The Unnatural Language of Business

This month we were very fortunate to have Bryan Kramer as our guest on #PEXCardChat, which will take place September 18th at 2:00 pm EST. @BryanKramer is the Founder and CEO of @PureMatterin Silicon Valley, author of Human to Human, and listed as a Top 50 Global Social CEO by @Forbesand @HuffingtonPost. We will be featuring excerpts from Bryan’s book, “Human to Human,” in the weeks leading up to his TweetChat with PEX Card.

The Unnatural Language of Business

Customers are confused. With a whopping 93% of communications based on nonverbal body language, that leaves just 7% to explain verbally what we really mean. Why can’t we make it simple for people to understand what we’re selling, so they can more easily share their experiences and the value they felt with others? More importantly, why is it that what we’re marketing most often does not align to actual consumer experiences? I don’t care what language you speak, who your brand is or what message you’re trying to send, we all need to speak more human.

Too often we complicate what we’re trying to say. Ironically, as our world becomes more customer-owned and socially enabled, we continue to see complicated, redundant, over-technical, and over-thought mas messages getting pushed out—and lost—in the ether. Is it really getting harder to stand out, with so much data and information out there or is the answer just to clearly say what you mean in understandable human words? The fact is that lines are so far blurred now between the “B2C” (Business to Consumer) and “B2B” (Business to Business) marketing segments that it’s hard to differentiate between the two anymore.

Why do business marketers think they need to speak differently to their audience? I can’t tell you how many meetings I’ve been in where acronyms are used so often that my brain ends up spending so much time trying to decipher what they mean instead of focusing on the actual thoughts trying to be conveyed. Acronyms have their place, but not when they replace communicating information to someone else who might not understand your world full of capital letters. We all need to think like the consumers we are, putting ourselves in the mindset of the buyer instead of trying to speak such an intensely sophisticated language full of acronyms and big words, in order to sound smarter.

The same is true for social. We have new acronyms such as LOL, OMG, TY, and BRB. We also have new words such as “selfie,” “hashtag,” “wiki,” and “tag.” These terms have their own new “assigned” meaning, and have helped us gain a new way of conversing with each other. In quick statements, letters, sometimes pictures and memes, we’re learning to speak a new language. Full proper sentences are becoming a thing of the past when it comes to short engagement, like on Twitter and text. Technology demands that we communicate in a new way, but is it really making us more efficient? Or, is it evidence of our need as humans to continually evolve? It could be that each “network” has its own nuance for sharing.

Whether it’s a social network or a human network, the colliding worlds in our short and long-form conversations are requiring us to relearn how to share with each other in a greater context than ever before.

Shot of two female coworkers having a discussion in modern office. Businesswomen in meeting using digital tablet and discussing business strategy. Confident business people working together in the office. Corporate business persons discussing new project and sharing ideas in the workplace. Successful businesswomen standing with their colleagues working in background.

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