Is Advertising and Marketing one in the same – or are they different?

I overheard a conversation addressing this question and was surprised on the opinions of the two conversing – so I wonder how others look at Advertising and Marketing, as one or two separate (but related) segments, I posted this question on and had some great responses:

Advertising is just a part of marketing which may include many other facets such as trade shows, web site, white papers, etc.

For some consumer products advertising may be the major component.
Every Business should have a Marketing Plan. Marketing activities could be anything from tv advertising, mass mail, internet ads, to networking.

The American Marketing Association (AMA) states, “Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders”.
Marketing and Advertising are not same; however advertising is one of component of Marketing.

Marketing includes many components as mentioned below:
1. Business Planning and Strategy
2. Sales
3. Product and Product costing to arrive at base cost for Market
4. Advertising, promotions
5. Branding and few others

‘Marketing’ is just a general name that includes several expertises. Such an expertise can be divided in different layers. Advertising is a layer within the expertise Marketing Communication and a marketer can use Advertising to reach its targets.

I would guess that a lot of people will have varied opinions on the subject. However, taken into the traditional context, Advertising is only part of marketing. Marketing is usually looked at through the 4 Ps (7 in some cases).


Advertising will be part of the promotional aspect, looking at all the different mediums and son on.

Think of marketing as everything that an organization does to facilitate an exchange between company and consumer … advertising is a single component of that process.

According to seminar leader and author Chris Lytle:

Advertising: The paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.

Marketing: The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products.
As Phillip Kotler wrote in his famous Marketing text book. Marketing has four elements, the “4 Ps”. Advertising is just a part of the P for promotion.
To give you some context:

Marketing is one of several FUNCTIONS that define “business.”
Promotion is one of the several ACTIVITIES that define “marketing.”
Advertising is one of the several CHANNELS that define “promotion.”
Print is one of the several MEDIA that define “advertising.”
Magazine is one of the several CATEGORIES that define “print.”
Journal is one of the several CLASSES that define “magazine.”

Marketing encompasses a huge umbrella. A simple definition of marketing is the science and set of processes to target the right customers and keep them. Advertising is one part of that umbrella.
Advertising is just one component of Marketing. To carry out an effective marketing strategy, businesses often need to integrate several marketing components – often referred to as the “marketing mix” – which can include any combination of advertising (magazine, TV, newspaper, etc.), direct selling, direct marketing (mail, e-mail, catalog), public relations, promotional products etc.

Many people still use the terms “advertising” and “marketing” interchangeably, because many years ago, advertising was the most widely used method of marketing. If you are ever in doubt of what people are referring to when they use those two terms, be sure to ask for clarification.
They are very different, but very much interrelated. I like to think of marketing and advertising like (powdered) lemonade. Marketing is the drier, more concentrated ingredients (strategy, research, planning, measurement, etc.) that lay the groundwork, while advertising (TV, radio, Web, mail, etc.) is the water that adds a spash and gets things moving.

And, while both are important, neither of them works well without the other.

Hope it helps!
Marketing – everything that goes into developing, making, and selling the right product (including advertising)

Advertising – helping consumers understand that you have a product, what the product is supposed to do, and how to get their hands on it.
Advertising is the simple act of attracting public attention to a product or business by a paid communication piece.

Marketing is the smarts behind the advertising.
No they are not the same. Advertising is simply putting something into a magazine, on the internet, on the website, etc… Marketing on the other hand is or maybe I have to say ‘Should be’ a comprehensive tool full of planning where the focus is on a message or information you want to get across in the targeted market. This needs planning, analyzing and knowledge. Basically you can say that advertising can be a part of the marketing plan that you have.

Advertising is the result of Marketing. Marketing determines how a message is developed based on research and advertising is the end result of that research. Marketing makes up the nuts and bolts while advertising is the machine that’s created in the end.
Marketing is about positioning your product/service… and advertising is about the method you’re using to position your product/service
Advertising is any paid, non-personal form of promotion by an identified business/person/sponsor for a short period of time. Marketing is the umbrella under which advertising sits.
Advertising is just one small part of Marketing.
I am not an expert like many people who have replied here, but with my experience and thought,

The focus on Marketing is more what the company wants and advertising is more what the consumer needs. The company’s marketing focus is on who are the target consumers, target market where as advertising focus is on what consumers need from the company, hence in short, still in advertising principles consumers are the king!!

Hope I made sense… but ready for discussion if i am wrong. After all learning is 2 way process!
I prefer Investopedia’s definition of marketing: “[It] is everything a company does to acquire customers and maintain a relationship with them. Even the small tasks like writing thank-you letters, playing golf with a prospective client, returning calls promptly and meeting with a past client for coffee can be thought of as marketing. The ultimate goal of marketing is to match a company’s products and services to the people who need and want them, thereby ensure [sic] profitability.”

From this, as others have said, advertising is one of many marketing vehicles.
They’re different. Advertising is essentially announcing your product or service, where marketing is a larger set of means to position your product or service among customers and clients. Think about Starbucks — they had to have a marketing plan to grow, yet just issued its first advertising, a commercial, this past Christmas. If anyone confuses the two, it’s because in the US everything appears as an advertisement that it seems like there is no difference. There are plenty of products that have used marketing without advertising and have done well. Local dining restaurants are another example. They’ve been marketed in travel magazines, but have not done any “announcements” of their own, and have managed to attract customers.

I would consider Advertising to encompass all aspects of delivering messaging to consumers or customers through purchased, or third-party supplied media (i.e., TV, Print, Online, Radio, Outdoor, Promo Items, Direct Mail, Email, etc…).

Marketing includes Advertising, but extends to the more holistic management of the brand experience across all consumer or customer touch points (i.e., packaging, display, pricing, promotion, distribution, product forms, PR, etc…).

An even broader term would be “Brand Management” which would address all aspects involved in managing a brand – from product development through to delivery, including research & development, finance, operations, manufacturing, sales, packaging, advertising, and all the other aspects listed above. This gets more into the concept of treating a brand as a business entity and the “Brand Manager” is a general manager who is ultimately responsible for the P&L of the brand. This holistic approach, with the “Brand Manager” at the “hub of the wheel,” directing the movements of the “spokes” (sales, finance, operations, research, advertising, pr, packaging, manufacturing, etc…) is the type of model generally used by most Consumer Packaged Goods companies such as P&G, Campbell Soup, Clorox, General Mills, etc…
Advertising is just a subcategory of Marketing. To be more precise, advertising is a part of Marketing.

Advertising is about telling the customers that there is the product, why they should buy it and then it’s about telling them to go and buy it.

Marketing is all about new product/service development, setting pricing strategies, launching the product, taking care of it’s life cycle, market research, marketing strategy, analyzing, planning, implementation and control, distribution and many many more features.

You might look at marketing as the process that defines and develops a brand whatever that may be — a product, service, charitable organization, museum, even government agencies. Marketing research — also a function of marketing — will help support the development of image and identity. Advertising then is the dissemination of the message that communicates the given brand’s value to the market, therefore, also a function of marketing.
As a 20+ year marketing practitioner, I would agree with the people that treat Marketing and Advertising as distinctly separate. As an aside, too often “Sales” gets lumped into the same bin as “Marketing”, as well.

Those who view Marketing in its broadest sense include Strategy, Pricing, Communications and Branding. I’ve found most people focus on the Communications line of Marketing. In fact, this is where Advertising fits under the umbrella of Marketing (and where I’ve spent most of my career).

Advertising, as I identified for my executives in the past, is on the same level as Public Relations, Trade Shows, Collateral Materials (to include Web sites and printed materials) and Internal Marketing. (I particularly like Toby’s layers below.) Each of these Channels, then, must push up against the overall Marketing Communications (nee Marcom) Strategy which, in turn, must be driven by overall Corporate Strategy.
Mirroring the responses of many here … marketing is the big picture and advertising is only one of the tools.
You can have marketing without really advertising, and you can have advertising without marketing (have you seen some of the ads lately?) :-)

Many people refer to Advertising & Marketing simultaneously. Since most small businesses have limited staff and resources, one person usually heads everything and is therefore considered over “Advertising & Marketing”.

In larger companies, there will be a complete department that handles all of the advertising, whether it is on TV, newspapers, radio, satellite, billboards, etc. Another department (or departments) will handle other marketing functions such as brand marketing, product placement, sports sponsorships, and promotional merchandise. While advertising is still marketing, it generally needs its own focus.

Hopefully, in that case there will be someone over both groups in order to facilitate communication. When there is not and communication doesn’t happen, you end up with a cluttered and inconsistent marketing message.

So, while they can technically be different departments, they need to be handled as one in the overall scheme of things.
I think of them as very different practices:

Marketing is the practice of finding “markets”. So, if I have a product, I want to find the right segment to which i should then advertise, or vice versa (i.e. I have a market, find them a product).

Advertising is a general term for focused communication regarding a specific subject. In order for advertising to be successful and efficient, the message needs to hit the appropriate audience. This matching of message to audience for the purpose of selling or promoting; the matching of a product, service or “good” to the people/business’/users who will want it. That is marketing.

I think some of the combining of the two comes from major national brands advertising on television to national audiences. When Coca Cola flashes their logo at the SuperBowl, that is pure advertising. They aren’t attempting to be strategic with their message; they are choosing to simply blast it to as many people as possible, hoping they will remember the brand.

That model isn’t ideal for the web. Because on the web, you can optimize and choose to make your advertising more effective through marketing.

I hope this long winded …commentary…helps.

Marketing encompasses product, distribution, pricing, and promotion. Advertising is a part of the promotion component.
To add to this, most advertising is paid, where as not all marketing is…
People tend to lump a lot of things together when in reality there are nuances. For example, we tend to forget that marketing goes beyond the promotion aspect to also include things like pricing, distribution and product development. So, marketing and advertising are not one in the same — advertising is just way to promote a product or service.
Advertising is just one cog in the wheel of an integrated marketing program, which would include initiatives such as trade shows, your website with initiatives to drive traffic to the site, sales collateral materials, etc.

I just answered a “what is marketing” question, so I’ll restate that here and then add what I believe marketing is …

In a nutshell: Marketing can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but from my perspective, it is the glue between the core capabilities of the organization and the marketplace demands.

In other words, marketing defines the value of an offering, both internally and externally and communicates it to both sides. If the organization is not aware of what the external marketplace is expecting in terms of value, then there can be major trust issues and the company will likely be in a bad position for revenue, profit, etc.

Take, for example, the windows desktop environment. If Xerox (who invented it) had a great marketing department, they would have been able to identify the value and disseminated that to the marketplace. But they didn’t Apple did (then Microsoft).

It is then the job of Advertising (which is a component of the communications plan, which is a component of the marketing plan) to communicate the value, generate excitement, and generate leads/sales, etc.
Advertising is the product. Marketing is the machine behind the product.
I believe marketing and advertising are different in at least one way… Advertising is one of many single messages (pick your medium). Marketing is the singularity that ties everything together creating that big cohesive brand! Enjoy!
Advertising used to be enough. An agency would do anything and everything from concept to design of the product. However as companies become more cutthroat and demand more that is where Marketing comes in. Advertising is a branch of Marketing, but people (myself) and agencies are forced to find other alternatives including Advertising. That is where Branding, Positioning, Blogging, and numerous other Marketing aspects come into play. A simple radio, print, tv spot does not necessarily do it anymore.
Marketing is about “matching consumer/ market needs with what a business has to offer i.e creating ‘value’.

Advertising is making consumers/ customers ‘aware’ of that value (hopefully differentiated).

So ‘marketing’ is essentially everything/ all activity that a business needs to do to identify, create, deliver and support that “value” – which is basically a product or service someone pays for.

There’s a load of jargon (unfortunately!) but in essence, advertising/promotion/ marketing communications are all ‘means of informing the market/ making aware’ of the ‘value’…

Marketing is usually taylor made to a company’s business plans with various in-house teams.

Advertising zeros in on specifics. A major Advertising Agency is subdivided into many parts focused for a clients needs. For example: Media. As a former media buyer, the unsung advertising heroes place various media: TV, Radio, print; Interactive based on a media plan. These plans are agreed upon with the client and well as dollars. Creative’s, account executives, production and traffic steward the process and it all works!

Tim Somers
Bizarre Promotions, Inc.
Over 750,000 Promo Items To Help Your Business Grow!

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