What Is Copywriting in Marketing?

When many people think of the athletic brand Nike, two things come to mind: the brand’s “swoosh” symbol, designed to evoke the wings of the Greek goddess the company is named for, and “Just Do It.” Those three short words are impossible to say without conjuring the company that’s existed for just 56 years. The slogan, coined in 1988 by advertising executive Dan Wieden, immediately became synonymous with the company that began as a running shoe business and now dominates the athletics industry. With stars from Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant to Roger Federer and Bo Jackson all appearing in Nike commercials repeating those same three words, Nike cemented its status as a major player in the industry.

A copywriter brainstorms ideas for a marketing campaign.

Wieden’s work is just one example of the impact copywriting can have on a marketing campaign or even a brand’s entire identity. Many other companies have identifying slogans, such as McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” and Wheaties’ “Breakfast of Champions,” which bring instant brand recognition with just a few simple words. These phrases are largely the work of copywriters — marketing experts who know how to use words to affect how people think of and perceive a company, brand, or product. Continue reading to learn more about what copywriting in marketing is, what the job market is like, and how to attain such a position.

How Do Marketers Use Copywriting?

Marketing companies rely on copywriters to deliver their intended message clearly and succinctly while staying true to the identity or voice of their brand. Copywriting appears on sales pages, online advertisements, and television spots, in print, and many other places.

Copywriters are a key part of the marketing development process. When a company wants to rebrand itself or launch a new campaign, it turns to marketing professionals for help. The marketing team almost always includes at least one copywriter, who usually participates in the entire process — from the first meeting that describes the vision to assessing the success of a campaign after its completion. What copywriters in marketing do includes everything from pitching ideas and crafting messages to offering feedback throughout the process and evaluating certain phrasing’s effectiveness, tweaking language as necessary for better results.

In larger marketing firms, copywriters can move up to become marketing directors or even run their own marketing companies. A proven track record of creating successful messages for clients can help copywriters climb the ladder, achieving greater professional success and establishing a roster of clients.

How to Become a Marketing Copywriter

Becoming a copywriter takes the right academic background to understand clients’ wants and needs and turn them into smart, succinct copy. Aspiring copywriters typically start their journey with a relevant bachelor’s degree before gaining work experience and continuing to develop their soft skills while practicing their craft.

Start with the Right Education

Working in marketing means earning a college degree that focuses on business communication, market and data analysis, project management, and other relevant skills. Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Marketing can be a great option as it includes courses in global marketing, customer relationship management, marketing and digital media, social media campaigns, and more. Maryville’s online Bachelor of Arts in Communication is also another option as its curriculum focuses on effectively conveying information across different platforms, from traditional to digital. Both programs can help students learn how copy is used and become effective copywriters.

Take the Right Internship

Included in the Maryville University undergraduate experience is the opportunity to complete an internship. Students can spend a semester or two working in a professional environment alongside copywriters and other marketing professionals, exploring what copywriting in marketing is in practice. The best internships include a traditional education component while also allowing interns to work on actual jobs, perhaps coming up with pitches, sitting in on meetings, and otherwise participating in daily company operations. Successful internships can even become full-time jobs after graduation.

Work on Your People Skills

Copywriters must have strong interpersonal skills to succeed. They work with clients and teams of other marketing professionals in a process that frequently involves multiple rounds of edits and revisions. Copywriters must also be able to accept critique gracefully, using it to fuel more successful work. They should be able to collaborate with clients and colleagues constructively, reaching compromises when necessary and navigating interpersonal relationships to get to an end result that generates returns for the client.

Write the Future of Marketing

Today’s copywriters are always adapting to new types of media, which emerge as different technologies become more accessible and widely used. They understand when different styles of writing should be employed to create interest and drive sales in different situations and on different platforms. A forward-looking degree program can prepare writers to evolve right along with the industry. Explore how Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Marketing or online Bachelor of Arts in Communication can help position you to tackle the exciting challenges of copywriting.

Recommended Readings

Digital Marketing Trends Marketers Need to Know

Eleven Modern Marketing Skills for Business Innovators to Master

What Does the Future of Advertising Look Like?


Ad Week, “So You Want to Become a Copywriter at an Ad Agency. Now What?”

Design Week, “How to Become a: Copywriter”

Entrepreneur, “The 10 Commandments of Great Copywriting”

Forbes, “The Secrets to Hiring and Developing the Best Copywriters for Your Website”

Maryville University, Online Marketing Degree

New York Post,“How to Make a Career Out of Copywriting”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Writers and Authors

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