Marketing acronyms that must die

  • Previous
  • 1 of 5
  • View as single page

Look, we all know we have a problem. Marketers, that is. But we just can't stop ourselves. We love -- love -- acronyms. We can speak almost exclusively in them sometimes. If it's more than one word, we'll shorten it to two or more letters.

Sure, acronyms serve a purpose. Some phrases are repeated so often and are so unwieldy to the tongue that it just makes sense. I mean, who wants to say "search engine results page" 4,000 times a day? Just say SERP. It's short, and it rhymes with "burp," so it's even fun to say.

Marketing acronyms that must die

That said, we need to set some limits here. Not all acronyms are necessary or even useful. At this point, I think marketers just like to acronymize anything they can because abbreviating things make us seem more important and busy than we really are. ("Syllables?? I don't have time for syllables!") Or, we want to make it clear to non-industry people that our industry is much more complicated than it actually is. Or, maybe we just want to prove to each other that we're all a part of the same silly club.

At this point, people in our industry are throwing around acronyms when they don't even know what they stand for. Worse, some stand for multiple things and have significant potential for confusion. Let's take a look at some of the worst offenders. Please feel free to leave your own pet peeves in the comments.



Luis Ruiz
Luis Ruiz November 22, 2013 at 7:47 AM

And What about ROPO?
Online & Offline both are "O"
The mean can be one thing and the opposite.
It's an stupidacronym.

and of course, Jeremy: BDM all people knows that it means BonDage & Masochism ;-)

jeremy knott
jeremy knott November 20, 2013 at 9:26 PM

Nice one Drew. You say you're an SEO. What is that as i thought SEO was Search Engine Optimisation? Are you a Serious Executive Only? Socieable Entrepreneur Of course!
JK (BDM and Int Mgr/Dir S&M)

Arthur Cohen
Arthur Cohen November 20, 2013 at 2:47 PM

What also ought to die is using the word acronyms for initialisms. It's easy to remember the difference--if it's pronounced as a word, e.g., SERP, it''s an acronym. If not, e.g., CPM, it's an initialism. OK, I'm a language crank. WTF.

Rob Willox
Rob Willox November 20, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Know what it is, of course, but not sure what it does! The American Petroleum Institute that is!

Lee Dellinger
Lee Dellinger November 20, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Yeh, there definitely seems to be a lot of MATMD in our business these days.