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The Copyeditor’s Marketing Vocab Primer

Stack of dictionaries

Every industry has special vocabulary—that is, jargon—it uses to refer to well-known but complex ideas in a short space or to sound like an insider.

Jargon can become a problem, though, when it’s used to avoid addressing that complex idea or when it overwhelms the copy itself.

The copyeditor’s job is to determine when the jargon is fulfilling its purpose and when it’s harming the copy.

To make that determination, we first need to understand the jargon. For those who want to work with marketing copy, check out the following list of some basic marketing terminology:

Objective: What you are trying to achieve over the long term.

Goal: What you are trying to achieve with specific steps that will lead to an objective.

Strategy: The method you will use to achieve your objectives.

Tactics: The specific tasks you will take to reach a goal.

Touch point: The moment when someone interacts with your business, either with a person or with something that represents your business, like your website or an ad.

Market segment: A group of people in your market who share specific characteristics and respond to marketing tactics in a similar way.

Unique selling proposition (USP): Something about you or your product that separates you from your competitors.

Attention, interest, desire, action, and satisfaction (AIDAS): An approach to making a sale

  1. Capture the prospect’s attention.
  2. Get them interested in your product.
  3. Create a desire for your product.
  4. Tell them what action to take next (e.g., contact you).
  5. Create satisfaction through purchase.

What’s in it for me? (WIIFM): The question every prospect is ultimately concerned with when considering a purchase and the one every marketer should answer.

Call to action (CTA): The statement that encourages the prospect to take the action you want them to take: Buy now! Sign up for our free newsletter.

Lead: Someone who has identified themselves to you as a potential customer in some fashion, such as signing up for a free email newsletter.

Prospect: A lead who has engaged in two-way interaction with you and has indicated they are getting ready to make a purchase.

Martech: Abbreviation for “marketing technology,” that is, technology you can use to perform marketing tasks. Facebook’s advertising platform is an example of martech; it allows marketers to place ads on Facebook.

Tagline: A sentence or two that captures the main benefit or idea of a company, brand, or product. A slogan.

Account-based marketing: An approach to marketing that assigns one person at the selling company to work with a prospect or client, with the goal of more deeply understanding their specific needs.

Add-on: Something added to a sale, usually something that enhances the product and is not as expensive as the main product. For example, a company can subscribe to HubSpot’s Marketing software. Reports are an add-on to that subscription.

Cross-sell: To suggest (or “sell”) a related product with a main product the prospect is considering. “Would you like fries with that?” is a cross-sell.

Upsell: To suggest (or “sell”) a higher level of a product the prospect is considering. “Would you like to make that a large instead?” is an upsell.

Key performance indicator (KPI): A measurement that shows whether your marketing activity worked. The KPI can be any metric that demonstrates whether the goal was met.

Omnichannel marketing: A marketing approach that applies the same marketing strategy across all channels (methods of communication, e.g., in-store and online) and devices (computers and handhelds). The goal is a unified experience for the consumer, no matter where they interact with the company.

C-suite: The collection of chief officers a company employs.

M&A: Mergers and acquisitions.

R&D: Research and development.

Learn how to edit marketing copy! Purchase the recording of my EFA webinar, All New and Improved!: How to Edit Marketing Copy.


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