The Difference Between Advertising And Marketing

The Difference Between Advertising And Marketing

There are differences between marketing and advertising. And they aren’t interchangeable business strategies.

And most business people don’t know these important and relevant differences:

  • Marketing is about systematic planning, execution, and managing business actions to connect buyers and sellers. Marketing involves various strategies and tactics designed to promote and sell a product or service. The focus of marketing is to promote, distribute and price products and services. Traditionally, this is known as the 4Ps of marketing – product, price, promotion and placement.
  • Advertising is one marketing strategy. Advertising is a paid, public and persuasive message identified by a brand or company. Its purpose is the mass promotion of products or services with a unique selling proposition for that product or service. Advertising’s focus is to build awareness of that product or service, while the focus of marketing is to promote, distribute, and price products or services.

Let’s look at the specific, basic differences, complements of Diffen, JR Atkins and Nancy Lovering. I have modified them based on my experience:


Advertising Marketing
Definition One-way communication of a persuasive message by an identified company or brand, whose purpose is massive promotion of products/services to potential customers. Marketing is the systematic planning, execution and managing business actions to connect buyers and sellers.
Approach Unique to product or service Broader array of activities to sell product or service and creating and sustaining a client relationship; determine future needs and puts strategy in place to meet those needs in a long-term relationship.
Strategy Push (persuade) Pull (attract)
Scope Advertising’ scope can be limited compared to marketing. It can include television, radio, newspaper and digital ads, billboards, brochures, emails, social media and digital ads. Advertising can be based on a communications’ reach and frequency to a target audience. Marketing’s scope is broader. It starts with research – identifying the most probable customer, clarifying his needs and desires, creating solutions to problems and ways for competing and winning against competitors. It also involves sales, and building the company’s ongoing relationship with the public and overall customer service and satisfaction.


Process Businesses start by ads identifying their target audiences, a copy platform, media venues and a concrete media plan for reaching the target audience. That plan can involve traditional, social and hybrid media – TV, radio, print, magazine and social channels. Advertising involves everything from the creation to production to printing to posting. The marketing process starts with analysis:

  • Market size and potential.
  • Market segmentation in which a broad target market is divided into segments of consumers with common needs and priorities. Marketers then design strategies to reach these specific consumers.
  • Distribution channels where the consumer receives the product or service.
  • An analysis of competing products and services; their popularity, strength, weakness, pricing and promotional strategies, and comparison of your product against those competitors.
  • Developing pricing and promotional strategies, detailed plans for sales tracking and market share analysis
  • Marketing plan
  • Ideal customer description
  • Graphic design help
  • Google
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Consultant or agency
  • Website ads
  • Mobile apps/mobile website
  • Social media ads
  • Print ads
  • Billboards
  • Signage
  • Radio and TV ads
  • Drive-up appeal
  • Business plan
  • Ideal customer
  • CRM – customer relationship management
  • Email marketing
  • Design help
  •  Social media support
  •  Content marketing
  •  Influencer marketing
  • Community marketing
  • Website and SEO – search engine optimization
  • Mobile apps/mobile website
  • Advertising
  • Public relations
  • Video
  • Customer service
  • Product sales tracking services


One of advertising is the hierarchy-of- effects model which clarifies the objectives of an advertising campaign by identifying six steps in the consumer mindset:

1.     Awareness

2.     Knowledge

3.     Liking

4.     Preference

5.     Conviction

6.     Purchase


The marketing mix theory of advertising focuses on four elements called the four P’s:

1.     Product – the actual goods or service

2.     Price – process of determining the value of a product

3.     Place – how to get the product to the consumer

4.     Promotion – the actual advertising



So those are the basic differences between advertising and marketing.

What differences have you seen in your initiatives?

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