Difference Between Marketing and Advertising

The Difference Between Marketing and Advertising

If you’re a business owner, office manager or just genuinely curious, you’ve probably asked yourself what is the difference between marketing and advertising. Well fear no more, we have the answer and hopefully it will clear things up. Now some may argue exactly what marketing and advertising is and how similar they are, but we have our explanation straight from the Fat Guy himself. With the age of the Internet, marketing and advertising have changed drastically. There’s a whole virtual world out there just waiting for companies to utilize space. And while we all love the Internet, we don’t necessarily love the constant pop ups. That’s why marketers innovated the way companies attract people online.

The New Age of Marketing

In today’s world, marketing works by creating content based off a target audience that appeals to them. You might have heard of Inbound Marketing. It’s the idea of letting a potential customer come across the company on their own. Inbound Marketing creates a path for that potential customer to become familiar with the company and educate himself until he decides that company’s products or services is right for him. Marketing is now solution-based. If someone has a question, a company’s marketing campaign works to be the answer. Marketing works through a number of practices. The objective is to find space all over the Internet and attract a company’s target audience on every platform. This includes:

  • Blog posts
  • Emails
  • Calls to Action
  • Social media sites
  • SEO
  • Web design

Marketing is customer-centric, so everything listed above benefits the buyer. Now let’s get into advertising.


Advertising has been around for a long time, and it’s still around so that means something is working. However, advertising is sometimes intrusive. It appeals to the masses, so someone who may be interested in a product will see an advertisement that generates a positive response. Yet someone else might not be interested in that same product and will get annoyed that they are subjected to seeing the advertisement. Think about all the places you see advertisements and not just on the Internet:

  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Billboards
  • TV and radio
  • Spam emails
  • Pop up ads
  • Social media sites

The Difference Between Marketing and Advertising

The difference between marketing and advertising should make a little more sense now, but to explain further: Marketing is essentially a more scientific approach to advertising. Marketing has tools to analyze conversion rates, which means reporting who opened an email or who clicked a link on a Google search page. When you put a billboard up no one can physically click on it. So, how do you know it’s working? Another difference between marketing and advertising is marketing lets buyers take the lead. Using keywords and the right Internet platforms, marketers allow buyers to come across a company on their own. And, marketing creates content for customers in different phases of buying. A stranger to the company and someone who has already researched the company isn’t going to be searching for the same answers. Advertisements do not normally have that ability to adjust to people in different phases of the buyer’s journey. You might have noticed that marketing and advertising practices overlap. Both utilize social media sites and emails. The difference is marketing creates target audience specific content for the buyer to come across or a personalized email. Advertising pays to have ads on the side bars of social media sites. While they do advertise based on demographic, they only feature the company instead of benefitting the buyer. What the Fat Guy thinks: Marketing today is a creative reform of advertising. Both work, but as marketers, we’re going to have to agree marketing is more effective in terms of attracting a more targeted audience.

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