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The Difference Between Marketing and Advertising: Busted Myths

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Published on: 11 Jan 2021

If marketing is a scrapbook, advertising is only one glossy page. “Glossy” because of the oomph factor that makes noise. With that whole to the part analogy, it is crystal clear that there is a difference between marketing and advertising, though they are related. Ergo, to reach the target customer or business, you must strategically wield both these tools. 

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To do so, all businesses or a marketer ought to gauze their differences, trace slight nuances and device dedicated advertising and marketing strategies. 
A very logical step is to fish for answers. How are marketing and advertising different? Does your business require both marketing and advertising strategies? How to properly use them both to make your business a huge success?
Scroll to find answers.

Marketing- A Colourful Scrapbook

Marketing- A Colourful Scrapbook 

Marketing is the loudspeaker every business needs. It is a bundle of different activities which helps communicate your services/product to the world. The different types of marketing options lay out an array of possibilities to choose from and make a buzz.  
It has all the steps from beginning to the very end which entails market/niche research, user preferences, audience behaviour, strategy development, customer engagement/interaction, promotion, and product/service pitching. With all those activities under one umbrella, marketing can rightfully be called a scrapbook. Flipping through this scrapbook, promotion or awareness makes an important leaf. Here, advertising occupies considerable space. This highlights the major difference between marketing and advertising.  
As businesses recognized the significance of good marketing strategies, it spanned out and became an inseparable organizational limb. 
Gradually, different types of marketing evolved too. The medium of approaching the customer, the type of funnel used, and the end result makes each type of marketing unique and effective. 
As we lightly gloss over all that you can do to market your business, the following marketing strategies are doing rounds in 2021. 

Content Marketing

Content Marketing

 All that your business puts out on the website, social media handles and PR activities make up the content. Both graphics and words contribute to this, and brands curate content that potentially adds value and aligns with their goals. Therefore, in content marketing, businesses erect a huge database of articles, blogs, whitepapers, case studies, images, videos, news and infographics to successfully market them. Hence, marketers thrive on producing the best content in the world. 
Since “content is king”, every industry thrusts for it, and it is up to a business on how to market this content. This is content marketing in a nutshell. 
But the goal here is to content that is industry-relevant, most sought after and makes you visible on the internet. Activities like search engine optimization (SEO), competitor research, etc. all contribute to it, and elaborate content marketing strategies are built upon it.

Brand Marketing 

Brand Marketing

Every business aspires to become a brand- a recognized name in its niche. But branding does not end with choosing a unique website or a business name; in fact, it begins from there. A successful brand strategy plans on giving a customer, a wholesome experience, where branding paves the path. An experience like it separates one brand from the other. 
The act of making people aware of your brand values and services comes under the domain of brand marketing. 

Email Marketing

Email Marketing 

It is clear that marketing revolves around identifying, approaching and engaging the customer. In this pursuit, what’s better than sending promotional and awareness emails directly to their inbox? This is what email marketing comes in. It is a potent way to drive sales directly to your business. A good way to engage through emailing is by facilitating the audience with newsletters, coupons, offers, guides, ebooks, etc. 
 Apart from these, digital marketing encompasses social media posting, event creation, group formation. These are diverse ways to communicate with the target audience.
Just like pages of a bookbuild to a common story, marketing and advertising also have a common target. But what is the difference between marketing and advertising?

Advertising- A Glossy Scrapbook Paper

You may have a next-level product, idea or service, but the masses will use it only when they know about its existence, working and benefits. To put things in motion in this direction, marketing and advertising are two promising mediums. While marketing has a much broader scope, advertising is mostly about grabbing your unique selling point (USP) and reinforcing the target user to buy/download or simply try out. It is really no rocket science to build a successful advertising campaign. Just select the mediums you want to run your advertisements, the advertorial budget, the hub of your target audience and the availability of marketable/promotional assets. An actionable advertising strategy is built only when a business is clear on these forefronts. 
Here are the different types of offline and online ads you can choose from to narrow down the research.

Banner Ads

Banner Ads

Banner ads are like billboards of the digital world. They are the best when it comes to digital advertising. You choose the website you want your ad to pop up and pay the owner for using his space. The more authentic the website (with high domain authority and popularity), the higher the price per ad. 
Whenever an online surfer comes across your advertisement and opts to click on it, he/she is taken to your website. Therefore these kinds of ads are useful to drive traffic and make a viewer take action. However, many factors like advertorial copy, graphics and call to action (CTA) go into producing a convincing banner ad.  

Social Media Ads

Social Media Ads 

Marketers are very witty. They instantly grab an opportunity when they see one. The same happened on social media. 
Today, the world is on social media. Those who voluntarily choose to live under a rock (away from social networking platforms) are looked down upon. So, in a place where everything revolves around sharing, posting and reacting, why not advertise and create some noise among the “active” people? 
Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram capitalise on this opportunity by giving businesses the chance to run ads in target audience specific hot spots. Moreover, they give the possibility to run highly target user-specific advertisements. This is done by adjusting parameters like gender, age, interests, marital status, etc. Consequently improving the conversion rates of social media ads. 



Let’s shift from the online world and take a look at the good old-school offline advertisements. Billboards are the first to come to mind. We have all seen them grace highways and roads. If banner ads are perfect for the digital world, billboards are a hit offline. They are optimal to build brand recognition, instigate curiosity, pique people’s interest, and so much more. 

Print Ads- Magazines

Print Ads Magazines

After phones, you will find people indulged in magazines and newspapers. This means the data there is easily consumable, and the audience is pre-divided according to the niche. Just like you would choose an industry-specific website for banner ads, the genre of magazine/newspaper serves the same purpose. 
Apart from these, there are other types of paid ads you can run on radio, TV, movies, and emails. A peek into both these processes now make it easier to trace the difference between marketing and advertising. 

How are Marketing and Advertising Different?

Difference between Marketing and Advertising

In the Venn diagram of marketing and advertising, the latter would make the smaller circle and fall inside marketing. To further simplify, know that advertising aids marketing endeavours. It is one of its many moving parts. In the 4Ps of marketing- Product, Place, Price and Promotion, advertising falls under the 4th pillar of promotion. Hence, advertising is a component to support marketing. 
It’s easy to make the mistake of using marketing and advertising synonymously. The above contrast lifts the fog and shows how marketing is so much more than just advertising and how planned advertising can make a difference.

Any marketing professional will be more than happy to borrow your ear about how marketing functions and the role of advertising; but what’s important to know is that marketing is a function of several activities and their combination & usage is subjective to what is being marketed and sold. The goal of marketing is to create an interesting story, and that of advertising is to deliver it. After all

You know you can’t bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them into buying it.

- David Ogilvy

Those beginning in the domain can easily get confused between marketing and advertising. As much as this blog might have helped you, learning a new skill helps overall growth. With KoolStories you connect with skilled experts for a wholesome community learning experience. Get the app now to begin smart micro learning. 


Is marketing more than advertising?

Marketing is a broad domain that builds your company into a brand to reach the masses and help make space in the market. There are many strategies that fall under marketing initiatives and advertising is one of them. Advertising is a potent way to put across brand message.

What's the best marketing strategy?

The best marketing strategy is one that combines:

1.Your business goals.
2.Identifies user problems.
3.Uses audio, video and text mediums of communication to reach potential target audience pool.
4.Presents the company’s unique value proposition (USP).
5.Knows the correct way to touch the audience sentimentality.
6.Arouses the need for the product or service in the market.
7.Traces a unique space in a crowded market.

What are the major types of advertising?

Our world is swamped with advertisements that bring us closer to products and services that we desire. These advertisements are effective channels of communication with the masses. The most creative part of these advertisement channels is the different mediums they adopt and the unique effect they have on the people. Depending on the type of influence you want to have on your users, here are the major types of advertisings:

9.Neon signs

What are the four standard rules for good advertising?

Your advertising will only work when it follows the four standard rules of advertising which include:

Step 1: Drawing attention through an attractive headline.
Step 2: Generate interest through interesting elements of text, visual, and audio.
Step 3: Curate a want or a desire around your product or service.
Step 4: Serve the advertisement repeatedly to a pool of target audience.

What is the best form of advertising?

Choosing the right kind of advertising medium maximises the return on investment by bringing in sales and increasing exposure. With the current trends in the market, the best kind of advertising in their order of engagement are:

1.Social media advertising
2.Google search ads
3.Pay per click advertising
5.Direct mail
6.Print ads like newspapers and magazines

What practices are illegal in advertising?

These are some practices that are illegal in advertising: 

  • Use of misleading terms, such as “organic,” “natural,” or “light”.
  • False claims of scientific support or endorsement by scientific or medical authorities.
  • Misleading illustrations or photographs.
  • Use of colouring or other modifications to make a product appear to be of a different quality.
  • Falsely claiming that a product contains certain ingredients or misrepresenting the quantity of an element.

What laws protect consumers from false advertising?

The FTC Act prohibits unfair or deceptive advertising in any medium. This means- advertising must tell the truth and not mislead consumers.