The person at the ad agency, public relations firm, or design firm who is in charge of the account. Often referred to as the AE, the account executive acts as the liaison between the client and the agency, and makes sure that projects run smoothly.
The person at the agency or company that is in charge of the design of a promotional piece. He or she is typically responsible for the layout, text placement, photos, illustrations, and other visual elements. Art directors often work closely with copywriters. In some cases, they are a defined team.
AV or A/V:
Abbreviation for audio-visual, it typically refers to videos, presentations, and multimedia CDs. Copywriters often script storyboards, dialogue, and text for AV projects.
Also known as brand awareness, it’s how well-known a product or service is or a promotion designed to get a product recognized rather than solicit a direct sale.
The theme of an advertisement or how that theme will influence potential buyers. It’s what scrutinizing creative directors or marketing managers look for when critiquing concepts for ads and direct-mail packages.
A term used in print communications, a bleed is a photo, illustration, or background color that goes to the edge of the page, beyond the expected border or margin. Promotional pieces that have a bleed are usually more expensive to print.
The main text of a promotional piece, as opposed to the headlines, sidebars, subheads, and other elements. So when someone says, “the body of the ad,” he or she is referring to the text below the main headline.
A block of text, often describing the company or product, that is used over and over again in multiple promotional pieces. Press releases, for example, often end with a boilerplate paragraph on the company.
An agency that is not full service. They may handle graphic design, for example, but not market research or production. A freelance copywriter is, technically, a boutique agency.
The name of the product, along with all the taglines, slogans, images, and other identifiable features associated with it. In the advertising world, brand is also used in reference to a product’s popularity and success. To “build a brand” is to increase its recognition and preference among buyers.
Abbreviation for business reply card. This is used in direct mail as a means for the recipient to reply to the offer. (“Just fill in the reply card and drop it in the mail.”)
Abbreviation for business reply envelope, it’s the same as a BRC except that it’s an envelope rather than a card.
The money allocated for the creation, production, and distribution of a promotional piece. This is a big concern for marketing managers.
Selling products and services to other companies rather than consumers. It’s considered a specialized field, and there are many professional associations, events, books, and periodicals dedicated to business-to-business sales and marketing. Also known as B2B or B-to-B.
The selling of products and services to consumers rather than businesses. Also known as B2C or B-to-C
Excitement that is generated about a product or service, which hopefully translates into sales. Buzz is often generated by public relations campaigns and word-of-mouth.
call to action:
The section of a promotion that asks the reader to do something. It may be to visit a store, go to a Web site, fill out a form, or place an order. A call to action is a necessity in any piece that is meant to generate a lead or sale, such as a mail-order package, catalog, sales letter, or e-mail promotion.
A coordinated effort to accomplish a specific sales, marketing, or public relations goal.
Printed pieces—brochures, sell sheets, case studies, and other literature—used primarily by salespeople.
An idea for a promotional piece that is developed to a point where it can be presented to others. An ad agency, for example, might prepare several concepts for an ad campaign and ask the client to choose one.
Someone who buys for him or herself rather than on behalf of a company. A grocery store is frequented mostly by consumers. But an office supply store caters to both consumers and business buyers.
The person at an agency or company that is responsible for the copywriting of all promotional materials. He or she usually supervises other writers.
Common in direct marketing, it is a plan for how the copy will be structured and written, with a description of the basic strategy and theme of the piece. It’s a cross between a creative brief and an outline.
A rough sketch used by a copywriter to communicate an idea for a layout or visual. A copywriter’s rough can be as basic as a pencil scribble or as sophisticated as a detailed drawing done on computer.
A brochure that promotes all the features and positive aspects of the company rather than any specific product or service; same as a corporate profile only longer. Corporate brochures are often used in public relations and investor relations to help “sell” a company.
A description of a company that often appears in Web sites, brochures, and other corporate materials, usually two or three paragraphs long.
All the activities involved in creating a promotional piece, such as copywriting, graphic design, illustration, and photography. Creative doesn’t typically include research, strategy, production, or distribution.
The person at the ad agency or design firm who is responsible for all aspects of the creative. This is the top rung on the creative ladder. He or she will typically supervise a team of designers, writers, producers, and others.
The attempt to sell unrelated products and services to existing customers. The fact that you bought a Honda means you might be a good prospect for a Honda lawnmower.
Statistics that describe a particular segment of the population, covering such identifiable characteristics as age, sex, and income. Marketers use this information to more accurately target their campaigns.
Promotional pieces delivered by mail, including postcards, flyers, envelopes, and catalogs.
Any marketing effort that is directed at a specific list of people rather than the general population. An ad in a magazine isn’t direct marketing, but a sales letter sent to your home is.
A promotional piece that directly solicits a lead or sale. It wants you to respond to it. Direct-response ads, direct mail, and other promotions typically include a call to action and instructions on how to reply or buy.
Work that is done by an agency or freelancer rather than in-house.
Computer software used to create Web site graphics, and sometimes the entire site. Flash images can be animated.
The short version of for position only. When a designer mocks up a promotional piece, he or she might mark certain images, such as drawings or photos, as placeholders only, or for position only (FPO). The real drawing or photo will be developed and placed later.
An agency that handles all aspects of marketing or public relations, including research, strategy, creative services, media buying, and more.
The text equivalent of an FPO, greek is the name give to dummy text that is used by designers in a layout as placeholder copy until the real stuff is written.
Abbreviation for Hypertext Markup Language, the computer language used to create most of the Web sites you see on the Internet.
A special Web page, usually an order form, that is usually part of a larger campaign. For example, clicking on a banner advertisement might take you to a landing page where you can learn more about the product and, hopefully, order it.
Also known as a sales lead, this is the name of a person who has expressed interest in a product or service, and a willingness to learn more. Lead generation is an important task for copywriters in business-to-business marketing.
Direct-mail packages and catalogs that offer products you can order through the mail or online.
Short for marketing communications, which is anything that the marketing department produces, such as press releases, sales brochures, and advertisements, to reach out to prospects and customers.
A Web site dedicated to a specific product or campaign. It’s often different from the company’s main Web site. A microsite is often used in conjunction with another promotional piece. For example, a link within an e-zine ad might take the reader to a microsite that provides more detailed information on the product.
Abbreviation for Portable Document Format. This is the standard way that mockups and design concepts are shared. A designer, for example, might email a copywriter a draft of a layout as a PDF file. The software you need to view a PDF file, Adobe’s Acrobat Reader, is available at
Also known in the industry as a book, this is a collection of copywriting samples used to promote your talents to potential employers and clients.
Similar to demographics, except the information also includes needs, interests, preferences, annoyances, and other psychological insights into a particular segment of the marketplace.
Short for pay per click, this is a form of online advertising, such as a banner, where the advertiser only pays when someone clicks on the ad.
A gift offered to potential buyers as an incentive for buying the product. Premiums are often used in direct-mail and online promotions. (“Order today and you’ll also receive this free gift.”)
A potential customer; someone who has the budget, authority, and desire to buy a product or service but hasn’t done so yet.
The response generated from a promotional piece, such as a direct-mail package. (“The sales letter pulled a 5% response.”)
Short for return on investment, this is a popular term in business-to-business marketing. Business buyers often have to justify their purchases by the return in revenues and cost savings that a product or service can potentially generate.
Copy that attempts to sell the product or service rather than simply raise awareness or convey information.
A specialized type of sales brochure that explains only a specific aspect or application of a product or service.
The area in a publication that is reserved for advertising. (“We just booked space in
Lawn Care Monthly
for a half-page ad.”)
The estimated number of potential customers for a product or service.
The attempt to get a customer to purchase extras or a better version of the product or service. “Would you like to supersize that meal?” is the classic example.
Short for unique selling proposition. According to the person who first coined the phrase, advertising legend Rosser Reeves, a USP has three characteristics: 1) the promotion must make a specific proposition to the prospect, 2) the proposition must be one that the competition either cannot, or does not, offer, and 3) the proposition must be strong enough to motivate the masses to buy the product or service.
A Web seminar; a presentation that you can listen to and view on a special Web site.