The Difference Between Marketing & Advertising – What You Need to Know

Marketing and advertising are often considered to be one and the same, but they are in fact quite different, both with unique strategies and outcomes. By understanding the distinction between the two, you’ll be able to build brand awareness and visibility and attract and retain potential clients or customers.

What is marketing?

Marketing is the overarching process of developing and promoting a brand and connecting with specific groups, or potential customers. Think of marketing as a pie, and the various components are the individual pieces. These pieces include:

  • public relations

  • market research

  • sales distribution

  • customer service

  • community involvement

  • branding

  • logos

  • advertising

It’s important to understand that marketing involves careful deliberation, planning and expertise. Simply posting a sign on top of your car or handing out flyers is not going to help you gain and keep your customers. You need to invest in a plan that covers all the areas listed above. A business can have a marketing plan without using any actual advertising dollars. For example, they could have a public relations person who posted press releases, sent out e-blasts to clients, as well as posted new content to their website. Although this may help with visibility and brand development, it isn’t a controlled or measurable advertising strategy.

One more important thing to know – once you’ve created your marketing plan, it’s not set in stone. In fact, it’s very important to continually review and update your plan based on your market research, sales, changing trends and other business needs.

What is advertising?

Advertising is the paid, usually temporary, placement of a specific message, with the main objective being to get your audience to buy or use your goods or services. Most advertising is designed to have a strong call to action, or it can be used to highlight aspects of your business that you want to promote, such as your community service work, new menu, or your expert staff. Advertising not only requires a strong knowledge and understanding of your audience, it also requires a strategy to target those groups.

Let’s get social

Due to the pervasive popularity and reach of social media networks like Facebook and Instagram, many business have decided to focus on social media marketing or SMM. Social media marketing generally follows the same principal as traditional marketing, however, it is geared to a digital platform and audience.

Similar to SMM, social advertising is also a strong focus for many businesses. Basically, social advertising involves paid content on a social media network. However, the range of channels and personalization options available allow social advertising to be incredibly flexible and successful in terms of building brand awareness and driving customer to your website. . For example, if you want to target a younger audience, using social media such as Instagram would be a great start, but for older audiences you would likely rely on Facebook, TV, print, or other types of advertising. Further, your wording, images and even the length of your ads would also be planned carefully with the understanding of who your audience is and what appeals to them most (which is informed by your market research). Your goal is to use your advertising budget on the right audience, using the right type of media.

Measuring ROI

With advertising, businesses usually have a specific budget and want to get the best return on investment (ROI). This can be measured by tracking sales, online customer engagement, views, clicks and so on. Although it’s not always easy to measure ROI, businesses can typically get a solid idea of what ads work better than other ones, and optimize their spending accordingly.

Regardless of the size of your business, you need a marketing strategy and targeted advertising that includes a social component in order to get ahead of the competition. At 3Sixty Marketing Solutions, we have extensive experience with all things marketing and advertising and social - with proven results-driven strategies. Give us a call at 705-252-4180 so we can put together a game plan to get your business booming.

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