Marketing Vs. Advertising & The Modern Business

Are the terms “marketing” and “advertising” interchangeable? Some marketers interchange these terms, referring to marketing as advertising and vice versa.


However, the truth is that these two ideas are very different. Similar, but not the same.


Knowing the difference may not be the most important thing to be aware of as a marketer, but it will come in handy when speaking with clients or cross-department managers who believe these two terms mean the same thing.


As technology evolves and becomes an integral part of life, today’s businesses employ diverse marketing and advertising strategies to reach potential customers and close sales. You can find the two avenues stretching from traditional media (TV and radio) to modern-day digital marketing, both online and social media. However, these two concepts are not interchangeable – they’re different entities altogether! 


While marketing is what we call the process of identifying customer needs and then finding ways to meet them while also boosting brand awareness at the same time, advertising is just one piece of what could be described as marketing.


Advertising has evolved much faster than anything else because it helps generate revenue for companies investing heavily in it. However, once again, when it comes down to it: there are still several distinctions between advertising versus marketing – which essentially boils down to one being just a tiny fragment within a larger entity that may include advertising itself.


The Difference 


The main difference between these two business activities is that advertisement is a crucial part of marketing. Successful marketing strategies typically allocate resources for advertising across several levels, placing corporate communications in various media types.


To dig a little deeper into the concept, we’ll need to examine the differences between paid, owned, and earned publicity:


Paid Media: This form of media entails a company compensating publishers for putting up advertisements. Some examples are billboards, radio and TV ads, search engine advertising, social media ad campaigns, and bulk emails or packages.

Owned Media: This refers to a company using its own channels for marketing communications. Retail merchandising, websites, business blogs, brochures, and press releases are all examples of owned media.


Earned Media: Typically, this media involves external communications about a company from third-party actors. Types can include online reviews, article placements in newspapers or magazines, social media endorsements, and customer demonstrations.


As noted above, advertising is usually limited to the domain of paid media. It’s inherently part of the nature of advertising as a business practice–placement of messaging or branding in exchange for compensation. In other words, when businesses advertise, there’s typically a price tag attached. On the flip side (pun intended), effective marketing strategies can have an impact on three types of media–paid media (when we speak about ads), owned media (company-owned channels such as social networking sites), and earned media (word-of-mouth from happy customers).


Marketing identifies what consumers want and need while evaluating the best ways to meet those needs. This leads them to control how they advertise in paid media because marketing also dictates how they communicate through company-owned channels and interact with others via earned channels.


Which Is More Valuable?


Numerous successful businesses employ multifaceted advertising strategies to promote their product or service. This is particularly true for companies that sell products or services internationally; the effectiveness of marketing strategy and advertising placement must consider customers worldwide. Smaller and medium-sized enterprises can benefit from this because affordable digital advertising opportunities are available through search engines and social media sites.


Establishing a marketing plan at the onset is critical when starting any business. Identifying customer wants and needs is essential to focus future marketing or advertising efforts, increasing the odds of success.

Read About Faisal Abidi


About Faisal Abidi

Faisal Abidi is a serial entrepreneur and the Director and Co-Founder of RNF Technologies,which offers creative tech solutions and digital products to its 250+ clients across the globe. The company helps businesses grow with its web/mobile app development, online marketing, and gaming app development solutions.

Having worked at Google and British Telecom before starting his own venture, Faisal brings more than 12 years of experience in the tech services sector to his role as a Co-Founder. He has helped several brands become industry leaders with his knowledge of different verticals and marketing trends.

Faisal has also been a TEDx speaker and several media publications have covered his tech-driven ventures. In addition to leading RNF Technologies in an advisory capacity, he is the Founder of Resourcifi, which provides 360° IT staffing solutions.

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