This article aims to discuss the differences between Marketing and Advertising, how Marketing strategies differ from Advertising practices, and the difference between a Marketing plan versus an Advertising campaign.

Let’s look at a typical example of these two terms.

You have a product or service, and you want to let people know about it. How do you do this? Well, Market and Advertise it, of course. But wait. Aren’t they the same thing? Oh no, they are not.

Although the terms Marketing and Advertising may seem interchangeable, in reality they are very different indeed, with distinct differences. And it is vitally important to understand the dynamics involved with both, to successfully launch the introduction of your product or service. So let’s explore the nuances of these two terms.

So what is Marketing?

The act of Marketing a product or service includes the entire process of developing a brand from beginning to the end. From conceptualizing the idea, to researching the target market, to designing the product or service needed, to advertising the features and benefits, to the actual sale of the goods, marketing is the process of bringing an idea to market.

Then what is Advertising?

In contrast to the example above, the art of Advertising is another subject completely. In fact, Advertising is just part of the Marketing process, but is also a world all of its own. But in order for Advertising to be effective, it must be accompanied by the other aspects of Marketing as well. Therefore, in order to be successful in a business venture, an enterprising entrepreneur must understand the relationship between these two aspects of business management.

Marketing your product or service is an extensive development process involving many additional tasks including designing product features and benefits, product pricing and performance goals, media planning and public relations strategies, customer support systems and issues analysis, sales administration and management procedures, and much, much more.

Advertising, on the other hand, consists of planning campaign strategies such as determining what sources of media to use; and the time, frequency, and duration of advertisements. These campaigns are generally placed via mediums like television, via postal carrier, news print media, the Internet, email, radio, magazines, mobile messaging, flyers, billboards, etc. Advertising is about sending the appropriate message across to the target consumer about your product or service.

Marketing though, involves thoroughly understanding peoples behavior towards your product or service, and is perceived as the medium between consumers and the company. This can be a time consuming process, but by designing the product or service around the habits of your target consumer, and developing an advertising strategy to put your product or service in front of them, you can begin achieving sales through brand recognition.

But many companies often make mistake of confusing Advertising with Marketing, or worse yet, institute an Advertising campaign without properly researching their Marketing strategy. This would be akin to attempting to sell ice cubes makers to Eskimos.

A properly researched Marketing plan would have identified that Eskimos would not have been the best choice to attempt to Advertise this product to, and that better target markets existed. An effective Advertising campaign illustrating the performance and benefits of the product would have been more successful in these more appropriate markets, regardless of the quality and quantity of the actual Advertising itself. This best illustrates the differences between Marketing and Advertising, where Marketing insight gives purpose to the Advertising component.

Understanding these differences and properly implementing these two aspects of promoting your product or service will help to educate your consumer market targets about your company, and will help to achieve the overall goals of building your reputation and instilling confidence in consumers.