Do You Know the Difference Between Marketing and Advertising?

Marketing vs. Advertising: What's the Difference?_The DofM Marketing Blog

Marketing can make a big difference in the amount of business coming your way. A successful marketing strategy will draw in more potential clients, build your awareness for your brand, and help you grow your business overall. Advertising, too, can help draw in clients, build brand awareness, and grow your business. But many people confuse the two when they are actually quite different. Do you know the difference between marketing and advertising?


Advertising relies on the use of highly tailored messaging to target a specific audience with the intent to sell a product or service. Traditional advertising has a more than 150-year history and traditionally used print, radio, and TV to reach the desired audience. Of course, like everything else marketing, advertising has evolved into the digital world. Digital advertising includes online campaigns like pay-per-click (PPC) and display advertising, social media advertising, and even retargeting.

But the most uniformly definable characteristic of advertising is that it requires paying for space on whatever platform you choose. The goal for that budget is to reach the people most likely to be willing to pay for your product or service and to prompt them to do so. The more precisely you can define who your target customer is, and where to reach them, the more successful your campaigns will be. For example, if your target audience includes businessmen that work 9-5, then you may place a commercial in the evening hours or set up a radio ad to run during the standard commute time. In more recent years, advertising’s reach has expanded to include social media, online radio such as Pandora or Spotify, and YouTube.


Marketing encompasses many different techniques to develop an overall strategy for your business. Generally speaking, the term “marketing” refers to any actions a company takes to attract an audience through high-quality messaging. It’s a broad term that encompasses content creation, copywriting, web and graphic design, public relations, and yes, even advertising. But it doesn’t end there. A good marketing strategy also includes product development and distribution, sales, and customer support. All of these are just a piece of marketing as a whole; a good marketing strategy will make use of many different components, tailored specifically to promote your product or service to exactly the right target audience.

To put a marketing strategy in place you must first identify your goals. From there, a marketing team can help you employ public relations campaigns, advertising strategies, and develop an internet presence specific to your business’s brand. Not sure what your unique brand looks like just yet? A marketing team can help you create it.

TL; DR? If marketing is a wheel, think of advertising as a spoke of that wheel. While advertising is helpful as a tool to communicate with your clients about your products and services, marketing involves so much more — all part of a strategy to bring more business to your door.

Wondering if you’re ready for marketing? Check out these 3 signs you are ready to take that step, then contact us to see how we can help you!

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