a creative agency that takes care of healthcare brands
Dr Ryan Wallman
22 Sep, 2014

If there’s one thing I’m sure we can all agree on, it’s that there is a worrying dearth of impressive-sounding acronyms in our industry. So this is my attempt to add to the marketer’s acronym arsenal (otherwise known as the ‘arsenym’).   

Marketing acronyms


Chief Jargon Officer

Person who takes company-wide responsibility for the optimal implementation of linguistic overcomplexificationism. Core competency is cross-sectoral alignment of value-adding communicative impenetrables.



Big Data Baffler  

Someone who attempts to baffle you with big data (not ACTUAL big data – just the phrase ‘big data’). Most BDBs have never studied statistics of any kind, and therefore think that a p-value refers to the monetary cost of relieving oneself in a European public convenience.



Return On Gobbledygook                                         

A financial measure particularly favoured by CJOs and BDBs. Calculated by dividing net profit by the frequency of use of certain words in marketing communications (for example: ‘leverage’, ‘value-adding’, ‘innovation’). The ROG acronym is best reserved for those who fully understand its role in leveraging value-adding innovation.



Down The Line  

A contingency strategy activated in the event of a failed marketing campaign. As in: ‘Our ATL and BTL activities didn’t work. We need to blame this on someone DTL.’



Business To Self

A type of marketing communication in which a business appears to be talking primarily to itself. Characterised by phrases such as ‘We believe …’, ‘That’s why we …’, ‘Our philosophy here at …’, and anything that refers to a ‘journey’. B2S is sometimes abbreviated to just BS.



Call To Inaction

An element of marketing communication that specifically and emphatically discourages a desired behaviour. Common examples include QR codes, invitations to ‘find out more about John’s story online’, and the phrase ‘join the conversation’.



Newly Fabricated Institute

An attempt to confer gravitas on what would otherwise be an obvious re-hash of a marketing concept that’s been around for decades. The NFI phenomenon is characteristic of ‘new-wave’ marketers (which would make a good name for an institute, come to think of it).


Ridiculous Title Creator

One of the most important people in a marketing agency. The RTC is responsible for transforming traditional job titles like ‘Designer’ (BORING!) into cutting-edge sobriquets such as ‘Pixel ninja’.



Noun To Verb

The practice of ‘transitioning’ a noun to a verb, on the basis that it implies more dynamism. While not confined to any one industry, it has been embraced by marketers, who are especially partial to impacting, ideating and gamifying.


The Wellmark team regularly tweets about topics relating to brand strategy and marketing communications. Simply follow the Twitter feed most relevant to your business: @wellmark_corp (corporate communications and annual report design), @wellmark_health (healthcare communications and pharma marketing) or @wellmark_psf (online branding and thought leadership for professional services firms).

‘DWA!’ image by Nina Miller, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons under a CC BY 2.0 licence.


Dr Ryan Wallman, Creative Director at Wellmark. Connect with me on LinkedIn