Starting out in small business, we all find ourselves in conversations; whether they are about marketing strategies, sales strategies or just a ‘getting to know you’ networking chat, before you know it someone drops a 3 letter acronym and off your mind wanders trying to work out what on earth it means.
Welcome to Business Jargon!
This post will get you up to speed on the most common abbreviations and buzz words so you can drop your own J-bombs and feel nice and smug.
10 Useful Business and Acronyms
We marketers are by nature a talkative bunch, so it seems somewhat surprising that we want to shorten anything. However the temptation to create a three letter abbreviation gets the better of us. I remember starting at Revlon and being handed a glossary of terms for the business where they recognised they used so many acronyms that they had created a beginners guide!
- SEO Search Engine Optimisation – making improvements to your website so that it indexes high in search results
- SOH Stock on Hand – how much of your product or product components you currently have in stock
- WAHM / WAHP Work At Home Mum / Work At Home Parent – the extremely talented and overstretched business owners who run their business whilst wrangling toddlers, calming babies and making school lunches
- PPC Pay Per Click – online advertising where you are only charged when a user clicks on your advert. The ad will appear in the advertising network for free.
- CRM Customer Relationship (or Retention) Management – your marketing strategies concerned around getting repeat business. Think of FlyBuys as a classic CRM program.
- CMS Content Management System – a tool that lets us non-technical people create & update web pages without knowing HTML
- B2C / B2B Business To Consumer / Business To Business – used to classify your business type by who your end user is
- ATL / BTL Above The Line / Below The Line – seen most often in job advertisements for marketers! The theoretical line separates the communication types. Traditionally ATL is mass media promotion such as TV and Print, BTL is more targeted promotions such as direct mail and in store promotions.
- eDM Electronic Direct Mail – preceding this we always talked about DM (Direct Mail), so cleverly a lower case e was placed in front, to play on eMail. eDM is when we email out promotional offers to our customers and potential customers
- UGC User Generated Content (which I would also class as a Buzz Word) – is all about interacting with your target market and letting them take (some) control of your brand and its activities. UGC can take the form of customer’s blogging on your behalf or customers uploading photos and videos to your social media spaces
10 Business and Marketing Buzz Word Definitions
Once you manage to navigate the acronym mine field, the next biggest jargon challenge you face are buzz words. These words change from year to year, but once a buzz word is deployed it seems to reach celebrity status with everyone finding an excuse to cram as many as possible into one sentence.
Working on a Brand Strategy document with a group of co workers last year we did our best to come up with the most powerful sentence possible. It went something like “We need to think outside of the square to leverage any white space opportunities, whilst fully capitalising on any low hanging fruit”. Understandably this was after days of workshopping and being fairly over it. I just came across this game from Malcom Auld which could have helped us get through. Click here to play along.
- Low Hanging Fruit – I believe I was exposed to this phrase in 2009. Unfortunately the person who used it paired it with a squeezing two imaginary pieces of fruit hand gesture, making it hard to keep a straight face
when later repeating it. Low hanging fruit are the easy wins – the opportunities that will take minimal effort for you to action.
- White Space – Arriving in 2010 to replace low hanging fruit as the ‘must drop in a sentence’ buzz word in the office. White space (which I liked to whisper for dramatic intent) is the gap in the market; it’s something that no one else is doing and gives you chance to grow the market in both size and your share.
- Think outside the Square – We all know what this one means but it doesn’t stop it from being used, almost redundantly to suggest we need to be creative to solve our current problem. We need to come up with a solution that everyone else isn’t doing.
- Mind Shift – Whether it is our organisation or our consumers, we often talk about needing a mind shift. A mind shift needs a different approach to thinking inside our business or it’s about our consumers being educated about a new way to meet their needs which will become their new norm.
- Blogosphere – Is the realm where all blogs exist on the internet. It sounds more impressive than straight out saying that.
- Reputation Management – Tracking what people are saying about you online and proactively responding to feedback, to ensure your online reputation is positive and reflective of your brand.
- Exit Strategy – This is the plan of what to do with product in the retail environment if it doesn’t sell. A new retailer may want to know if there is an exit strategy as part of their trading terms. The economic downturn really brought out exit strategy as a buzz word in sales meetings.
- Customer-Centric. We talk about creating a Customer-Centric business, meaning we want to focus on our customer, be the solution to their problems and put their needs as the objectives we need to meet.
- Webinar – Ok so this is a little less buzz word and a little more of a buzz strategy. A webinar is a seminar or presentation held on the web. Think of it as a mass video conference. People can watch from anywhere and it is usually available for viewing after the live event.
- Viral Marketing – Creating and executing a promotional element that is so exciting that it is sent out by consumers through their networks (In
other words spreading like a virus!)
Buzz Words are always evolving and today’s hot ticket quickly becomes passé, so if you want to talk the talk be sure to keep up to date on the latest buzz words.
Now that you are up to speed on what’s what, we would love to help grow your business with our Wise Up and Grow report, where you fill out a BAT (that’s our Business Analysis Tool) and we give you some great advice on your SEO, help you identify your Low Hanging Fruit and think outside the square to ensure your CRM is on track.
Let me know if you have any great buzz words or need a 3 letter acronym demystified.