Posts Tagged 'research'

Google Databoard

Google have recently launched Databoard, a stunning tool that lets you find all sorts of stats and data about the online world.

Alongside offering a simple way to search for specific stats, the tool also allows you to create simple yet elegant infographics that combine a variety of data points, just by clicking a few buttons:


This video below explains more, but you can try the tool out for yourself here.

Data Don’t Tell Stories

Data may not lie, but people’s selective interpretation of data can significantly change the stories they tell with data’s support.

Take this piece of analysis from the IDC, “the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets”:

Despite beating Wall Street expectations in terms of shipment volumes, Apple’s share in the worldwide smartphone operating system market posted a year-over-year decline during the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13). Meanwhile, Android and Windows Phone both managed slight increases during the same period. “The iOS decline in the second quarter aligns with the cyclicality of iPhone,” says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. [from here]

Now, let’s look at the actual data:


[data source]

Of course, what the IDC notes is true – Apple’s share has declined by 340bp over the past 12 months – but the important part of the story they’ve chosen not to highlight is that Apple’s shipments still increased by 20% during the same period.

My interest here is not whether iOS is going to beat Android though; I’m merely concerned with this skewed representation of an important story.

As  with all propagandata, it’s another case of “torture numbers and they’ll tell you anything.

Always question what the numbers really say, not what the presenter chooses to highlight.

Social, Digital and Mobile in Asia

We’ve been sharing in-depth profiles of the social, digital and mobile landscapes of 24 Asian countries over on the We Are Social Singapore blog over recent weeks.

We’ve still got a few left to publish, but here’s the regional overview to whet your appetite:

Come on over to the We Are Social blog to see detailed stats on China, India, and many more countries as well.

digital, mobile and social media in india

Here’s the latest report in our BBH Data Snapshot series, this time profiling the Digital, Mobile and Social Media landscape in India.

Just like the recent China edition, this report is packed with useful data, stats, and soundbites – here are a few appetisers:

  • Mobile is more than 50% bigger than TV in India;
  • The number of people using Facebook in India is
    greater than the population of Australia;
  • 18% of India’s 12 million rural internet users walk
    more than 10km to access the web

You’ll find many more jaw-dropping stats in the full SlideShare presentation below.

As befits a report on social media, this document is designed to be shared freely, so please do pass it on to anyone you think might benefit.

And if you’d like a PDF copy, you can download one here.

All comments and feedback very much welcome!

digital, mobile, and social media in china

Here’s the latest in our BBH Asia-Pacific Data Snapshot series, with some truly stunning numbers on the digital, mobile, and social landscape in China.

You’ll find more of these snapshots, including profiles of Indonesia and The Philippines, on our SlideShare site.

facebook in south-east asia

refining vs revolution

David Armano shared a great presentation on his superb Logic + Emotion blog a few days back:

It offers plenty of food for thought – unsurprising considering that Armano “curated” it with fellow Edelman heavyweight Steve Rubel – but, ironically, the slide I found most inspiring probably wasn’t intended to be a cornerstone of the presentation:

[click to enlarge]

The source of the chart seems to be Edelman’s Trust Barometer, so I’m confident that a significant amount of quality research informed the findings.

However, instinctively, it feels like the number of times we need to repeat something depends on what we’re actually saying (or doing); some ‘messages’ will be easier to grasp than others, and some will be more easily forgotten, even if they are initially easily understood.

The whole conversation hinges on something we discussed a few months back: effective communication is about what the receiver understands, not what the sender says.

I shared the remainder of this post as a comment on David’s blog, but I’d like to extend the conversation here; it has such far-reaching implications that I believe it would benefit from as many minds as possible. That includes yours, so please do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Social channels offer more effective ways for us to establish a shared understanding with our audiences, so they have the potential to revolutionise how we approach brand communications, not just refine the existing model.

For example, if people are struggling to grasp something, we have two options: either repeat the same message over and over again until it sticks, or keep refining the ‘message’ until people understand it.

The first option is the most practical approach in a purely broadcast communication model, because the costs involved in constantly measuring and refining a mass-media message are prohibitive. Within that model, brands often struggle to gauge whether people have understood their communications. Furthermore, by the time they find out, they’ve usually used up the entire budget and it’s infeasible to refine anything.

However, social channels offer brands a practical and cost-efficient way to share multiple messages, and determine whether people understand them – all in real-time. They allow us to communicate in a context that is more akin to face-to-face conversation: we can constantly refine and tweak our ‘message’ until we’re sure it has sunk in. More excitingly, such conversations can help us to identify whether our communications are even addressing our audience’s most important issues. When it comes to communication, what we hear is often more valuable than what we say.

In this second model, our communications challenge shifts from trying to identify an optimum number of repetitions of just one message, to identifying better ways of sharing what matters to people.

That may sound like stating the obvious, but I get the sense that many marketers still see social channels from a broadcast perspective – we are trying to adapt them to our existing model, rather than adapting the model to the take advantage of these new opportunities.

What do you think? Do social channels really allow brands to engage in dynamic conversation? Will repetition still play a key role in this new approach to brand communications? Share your thoughts here.


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