December 16, 2021
Dig These Business Books as Gifts
Everyone has a favorite year-end book list, so we thought we'd jump on the bandwagon with our favorite business, marketing, and just plain compelling tomes to add to your reading or gift list.
Winning Digital Customers: The Antidote to Irrelevance by Howard Tiersky
Customers expect companies to deliver a seamless digital experience. Those companies that do it well are kicking butt. Those that aren't? Well, not so much. In this book, Tiersky offers a detailed methodology to help companies transform into digital dynamos.
The Age of AI: Henry Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Daniel Huttenlocher
collaborated on this volume, which surveys artificial intelligence and its short- and long-term impacts on business, culture, technology, foreign policy, medicine, and our very perception of reality.
Winning On Purpose: The Unbeatable Strategy of Loving Customers by Fred Reichheld
Bottom line? Treat customers the way you want a loved one to be treated. When customers feel the love, they come back to do more business with you, bringing their friends and loved ones along with them. Explore the mysteries of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Atlas of the Heart, Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown
Explore the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be a human. Get ready for a deep dive into all the complexities that make us humans weird and wonderful. This is one of those books you'll pass around to your friends.
The Conversation: How Seeking and Speaking the Truth About Racism Can Racially Transform Individuals and Organizations by Robert Livingston
The Harvard social psychologist addresses what you need to know about racism and provides a guide for turning statements into actions for organizations and communities.
The Experience Maker: How to Create Remarkable Experiences that Your Customers Can't Wait to Share by Dan Gingiss
Creating experiences that your customers talk about is primo marketing. This book details how to turn existing customers into brand ambassadors for your business.
The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet by Michael E. Mann
Now more than ever, we all need to do our part to save the planet. Mann, a climatologist and geophysicist, shares a plan for getting it done.
Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere by Tsedal Neeley
Where was this book a year ago? But as more and more of us continue to work remotely, this book helps both employees and employers navigate the work-from-home environment in which we find ourselves. Lots of good practical tips!
Jerks at Work? Tips to Improve Your Work Environment
Have you heard the saying, "if everyone you think everyone you meet over the course of a day is a jerk, chances are you're the jerk." Here are some tips on not being a jerk and getting along with your co-workers. Add them to your New Year's Resolution list and make your workplace a little more harmonious next year.
Be good at what you do. If you're good at your job, you'll earn your co-workers' respect, and your interactions with other people in your office will become much smoother. When people know that you get things done, they value your presence.
Be Dependable. An old saw says that 80 percent of success is showing up. If you show up when you're supposed to, complete projects on time, and be true to your word, the world can be your oyster.
Be a good listener. Work can be stressful, and sometimes it helps to vent. If a co-worker needs to get something off their chest, let them talk it out. And remember, they're probably not looking for solutions, just a sympathetic ear. And, of course, keep things in confidence. Office gossip can contribute toxicity to the work environment.
Be positive. No one likes a Debbie Downer. Most people avoid those people after a while. Positivity can be infectious (in a good way!) so feel free to spread it around. If you are feeling down (and we all do), develop coping strategies that won't impact those around you. Take a walk, listen to music on your headphones, or do a little journaling.
Avoid the drama. Every workplace has at least one person who lives to create a soap opera. Sidestep the temptation to get sucked into those traps. Office drama can be a massive drag on morale and productivity.
Don't be touchy-feely. You don't want to be that person handing out shoulder rubs in this day and age. Not only does it make people feel awkward, but it can also be a quick ticket to the unemployment line. And that was even before COVID-19!
Comfy Color Trends for 2022
According to Pantone Color Institute experts, colors for Autumn/Winter 2021/2022 New York emphasize our desire for a versatile range of colors. One that accommodates the various possibilities of our lifestyle; colors that encourage personal expression, whether sensible or quirky; colors that embrace calm and healing and express a rainbow of hope and joyfulness.
Read more and see all the colors here.
Offering a range of pragmatic hues infused with vivifying bright pops, colors for Autumn/Winter 2021/2022
Color trends reflect the zeitgeist, the sturm and drang of the moment, and our aspirations. 2022 presents a mishmash of color that reflects optimism – Illuminating (yellow), Fire Whirl (dark red), and hope (Fuschia Fedora). While warm hues like Pale Rosette, Coconut Cream, and Root Beer call on our craving for connection ¬which is still hampered by the pandemic. Other colors in the palette are more pragmatic, like Happy Periwinkle Blue (2022 color of the year), Leprechaun (Green), Veri Berry (color of the year), and Spring Lake seem to bring order out of chaos, and fashionable runway colors to your local Target. The days of having nothing to wear are over!
Says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Group, "Offering a range of pragmatic hues infused with vivifying bright pops, colors for Autumn/Winter 2021/2022 offer a plethora of possibilities that support our lifestyle of continual reinvention and convey a promise of reemergence."
— Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.
The Pantone Color Institute is the business unit within Pantone that highlights the top seasonal runway colors. The institute also selects the Pantone Color of the Year, forecasts global color trends, and advises companies through seasonal trend forecasts, color psychology, color consulting, color psychology, and the emotion of color.
Digital Clothes for Your Personal Metaverse
Are you burned out on the threads at your local mall? Maybe it's time to switch to digital clothing. People use their digital wardrobe to outfit their social media avatars and to wear in online games, like Fortnite. It's not tangible, so don't wear it to the office party, but it allows everyone to transform themselves into whatever persona they wish to adapt to in an alternate reality.
Skins and digital clothing tap into a young culture that prizes self-expression and creativity.
The market for custom outfits, skins, and in-game makeup is estimated to be a multibillion-dollar industry.
Quoted in Vice, Dhanush Shetty, a 22-year-old product manager based in San Francisco, said buying digital fashion was strange at first. But it was easier, cheaper, and felt more ethical than buying new real clothes.
In the future, look for digital duds that you can wear on social media, photos, and even your next Zoom call.
To learn more about pixel fashion, jump to Dressx.com to check out their latest collections.
Craft Email Subject Lines that Work
Keep it short. Shorter headlines tend to work better. Plus, they adapt to the space allotted for subject lines on mobile, about 40 characters. Headlines for desktop email span 50 to 65 characters. As you'll see, a well-crafted subject line can do yeoman's work for both devices.
Put the juicy words first. Our email audience is short on time as they check through their email. They have no interest in stopping to figure out what your subject line is about. That's why we use juicy words as close to the beginning of the subject line as possible.
A juicy word might convey the news in the email. For example, T25 "Ultrasound Unit Helps find Shipwreck" rewrites to "Shipwreck found with T25 Ultrasound Unit," which is far more tantalizing. So, check your word order and make sure the juiciest tidbit is upfront.
Avoid words that trigger spam blocks. You want your email to make it to the inbox, right? Then don't use words that alert SPAM filters on servers. There's a gaggle of these. But, in general, they ooze hype, like "The world's best nutraceutical," "new and improved," "50% Off", and money and dollar signs. For more, read our post on "Words that make Spam Filters Grouchy."
Don't be too clever by half. When in doubt, be concise and direct about the content of your email, for example, "Board of director's reception, 7:30 pm, Mon," as opposed to "Be Board on Monday night." Unless you're performing an A/B test with two subject lines competing against each other, you may want to drift toward the straight version.
Mate the subject line to the interior copy. Think about your subject line and the first heading as a two-part headline, like this subject line: Cancer Expert Speaks at AAO Booth, and inside subhead: Dr. Martin discusses AI in cancer diagnosis. Otherwise, your user may be as confused as heck and move to the following email in their queue.
Considering all the work you've invested in copy, design, and programming, it's well worth your time to take a few extra minutes with your subject line(s) to increase the chances that your email gets opened.
Seven Ways to Unplug from Work for the Holidays
It's the time of year when many of us take a break from the daily grind and take a few deep breaths and enjoy a well-earned break. Or at least we try. Data from a LinkedIn survey revealed that about 53 percent of us don't fully disconnect from work, and more than 30 percent of us check in with the office while we are supposed to be getting our holiday on. Not unplugging can create a host of problems, including hypertension, heart disease, and ulcers. And you remember what happened to that workaholic Ebenezer Scrooge; he got the crap haunted out of him!
So, plan to get your critical projects completed before your break, learn to delegate, and set your out-of-office note on your email and voicemail. Then make a concerted effort to relax! In that spirit, here are a few things to do instead of work over the holidays.
Be more present. If you're playing board games, attending a holiday open house, or watching your favorite holiday movie with the kids, put your phone away and concentrate on being in the moment.
Take a break from social media. Enjoy the feeling of having no idea what the latest political outrage is or what your cousin is having for dinner.
Get outside. Winter hikes are a great way to get a little exercise and enjoy the rejuvenating effects of nature. And if you're lucky enough to have snow, get out your sleds, your skis, or your snowshoes. Plus, there are no mosquitos in the winter.
Movie marathon. Take time to catch up on all those movies everyone is talking about, but you haven't had time to see.
Read a book. Remember good, old-fashioned, page-turning books? Make yourself a cup of tea and curl up with a good one. Pure luxury!
Go caroling. Does anyone even do this anymore? You bet they do! Grab a few friends, print out your favorite carols, and stand outside people's houses belting out holiday tunes. With the advent of Ring cameras, though, be aware that you could end up being the next YouTube or TikTok sensation.
Spend time with family and friends. Spend some of that hard-earned time off reconnecting with those you love.