It is easy to confuse marketing with advertising. Although the concept for each is similar, they are in fact quite different. Both are important, so understanding each strategy is essential for successful long term growth.

How is Advertising Different to Marketing

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The following definitions provide insight into the differences:


Advertisements are communications sent from the suppliers of a product or service to their consumers. They are commissioned and paid for by the sender, with the intention of influencing and/or informing those who receive them.

Advertising is all around us – to the extent that people do not always realise they are being exposed to it. In today’s technologically advanced world a variety of different media can be used to communicate messages, including print (magazines, newspapers, journals etc), television, radio, Internet, direct press, posters, sponsorships, events, visuals and endorsements and more.


Marketing is the strategic planning and long term implementation and control of a range of business activities, the purpose of which is to promote a brand, product or service. The world of marketing has become more complex in recent years and as a result the marketing mix has evolved to include People, Positioning, Packaging and Politics alongside the more traditional elements of Product, Price, Place and Promotion.

All aspects of this marketing mix are important and must be used together for the best chances of success. In order to run a successful campaign it is vital to carry out extensive market research and for there to be clear understanding of the aims and objectives. Strong communication between all stakeholders is essential.

Having read the two definitions it is easier to visualise the difference between the two concepts. It is also possible to see how they are inextricably linked. Whatever medium is used to portray the messages, advertising is one aspect of the marketing process.

Advertising is typically the biggest expense within marketing plans, with PR and market research also requiring considerable investment. For those still struggling to differentiate between marketing and advertising, it can help to visualise marketing as a pie chart. Marketing is the entire pie, while advertising is simply one segment of that pie – with areas such as market research, public relations, media planning, distribution, pricing, product placement, customer support, community involvement and sales strategy making up the rest of it. While integral to the overall marketing strategy, advertising makes up just one part of the pie.

Each segment within the marketing pie must work both independently and together in order for an organisation to successfully achieve the long term goals. Everything a company does which facilitates the company to customer exchange can be considered marketing. An effective marketing campaign takes significant investment and requires many hours of careful research and planning.

Outsourcing the marketing side of a business to an external agency can help organisations better concentrate on core competencies. Marketing agencies, such as, can take over the management of all or some of an organisation’s marketing needs. For example, as a Hemel Hempstead web design agency they can help the site perform, to improve Search Engine Optimisation or to run Social Media campaigns.

Outsourcing can significantly improve the effectiveness of a marketing campaign and in turn the long term growth and development of an organisation.