Marketing vs Advertising: 5 Key Differences You Should Check

Marketing and advertising are two related terms. Though they are related but have different approaches.

Typically, marketing is a business practice that involves identifying, predicting and meeting customer needs.

On the contrary, advertising is a business practice where a company pays to place its messaging or branding in a particular location. In other words, advertising is a component of marketing.

By understanding the differences between marketing vs advertising, you can set the right strategy for the right purposes, and eventually set an achievable goal for your products. Also, it gives confidence when you're talking with your client or team who may think these two different terms are the same.

If you don't know the difference between marketing vs advertisement yet, don't be worried. In this blog, we are going to show you how these terms are different from each other.

Marketing vs Advertising: Let’s Clear the Confusion First

An image that shows 1 man and 1 woman are standing and thinking what is marketing and what is advertising

What is Marketing

Marketing means the activities of notifying, promoting, and selling your products or services to buyers. It can be understood as the management of the communication process to convey a product's message to customers, prospects, or other interested parties.

It's a process that has been going on since the beginning of time, and it has evolved and improved over time with the advancement of tech, science, and digital marketing.

Types of Marketing

Mainly there are two types of marketing. One is Inbound marketing and the other is outbound marketing.

  1. Inbound marketing: It is the process of attracting potential customers to your brand by solving their pain points. Searchers begin by searching for products and services, or content to fulfill a need and solve a problem. As such, your content should explain how your products or services will resolve their issues or satisfy their needs. Blogging, SEO, link building, etc. are examples of inbound marketing.
  2. Outbound marketing: It sends a message to a huge amount of people, in the hopes of making a sale. This strategy is rooted in the thought that the larger the group you message to, the larger the return. The main channels of outbound marketing are TV, radio, print, and billboard ads. Digital strategies such as banner ads and newsletters are also examples of outbound marketing.

What is Advertising

Basically, advertising is a part of marketing. Marketing prepares products for the marketplace and works on overall brand messaging and positioning, while advertising then gets the word out about specific products or services.

While marketing can be paid, owned, or earned media, advertising is the component of marketing that focuses solely on the paid media aspect.

Types of Advertising

There are two types of advertising:

  • Traditional advertising: It's like creating tv or radio commercial to reach out to mass people. It also includes print ads, such as the ones featured in magazines and newspapers, leaflets, brochures, and billboards.
  • Digital advertising: Paid search ads, pop-ups, website banners, pre-roll ads on videos, and sponsored social media posts are all different forms of digital advertising designed to target specific customer bases and direct them to a particular website. 

Marketing vs Advertising: 5 Key Points You Should Be Aware of As a Marketer

Feature image of the marketing vs. advertising blog

As we have discussed earlier marketing and advertising both are used to promote and sell your products or services. But they are different from each other. You have to take different approaches for different platforms. Let's find out the top 5 parameters to differentiate them:

  1. Purpose
  2. Strategy
  3. Procedure
  4. Investment
  5. Measurement

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to clearly understand how these two related terms are truly different.

1. Purpose of Marketing and Advertising

Both marketing and advertising have different purposes. If you can find out your purpose clearly, you can apply the right strategy to achieve that. Let's check when you need marketing and when you need advertising.

Marketing Purpose

  • New Products Launching: Marketing can help you to create buzz about your upcoming products and influence your target audience to ensure their pre-orders through early bird discounts.
  • Lead Generation: Through inbound marketing like blogging, you can make an email list, and later you can outreach to them to promote your products.
  • Customer Acquisition and Retention: Customer acquisition is the process of getting potential customers to buy your products. And retention means nurturing existing customers to continue buying products from you. Creating helpful content to solve your customers' problems and engaging videos on your products help you to acquire new customers and retain existing customers.
  • Cross-selling and Upselling Opportunities: You can implement cross-sell complementary products and upsell better products on your checkout page to increase revenue.

Advertising Purpose

  • First-Time Buyers' Attention: You can create Google ads to target first-time buyers for your digital products. Or, you can create tv commercials or print ads to attract first-time buyers for your physical products.
  • Brand Loyalty Establishment: You can keep informing or reminding customers about the existence of your brand through ads, pop-ups, and sponsored videos. These will help you to make your customers happy and satisfied by increasing brand loyalty.
  • Solid Brand Image Formation: Establishing your business as the top-of-mind option among others in the market through advertising.

2. Strategy of Marketing and Advertising

An image that shows a girl is standing with a mike

Strategy means how you plan to market or advertise your products. You have to think differently for both platforms to get the fullest out of each platform. Let's check the strategy and technique that you need to use for marketing and advertising.

Marketing Strategy

  • Leverage Content Marketing: Human-generated top-notch content can help you the most in marketing your products. Create content to educate your target customers and solve their problems to stay their minds rent-free forever.
  • Collaborate with Industry Influencers: Collaborating with influencers and brands whose audiences, products, or services are in line with yours helps you to reach more potential customers.
  • Choose Brand Ambassador: Nurture relationships with existing customers so they eventually become brand ambassadors and promote your products on your behalf.
  • Launch Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing means people will sell your products through their own channel and you will pay them a commission for each sale. It's another way to market your products.

Advertising Strategy

  • Giveaway: Promotional advertising like giveaways, coupons, or temporary price reductions helps you to gain more sales.
  • Traditional Advertising: It's another way of advertisement. It includes advertising on print, billboard, tv, or radio.
  • Digital Marketing: Digital advertising means running paid ads on Google or social media like FB, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. It also includes video marketing, content syndication, guest posting, etc. 

3. Procedure of Marketing and Advertising

The procedure means the whole work process to complete a successful marketing or advertising campaign. Both platforms follow different work procedures. Let's discuss it here!

Marketing Procedure

In the broader sense, marketing is all about sharing your brand with others. It is a way of enhancing potential customers to, in turn, boost revenue.

Marketing involves:

  • Research
  • Analysis
  • Consumer behavior
  • Strategy implementation
  • Product development
  • Strategy planning
  • Brand alignment
  • Service development

Advertising Procedure

Advertising is a small yet important part of marketing. It usually incorporates:

  • Gathering data about customers
  • Considering diverse creative strategies
  • Designing logos to align with the brand
  • Deciding where to place ads
  • Track ads performance and keep updating ads copy

4. Investment of Marketing and Advertising

A major difference between marketing and advertising is the investment and figuring out where this investment money will get spent. Now we will discuss investment in marketing and advertising.

Marketing Investment

As advertising is a part of marketing, so, general marketing expenses include the advertising budget along with a broader range of marketing-related expenses.

The broader range of marketing-related expenses includes marketing software and tools, customer research processes, channel specialists, and website development. So, here is a list of where you should spend your marketing budget:

  • Focus on human resources
  • Invest in data like website traffic, customer behavior, and buyer persona
  • Upskill team members
  • Spend strategically on social media and SEO
  • Explore sponsorship opportunities
  • Market to existing customers

Also Read: 7 Proven eCommerce SEO Tips to Get More Traffic

Advertising Investment

Advertising is notoriously expensive. A study by projections cite on advertising budget shows that,

US companies are projected to spend more than $65 billion on social media advertising alone in 2022.

This funding mainly goes toward two segments: creative and distribution. Creative investments may include graphic designers, copywriters, or art directors. Distribution includes activities like securing ad platforms (TV, radio spots, and physical space) or outsourcing to advertising agencies.

5. Measurement of Marketing and Advertising

This image shows how to measure success of marketing and advertising

Marketing and advertising both measure the number of people they reach. But in different ways. Marketing count different metrics and advertising count different metrics. Let's find out how they measure success.

Marketing Measurement

Marketing counts the number of people who are reached and then make at least one purchase. One way to think about it is that marketing uses statistical measurements to help a company determine whether or not its ads are working.

For example, if a marketing campaign has 5,000 impressions but only 100 conversions, this means that out of all those people who have seen the ad, only 2 percent were interested in buying our product.

So, marketing will give you two important data:

  • Conversion rates and
  • Advertisement cost per customer

Advertising Measurement

Advertising is measured by impressions or how many people see the ad. It will just tell us how many people saw the ad, without taking into account if they were actually interested in our product or not.

So when we are measuring the effectiveness between marketing and advertising, marketing's measurement goes further than advertising by calculating how much revenue is generated from an ad campaign.

Marketing vs Advertisement – A Quick Comparison

By coming this far, you may have already figured out the difference between marketing and advertisement. Then again, we have created this comparison table so that you can get all the crucial information in one place in no time.

DefinitionMarketing is the process of identifying customer needs and determining how best to meet those needs. Advertising is the exercise of promoting a company and its products or services through paid channels.
Purpose Product launching, Lead generation, customer acquisition, retentionFirst-time buyer's attention, brand image, and loyalty establishment
StrategyContent marketing, affiliate marketing, collaboration with industry influencersGiveaway, traditional marketing, digital marketing
ProcedureResearch, analysis, consumer behavior, strategy implementation, product development, and strategy planningGathering data about customers, considering diverse creative strategies, deciding where to place ads
InvestmentInvest in data like website traffic, customer behavior, and buyer persona. Upskill team members, and spend strategically on social media and SEOInvest in graphic designers, copywriters, or art directors. Also, keep the budget for securing ad platforms (TV, radio spots, and physical space) or outsourcing to advertising agencies.
MeasurementMeasures conversion rates and
advertisement cost per customer
Measures impressions or how many people see the ad

Choose the Right Media for The Right Purpose

Being able to choose the right media (Advertising or Marketing) for the right purpose can save you time, money, and energy. On top of that, it will help you to reach your target revenue with the right strategy. So, first, clear your confusion on Marketing vs Advertising, and then plan for your strategy.

Here is a quick recap on marketing vs Advertising:

  • Advertising is a subset of marketing.
  • While advertising is marketing, marketing is not advertising.
  • Marketing involves many other types, including often paid channels.
  • The goals between marketing and advertising are similar, but the methods differ.
  • Marketing concentrates on product, price, promotion, place, people, and process.
  • Advertising concentrates on the promotion of the product.

Marketing is the method of building brand awareness and messaging. Advertising is a subset of marketing but an essential one. Therefore, the most effective marketing strategies will incorporate advertising, as well as other types.

That's all!

If you have any further confusion, don't be hesitated to ask us in the comment box below. We would love to answer your queries.

Shams Sumon
Written by

Shams Sumon

Shams is a content writer with a passion for making WordPress topics easy to understand for everyone through conversational and storytelling approaches. With a background in the WordPress industry since 2019, he has developed a knack for breaking down complex technical concepts into digestible bites. When he's not crafting engaging content, Shams can be found watching football matches, catching up on the latest movies, or exploring new destinations to rejuvenate himself.

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