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What is Marketing vs. Advertisement?

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

In one episode I welcomed Fred Joyal, the author of Super Bold, and we began to discuss marketing vs advertisement.

What is marketing and advertising, why are they important, and why should an entrepreneur care?

In truth this took a lot of research – I am not a marketing major or advertising major, I am a business major. I know a little about a lot, and even that is a stretch.

Marketing is the action of the business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising. Advertising is the activity or profession of producing advertisements for commercial providers or services.

An uncomplicated way to think about it is marketing is the thought behind the advertisement, but advertising is the action – how it is done, and that is why it is important.

Let me try to break this down a little more.

If the listener has taken a marketing class the 4 P’s is a remarkably familiar phrase. It is used in creating a marketing strategy.

The 4 P's are product, place, price, and promotion. Now I have heard there are some additional P’s floating out there, but I am only going to focus on these as they are the most common.

According to Inc.


Product: This refers to both products and services that are brought to the marketplace to meet consumer demand. This can include presently existing or unknown need/void in the current space.

Price: Setting the right price is important to success. Many factors come into deciding pricing including margins, perceived value, and opportunity costs of not buying.

Place: Placement is supply. Place involves considering strategies such as selective distribution, franchising, and exclusive distribution. Place can also mean physical outlets such as brick and mortar vs. e-commerce, or online sales platforms.

Promotion: All vehicles of communication used by a brand to relay the message about its products and services fall under this phase of marketing, or where advertising lives.

Advertising is a complement to marketing. It helps create curiosity about the product or service in the minds of the targeted market.

Have you ever cried during a commercial? Maybe passed by a billboard that made you think about a product?

The Balance had a fitting example:

Marketing is the systematic planning, implementation, and control of a mix of activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products or services.

Advertising is only one component of the overall marketing process.

Marketing is the step-by-step process that beings with a unique selling proposition – a short compelling sentence that describes the business. Advertising includes the placement of the ad in such mediums as newspapers, magazines, direction mail, billboards, TV, radio, and online.

All marketing elements must work independently but they also must work together toward the bigger goal of one unified marking campaign with a common message.

Advertising is the most expensive part of all marketing plans.

And that is why an entrepreneur should care. Creating a strategic marketing plan to maximize advertising dollars is key. In fact, if any marketing managers want to help me create a strategic marketing plan for my business, the phone line is open!

Since advertising is the most expensive piece of a marketing plan, it is best to spend a little extra time on the marketing plan to ensure the advertising dollars are not spent in the wrong place.

Advertising a Justin Bieber concert at a 10 am time slot on the public broadcasting system may not yield much ROI compared to, say, advertising a Just Bieber concert on a billiard near the stadium in which he will be performing.

The cost will vary, but not all top dollar advertisements are needed to build a brand. Remember, marketing also helps determine the product, how to price it, how to place it, even before you get to promoting it.

Take baby steps, entrepreneurs. Build a marketing plan before spending the top dollar on a billboard. As the old saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day.”

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