Marketing and advertising are two words that are regularly thrown around in exchange for one another. There is a hazy line that defines the difference between marketing and advertising, but nevertheless, they cannot actually be exchanged for one another. Understanding this difference may not do more than help you use the terms correctly, but at least you can see what each concept is and how they work together to make a business better and stronger. Here is a look at the clear but often forgotten distinction between marketing and advertising.
Marketing is a huge process that dictates how consumers interact with businesses. Advertising is actually just a small piece of that. While it may be the most significant and important piece to the process, it is still just a fraction of marketing as a whole. Advertising is the most expensive part of marketing, and it is often the most directly communicative part as well. People see advertising efforts more than they see the planning that goes on behind them or the distribution that gets them there. Thus since advertising is, in essence, the face of marketing, it is easy to see why the two get confused for one another.
Looking at advertising specifically, it is the placement of an ad somewhere in the media to attract audience attention. This can be anything from a banner on a website to a billboard on a highway. Before these ads go out though, there is a whole process that goes into figuring out just what kind of information is going to go on the ads and where these ads are going to be placed. A business must research market trends, pricing, placement plans, and much more to eventually get an ad in place where it will be most effective. That is marketing.
Advertising may only be a fraction of marketing, but it is one of the most important ones a marketer must concern himself with. You need effective advertising to have effective marketing, and vice versa. No matter what kind of business you run or work for, chances are you will encounter this large process at least a few times in your life. If not, you at least know that advertising and the marketing that creates it is all around you. Being an effective advertiser or marketer can be a challenge, but it is certainly not impossible. You could find that out for yourself with a little more research.