Differences Between Advertising and Marketing

Clients are often baffled when we ask them to differentiate advertising from marketing. They assume both terms mean the same, but that is incorrect. Advertising is a subset of marketing. Both are essential techniques used by companies to increase sales. Knowing the difference and possessing accurate market research will put a company on the path to substantial growth.

Advertising campaigns are important components to a business’s marketing plan. An advertising campaign focuses on the creative positioning and media through which a product or service is sold. Advertising is done when promoting a product or service or providing some important information or public notices. It creates awareness among people for various products. It aides in helping people easily identify what to eat or wear, use, etc. They can also categorize between true and false (misleading) advertisements, giving them more control with what brands they support.

By contrast, marketing presents the overall picture for how the company will distribute, promote and price its products or services. One of the ways that promotion will take place is through an advertising campaign. Marketing plans should also include public relations, sales, distribution strategies, and promotions.


Meaning The activity of understanding the market conditions in order to identify the customer needs and creating such a product that it sells itself. Advertising is a form of marketing communication used to promote or sell something, usually a business’ product or service. It may also reassure employees or shareholders that a company is viable and successful.
Aspect Product, Price, Process Promotion, Positioning, Sales
Term Long term Short Term
Scope Market Research, Promotion, Advertisement, Distribution, Sales, Public Relations, Customer Satisfaction. Street Campaigns, Aerial Projection Mapping, Biodegradable Posters, OOH Adverts, Magazines, Social Media, Sponsorships,
Importance More and more sales Creates Awareness and converts
Focus on Creating market for the new or existing product and building brand image. Grabbing the attention of the general public or targeted audience


Marketing represents the process of preparing a company’s product for the marketplace. It involves understanding who the potential customers are and what they want to gain from the product or service. Logo, colors and other design elements help to align the product’s image with the interests of the targeted market. It is marketing that defines your brand and attracts the market share you want.


Advertising is the process of making your product and service known to the marketplace. It is essentially spreading the word about what your company has to offer. While marketing is the way in which you convince potential buyers that you have the right product for them, advertising is how you communicate to them the existence of that product.

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Differences In Advertising and Marketing

  1. Advertising is marketing, but Marketing is not advertising.
  2. Promotion is the major aspect of Advertising. Price, Product, Promotion, Place, People, Process are the six major aspects of Marketing.
  3. Marketing is done with the intent of increasing sales while Advertising is done with the objective of inducing customers.
  4. Marketing focuses on creating a market for the product, and building reputation whereas advertising focuses on seeking public attention and growing a brand audience.
  5. Advertising is the largest expense of most marketing plans, with public relations following in a close second.


  • Major objective is to increase sales.
  • Promotion of the product.
  • Explaining value of product or service to target customers.


Marketing and advertising are commonly confused because the implications of both continue to advance. The comprehensive nature of the marketing and advertising definitions tend to reflect the increasing scopes by which businesses engage with their markets. It is extremely significant to note how the definitions of marketing and advertising have changed over time.

In business context, marketing and advertising are broad terms which are used over and over again. So understanding the difference between the two is very important. A good rule of thumb is, pulling customers – is marketing, attracting them – is advertising.

A good analogy that helps distinguish between advertising and marketing is to think of marketing as a pie, inside that pie you have slices of advertising, media planning, market research, product pricing, distribution, public relations, customer support, sales strategy, and community involvement. Advertising only equals one piece of the pie in the strategy. Of course, in our humble opinion the single advertising slice is the sweetest!


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