Difference between marketing and advertising
Marketing and advertising, these words are often interchanged with one another. In the business world, publicity agencies are advertising agencies, and most departments inside companies that promote the sale of product are marketing departments. Are these two words synonyms? Is there a significant difference?
If you really think about it, marketing is strategy and advertising is execution of that strategy. Marketing is the strategy of educating customers about a company’s products and services in the marketplace, who their product or service will be a good fit for, and who it won’t. Advertising is then used to take that strategy and communicate it to an audience.
So both advertising and marketing have the same goal. They’re both helping enable a choice. Usually in the company’s favor to enable reaching a purchase objective, but hopefully to enable the best decision for the customer — even if that best choice is not to purchase the company’s products. But there is a key difference. Advertising is not all-encompassing of the customer experience with a product. Even intelligent, multi-channel campaigns are impacting just a fraction of customer experience with a brand.
And this is one of the biggest mistakes marketing agencies make today. They are too focused on getting in front of the customer with a purchase objective which is the business’’ objective. Rather, marketing agencies should be thinking, “what is my customer’s objective?” And “how can I help them meet it with every customer touch point?” That includes not only the actual product experience, but every experience with the customer, from customer service to return policy to, yes, advertising.
And this is where marketing incorporates advertising. If it impacts the customer, it impacts the brand. And if it impacts the brand, it impacts purchase decisions.
Here are a few tips to help your business with a marketing-centric (not advertising-centric) approach to marketing strategy:
Learn what the customer wants— not just what they think about a specific product, or competitor’s product, or brand. Why are they even considering products in a specific category? What problems are they trying to overcome?
Create a customer experience chart— does your customer experience the brand, and competing brands? What ways can a company add touchpoints to create new experiences that help deliver what the customer wants?
Serve the customer at multiple touchpoints— this is a key way that marketing is so much bigger than just advertising. For example, you might discover that customers look to third-party websites and publications to do research before even considering your product. By being active in the research phase (content marketing), with your own contributions, you could influence more customer decisions without buying any more ads. As a business owner, you need to be engaged and plugged in at every level of the consumer’s purchasing cycle.
Produce customer-focused advertising— what makes one ad better than another? Sure, there are a few basics of a good ad. It grabs the customer’s attention. It is placed in the right media so the ideal customer actually sees it. But the most important quality of a good ad is that it uses a story to help the customer meet his or her objective. Some ads use creativity to do that. Others use facts and information. But they all directly tie customer desire to beneficial customer action in a quick and compelling way.