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Marketing vs Advertising: What’s The Difference?

Even though the terms are used interchangeably, there are several key differences between marketing and advertising. Understanding these differences can really help business owners create better marketing strategies and rein in their advertising costs. It’s worth taking a couple of minutes to learn the differences.

Marketing is the end-to-end process of identifying customer needs and determining how best to meet those needs. It includes product development. Advertising, on the other hand, is how a company promotes its brand and products or services through. Advertising is a component of marketing. Marketing involves much more than advertising, but both are important. Let’s take a closer look:

What Is Marketing and Why It Is Important?

Marketing is the practice of identifying, predicting and meeting customer needs. It begins with the definition of who a customer truly is, and ends with a decision about where that customer will be when they are ready to make a purchase. Effective marketing strategies help businesses isolate how best to serve their client base, while using targeting and placement strategies to maximize revenue. This is true in both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) marketing.

For both B2C and B2B marketing an effective marketing strategy will take into account several factors, all of which are fairly carefully evaluated in the best strategies. Marketing strategies are typically developed by a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in larger companies. In creating a strategy, the CMO will evaluate:

  • Orientation — This refers to the guiding principles of the business, sometimes known as corporate culture.
  • Mix — This is a decision-making guide for a company’s marketing efforts, and will usually focus on the client/customer, cost, convenience and communication.
  • Environment — This refers to every factor that could impact a company in the execution of the marketing strategy, including the internal environment as well as external factors.
  • Market — This is the company’s ideal client or customer, and is typically segmented.

Careful evaluation of these factors makes it possible to assess the costs and benefits of a variety of marketing methods.

What Is Advertising and Why Is It Important?

Advertising is where a company places its messaging or branding to promote their products and services, and propagate their brand. It establishes a channel of communication, including the website and social media accounts, where companies can get its message(s) in front of a general audience. Marketing agencies provide advertising solutions and messaging strategies. Businesses leverage advertising to:

  • Educate customers on their products or services.
  • Demonstrate to customers how their products or services are superior.
  • Improve the perception of brand or culture.
  • Generate demand for their products or services.
  • Publicize new products or services.
  • Attract new customers.
  • Retain the existing customer base.

Companies that understand the distinction and benefits of each of these will have a solid marketing strategy and a solid advertising strategy. Does your company have both, or are you using the terms interchangeably?