Marketing Vs. Advertising: What’s The Difference?

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You’ve probably heard the terms “marketing” and “advertising” used interchangeably, but marketing and advertising are definitely not the same thing.

This post will explore the difference between marketing and advertising and what each one can do to generate more leads and sales for your business.

Let’s get started.

What Is marketing?

Marketing in an umbrella term that includes everything you do to create and promote your products or services to your customers and potential customers. This includes market research, product development, pricing, branding, and of course, advertising.

Marketing is all about understanding your customers’ wants and needs, aligning that with your product/service (or creating a new one), and helping customers understand how your product/service is the best solution for them compared to competitors.

To further understand what marketing is, you need to determine its 4Ps: product, pricing, promotion, and place.

  • Product what you’re selling, whether they’re goods or services.
  • Pricing – how you set your prices and what you charge.
  • Promotion – the marketing you do to get the word out about your product or service.
  • Place – where customers can buy your product.

For example, let’s say your business is focused on furniture and interior design. In your market research, you learn people are looking for eco-friendly furniture. So you develop a product line of sustainable furniture and set your prices to reflect the premium that customers will pay for eco-friendly products. 

Next, you create a marketing campaign around your new product line, highlighting the environmental benefits of your furniture. You promote your products through online ads, social media, and TV advertisements. And you make sure that your furniture is available for purchase on your website and through popular online retailers.

You’ve evaluated what your customers want/need, you’ve created a product that fulfills those needs, and then you’ve gotten the word out to those customers. That’s marketing in a nutshell.

What Is the purpose of advertising?

Advertising is the last step of the marketing process. It’s how you get the word out to potential and current customers about your products or services. It’s different from marketing because marketing starts all the way back at product/service development and branding.

Advertising is all about persuasion. You’re creating awareness, interest, and desire.

Advertising can:

  • Increase brand awareness and visibility
  • Generate more leads
  • Create greater demand for a product or service
  • Boost sales and profits
  • Increase customer loyalty and satisfaction levels

Remember, advertising isn’t the only method of marketing. It’s often just the first step of getting potential customers into your sales funnel. It is only one element of an effective marketing strategy.

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What is the difference between marketing and advertising?

So in recap, marketing and advertising are not the same thing.


The goal of marketing is to understand your customer, their problems and their customer journey. So that you can align your products, offers and services in the right way to create long term customers. This includes activities like market research, product development, pricing strategy, distribution and customer service.


The goal of advertising is to create demand for your product by promoting them via paid media. These strategies could be paid media in the form of TV commercials, print ads, online ads(facebook,google,pinterest) and billboards. Without the proper marketing, advertising falls flat because your message isn’t targetted to your customers in a way that resonated. So advertising is a subset activity under marketing.

Every business need to have a solid marketing strategy to be able to scale and allow for your advertising to perform.


Looking to build a powerful marketing strategy? Let’s talk

If you’re not sure how to target the right audience, we can help. I’ve vetted hundreds of agencies. We’ll discuss your business and give you some digital marketing agencies that can help you put together the right marketing or advertising strategy for your brand.

Written By
Picture of Behdad Jamshidi
Behdad Jamshidi
Behdad Jamshidi started CJAM Marketing after realizing that most business owners don’t know how to evaluate the value of a marketing agency or assess their own needs. Since every business is different not only in their needs but where they are at in the growth process, it isn’t a one size fits all. In the past 5 years, Behdad (or Bee) has met with and assessed 800+ marketing agencies and vetted them down to a lean 100 preferred partners across all marketing niches. After pairing hundreds of businesses with the right partners, he’s found his skillset lies in the matchmaking process. Featured in MarketWatch, Bloomberg, National Post and the Financial Post, Bee’s unique background in marketing, engineering, consulting, leadership, sales and strategy, has allowed him to serve as the conduit between business owners and the marketing teams they need.
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