Marketing vs Advertising

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: March 3, 2022  •  6 min read  •  Business
Approved Course is reader-supported. If you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small commission.

You might think marketing and advertising are the same things. Sure, they are similar, but they are not the same. However, many times, these two terms are used interchangeably.

If you’re curious to know what marketing is and what advertising is, we are going to cover that. Let’s also look at the key differences between the two.

What is Marketing?

According to the American Marketing Association, “Marketing is a business practice that involves identifying, predicting and meeting customer needs.”

It has many moving parts in a systematic plan that is used to attract new business. Marketing comes in more of a step-by-step process that helps educate customers about the unique selling proposition (or message) you want to deliver to them.

Common Types of Marketing

Marketing strategies come in many forms. Most companies have split their marketing into online and offline in today’s world. Some of the most common types of marketing include:

Global Marketing – Any type of marketing done on a global scale fall into this category. It’s often done through the internet or online marketing and may unify strategies used locally, regionally, or nationally.

All of these types of marketing might be used by one company to reach their audience.

What is Advertising?

Concordia St. Paul defines advertising as “the process of making a product and service known to an audience.” This is a simple, yet very informative definition and provides everything you need to know. Advertising includes developing messages to present ideas, products, services, and brands to the consumer.

Common Types of Advertising

Just like marketing, there are many types of advertising you can use. Some of the most common types of advertising include:

As the world changes, new forms of advertising become a part of a company’s marketing strategy.

Marketing vs Advertising: The Key Differences

When you think about marketing and advertising, it can be helpful to look at them in a specific manner. Marketing is the pie, for example, while advertising is just one slice of that pie. The entire marketing pie may also include:

Advertising is one of the slices, but it’s not the entire pie. It might be the most noticeable of the slices, but the marketing pie needs all the other pieces to function properly.

Paid vs. Owned vs. Earned Media

One of the main differences you will find between marketing and advertising is how they are achieved. Advertising often requires a payment to start a campaign. Marketing may require a payment, but may also come in other forms.

It’s helpful to look at paid, owned, and earned media to understand this key difference between marketing and advertising.

Paid and owned media can be forms of advertising, but earned media is never advertising. Most advertising has to be paid for, with only a few options left in the owned media category.

Which is More Valuable, Marketing or Advertising?

Marketing is likely the most valuable of the two simply because your marketing plan will likely include advertising. With any good marketing strategy, you can cut out some of the advertising and still have great success. When you turn off an advertising campaign, it no longer produces any results.

Since advertising is a part of marketing, it adds value to the marketing for the company. It’s vital to the success of any business to have a well-defined marketing plan. This plan will likely include many forms of advertising.

While marketing might be more valuable since it’s the entire pie, advertising is still a very important slice. Without advertising, the marketing plan may not work as well as it should.

Understanding the differences between marketing and advertising can help you to grow your business. It can also help you to choose which area you want to focus on for your career. Either way, it’s important to know the difference between marketing and advertising.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path. I, personally, am the high school dropout son of two teacher parents. So how did I get here? That story is coming soon!