Learn the Difference Between Advertising & Marketing

Do you know the difference between advertising and marketing? If you think they are the same thing, please keep reading. You’re not alone. This quick read will be a powerful lesson to get you on the right path and save you time and money.

Advertising is a specific communication that attempts to sell your product/service to an audience. It’s an attempt to make a sale.

Advertising is:

  • When you purchase space in print in a local publication
  • When you mail a coupon to every household in your city giving them 25% off an item
  • When you hire a local podcaster to pitch your upcoming sale of widgets
  • When you produce a TV commercial for your business

Advertising does not educate. It does not research. It does not generate referrals. It simply asks people to buy.

Marketing is not one specific action. It’s like an umbrella over different strategies aimed at generating revenue for your business. Marketing is about building and maintaining relationships with your target audience.

Marketing includes:

  • Advertising
  • Research
  • Public Relations
  • Branding
  • Social Media Strategy
  • Website Strategy
  • Pricing
  • Publicity
  • Referral Generation
  • Product Offering
  • Product Placement

Each component of marketing is meant to increase revenue. But they are very different ways to achieve a similar goal. The most profitable businesses do not focus on one component of marketing. Instead, they understand that marketing is comprehensive.

Advertising Strategy
Buy our widget. It’s amazing!
If you buy our widget today, I’ll give you 25% off.
The sale is ending soon! Quick! Buy our widget!
We decided to extend the sale! There’s still time to buy our widget!

Marketing Strategy
Research: This person fits the profile of someone who would be a good fit for our widget.
Branding: These bright colors and silly brand voice are likely to appeal to this target client.
Publicity: Our widget company is a sponsor of a cause that is personally significant to this target client.
Social Media Strategy: Several of our target client’s friends like our widget.
Public Relations: Our widget company recently won an award for the best widget in our city.
Referral Generation: Existing customer X thought you’d be interested in our widget.
Advertising: Buy our widget. It’s amazing.

A marketing strategy builds a relationship. An advertising strategy simply asks for a sale. Effective advertising strategies are built as a component of a comprehensive marketing strategy. Don’t throw your money away on advertising that is targeted to the wrong people. If they don’t know who you are, where to buy your product, or how it works, they aren’t going to buy (no matter how amazing that sale is). Before asking for a sale, educate and build trust. Once your target market knows you and trusts you, they will be more likely to make a purchase.

4 Oranges is committed to bringing you weekly tips in the form of To-Do List items that you can complete in an hour or less. These tips were generated from reviewing best practices from the hundreds of businesses I’ve worked with over the past 15 years. I expect you’re already doing some (but not all) of them. Improve your business by making quick fixes that have long-lasting results.

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