If you ask the person next to you about the difference between marketing and advertising, there’s a strong possibility you won’t get a clear answer. That’s because for many people, there’s only a subtle difference between marketing and advertising that’s often difficult to explain.
To be honest, advertising and marketing are closely related disciplines that have much in common. Yet they differ in many ways too. To see the differences and how each can benefit you as a small business owner, you must first understand the basics of both.
The Difference Between Marketing and Advertising
What is Marketing?
Marketing, in simple terms, refers to the means of communication between a company and its target audience. The American Marketing Association defines it as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
Marketing involves techniques such as market segmentation, target group identification and market analysis to adopt the right strategy for customer engagement and product promotion.
Four primary elements that form the crux of marketing include Product, Price, Place and Promotion. These elements were introduced by marketer E. Jerome McCarthy. See the breakdown for each of these elements below.
A product is seen as an item that addresses a consumer demand/need. It could be a tangible good or an intangible service
This is the amount customers pay for the product. Price determines the company’s profitability and thereby whether or not the company will succeed.
Products must be located at a place where consumers can access them. Place involves strategies such as selective distribution, franchising and exclusive distribution.
All means of communication that a company adopts to provide information about the product are considered promotion. Promotion may include elements such as public relations, advertising and sales promotion.