Marketing vs. Advertising

I’m often asked “What’s the difference between marketing and advertising?”. To put it simply advertising is a piece of your marketing strategy.

Marketing starts with your prospective customer – who they are, where they are and what they want. What problems do they have that need a solution?

Marketing includes:

  • Market research, including
    • Customer research
    • Competition research
  • Sales strategy
    • Pricing
    • Sales copy – add audio? video?
    • Specials/discounts/coupons?
    • Bonuses?
    • Upsells
  • Advertising
    • Branding – promote corporate name
    • Public/Media relations
    • General ads – TV, radio, banner ads
    • Targeted ads – search engine ads, mail list, other newsletters/ezines
    • Testing/tracking
  • Product distribution – collecting the money and shipping the product
  • Customer feedback/support

For example, you’ve started an online business, done the research, found keywords that relate to your prospective customers and set up a Google Adwords account. Now you write a 3 line ad that brings people to your sales page.

Advertising is just a small part of your overall marketing plan. The great thing about online advertising is that you can target your ads. When a car company pays $100,000 to run a single ad on TV, 97% of the viewers aren’t interested in buying a new car.

When someone types “new car prices” into a search engine the odds are MUCH greater that they are looking to actually buy a car and you can have an advertisement in front of them for under $1.

That’s why Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research says their latest forecast shows digital advertising almost doubling in the next 5 years (2009-2014).

Sign up as a Home Office Small Business Member and we’ll show you how to set up your marketing strategy.