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January 6, 2022
January 13, 2022

Happy New Year

I hope you had a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas and are feeling fully refreshed.

Once you’ve polished off all the cheese and taken the last dregs of the Baileys, how do you prepare for reality?

To navigate the workplace in 2022, you need an up-to-date phrase book.

Because we’re long over blue sky thinking and flying ideas up a flagpole. There’s a whole new language out there – from the amusing to the baffling to the grim.

We’re all no doubt already sick to the back teeth of ‘hybrid’ ‘remote working’ and ‘hyper-personalisation’ but there’s more. The Economist takes an amusing look at the real meaning behind phrases such as “Do you have five minutes?” and “We’re moving to an agile framework”, my favourite being:

“We are a platform business”
Ostensible meaning: We provide an ecosystem in which others can interact
Actual meaning: Let’s pretend we are a tech firm and see what happens to our valuation

But there is one phrase you might not have heard of yet

And I’m sorry if I’m the one revealing it to you, but I can’t be left with this knowledge alone:

Humaning is “a unique, consumer-centric approach to marketing that creates real, human connections with purpose, moving… beyond cautious, data-driven tactics, and uncovering what unites us all. We are no longer marketing to consumers, but creating connections with humans”.

Don’t get me started on ‘B2H’.

I admit that today’s ‘humaning’ might well become tomorrow’s ‘storytelling’ (ahem), ‘customer avatar’ or ‘USP’. In fact, there are so many short-hand phrases like this they’re hard to avoid.

However, there are some phrases that are genuinely useful rather than silly, and humaning isn’t one of them. Because it’s unnecessary. If we need to state we’re marketing to people then we’ve lost the plot.

The useful phrases show us what 2022 is going to be all about

They’re not new, but they’ll be used a lot more this year, certainly in financial services, as technology and data become gateway to business development:

  1. Customer lifetime value: a measure of the total worth of a customer to a business over the duration of their relationship
  2. Customer acquisition costs; total cost of acquiring a customer.
  3. Customer relationship management: systems used by businesses to track and then optimise their relationships and interactions with customers.

If your marketing team aren’t using this language this year, then you need to ask them what the Dickens they’re up to.

Simple hack

Is ‘doing social media’ on your 2022 to-do list but you’re wondering where to start? Why not create social posts from your existing content? Take quotes from your case studies, stats from your blog posts and very soon you’ll have your very own social media strategy.

Fake it til you make it

Shortcuts to Theranos is a fascinating look at the cognitive shortcuts investors made when assessing the company and how founder Elizabeth Holmes’s story and charisma created an intoxicating perception of competence.

Mental block

Neuroscientists have developed perhaps the most personal method of identifying people yet: brain fingerprinting. Using MRI scans, they can build a fluctuating model of a person’s brain activity that could one day be used as a unique mental signature.

Scaling back

Bathroom scales have really come on lately. You can now get them to tell you about BMI, body fat percentage, muscle composition, and fat percentage – just what we need after Christmas.

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