Categories: Media Planning & Buying|By |3.3 min read|

Advertising vs Marketing

Businesses have been engaged in the processes of marketing and advertising for hundreds of years. Both concepts are vital to businesses that need to sell their products or services to the public. However, many new business owners and entrepreneurs don’t know about the differences between marketing and advertising. The two terms are used interchangeably, and that can become a bad habit. Therefore, marketing vs advertising is one the most confusing topics in business. In order to really take advantage of both marketing and advertising, business owners need to know the difference from the get-go.

What is Marketing?

Marketing refers to the processes that work to understand a customer base and how a business can align its product or service with that target audience. It can involve everything from market research to data mining to design. It’s a very research-heavy aspect of running a business, but it’s also extremely necessary.  Marketing campaigns can help to provide valuable insight to businesses. The success of every marketing campaign depends on asking the right media planning questions.

For example, let’s say that you have just launch an e-commerce business and you would like to sell your niche wine to the public. How do you know who your target audience is? It may seem easy to simply cast a broad net and advertise to the general public, but not everybody likes wine. And people who like wine may not like your very specific niche wine. Marketing processes, particularly research and surveys, will help you understand who the people who want your product are. Marketing research makes it possible to find the age, ethnicity, hobbies, and geographic location of your target audience.

Now that you have your target audience, what are you supposed to do with this information? How do you get your target audience to discover and interact with your brand? That’s where advertising comes in.

What is Advertising?

Once a marketing campaign is finished and a target audience is discovered, it’s time to launch an advertising campaign. Advertising can be both traditional and digital. It can involve a wealth of processes and techniques, all of which are dedicated to making a brand’s product or service known to its target audience.

Advertising can involve everything from gathering facts and statistics to designing commercials to finding endorsements from celebrities. The use of advertising techniques by companies and marketers is essential for grabbing customers’ attention, building brand recognition, and eventually boosting sales. There are different types of ads used in advertising, each with a unique purpose. Common digital ads include banner ads, native ads, and video ads. Native ads are forms of paid media that are tailored to the content of a media source. Native advertising examples use creative formats to produce excellent results for clients.  Social media is also a hotspot for advertising.

What is the Difference Between Marketing and Advertising?

The very simplified version of this answer is that marketing is a process of discovering customer needs, while advertising is the practice of promoting a company to a customer base. One cannot really exist without the other, but they are not the same thing by any stretch.

Marketing is the method of finding out what a customer base wants or needs, and advertising utilizes information gathered by a marketing campaign in order to promote a solution (as in a product or service) to a customer base. Essentially, marketing takes care of the “Who needs our product?” and advertising takes care of the “How can those people access our product?”

How Are Marketing and Advertising Similar?

Marketing and advertising go hand-in-hand and do have some similarities. Both concepts utilize practice, though marketing will involve research where advertising does not. Marketing and advertising also have the same goal.

These two concepts are often used interchangeably, which is not correct. Marketing and advertising are not the same things at all, even though they have some similarities.