Skip to main content

When you are starting a new business, there is so much to learn. From branding to organizational structure to operational tasks, it can seem overwhelming. Another aspect of business to master for ultimate success is the difference between marketing and advertising. At the outset, these concepts may seem to be the same thing. However, marketing and advertising are different in terms of platforms, approaches and best practices; the only thing that is the same about the two concepts is the outcome. Read on to better understand the difference between the two so that you can implement methods properly to assure business success.

Marketing is the process of preparing a product for an industry or marketing. Advertising involves letting specific audience know your product or service exists from a consumer perspective. Marketing requires research and data analysis of the audience in question. For instance, marketing research looks at market behaviors, patterns, influencing factors and more. It is broader in scope than advertising, which tends to target specific platforms to disseminate the message of a business. In fact, while many business owners are comfortable creating advertising plans, they often bring in experts in marketing to help them amass the much-needed data and research to go in the right direction with other promotional efforts. Marketing is a science; it requires knowledge of how to get the right information so that any decisions made in promoting your business don’t constitute guesswork.

Advertising is the presentation of your product or service to your desired audience. Advertising platforms may range from digital to print and beyond. Advertising your product or service may be characterized by a display ad in a magazine or a radio jingle. It may be a television spot or a billboard image. Conversely, marketing your product or service may be characterized by participation in an industry tradeshow, where the sole purpose is to let people know that your business exists and why your credibility and experience is above others in your same industry. The former is geared towards a more controlled target audience while the latter is broader and meant to introduce your business to the industry.

Understanding this difference can help you to better plan your efforts as you launch your business. You need to know as much as possible about the market in which your business will operate as well as the audience to which you plan to cater. This will ensure that any expenditure of capital will be well spent and get your business results.