Are We Communicating or What? (Part 1)
I speak much differently in the business world than I do in real life.
In real life, I like to use little words and keep all concepts simple. I wish I could do that in the business world. Frankly, I’d prefer to use the word “total” than “aggregate,” even though that’s a lousy example. Truth is, I’m a believer that if there are two choices of words to use, I prefer the simpler one. I find I communicate more effectively that way.
Unfortunately, as a business executive, it’s expected of me to be a bit more high-minded. There must be some unwritten law, or maybe in an executive communication book somewhere, that states, “We need to speak at a level that’s different than the masses.” Maybe it’s a psychological thing — some concept saying that we must sound more important, or maybe just self-important.
So on a daily basis, I have to deal with the made-up, pseudo-intelligent speak that we call modern day business jargon. It makes me a bit crazy, if you know what I mean. Hearing it means I have to translate a lot in my old-school direct marketing brain.
And when it comes to speaking the jargon, much like learning a new language, it sounds foreign on my tongue.
But I must speak the sacred language, for if I don’t I won’t be considered one of the few, but one of the many — a simpleton in a complex business (right!).
Even worse, the jargon keeps changing. For example, not so long ago, catalog analysis became benchmarking. Then it became metrics, and these days we call it KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators. To me it’s just response, lifetime value analysis and simple stuff like sales per catalog mailed.
It Gets Better; Consider This …
Sometimes we use business speak to confuse. (OK, I really wanted to work the word “subterfuge” rather than confuse into this last sentence; this speaking simply stuff isn’t easy!)
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.