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Gene Foca
CMO, Getty Images

Jonathan sits down with Gene Foca, CMO of Getty Images in this week’s episode of Conquer The Noise. The two talk about Getty’s new program and research report, Visual GPS. Getty launched Visual GPS in 2020 in a first-of-its-kind global research effort completed in conjunction with YouGov. Visual GPS is a ready-to-use guide detailing what today’s consumers care about so brands can better choose visuals that will resonate with them.  Their insights detail consumers’ needs and wants and behaviors as they pertain to imagery and explore how consumers are influenced by four of the world’s biggest “Forces”—Realness, Wellness, Technology and Sustainability—and what that means in terms of decision making.

In an effort to quantify the importance of the four key behavioral Forces as identified by the Creative Insights team, and also further contextualize around visual representation, they undertook a custom market research study facilitated by YouGov, surveying more than 10,000 consumers and professionals in 13 languages across 26 countries. Since the inaugural report launched in 2020, Getty Images and iStock have continually updated the research and insights to maintain a finger on the pulse. Through a combination of interviews, observations, and visual analysis, Gene says their creative insights team—made up of artists, curators, archivists, futurists, art directors and visual experts—provides a global view of visual communications across industries, and holds a distinct perspective related to how visual content is created, displayed and consumed. 

Gene talks about the abundance of data they can use to inform their expertise. Sustainability has increased in terms of intensity due to the pandemic and they are finding consumers are even more interested in discussing sustainability than ever before. He talks about how they see this impact in visual imagery by users getting away from tropes or cliches.

It’s increasingly important that brands are really careful with their representation and value proposition. It needs to portray their brand, product or service accurately – and if a company doesn’t, a single image will cloud their view. They try hard to guide customers in the right direction to help them make sure it’s realistic and supporting their proposition in the right way.

Gene talks about how companies respond to changes and purchasing behavior based on how customers spend money. Consumers lead companies to change – 2020 couldn’t be a better example of consumers driving change in a variety of ways. His experience is that companies implement change when the bottom line requires it. They talk about how meaningful change in companies requires time – boards, staff, these kinds of systemic changes require process change and large investment decisions. 

Gene says their responsibility is to provide clients and partners who use visual content with imagery that is going to promote change. They have to make those assets available and frankly make them easy to find & surface with their technology. They arm research teams with the right facts and support so they will be of better service.

Younger generations have a shifting set of priorities. Millennials as a group, for example, are broader. They’re as much motivated by working for organizations/companies that are mission based and socially conscious as they are around making money. Increasingly the expectation on the behalf of professional staff is that these things work together and complement each other.

As the conversation wraps, they talk about what he is excited most in the coming years. He’s really hopeful, to see how they build on Visual GPS.