Podcast 78: Maths for B2B marketers

How can you be sure the numbers in your content are correct? We ask Cambridge University’s award-winning mathematics resource designer, podcaster, and freelance writer, Lucy Rycroft-Smith.

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In this month’s Good Copy, Bad Copy, we’re talking about… maths. Yes, maths. The bane of my life as a student and, to this day, a subject I remain bewildered by.

Judging from Fiona and David’s discussion, I’m not alone. B2B (and B2C) writers have often had a difficult – no, abusive – relationship with maths or, more specifically, statistics. And while many marketers are guilty of mixing up percentage points with percentages, we must take responsibility for the accuracy of the numbers in our copy.

That’s why we invited the award-winning maths resource designer, writer and podcaster Lucy Rycroft-Smith of Cambridge University, to talk us through the fundamentals of statistics for marketing copy – and put an end to some common mathematical misconceptions in the process.

As Fiona rightly points out, “our job is to communicate clearly and accurately, and if we aren’t sure ourselves, we can’t do that job properly”. So, get ready for some truth bombs – and possibly the toughest maths test you’ve taken since you last wore a school uniform. We promise, it’ll be fun!

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In Episode 78, you’ll find…

3:25 – Why writers need to get comfortable with numbers

8:09 – ‘Why is maths so scary?’ with special guest, Lucy Rycroft-Smith

14:30 – Why we shouldn’t think about maths as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’

17:14 – What is “mathwashing”, and why should marketers avoid it?

21:00 – How percentages can mislead our readers (and complicate our copy)

28:00 – Lucy’s special three-part percentage challenge

Read more about maths for B2B marketing…

Resources Lucy mentioned in this episode include:

Send us your praise, criticism, Christmas cards, favourite cracker jokes…

Contact us through @radixcom on Twitter or podcast@radix-communications.com (if you really want to make David’s day, send us a voice memo).

How to listen…


Podcast editing and music by Bang and Smash

Ben P

Ben is a versatile writer who came to Radix with years of experience as a marketing copywriter and, before that, as an entertainment journalist. With a keen ability to ask the right questions at the right time, Ben is adept at digging into complex topics and finding high-value hooks that help make high-impact content.

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