The advantage of being experienced in online and digital initiatives is that you find some key success factors that make a huge difference when implementing them early on. One of these is definitely to have a common understanding of what is what when it comes to the nomenclature used internally.

In most organisations, too much time is wasted on simple misunderstandings about what people mean when they use specific terms and expressions.

A simple misunderstanding

The first time I realised that was while sitting in a meeting ten years ago with a customer. In the meeting, there were three people on the customer side. The middle-aged manager started talking about what channel to prioritised for their next campaign. The younger associated looked very confused and started to wrinkle her nose. The older colleague looked even more confused and began to look down at the table.

I intervened in their discussion and asked how each of them defined "channel"?

  • It turned out that the manager was talking about advertising on different marketing channels, e.g. online, print, outdoor etc.
  • The young associate was thinking about YouTube channels.
  • And the older colleague, meanwhile, was thinking about advertising on TV channels. 

They all had a long discussion based on a simple misunderstanding of what they all defined as "channel".

The lesson I learned

The lesson I learned was that a lot of confusion could be eliminated just by being diligent when it comes to creating a standard nomenclature for what is what.

My recommendation

So my recommendation for any organisation working with online and digital is to invest time and resources in defining the internal nomenclature and definitions for the words you use in meetings and steering documents. It will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Below you can download a simple nomenclature. You can use it as the basis to build your internal nomenclature for online and digital terms and expressions.


Online nomenclature – Definitions A-Z:

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Anders Björklund

Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about what and how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B. Asks a lot of questions, and knows what to do with the answers.
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