Differentiating Between Advertising and Marketing | Fora Financial Blog
Marketing Tip of the Month: Differentiating Between Advertising and Marketing
June 29, 2018

Marketing Tip of the Month: Differentiating Between Advertising and Marketing

If you ask the average person what the difference is between marketing and advertising, most won’t be able to give you an answer. Although marketing and advertising are often used interchangeably, the two have some key differences.

In this post, we’ll define marketing and advertising and note the key differences and similarities, so that you can see how each will benefit you as a small business owner.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is the process of identifying a target audience and developing products in a way that appeals to that demographic. To successfully execute marketing efforts, you’ll need to strategize to determine how you’ll develop and sell your products and services.

To create a solid plan, you should incorporate the ‘Four Ps’ of marketing:

  • Product – Determine how your product or service is meeting a need or can make life better for your potential customers.
  • Price – Research will help you set a price point that makes you competitive while still making a profit.
  • Place – Which brick and mortar locations will your product be found in? Will you sell exclusively online? How will customers find you?
  • Promotion – How will you present your product or service to potential customers?

What is Advertising?

When your company has developed a product or service for your audience with a strong marketing plan, advertising is how you present it. Through advertising, you’ll be directly reaching out to your audience, to share a message about what you’re selling. Therefore, advertising fits into the ‘promotion’ section of the ‘Four P’s’ of marketing.

You can create a successful advertising campaign by defining four factors:

  • Market – First, you’ll want to determine the audience that this advertising campaign will target.
  • Budget – How much are you willing to spend to create ads that will reach your audience?
  • Media – There are many advertising mediums, such as print ads and online campaigns, so you’ll need to decide which is best for reaching your target audience.
  • Strategy – How will you design the ad? What’s your message? How will it encourage potential customers to buy your product or service?

What Do They Have in Common?

While marketing and advertising are two separate areas, they’re both an integral part of successfully selling your product or service. In fact, advertising is part of a complete marketing plan. Both involve getting to know your customer and developing a message that will speak to them.

How are They Different?

Marketing is a much broader area of a business, with lots of parts that create a complete campaign. The process will take more time and resources to develop each part of the puzzle that will work together to create your marketing plan.

Advertising, on the other hand, focuses on the single task of presenting your product or service. While a lot of marketing work happens behind the scenes, the purpose of advertising is to be front and center to communicate with your customers.

Which is Right for Your Business?

The short answer is both. You’ll want to start with a marketing plan, using the ‘Four P’s’ listed above. Your plan should involve researching your industry, learning about your customers, and determining where your product or service fits into the market.

When you put that plan into action, you’ll need to use advertising techniques to show off what you’re selling. Depending on your product and target audience, your advertising might include one or more of the following.

  • Print Advertisements – Ads in magazines, newspapers, fliers, etc.
  • Outdoor Advertisements – Including billboards, car wraps, banners at events, etc.
  • Broadcast Advertisements – Sharing your message on TV or the radio.
  • Online Advertisements – Including banner ads, sponsored blog posts, and social media ads, to name a few examples.

Conclusion: Marketing and Advertising Go Hand in Hand

When you own a small business, it’s common to handle many tasks yourself, including marketing and advertising. Luckily, the two go together. Your long-term marketing plan should include advertising elements to promote your products and services, keeping your audience in mind every step of the way.

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Jess has a passion for helping business owners build their brand and connect with their audience. She writes about money, tech, health, and travel for blogs and businesses.