Ah yes, the long-debated question: are marketing and advertising the same thing? If you answered no, you’re right! Although advertising is a part of marketing, they are two separate facets that work hand in hand when it comes to the overall marketing strategy. A marketing strategy typically dedicates specific advertising budgets/campaigns to leverage paid media within the owned and earned efforts to ensure all are working together for a comprehensive strategy.
Marketing is the action of making a product or service compelling to its target markets and demographics—an ongoing process of making your client’s goods the best-looking ones on the market. All marketing efforts work hand in hand to ensure a business is profitable from start to end.
Marketing entails a range of responsibilities that differ depending on the type of marketing that is being executed. Some examples are social media management, strategy development, analytics tracking, customer relationship management, copywriting, branding and design… the list goes on! While these marketing variations differ at the core, they all work together to achieve one specific objective: to create a communication and implementation strategy that ensures all owned, earned and paid channels work together to achieve their business goals.
Advertising, a subset of marketing, is the medium through which specific marketing responsibilities are done, e.g., paid social media advertisements, commercials, billboards, Google ads or integrated campaigns that encompass a range of paid media. Basically, marketing is the overarching strategy, while advertising is the action of promoting awareness or new leads and sales using paid advertising.
Advertising is a little more streamlined, with core responsibilities consisting of media buying, campaign development, production, creative development, project management and more. Not every marketing strategy utilizes advertising, however, it should be a key part of every campaign.
Think about the last ad you saw on Instagram. Was it a brand trying to promote a specific product or service? That ad was strategically purchased and placed in front of a specific audience by the advertiser to achieve the marketer’s goal. They’re the one who is knowledgeable about the process of advertising—ad mediums, budget, KPIs and objectives for the specific ad. However, the social media account as a whole is the work of a marketer. Each photo, caption, graphic, story and video were carefully planned, created and posted with an underlying strategy in mind. Advertising came into the picture for the action of boosting that sponsored post that will in turn, achieve the objective the marketer created, whether that’s to increase brand awareness, drive sales or entice Instagram users to click on a link.
While some may believe marketing is a simple process in the big world of business, marketing is an art form—a well-researched, planned and thought-out art form, that is. A lot goes into creating a marketing strategy, especially the competitor, industry and audience research that takes place before an email newsletter or tweet is even drafted. The key to being a successful marketer or advertiser is to always think strategically. Before you post that photo for your client, ask yourself, why am I posting this? What objective is this post going to achieve? What KPI will I use to measure the success of this post? By always being aware of the strategy and research backing up your actions and processes, you will be on track to reach your goals and grow your client’s bottom line.
As a full-service ad agency that provides marketing and advertising support, KM&A specializes in the overall marketing process, from the market and competitor research to the branding and design all the way to the strategy development. We always consider how advertising fits into the planning, implementation and objective-reaching part of a client’s marketing plan and strategy while focusing on what tactics will align to the overall strategy best—and don’t even get us started on event marketing! Does your business need some extra help getting its marketing and advertising in check? Drop us a line.