Lots of people are confused by the terms “marketing” and “advertising.” Some are under the impression that advertising is any activity that promotes a business. Others think marketing is interchangeable with sales, probably because the two terms are often lumped together, as in “sales and marketing.” And in many instances, the terms marketing and advertising are used interchangeably, even though they are definitely not the same thing.
If you’ve ever wondered what’s the difference between marketing and advertising as well as what leads to better conversions, then you came to the right place!
Alright, so first things first, marketing and advertising are two different things—but what exactly is the difference?
Both marketing and advertising have the same goal, and that is to get your business and messaging in front of your ideal audience. But advertising—which includes things like social media ads, banner ads, PPC, and billboards—is just a single strategy that falls under the marketing umbrella. In simpler terms, advertising is a form of marketing.
But marketing also encompasses a ton of other strategies with the number one goal of getting the word out about your brand (like sales presentations, brochures, content marketing, and podcasting). So, in a nutshell, advertising is a piece of the puzzle, while marketing is the whole completed puzzle. And if advertising is all you are doing to market your brand, then you are missing out on a ton of opportunities to connect with your audience, elevate your brand, and drive sales for your company.
So, now that you understand the difference between advertising and marketing let’s dive a little deeper into how to distinguish between the two.
Advertising is anything that has to do with ads. It occurs across multiple mediums, but the one factor all advertising has in common is that the marketer or brand pays to send a specific message (the ad) on a certain platform. Typically, the more desirable the platform—and the more desirable the audience that platform reaches—the more marketers and brands can expect to pay for the ad.
On the other hand, marketing is any action or practice that is taken to promote your business. Like we mentioned a little earlier, this can include advertising—but it also includes any other promotional activities that your business leverages to get the word out about your services, products, or brand as a whole. In some cases, you have to pay for marketing practices, but not always! Unlike advertising, there are plenty of free marketing strategies that your business can leverage to get the word out about your brand.
So, in short, if you pay to serve an ad to an audience on a specific medium or platform—like Facebook, the radio, or TV—it’s advertising—which is just one component of your marketing strategy. But your business’ marketing strategy can—and should—be much broader than just advertising; anything you do to promote your brand—like handing out flyers at a local event or writing a blog post—also falls under the marketing umbrella.
Okay, so now that you’re clear on the difference between marketing and advertising, let’s take a quick peek at what that looks like in action.
Advertising is just one single piece of the marketing strategy puzzle, but there are a ton of different ads you can use to reach your target audience, both offline and online. Here are a few popular ways to advertise:
Banner ads are a lot like digital real estate; you pay the owner (whatever website it is that you are advertising on) to “rent” space (the place where you show your banner ad). Whenever a consumer visits that website, in addition to seeing the website’s content, they will also see your banner ad, and if they click it, it drives them back to your landing page or website.
If you’ve ever driven down any busy road, chances are, you’ve seen a billboard—or five. And, at the core of a billboard’s significance? It’s just a big advertisement. If banner ads take up digital real estate, billboards take up actual real estate—and if businesses can place their billboards in a place where their ideal audience is likely to see them, they can be really great at driving brand recognition.
Social Media Ads
Social media is, without a doubt, one of the most popular platforms to advertise on. Not only is just about everyone active on social media, but most platforms offer unparalleled targeting options that allow you to get extremely specific with who sees your ads.
This allows you to create advertisements targeted to specific individuals, which can drive up conversions while driving down costs. It can be tough to navigate the stormy waters of social media, so it’s always best to bring in help from an experienced advertising agency like MuteSix.
So, now that we’ve gone over advertising let’s take a look at examples of some marketing strategies.
If you are a marketer, unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few years, you’ve heard the term “content is king.” And it’s true; content marketing—which includes everything from blog posts to case studies and ebooks and whitepapers—is arguably one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience and establish yourself as an expert within your industry. All of this can provide a serious boost to your brand recognition, traffic, and revenue.
Another popular form of marketing is email marketing. An engaged email list is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. But the keyword here is engaged. It doesn’t matter how many consumers you have on your email list—if you are not regularly engaging your list through strategic email campaigns, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity to drive sales for your business.
Park of marketing is getting the word out about your business, but the other part is actually selling consumers on your business. Depending on what industry you are in, sales presentations might play an important role in your marketing strategy. A good sales presentation can help you to get investors interested in your business, close deals, and overcome any objections potential customers may have by breaking down the benefits of your service or products.
So, marketing vs. advertising— which one leads to better conversions?
The truth is that a successful marketing strategy includes both marketing and advertising. In fact, rather than thinking about your strategy as “marketing vs. advertising,” business owners should really be thinking “ marketing AND advertising” in order to have the most success.
To boost your ROI and bring in more customers, it’s wise to advertise online as well as practice other marketing strategies as well. By doing both of these things, you are strengthening your brand and will see a great boost in conversion.
If you’re not sure how to advertise, then you’re in luck because there are amazing advertising companies like MuteSix that can help!
MuteSix is an award-winning advertising company that can help you to take your business to unbelievable new heights through personalized content, predictive analytics, and real-time targeting. Don’t waste your valuable time and money on ineffective ads— MuteSix has your back!