Advertising Vs Marketing – What’s The Difference?

Originally Published: 27 February 2023
Last updated: 19 March 2023
Written by: Nick Jolliffe

Reading Time: 3.835 minutes

Categories: Digital Marketing | PPC
Advertising Vs Marketing

Marketing. Advertising. How many times have you used them interchangeably in a sentence? We don’t blame you if you have – many people think they are the same thing, and in a lot of senses they are. Advertising is a part of the marketing world, but it has its own very distinctive approach and purpose, which is why you often need a separate strategy for advertising. Feeling confused? Don’t worry, we’re here to clear things up.

What Is Marketing?

At its heart, marketing is all about understanding the customer, and using that information to anticipate and satisfy their needs – even if they didn’t know they were needs at the time! This means lots of theory and understanding of consumer psychology, as well as a good knowledge of marketing techniques to tie it all together. A few examples of activities that would fall into the ‘marketing’ category include:

  • Market research
  • Audience selection and research
  • Choosing areas of interest for the audience to focus on
  • Designing and running campaigns
  • Attending trade shows and events
  • Designing products and packaging
  • Setting prices and creating special offers
  • Working with influencers to encourage the promotion of your products
  • Designing campaigns to raise awareness of the business 
  • Creating loyalty schemes
  • Content creation to promote the brand and the products/services

In other words, marketing is omnipresent, and it touches everything in our lives in some way. It’s how customers become aware of brands, and how they build trust and loyalty over time.

As we said, there’s an awful lot that goes into the ‘marketing mix’, as well as a variety of different theories and methodologies that marketers learn and apply to their practice in different ways. So when someone says they ‘do marketing’, it could mean any number of different things! We’ve even talked about a few of them in the past, including which marketing model you should use, what a promotion mix is and what the 7 P’s of marketing stand for. If you want to read up on your theory a bit more, you can just type ‘marketing’ into the blog search bar on our website, and you’ll find everything you need to know!

So How Is Advertising Different?

When it comes to advertising, most people see the difference as being paid for. This isn’t wrong either – advertising is traditionally defined as getting the public to notice and become aware of your product or service, and it’s usually done using paid advertisements and announcements. This can cover anything from radio advert slots, TV adverts and magazine features to your Google PPC campaigns and remarketing efforts. The main goal of advertising is to highlight a specific product or service to the customer and then convince them to buy it. It’s a very direct form of marketing, but it still takes prospects through the whole journey from awareness and knowledge to liking, preference and finally purchase. Advertising is wholly focused on moving consumers from one stage to the others, with the ideal outcome being a sale. Advertising is a powerful tool to let consumers know about your business’s offerings, and convince them to purchase. 

Is One Better Than The Other?

Once you understand the differences between marketing and advertising, it becomes pretty clear that one is not better than the other, because they are one and the same, taking different approaches to achieve the same goals. Marketing is driven by understanding consumer behaviour and using that data to provide the right information at the right time to pull prospects into a sales funnel. Advertising on the other hand uses marketing insights to guide communication strategies, creating a generalise awareness and buzz for the products and services the brand offers. Advertising is a sub-set of marketing, and it can only work effectively if you have a wider marketing strategy to fit it into. You need marketing to build brand loyalty and long-term trust before you can then use advertising to hone in on specific products or services. So it’s not as simple as ‘is one better than the other’ – it’s when do you need to do which!At Lion Spirit Media we help our customers demystify the world of marketing and advertising, helping them understand the difference and create strategies that use both to get their ROAR heard loud and clear throughout the business jungle. If you’d like to know more about how we do that, or you just want to pick our brains on advertising, just get in touch with the team today to book your free consultation.

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