is marketing the same as advertising

Is Marketing the Same as Advertising?

The simple answer to the question “is marketing the same as advertising?” is No.

Tricky answer: They have some similarities and a lot of differences.

If you were to ask a friend of yours or a business partner what the difference between marketing and advertising is, they might not be able to give a very clear answer. Even you might have an idea, but nothing strong enough to make an argument. This article will help you with that confusion.

Marketing and advertising are crucial aspects to the growth of any business. To take advantage of their separate roles, it is important that you understand them on a basic level.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is the process through which a product/service is introduced into the market. It starts from the conception of an idea, and moves all through production, packaging, pricing, promotion, and distribution.

Marketing involves customer identification, strategy drafting, and customer satisfaction. It is a long process that focuses on increasing the sales of a brand.

It has 4 main elements that collectively make it whole. They are called the 4Ps of marketing.


This refers to the object that is created solely to satisfy consumer need. It could be a tangible physical object, or it could be in the form of services rendered. Marketing in this concept is making sure that your product will add value to the lives of your target audience.

It also refers to the way the product is packaged for delivery to consumers. Both the product and packaging have influence on the decision making process of your target audience.


This is the monetary value attached to your product. Price affects the way your products are perceived by the public.

Too low or too high prices can be detrimental to the growth of business.

Prices actively determine trust and reliability of consumers in a company and is determined by several factors, including economic state, competitors, and business goals. The process of deciding on a suitable price for a product is an important aspect of marketing.


is marketing the same as advertising

It is pointless to have the perfect or ideal product if your customers can’t access it. This area of marketing focuses on providing a positive shopping experience for customers.

The choice of location is usually determined by the type of product/services, and the target audience.


This refers to all the activities that businesses employ to create awareness of products and services to customers.

From the components listed, here’s a better definition of marketing. Marketing is the process of creating the right product in the right market, for the right set of people, and at the right price.

What is Advertising?

Advertising is a subset of marketing. It is a process of creating awareness about your products and services, and persuading consumers to purchase.

It requires stating the benefits of your products, and rousing the desire of your target audience for your product.

Advertising is the most expensive component of marketing. Its cost depends on the chosen means of communication.

Traditional advertising methods like radio, television, posters, newspapers, and billboards are relatively expensive. They are simple and have a long-lasting effect on consumers.

A typical example of this is the easy remembrance of the cowbell song shown on televisions decades ago.

Modern or paid advertising such as search engine advertising, social media advertising, and email advertising, are cheaper compared to the traditional methods.

They are more targeted and have a higher reach of the audience. They are however much easier to forget, which is why persuasive strength is important.

Advertising is the most direct way of reaching customers and an important element of brand building. Both methods of advertising still function. The effectiveness of each depends on your products, and your target audience.

Differences Between Marketing and Advertising.

is marketing the same as advertising

Advertising will always be marketing. Marketing isn’t always advertising.

Imagine a hotel trying to increase sales for a particular month, say February.

A marketing approach would be to give discounts for selected significant days (13th, 14th, and 15th) as a recognition for Valentine’s day.

An advertising approach would be to create awareness of that discount with catchy visual aids and compelling content to drive action. 

That is, advertising exists to achieve one of the many goals of marketing.

Other differences between marketing and advertising include:

The main purpose of marketing is to build and maintain a relationship between the company and the customers while the main purpose of advertising is to inform customers of the existence of a product, and convince them to make a purchase.

A marketing plan includes sales, distribution strategies, and public relations. These elements are expected to function optimally to reach the main goal of satisfying your consumers’ needs. 

An advertising plan includes awareness, hyping, and persuasion strategy. All of these must also function is sync to achieve the goal of driving action.

Marketing is handled with several factors in mind. These factors include: product, price, promotion, people, place, and process.

Advertising on the other hand, is handled with one factor in mind – promotion.

Marketing involves creating a product, creating a suitable market for the product, and building reputation.

Advertising involves getting the public’s (customers’) attention.

Marketing is a long-term process, with different facets to make it whole. Advertising is a short-term process.

Marketing and advertising,

though different in concept, still achieve similar goals, directly or indirectly. They both increase sales, promote the products/services, and bring your target audience closer to the company.

Every business, including yours, clearly needs both marketing and advertising to survive. It is therefore important to understand what your final goal is before starting any project. Starting with the end in mind makes it easy to draft out the most effective plan to achieve said goals.

Now that you understand the difference between marketing and advertising, it’s time to identify your goals and work towards achieving them.

Are you having trouble mapping out realistic goals for your business? Not to worry, Side Hustle has business plan professionals that will help you with that. A business plan is your road-map to success that will provide better clarity on all aspects of your business, including your marketing goals.

Identify your business goals, and make better decisions today!

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