Friends, 

Last weekend, I took a break from our weekly newsletter party to spend time with family. 

I then took this week to recover from a weekend spent with family.


Just kidding.

In this edition (#29) of the World's Best Newsletter:

1. Buyers don’t want something truly new - they want the familiar, done differently. 
2. You like numbers? How you like dem numbers!?
3. Can we NOT with the cutesy titles for women leaders?
4. FONTS MATTER! Here's the science behind it.
5. The state of the union, I mean, the world of blogging.
6. See you in Vegas next week?
7. Quote of the Week


1. Buyers don’t want something truly new - they want the familiar, done differently. 

In this article, Nir Eyal explains the rise of the California Roll, and subsequent boom of the sushi market in the US.

$2.25 billion worth of sushi is consumed annually here - my contribution to which is larger than I care to admit.

Prior to this roll, which combined familiar ingredients like rice, avocado, cucumber, sesame seeds and crab meat in a new way, sushi had struggled to catch on. Over the next few decades, demand exploded. 

The lesson: buyers don’t want something truly new, they want the familiar, done differently. 

The same applies to the familiar metaphors in the GUI of PCs (folders, notepads, windows, trash cans) and the ubiquitously understood physical credit card design in Apple Wallet. 

Consider this the next time you’re introducing something to the market, launching a campaign, or otherwise fighting the resistance we all have to what’s outside the norm. 

We are fundamentally lazy. Read on.


2. You like numbers? How you like dem numbers!?

Steve Ballmer is characterized in this NYTimes article like a petulant child since retiring from Microsoft in 2014. With “nothing to do” (I can’t make this stuff up) he casually decides to buy the LA Clippers then build a new database that aggregates spending across all federal, state, and local governments. 

He calls it “the equivalent of a 10-K for government.” 

It’s available at http://usafacts.org/ and the information within has the potential to be really fascinating. Unfortunately, like much of what Microsoft does... it's difficult to use and takes a bit of effort to really find value. Oops.

3. Can we NOT with the cutesy titles for women leaders?

So, this week I’m seeing promos for the new Girlboss series on Netflix described by the Guardian yesterday as a “tone-deaf rallying cry to millennial narcissists” LOL. I must be in their target audience.

The best-selling book-turned-series is from Sophia Amoruso, a woman who has built a cult following on top of a women's empowerment narrative, even while filing Chapter 11 for her company Nasty Gal late last year. 

This is the woman who started “Girlboss” - this cutesy phrase for women leaders who, you know, buck the trends, do things their way, live BOLDLY, or whatever other nonsense they’d have you buy into to get you to spend your 78-cent-to-the-dollar paycheck on the pink and gold notebook, coffee mug, motivational t-shirt and laptop sticker to show the world you mean business, sister! (eye roll.) 

I have been called a “girl boss” many times and find myself making this face each time.
 


Clearly, you can see how I feel about the whole bullshit movement. 

This article sums it up nicely. “Please Stop Trying to ‘Empower’ Women with Cutesy Titles” 

It’s infantilizing. It contributes to the difference between a boss, and a lady boss. An athlete, and a female athlete. A “momtrepreneur” in a world where the phrase “dadtrepreneur” would be ridiculous. 

From the FastCo article:

“If we stop qualifying women’s successes by virtue of their gender, we can also hold their failures to the same standards as men. If you consider Uber CEO Travis Kalanick a bad boss, it’s likely because he reportedly helped foster a toxic company culture—not because he’s a man. Commending and condemning women leaders by the same standards is the definition of true equality.”

Yeah. "Boss" works fine for me, thanks.

4. FONTS MATTER! Here's the science behind it. 

In honor of the science march happening across the country, I wanted to share a fascinating article on the WHY behind typography. My friends know that I’m prone to pointing our font names in the real world (I see you Bleeding Cowboy on every tattoo parlor). I have such an appreciation for the role type plays in the world. Some takeaways:

Font have meaning. 

Because fonts are designed by humans, there is MEANING attached to them. Courier fonts were designed to resemble old memos written on type writers. Many associated Helvetica with the US Government as it’s used in tax forms. 

Size matters.

“As more reading shifts to digital and screen resolutions improve, the way we read content is changing. Many designers mention that 16pt font is the new 12pt font. A recent study has also shown that larger font sizes can elicit a stronger emotional connection."

I make this suggestion to my clients all the time - to increase the size of the font on their blogs. There’s a reason Medium has become such a popular reading destination. Even LinkedIn had copied its use of white space, minimal distractions, and large font choice. Its 22pt font is simply ENJOYABLE to consume. Imagine that. 

Line length energizes readers.

“Research shows that your subconscious mind gets a boost of energy when jumping to a new line (as long as it doesn’t happen too often) but this energy dwindles as you read over the duration of the line.”

Fascinating. 

5. The state of the union, I mean, the world of blogging.

I had the chance to introduce Andy Crestodina at last week’s Content Marketing Conference (in which I also made about 5 inappropriate jokes per minute on stage in front of 100+ people. It was great. Moving on.) 

His team has recently published a survey of 1000+ bloggers, revealing some interesting benchmarks, including:

  • On average, the average post takes over 3 hours to write.
  • Posts are getting longer, 1054 words on average.
  • Most bloggers publish weekly or monthly.
  • Social, SEO, and email drive the most traffic to posts.

More in the full post. 

6. See you in Vegas next week?

I’m speaking next week at the Oracle Modern Customer Experience, the event formerly known as Eloqua’s Modern Marketing Experience. It’ll be my first time back to MME in a couple of years, and I’m excited to see what is coming from the team at Oracle, especially in an industry that’s filled with so many point solutions. 

My session is on Wednesday, April 26th, on the power of using an enemy to galvanize customers, create a movement, and focus marketing teams. Can’t wait. Reply if you’re going and let’s meet. 

Oh, and save 50% on your ticket with code DIMC17. You're welcome!

7. Quote of the Week

While this quote has immense truth to marketers, its origins are from astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson in honor of today's Science March:

"If you want to assert a truth, first make sure it's not just an opinion that you desperately want to be true." - Neil DeGrasse Tyson

See you next week,
Katie

PS: Are we connected on LinkedIn?

 

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