As a copywriter, you’re never working in a vacuum: Your job involves collaborating with any number of people and departments. But when someone says, “Go talk to traffic?” do you know what that means? Today, we’re going to get crystal clear on a bunch of job titles so you’re prepared to collaborate with the best of ‘em. Read on…
Today’s question comes from Caroline M. who asks, “I just started my first copywriting job. Yay! But they keep referencing all of these people and jobs that I don’t know. I don’t want to look dumb. What’s a traffic manager? And what’s a brand manager? Help!”
Every industry has its own group of abstruse job titles that you can’t possibly understand until you’re in the thick of it. But now that you’re in the thick of it, let’s shine some light shall we?
Before we go on, though, I want to encourage you to ask questions—especially while you’re new. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “So, what does the traffic manager do? And who is that?” It’s better than guessing, and guessing wrong!
Especially while you’re new, people expect that you don’t know everything and that you’ll have questions. It’s much better to ask now than have to ask after six months of pretending that you knew what everyone was talking about.
Anyway, without further ado, let’s get right into it!
Traffic Manager (also sometimes called project manager) – The traffic person, or trafficker, is the person who is responsible for keeping all projects on track. They flesh out the project schedule, let you know which projects to prioritize, and remind you when your due dates are coming up. The best traffic managers are detail-oriented and, believe it or not, are your best friends when they’re hounding you about work that’s due. They figure out what you need to work on and in what order so that you don’t have to.
Product Manager (also sometimes referred to as a project manager. Confusing, I know) – The product manager is responsible for coming up with and leading the charge for the development of products (digital or physical) for companies. For example, the product manager for a website may come up with a new search function for the site.
Brand Manager (sometimes referred to as a marketing manager or brand marketing manager) – This person is responsible for maintaining and promoting a company’s brand through its marketing materials. Why not just call them marketers? Who knows.
Developer (also called an engineer or, more colloquially, a coder) – This is the person who writes the code that builds websites, apps, and other digital elements. They take the words you write and bring them to life on the web.
SEM – This stands for “search engine marketing.” This team is in charge of making sure your company’s ads on Google, Bing and Yahoo search results pages get clicked on.
SEO – This stands for “search engine optimization.” This team is responsible for making sure that your company’s web pages come up on high on the list of results after someone executes a search on Google, Bing or Yahoo search.
Graphic Designer – This is your design partner; the yin to your yang. Where you’re in charge of the words, they’re in charge of the images.
Art Director – This one is a little bit tricky. Sometimes, an art director can refer to a graphic designer who has attained more experience and gotten a promotion. However, it can also refer to someone who directs the photographer and stylist on a photo shoot. How can you know the difference? Context clues, my friend.
Traffic Acquisition (sometimes shortened to TRAQ) – This team is responsible for getting traffic (visitors) to a website. They use a variety of means to do it, including affiliate marketing and buying advertising space, and they’re often indispensable to a web company’s bottom line.
Business Development (sometimes called BizDev) – These people are in charge of taking advantage of growth opportunities within a business. Sometimes their work will coincide with the sales team and they’ll develop partnerships with other companies.
Business Intelligence (sometimes shortened to BI) – This team is the group who analyzes all of the data (metrics) that are pertinent to a business. They’re the ones who look at things like visits to a website, sales, time spent a site, and a million other pieces of data, then process them, analyze them and report on them.
Information Architect (sometimes shortened to IA) – An information architect is the person who figures out how a website is structured, including which pages link to which other pages and which page-to-page paths users are likely to follow. If you’re helping to build a site from the ground up, it’s likely you’ll work with an IA.
And there you have it! Those are the most pertinent job definitions you’ll need to know. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below!