Let’s start out real simple; a copy writer (or copywriter – as it is sometimes spelled) writes copy for all sorts of things, from cereal boxes to TV ad scripts and a whole lot of stuff in between. Usually they get a set of guidelines from or conduct an interview with a client and then make the information sound polished, interesting and grammatically perfect.
A marketing copywriter is more of a specialist; this person writes things like sales collateral, web copy, case studies and other specific tools you might use to market to your potential customers.
A marketing copy writer does more than just create polished copy based on your guidelines, he should be able to help guide what you are communicating by asking the right questions (or using your existing creative brief or messaging guidelines) and using fundamental marketing principles to craft persuasive copy that fits in perfectly with your marketing objectives.
If someone is billing himself as a marketing copywriter, he should have a degree in marketing or several years of experience writing copy for marketing collateral (or both).
A hi-tech marketing copy writer takes that specialization one step further, leveraging deep experience working in hi-tech industries to deliver polished marketing copy about hi-tech or other hard to understand products. A high tech marketing copy writer is primarily a translator – using a broad knowledge of technology to ask the right questions and turn “geek speak” into customer-friendly marketing collateral.
If you work in a hi-tech industry is it necessary to hire a hi-tech marketing copy writer for your marketing collateral? Not necessarily – a talented marketing copy writer can get the job done. But working with someone well-versed in technology who is comfortable dragging saleable product benefits out of engineers can lead to a better end product with less hand-holding and teeth-gnashing along the way. And that’s worth spending the extra time to find the right person for the job.