Marketing Advertising (and vice versa)

As a marketer, clients are often confused as to what we do, and why we do it. Many have relationships with advertising firms, and believe that they will handle their marketing needs. Some do, but most do not begin to implement marketing campaigns and goals for their clients – they’re in advertising.

So…what IS the difference between marketing and advertising? Knowing the difference, and how they work together, may be the one smart move to put your company or your service on the path toward real growth. You will often find that many people confuse marketing with advertising or vice versa. While both components are important they are very different.

First, let’s look at the definitions of each profession, and then take a look at how they are different from one another.

“Advertising” is is the nonpersonal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media. Advertising is often confused with promotion, public relations, or marketing.

“Marketing” could be defined as the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, services, organizations, and events to create and maintain relationships that will satisfy individual and organizational objectives.

Ok…anyone could be confused after reading those kinds of explanations. And if you search the net for definitions of both, you’ll find more ways of explaining them causing even more confusion. In the end, many companies have surrendered to a vague understanding that they are somehow the same thing.

Here’s one factoid I use to help clarify the confusion: Advertising is just one component of marketing. It’s part of the mix of tools marketers use to create real results for their client, product or service.

In our community, there is a plethora (word of the day!) of advertising agencies and consultants – and very few companies who are marketing firms. That’s where we are different. Our company goal is to provide our clients with a comprehensive marketing plan that may, or may not include advertising in the mix.

Within the marketing “pie”, there are many slices: advertising, research, brand development, media planning and placement, public relations, product pricing, distribution, customer support, sales stragegy and community involvement. Advertising is just one small slice of the marketing mix.

If you currently have an expensive relationship with an advertising firm that is not returning results for your investment, consider hiring a marketing company to establish a marketing plan and work closely with your advertising agent. Without a means to track and measure results, advertising can be an expensive guess that may, or may not result in a real return on your financial and time investment.

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