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June 19, 2023
July 27, 2023

Happy Father's Day

How have you been? Well I hope.

And a belated Father’s Day to all you dads out there.

Did you receive a fitting card?

I’m often flummoxed by the choices on offer and usually resort to the children’s section. This is because the grown-up designs are so one-size-fits all: unless your dad likes beer, football or gardening, there’s not much you can do.

Even then it’s all a little meaningless; just because someone likes horticulture, doesn’t necessarily mean they like seeing pictures of benches, surely?

It reminds me of when a friend gave me a selection of green-coloured birthday presents once because I’d said it was my favourite colour; it didn’t mean I liked all green objects.

You might think I’m a) taking this far too seriously and b) a very ungrateful receiver of gifts, but the reason I think this sort of thing sticks out like a sore thumb is because we’re so used to hyper personalisation absolutely everywhere these days.

From Netflix recommendations to Spotify autoplay suggestions, we’ve come to expect ideas that match our preferences or taste.

Yes it’s creepy, but that’s soon forgotten once you get used to the sheer convenience of it – outsourcing this decision-making saves oodles of time. And I personally find it very satisfying to feel so ‘known’.

How is the profession doing when it comes to this?

I think it’s lagging behind. There are still examples that feel like the equivalent of a Hallmark greeting card to me: the email that opens with ‘Dear valued customer’ for example. It’s not very engaging and suggests a lack of care.

Naturally Consumer Duty wants something more – communications that actually do something: that improve a client’s understanding and overall experience and increase engagement: emails, articles, information that’s specific and meaningful to them.

Not a one-size-fits all hit-them-over-the-head option, but something more thoughtful, nuanced and personal.

So how are your communications currently looking?

Shameless plug #1

When Paul McCartney sang ‘When I’m 64’ he imagined someone knitting a sweater by the fireside. But Madonna is going on tour. All power to her. But why not take a break and get AI to do the heavy lifting? I ask in this Money Marketing piece on ChatGPT.

Shameless plug #2

This Money Marketing article is for Succession fans - I look at why the TV drama is a perfect example of what happens when you amass wealth without meaning.

Howard's Way

A cruise line is aiming to attract ‘digital nomads’ with a 135-country, round-the-world trip that takes three years to complete. For £73,060, you get full-board, access to meeting rooms and offices and full Wi-Fi.

Depressing image of the week

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