Humans evolved to retain visually communicated information
Humans are visual species. The first sign of sophisticated human intelligence dates back 40,000 years to cave drawings discovered all over the world. The intricate depictions of historical and future events demonstrated initial capacity for abstract thought. Visual storytelling was the beginning modern communication and laid the foundation for the development of language as we know it.
Despite the vast amount of sophistication in humans that has occurred since early cave drawings, visualization is still paramount in our communication schema.
In fact, you have likely heard the findings of Dr. Albert Mehrabian’s 1950’s study: only 7 percent of communications is verbal, while 38% is tonal and 55 percent is visual: body language and facial expression. The advent of technology certainly negates standard communication rules. On the phone, we lose 55% of our ability to express ourselves. When we’re texting, 93% of our communicative tools are neglected. Therefore, a massive need for tonality and expression within chat emerged: enter emoji.
Leveraging human nature in conjunction with modern devices
Similarly, other visual mobile platforms are seeing staggering growth, and are the primary propellers of overall mobile usage. Instagram grew to over 500MM users in four years and reports engagement rates 10x compared to Facebook. Pinterest’s user base is up 50% YOY, hitting 150MM overall users in 2016. Even in a digital world, images are still the preferred method of receiving messages.
Mobile messaging is also growing at staggering rates. 42 trillion mobile messages were sent last year, with 75% of smartphone owners using an over-the-top messaging app in 2015. 92% of the online population use emoji. Even more impressive: mobile chat apps have eclipsed social apps in monthly active users worldwide. Given the importance of visual aids in understanding information and the massive growth of mobile messaging worldwide, it is no surprise that emoji are the fastest growing language in history.
Connecting brands to consumer conversations with emoji
As brands marketers consider their approach to mobile media going forward, mobile messaging represents a strong opportunity to build brand affinity and word-of-mouth advocacy.
At Emogi, we believe that 1) brand communication must be visual to be memorable 2) it should be seamlessly embedded in consumer’s conversation in a useful and non-obtrusive way and 3) context is just as important as creative. We’re working with brands across categories to unlock the potential with mobile messaging by blending the best of data, machine learning and creative strategy.
Emogi recently launched Wink, a new platform allowing brands to contextually present branded emoji, stickers or GIFs as options to millions of consumers through the text fields on several of the world’s most popular messaging apps, without requiring people to download a separate keyboard. With Wink, brands can introduce their content using specific triggers such as where consumers are or how they’re feeling, as well as the use of specific phrases or emoji. This offers a unique opportunity for brands to understand how people consume their branded content in mobile messaging, what drives its shareability and usage, and how to leverage those insights to become a regular part of their customers’ communication.