Sat, Jun

Digging below the surface with Industry Mole

Bah humbug! My gentle post-Christmas reintroduction to Mole Graphics was disrupted by an email outlying six critical business trends for 2O22. The first was: ‘Turn your marketing strategy into customer journeys’. I don’t know what the other five trends were - I deleted the email in fury.

When did customers start going on journeys and stop simply buying stuff? If I asked Mole Graphics’ loyal customers - yes, there are some - to describe their journey, they’d probably back away, bemused. Sometimes, business rhetoric does my head in. I blame the Americans. Their instinctive reaction when faced with a short word is to use a longer one - so ‘know’ becomes ‘cognisant’ (which, of course, they spell with a z) and buying and selling becomes a ‘customer journey’.

Mole Junior has been on a real, old school journey - from the east coast of America where he completed his degree in Western civilisation to the ancestral seat just in time for Christmas. It’s not the most useful degree - my uncle snorted: “Good luck getting a job with that” - but he has a decent CV and besides, as the media blithely assures us, there has never been a better time to job hunt in Britain.

That isn’t how he has found it. One recruitment agency regularly invites him to become a customer services advisor (ie work in a call centre). Three other agencies haven’t replied - nor have four of the companies he has applied to. The pandemic isn’t helping.

It’s a soul-destroying business. I keep reminding him that, as Mole Sr told me when I was in the same predicament, you only need to get one job, so the number of rejections is an irrelevant statistic.

It all reminds me of when I left university, humming the line from that Clash song: ‘Career opportunities, the ones that never knock’. My roommate, who studied accountancy, papered the walls with his acceptances! If things don’t pick up, he would throw Mole Jr a few quid to improve our paltry social media presence. That said, given the increasingly pretentious world of British commerce, asking him to convert our marketing strategy into customer journeys might stand him in better stead.

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