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What’s with our love of TLAs?

Come on – we all love to shorten things and make Three-Letter Acronyms out of common phrases… which is your favourite? Here at Virtual Causeway, we tend to shorten it to VCW… and there are countless examples in B2B where we shorten common terms to their TLAs. Maybe it adds a little fun to our workday – making a secret code or language for your peers?

Give T.N.T. by AC/DC a listen and kickstart your morning as we see what the experts are saying this week.

Do you have a jargon problem?

In my early career I learned SQL, the database programming language. Years later when I first saw the SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall, I was confused – what did SQL have to do with demand generation marketing? (Of course THEY were referring to Sales Qualified Leads.)

Are you confusing your customers or employees? According to HBR, you might be!

Workplace jargon is a staple of the modern organization. Whether it’s buzzwords or TLAs, few things are more universally annoying. Organizational researchers even use it to measure employee perceptions of “bullshit” at their offices.

Yet jargon continues to thrive in most professions. But if it’s so disliked, why is it so common?

Jargon fulfils fundamental needs. It can make communication more efficient, or facilitate social bonding by reinforcing a shared identity. Another motive could be insecurity and the desire for status in one’s profession. Some may compensate for a lack of status by trying to signal that they have more of it than they actually do. And using jargon helps.

So how do we avoid alienating customers or employees with too much jargon? Identify whether jargon helps or hinders your daily work life. Ask yourself if there’s a simpler way to communicate the same idea or if the audience commonly uses the same jargon. If you have a jargon problem, it might start at the top – with your leadership team!

TLAs can be convenient if you know what I mean… but if you don’t, they could cause big problems! Remember, just like SQL, not every TLA is unique, and someone might think it means something else – so make sure you’re communicating the RIGHT messages to your audience, and scrap some TLAs.

CDs, LPs & Vinyl Resurrection

Growing up, I remember being fascinated by the covers of albums my brother and sister owned. Led Zeppelin, RUSH, AC/DC, The Cars – I would stare at the covers and read the liner notes religiously.

By the 2000s, vinyl was all but dead. We were all going digital and the consensus was that there was no point in keeping this ancient format. Vinyl records were dusty, scratchy, noisy, and easily damaged. They took up too much storage space, got warped and water damaged, and weren’t portable!

But two groups of people stood between vinyl and true extinction: old-school collectors who refused to buy into all the digital promises and DJs who preferred spinning records instead of mixing CDs.

Starting in 2008, a weird thing happened: vinyl was back in town and starting to grow! And today, vinyl is doing something it hasn’t done since the early ’90s: generating more revenue than compact discs. In sheer numbers, CDs still rule. But because vinyl sells at a premium, it’s bringing in more money.

What about B2B? Is there some tool – considered obsolete by most – that you can bring back to support your B2B, ABM, or PLG strategies?

One Stylus… Two Channels!

Speaking of vinyl, here’s a little bonus. I’m a big nerd when it comes to the technology behind music. Ever wonder how vinyl is able to produce sound? This video explains how dragging a needle through a groove pressed into a piece of plastic results in stereo sound.

As always, don’t hesitate to call me to brainstorm or just say hello!

Looking forward,

Rick Endrulat, President | ricke@v-causeway.com | www.linkedin.com/in/rickendrulat