Advertising vs Marketing: What’s The Difference?

What's the difference between advertising and marketing? It may be more nuanced than you think. Learn about essential terms, types, and fundamentals that set these two practices apart

In our modern world, marketing and advertising have become mainstays in the Internet vocabulary, especially with the meteoric rise of social media. But the difference in advertising vs. marketing is much more nuanced than you may initially think.

You almost hear these terms used interchangeably. But when it comes to advertising vs. marketing, some key differences set the two fields and practices apart.

So, what's the difference between marketing and advertising? Let's break it down into a few vital pieces and help you grow your brand online.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is when a company engages in various initiatives to build bonds with target audiences. They exhibit the value of their business through proposed services, offers, and more.

Marketing (and digital marketing especially) requires massive market research to nail down brand voice, tone, and appeal to customer bases.

This is an absolutely vital piece of marketing strategy; appealing to your customers. Why should they take an interest in your product or service? This is the time to promote and build your brand's personality and message to market directly to the consumer.

How will your product help solve a customer's problem? Why should people choose to do business with you instead of the guy down the street?

These are all questions that digital marketing specialists and experts worldwide need to grapple with.

Brushing Up on Marketing Vocabulary

It's always helpful to brush up on marketing vocabulary. Businesses that harness marketing vocabulary to their benefit craft effective marketing strategies to win over a customer base.

There are a few forms of marketing you may already be familiar with, which include:

  • B2B marketing. B2B refers to businesses marketing and selling to other companies.
  • B2C marketing. B2C is marketing and selling products to consumers.
  • Marketing environment. Many variables go into effective market strategies, and marketers refer to this as the marketing environment. Essentially, taking into account anything and everything that could potentially affect the success of a marketing campaign.
  • Marketing mix. The marketing mix refers to what's popularly known as the 4 C's: consumer, cost, convenience, and communication—keeping the 4 C's in mind when developing and designing a marketing campaign will pay off in the end.
  • Search engine marketing (SEM). Search engine marketing is dedicated to boosting a brand's visibility online. Harnessing the power of search engine optimization, combined with prudent keyword research, can put the spotlight on your business in no time.

What is Advertising?

Advertising is directly creating, promoting, and executing ad campaigns to sell products to the public.

Now that a company has built a brand voice, personality, tone, and consumer trust, it's time to actively advertise. Will that market strategy pay off in dividends?

We've all seen ads. Whether it's in your favorite magazine, blog, social media app, TV channel, or just the prominent billboard on your commute to and from work.

We're awash with ads, and there are proven ways to advertise products or services to a willing public effectively. With advertising, a brand puts out its message, using various channels to try and sell a product to someone.

Types of Advertising

There are a few prevalent advertising types, which include:

  • Pay-per-click or PPC Advertising. Pay-per-click advertising is all about driving Internet users to websites. When a prospective customer clicks on an ad, the advertiser pays.
  • Traditional advertising. We all know traditional advertising. This is everything from radio ads to TV commercials. Traditional ads can have more of an immediate effect on your business and product than other advertising mediums. And no, traditional advertising is not dead.
  • Outdoor advertising. Remember the aforementioned prominent billboard? That's a classic use of outdoor advertising. Other outdoor advertising spots are bus stops, train stations, and even planes (aerial advertising).
  • Mobile Advertising. This is where something like ASO comes in handy. You'll see mobile ads anytime you log into certain apps or access the Internet from your phone.

Finding the Value in Advertising vs. Marketing

Which is more valuable? Marketing or advertising? Well, it depends on your business goals. Marketing and advertising are strongly dependent on one another. Having a foot in both camps gives your company a better chance of successfully building brand visibility and promoting a product or service.

Should I Go To School For Digital Marketing?

No. As we've gone over in our recent piece on digital marketing school, there are a few key reasons to opt for comprehensive online digital marketing classes over enrolling in digital marketing school.

Everything in the world of marketing is changing. This effectively makes a few years' education means little to nothing by the time you hit the ground running looking for jobs.

That's why exploring various online marketing courses, massive open online courses (MOOCs), and digital bootcamps are some great alternatives. And much cheaper alternatives, at that.

Final Thoughts on Advertising vs. Marketing

Although marketing and advertising have similar end goals of engaging with a customer, the strategies of going about it can differ considerably.

Determine what your brand needs for optimal growth. Is it a better, more relatable brand voice? Or do you need to plaster your product's pros on billboards in your local city?

When it comes to advertising vs. marketing, this distinction can mean reaping some serious benefits. Just do your market research, craft winning strategies, plan, and keep the 4 C's in mind, and you'll knock it out of the park.

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