If you’ve ever happened to watch an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, you may have seen a game called “Questions” – the aptly named game where the players can only communicate by asking questions. There’s a marketing version of this game called “Acronyms.”
If you’ve ever been in marketing or talked with someone who is, chances are your conversation easily could be reduced to something like this:
Now while many of these acronyms can be useful pieces of data, they also create a great disconnect on a couple of levels. First, conversations between colleagues and clients can become strained if everyone isn’t on the same page or up to speed on the latest jargon, and inevitably you start to lose something in the translation. But the greater disconnect is from the user, the customer, the person you’re trying to reach in the first place.
Can we talk?
Acronyms like the above (and there are more) may be nice shorthand to fit in chart axes and in emails back and forth, but it can also dehumanize your customers. Let’s take that same conversation from above and rephrase it in a way where we’re always talking about people and what they might do:
“Are we offering something of value to people for their job and business, or for their day-to-day lives?”
“Well, what questions are our customers asking? What situation are they trying to solve or make better?”
“Are we just trying to get our name out there and people talking?”
“Or should we focus on connecting with people who are already interested and build from there?”
“And how do we get their attention? What is it they really want to do: find out more information, buy …?”
“Is this going to be worth it? And how exactly will we know?”
“As long as we keep connected with our customers, we can make adjustments as we grow.”
Jargon shouldn’t reduce your customers to numbers on a spreadsheet. Chances are you’ll get deeper insights and better answers that will help you set up a long-term strategy to grow your business. And you’ll do it all without needing to use a single acronym.