The difference between marketing and advertising is that advertising is just one component of marketing. There are subsets of marketing – media planning, PR, production, customer support, marketing research and community involvement. Advertising is one part of it. But if you look at a coin, one side’s the head and one’s the tail. Of course, you realize that they may be two different sides, but it is hard to tell where one begins and the other ends.

Marketing is a bigger picture; it sometimes includes counseling in business processes like customer service. This is not normally considered part of advertising, but it is part of marketing. You can do a great campaign, but if the customer experience is bad, then what do you gain? There are as many definitions of that as there are people in the marketing business. You’ll get different responses. Marketing is the way you touch the prospect or the customer. It includes paid advertising, but also includes smaller variables. What was the total experience of the customer? Did they have a good experience? Was the operator courteous? Marketing is a larger sense about the entire experience and how it is delivered, and that’s where few marketers get it right.

For example, I have a client who has a supermarket. I do a lot more for him than just put ads in a newspaper or on Facebook. I counsel him on how to build his team, which is a critical element of his success. Of course, he can’t directly control 70 odd employees. However, he is involved in the team building process, getting everyone on the same page, directing department heads to interact with their team so that everyone has the same message, same goal, same marching orders to generate the same desired results.

What good is advertising if they don’t receive the full benefit of those dollars spent because the customer experience is poor? Many people speak about advertising and marketing in too narrow a way. Marketing can encompass every aspect of the experience, down to whether the air is ionized in the store or if the lighting is fluorescent.

Everything that affects customer experience should be considered part of marketing.

Understanding the nature of the customer is where many marketers miss the mark, because they don’t spend the time or money to fully understand customer needs and how to meet them. Elements in marketing are not always considered traditional advertising elements; hidden elements make all the difference. In an orchestra, all the instruments come together to create a beautiful piece of music. Good marketing is the same; all elements come together to create something that touches you in a personal way. That’s the difference between a good advertiser and a bad one – knowing how to market and how to make a customer’s entire experience beneficial. When they spend the resources in the best way, you have all the elements working in sync, and then you get a beautiful experience.

We want people to understand the difference between advertising and marketing, but also understand that how these things are discussed is usually too narrow. Marketing is a broader and more complicated discipline than it’s treated. You can’t really market unless you really understand the client. You also have to understand the dynamics between department heads – those who trust you and those who don’t. Advertising is trust.

You trust your doctor or lawyer; why don’t you trust your marketing guy?

For marketing and advertising success, pick an agency you trust, one that takes the time to get to know your business and your customers. From there, the agency can build a marketing strategy that incorporates advertising for maximum ROI.

Still uncertain about the difference between marketing and advertising? Give us a call today to pick our brains on the subject. We’re always happy to discuss our marketing and advertising philosophies and would love to hear your two cents.