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!
Vote for the best B2B content of 2019…
It’s finally time to vote for the best B2B content of 2019.
We’ve compiled a shortlist of content based on your nominations. Head here to explore the nominees, and choose your winner using the Typeform at the bottom of the page (don’t forget to hit the enter button at the end to submit your vote).
It’s a diverse list of bold, original and inspiring content – and a wonderful opportunity for us to spotlight some of B2B’s greatest content creators. So, get stuck in.
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:
- Sir David Spiegelhalter OBE FRS
- The Art of Statistics: How to Learn from Data
- The Royal Statistical Society’s free “statistics for journalists” course
- Flip the System UK: A Teachers’ Manifesto
- The Equal Classroom: Life-Changing Thinking About Gender
Send us your praise, criticism, Christmas cards, favourite cracker jokes…
Contact us through @radixcom on Twitter or email@example.com (if you really want to make David’s day, send us a voice memo).
How to listen…
- You can download the episode here (right click and select “Save As” to download)
- Or you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here
- Alternatively, add our RSS to your preferred podcast player
- And don’t forget you can follow us on Spotify
Podcast editing and music by Bang and Smash