Hi Neighbor! Er, neighbour!

by The Guy February 6th, 2007 

A quick lesson from grammar school. And elementary school. And high school… Spelling counts.

And as anyone who writes for the Internet knows, so too does nuance. Rankings can vary dramatically between singular and plural spellings. The difference between car and cars may not be quite as dramatic as Ford's recent losses, but it is significant nevertheless.

And then there are the borders. Between what we like to consider Canadian and U.S. spellings although in truth the difference tends to be between Queen's English and American English. (Ebonics being a whole other topic.) The difference between neighbour and neighbor, passport requirements and border patrols aside. In the end, and in my opinion, ours (Canadian English) is the more colourful of the two. Or is that colorful? You say potato, yada, yada, yada.

At a recent industry event (Shout out to AIMS Canada, and GM Kathryn Lagden who is doing great things with it these day.) I happened on a third nuanced circumstance that I found intriguing not only because of the nuance involved but also because of the bottom line ramifications.

Financial institutions, particularly at this time of year devote a significant amount of media buying dollars and production dollars for collateral around retirement savings. Quite literally, millions of dollars. In bank speak, the marketing is done under RSP.

Funny thing is, that's not what the population searches for. And it's not what media promotes. The default is actually RRSP. Here's a media use example, and here's what Google Trends shows.

Interestingly enough, the speaker continually referred to RSP and in a feedback note projected onscreen, the consumer referred to RRSP.

In terms of search, most of the banks have correctly purchased RRSP and RSP as paid advertising. But organically, RRSP is missing in action from most online financial collateral. It would seem to me there's a revenue opportunity there as those people searching for an RRSP are probably less financially aware than those searching from RSP. My guess would be those searching for RRSP would be more likely prospects.

And that's money you can take to the bank.

~ The (SEP) Guy

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One Response to “Hi Neighbor! Er, neighbour!”

  1. Thanks for the shout out SEP guy! Great example to demonstrate how important it is for companies to speak their customers language.