What's the Difference Between Marketing & Advertising?

The title says it all. This quick, straightforward read will break down the difference between marketing and advertising to help you figure out which is more important for your local business.

What's the Difference Between Marketing & Advertising?

 If you’re looking to give your business a boost online but aren’t sure where to start, you might be wondering what's the difference between marketing and advertising as well as which is right for your business.

In this article, we’ll break down the differences to help you figure out which is right for you!

What Is Advertising?

We call online advertising “paid advertising,” and it involves paying for placement in search results, social media, other websites, apps, etc.

Much of paid advertising involves paying per click or impression, which means that you’ll be paying each time a person sees or clicks your ad, depending on which type of advertising you go with.

Online advertising is different than traditional forms of advertising (like phone book advertising) in that you are able to track the results of your online ad campaign and monitor the number of people who have interacted with your ad.

You can also hyper-target your online ads to make sure they are reaching your exact target market by choosing to show your ads to people based on things like:

  • Career
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Search terms

Running a paid advertising campaign can get complicated when you're working to reach the most people for the best price and is best left in the hands of experienced, certified advertising professionals. (Not to brag, but we have a whole team!)

Advertising is a small subset of marketing as a whole.

Something a lot of business owners like about paid advertising is that it is more immediate than many other forms of marketing.

When you run search ads on Google, your ads will show up in searches that include specific search terms. This means that you don’t have to wait for your business to climb the local search rankings, and we all want instant results.

But, there’s a lot more to marketing than just advertising.

What Is Marketing?

Marketing encompasses a whole slew of strategies that are designed to put your business in front of your target market.

From old school tactics like price, product, place and promotion to optimizing your local search presence, marketing is a large-scale strategy designed to build awareness and drive sales.

Market research, advertising, public relations, branding, packaging, social media marketing and content marketing (among many other tactics) are smaller pieces of the marketing pie.

So, you can think of marketing as everything you do to make buyers aware of your products and services as well as all the things you do to help buyers through the purchase process. It’s your overall plan, which you can break down into smaller facets (like advertising).

We work with a subset of marketing called digital (or online) marketing, although digital and traditional marketing can work well together to help you bring in more customers.

Should You Try Marketing or Advertising?

Honestly, there's a case to be made for both.

Marketing can produce long-term, compounding results that help you build more local awareness and drive sales while advertising can often produce more immediate results (but advertising also works as a long-term tactic if you consistently optimize your campaigns).

And, depending on your industry, it's probably worth it to try both and figure out how they can work together for your business's unique needs.

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