longer, the number of single person households is expected to increase by over 2 million within the next 10 years - on top of the seven and a half million who are already living alone.
Gender divide: the Freemale ➔ A new label - Freemale - has been given to a certain type of woman - those who are happy without a man. According to the ONS, only 25% of women live with a partner. ➔ There is also the seemingly unavoidable fact that women outlive men. The widowed demographic is one that should not be ignored - with men in the West dying around four years earlier than women, on average. This female-heavy market is ripe for brands and companies to tap into. Lifestyle Choice ➔ Overall being single is no longer perceived as a depressing fate - a la Bridget Jones - but as more of an active lifestyle choice. ➔ A group called Quirkyalone has been set up in the US for Singletons or people with “singleton attitudes”. The members of the group are not opposed to being in a couple but they are happier alone than in an unhappy relationship. ➔ The media agency Carat did some research on the topic of Singletons. The research revealed that when asked what one thing would improve their lives, only one in six Singletons said “finding a partner” compared to a third who answered “a large sum of money”; 60% of those surveyed believe that single people are as happy as couples. Respondents mentioned the following upsides to being single : having more time to spend on hobbies (76%), being more spontaneous (62%) and having more close friends (53%).
HOW TO TARGET THE “QUIRKY ALONES”: ➔ Brands can sensitively target singletons, emphasising the bachelor or bachelorette status (rather than emphasising loneliness) and underline the social status of such a demographic. ➔ This target group is ripe for the luxury category, having more disposable income and more liberty to indulge themselves. ➔ Individual holidays are no longer confined to the gap year student. There is plenty of scope to tailor independent adventures to explorers of all ages, especially in the area of health tourism. ➔ Singletons acknowledge experiencing some feelings of loneliness at certain key times such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, New Year and sometimes on Saturdays when there tends to be a heavy media focus on families and couples. These times may create an opportunity for brands to play a role in Singletons’ lives and create an emotional tie with them.
READ: The Singleton Society http://bit.ly/fTXdM4
Global land grab ➔ The world community is in widespread agreement about the urgency of more investment in agriculture. The food crisis, The world we eat in is changing partly characterized by unstable markets ➔ Close to a billion people in the world are and low reserves, has led governments to hungry and there is growing poverty, seek measures to meet their food security unemployment, and displacement in the rural needs more directly than through global sector. Conditions have rapidly been getting trade. worse for families globally as they are ➔ Governments and corporations, looking to battered by surging food prices. Rising costs outsource food and energy more directly are dragging more people into poverty, themselves, are promoting a new wave of fuelling political tensions and forcing ever land acquisitions, known as "land grabs." more people to go hungry. Persian Gulf states are working out land ➔ Food is now costing up to 70% of family deals in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. income in the poorest areas of the world. The India has set up agricultural projects in U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s food Brazil. South Korea recently tried to buy up price index — which covers 90 countries — nearly half of the island of Madagascar. was up 22% in March 2010 from the previous year. Longer term food supply problems looming ➔ Currently, the world’s population stands at From credit crunch to food crunch 6.8 billion and is predicted to rise to A deep-rooted set of factors is destabilising the between 8 billion and 10.5 billion between world food market: 2040 and 2050. ➔The US, once the world’s greatest exporter of ➔ In 1996, the World Food Summit set a goal grains, is now diverting 20% of its cereal of halving the number of undernourished harvest to biofuel. The grain needed to fill the people by 2015. The Food and Agriculture tank of a typical American SUV would meet Organization says that target is not going to the annual needs of one person in developing be met: World Agriculture towards countries. 2030/2050. ➔ The rising demand for animal feed for ➔ The UK government, in consultation with intensive meat production. This has given rise the EU, has put together a strategy around to a campaign for Meat Free Mondays. 6 core issues: healthy diet; resilient food ➔ Poor harvests from traditional cereal system; sustainable production; reducing exporters, such as Australia and Russia, which emissions; reducing waste; increasing have been linked to climate change. impact of knowledge & technology: Food 2030.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE: ➔ Improve smallholder productivity ➔ Link smallholders to markets ➔ Keep trade open ➔ Promote productive safety nets ➔ Integrate climate change into strategies at all levels ➔Reform global food governance system
READ: Achieving Sustainable Food Security: New Trends & Emerging Agenda http://bit.ly/i4iAZO CONTACT To request further information, give feedback or suggest a future topic for the newsletter, please contact: Elaine Cameron Strategic Research & Trend Analysis, EMEA firstname.lastname@example.org And don’t forget to follow on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/FUTUREPersp