What is the Difference Between Marketing and Advertising?

August 10, 2023
3 minute read

Unless they work in the marketing or advertising space, people tend to wonder - what’s the difference between marketing and advertising? While there are some overlapping features, advertising and marketing are two very separate and different business practices. In this blog, we’re going to iron out the difference between marketing and advertising.

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What is marketing? Plus Examples

Marketing can be defined as a business practice in which customer needs and desires are discovered and met. This involves customer and market research, advertising (note that advertising is included in marketing), and analyzing advertising results.

Marketing professor - Jerome McCarthy broke down marketing into ‘the 7 Ps’:

1. Product:

The product or service your business offers

2. Price: 

How much customers need to pay for your product or service

3. Place:

Where customers can find your product/service, whether in physical space or online

4. Promotion:

How you communicate your brand’s message to your customers, i.e, advertising

5. People:

The people who deliver your service. This makes a difference in the way people perceive your brand

6. Process:

The way you deliver your product/service, e.g. the way you conduct sales calls.

7. Physical evidence:

This refers to the tangible benefit your customers come away with


The following are some examples of the different ways in which businesses can market themselves:


1. Brand Marketing: 

We associate certain ideas with certain brands. Brand marketing aims to create the kind of associations that appeal to the target customer. For example, a brand that sells ice cream will aim to create associations of pleasure and enjoyment through its imagery and messaging. In contrast, a brand that sells healthy food will aim to create clean, healthy associations.

2. Digital Marketing:

With the majority of people in the Western world carrying the internet around with them in their pockets, digital marketing has come to the forefront of modern marketing. Digital marketing includes leveraging SEO, email, blogs, websites, or any other facet of the internet to promote a brand.

3. Social media marketing:

This can be included in digital marketing but due to the long arm of social media marketing, it deserves its own point. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have seen an explosion in marketing over the past few years. What used to be primarily social sites have become a massive business opportunity for brands that can leverage social media successfully.

4. Account-based marketing:

This type of marketing takes a lot of effort but the success rate is high. Account-based marketing refers to doing deep research into a particular business and creating custom-designed messaging to attract that business.

5. Relationship marketing:

Companies that employ this type of marketing strategy focus on building trust and contentment in customers. This translates into having devoted sales reps and excellent, benefit-driven customer service.


What is advertising? Plus examples

Advertising is a subset of marketing and is used by businesses to spread the word about their product/service and gain new customers.

Examples of types of advertising include:

1. Traditional advertising: 

Think billboards on the motorway and newspaper ads. This type of advertising is years old and continues to be successful today. However, due to the immense amount of internet activity, businesses are wise to spread their reach across digital channels as well as physical ones.

2. Email advertising:

This is an easy and free method to advertise. First, you need to obtain an email list containing your target customers, then send promotional and exciting-looking emails at a frequency that makes sense for you. Nurture emails are also a popular advertising method, which involves sending potential customers ‘drip feedings’ in the form of useful content. This is done in the hope that they will eventually convert into paying customers.

3. Pay-per-click advertising:

Google has a function in which businesses can bring themselves to the forefront of Google’s search page by paying Google to put their ad at the top of the search page. The business then has to pay a predetermined amount every time someone clicks on their ad.

4. Social media advertising:

Like email, this type of advertising is generally free. The big advantage of social media is that you can place your messaging exactly where your target customer hangs out. There are also paid forms of social media advertising in which businesses pay social media platforms to place their ads in strategic and popular places.

5. Experiential advertising:

This immensely fun and memorable type of advertising has been proven to majorly increase ROI. Experiential advertising means creating an immersive experience that physically connects people to a brand. M&M's recent ‘flavor rooms’ campaign is a great example of this. M&M created pop-ups in public places like shopping centers which people could go into and experience different M&M flavors and have fun at the same time. 


What is Marketing vs. Advertising?

Now that we’ve nailed what exactly marketing and advertising is, let’s talk about what exactly differentiates them. By now, you probably have a pretty good grasp of advertising vs marketing just by reading the above. Let’s clarify it all here:



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