Advertising vs Marketing: What’s the difference?

Digital Marketing & Advertising

Advertising and marketing are two terms that tend to go hand in hand, but in reality, they are very different. The difference is explained very effectively in this quote.

“In basic terms, marketing is the process of identifying customer needs and determining how best to meet those needs. In contrast, advertising is promoting a company and its products or services through paid channels. In other words, advertising is a component of marketing.”

– American Marketing Association, 2020

When To Focus on Marketing?

Many small businesses jump straight into advertising, which can give mixed results.  Sometimes, advertising may hit the nail on the head, but greater insight is needed more often before advertising can succeed.

For businesses that provide essential services, a well-managed advertising package will allow the business to grow and thrive. This includes trade-based enterprises like plumbing and electrical services.

For businesses in the market of providing non-essential items, marketing is a must. Researching and understanding your customers will give you the information needed to create winning advertising campaigns.

Understanding your clients, creating a marketing strategy and defining your marketing tactics is highly recommended before starting a business. It must be meticulously reviewed every year to keep a business on track and connected to its client base.


Indicators That You Need A Marketing Strategy

These are the top five indicators to create a powerful marketing strategy for your business.

  1. I want my business to make more money.
  2. I want my advertising to work better.
  3. I need more clients.
  4. I don’t know what to do next.
  5. I have the budget to grow my business, but I need to know where to invest it.

If you answered YES to these questions, a marketing strategy will help you solve these problems.


Insights Gained From The Marketing Strategy Process

Marketing strategy is crucial. So is the thought process and questioning that goes into identifying and understanding your ideal client and how your business relates to them.

A marketing strategy process will give you insights into…

  • Who your ideal client is, where do they spend their time, what do they like to do?
  • What is your business niche?
  • What marketing tactics (advertising, collaborations) will reach my audience?
  • How do you build your marketing to create a sustainable business?

The scope of a marketing strategy is HUGE for small business owners who haven’t delved into it before.  It can be THE game changer that takes a business to the next level.

DIY Marketing Strategy

Plenty of resources on marketing have stood the test of time.  Start with the best resources to help you identify your ideal client and create a client avatar.  You can then identify your business niche and brand positioning.

Give it a go!  Going through this process yourself or even with a business-minded friend will give you a better understanding and direction for your business.

Professional Marketing Strategy

You can do an online course or engage a professional to take you through the marketing process personally.

Understanding the distinction between marketing and advertising is crucial for any business. While advertising plays a crucial role, a well-crafted marketing strategy can guide your business towards success. Understanding your audience, refining your tactics, and investing wisely are the cornerstones of growth.

If you still need clarification, contact Social Panda. We offer one-on-one sessions to delve into your ideal client and collaborate to produce your perfect marketing strategy and tactics to help you reach your goals.