Alphabet soup.

 April 13, 2017

Back to the basics: Health Care Marketing Revisited

Alphabet soup.

With the advent of text messaging (TXT), initials and acronyms have run amok. There’s LOL (probably not), IMHO (usually isn’t H), FWIW (usually nothing), BTW and on and on.

But while such things are more prevalent nowadays, they are nothing new.

For years, decades, maybe forever, advertisers have resorted to acronyms or initials in the interest of economy. When you’re paying by the inch or the second, you do what you can to save space and time.

Take buying a car, for example. You could pay MSRP or negotiate a discount at a dealership, or buy on an OBO basis from a private sale. You can finance the deal OAC at a specified APR from a financial institution affiliated with FDIC or NCUA.

Of late, with the plethora of pharmaceutical advertising assailing us, advertisers are using more and more letters of the alphabet for more and more maladies, remedies for which they’re hawking in the hope you’ll “ask your doctor” (AYD).

Seen lately have been TV commercials for ED and PMS, UTI, DVT, OCDP, RA, IBS, and its even nastier cousin, IBSD.

The thing is, do you know what all these—and other—acronyms and abbreviations and initials mean? Most pharmaceutical advertisers can afford the confusion as they will air their commercials until aliens in outer space get the message.

But before you resort to such shortcuts in your marketing communications, it might be wise to find out if your prospects are tuned in to the jargon that’s second nature to you. Chances are, they won’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Which means they won’t be convinced to give your product or service a try.


Next time: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

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