Nothing is more aggravating for a business owner than spending the time, money and energy to create an outstanding advertising campaign, only to look over the data and realize that it was totally unsuccessful!
No one saw your awesome ad. And you didn’t see the increase in business that you were anticipating. What went wrong? It may be a case of confusion when it comes to the differences between marketing vs advertising!
Marketing vs Advertising: Is there a difference?
Being a business owner often means that you will find yourself sorting through a constant barrage of buzzwords and suggestions about how to successfully navigate the stormy waters of entrepreneurship. Phrases such as “social strategy”, “sales funnels”, “content marketing”, and “click-through rate”, while important, can begin to blend together into one big marketing lingo mash-up.
Amid all the noise, one set of words seems to pop up again and again: marketing vs advertising. What is the difference between the two? Is there a difference? Does your business need one more than the other?
Read on as we help clear the fog of confusion surrounding marketing vs advertising:
What is Marketing?
Marketing is loosely defined as “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services.” Generally speaking, marketing is the overarching umbrella of all the things you do to get the word out about your business.
It basically involves both research and analysis. It is about studying the market and eventually coming up with a voice and design that will represent your brand. It can also include mission and vision statements, as well as slogans or taglines. All of these are incorporated in every marketing collateral to create your brand’s personality.
Marketing can include researching your target market, setting up social media channels to make reaching your audiences easier, creating graphics to use throughout all of your different marketing channels, and…advertising!
What is Advertising?
That’s right, advertising falls under the larger category of “marketing!” In fact, it’s silly to think in terms of marketing vs advertising as a business strategy. Instead, think of your business’ overall marketing strategy as a completed puzzle: it’s made up of lots of smaller pieces. Advertising is just one of these pieces.
It is defined as “the act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service, need, etc.” Essentially, advertising acts as the “promoting” piece of the puzzle.
Traditional advertising might involve a radio or TV commercial. An ad positioned in a magazine or newspaper. Or maybe a billboard placed along a busy highway to advertise your business. In the age of digital marketing, however, an advertising strategy should also include placing paid ads on social media platforms and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising takes advantage of the expansive reach of social media channels and the data those platforms are able to collect in order to identify one or more audiences of users who are most likely to want or need your product or service.
These social media sites allow a business to create dynamic, engaging advertisements and push them out to these audiences. This type of advertising, when done correctly, leads to more traffic to your website, higher rates of engagement from your target market, and more money in your bank account!
Also known as Pay Per Click Advertising, PPC Advertising uses search engines such as Google or Yahoo to advertise directly to people who are searching for something related to your business.
Unlike social media advertisements, your business will only be charged a small fee when someone clicks on your ad link. This type of advertising relies heavily on keywords and a good understanding of your target audience.
A great advertising strategy is one that combines both of these types of advertising for optimal results. Having a thorough understanding of your target audiences is key. Knowing things like where they shop and what social media platforms they use can go a long way in helping you plan your advertising strategy. Reach as many customers as you can for as little money as possible when you implement the right strategies.
Putting them together:
So is it possible to have a successful advertising campaign without doing any other marketing work? Not if you want to make the most of your budget and reach your audience efficiently!
Instead of deciding between marketing vs advertising, combine these two essential elements.
Below are a few additional marketing solutions that can help ensure that your advertising endeavors are a success:
Build Brand Recognition
You might provide the greatest service around, but it’s difficult to build a loyal following if no one can recognize your logo or remember your name?
Branding doesn’t need to be elaborate in order to be effective: something as simple as consistently using the same colors in your advertisements and including your logo in marketing materials can make a huge difference in how well your customers remember you.
One of the most straightforward but often overlooked aspects of marketing and brand recognition is your website! We’ll help you design a website that is easy to navigate, full of the information your customers are looking for, and elements that match your branding so that visitors will recognize your work right away.
Conduct Market Research
How well do you really know your target audience?
Market research, such as surveys and product testing, can help you to better understand what your customers are looking for, what they’re willing to spend, and where they’re searching for it.
Advertising without doing any market research is like getting dressed in the dark; you might accidentally put together something that works, but you’re more likely to end up with a mess. No business owner wants to waste any money, and taking the time to do your market research before launching any ads can save a lot of cash in the long run.
Cultivate a Social Media Following
What good is an amazing ad if no one ever sees it?
In today’s ever-changing digital marketing landscape, your existing following on social media platforms is the key to unlocking bigger, better “look-alike” audiences. These are audiences that have similar purchasing habits, social media habits, and demographics to people who are already big fans of your business.
Don’t get so caught up with paid advertising that you forget to engage with your followers on social platforms.
Posting relevant and useful content, replying to questions, comments and messages, and sharing reviews and check-ins will help you to build a community online that will be a great stepping stone to larger and more qualified audiences.
Diversify Your Channels
How many social media apps do you have downloaded on your phone right now? And how many other places do you see or hear ads each day?
Hulu, YouTube, Spotify, not to mention “traditional” advertising formats such as radio and television….all of these are services or platforms that most people interact with almost every day. Your customers aren’t spending ALL of their time in one place, so why would you do that with your marketing budget?
This is another place where the aforementioned market research comes in handy. Learning what channels your target market uses the most will help you to develop a marketing plan that reaches as many potential customers as possible. No two businesses are the same.
Be a Customer Service Pro
We’ve all heard the old saying: “The customer is always right.” While many might argue with this sentiment, one thing is for certain: happy customers are lifelong customers.
Training your team to be customer service conscious is one of the best things you can do for your business, and it’s more important than ever that that same level of service is extended to online customers.
Responding to reviews (positive AND negative ones) in a friendly and respectful way, answering emails and questions in a timely manner, striving for those ever-elusive 5 star ratings….these are all essential to the success of your marketing efforts and your business as a whole.
Approach every customer interaction with customer service in mind, and you’re sure successfully turn those one-time customers into ambassadors for your brand – the best kind of marketing out there.
Creating a Marketing Strategy
Every business should have a marketing strategy in place to inform decisions when it comes to advertising and other aspects of marketing. When creating this strategy, business owners should keep the 4 P’s in mind: product, place, price, and promotion:
- Product: The first “P” is the easiest. Your “product” is whatever your business is selling, whether it’s a tangible product or an intangible service. No business can succeed without a product that is in demand, fulfilling a want or need of their target audience. The key to successfully marketing your product is a solid understanding of what makes it unique and desirable to your customers in order to create advertising that shows it off to the best of your ability.
- Place: This second “P” goes back to the concept of diversity in your marketing channels. If your product isn’t being advertised in the right place at the right time, you might as well not be advertising at all. Bring the biggest and best audience possible to your product with well-placed marketing that takes into consideration the habits of your desired customers.
- Price: Lots of factors go into choosing the price of a product or service: production costs, manpower, and the current market price of similar products are all taken into consideration. Market research is especially helpful in this arena because it helps your business to have a better grasp of what the market for your product looks like and price it accordingly.
- Promotion: Here’s where the advertising really comes in! The fourth and final “P” is promotion: how will you make sure that your audience gets all of the relevant information they need in order to decide to buy your product or service? If your business can crack the code on promoting your product, then you are already on your way to a successful marketing plan!
Integrating Advertising into your Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve identified and explored the 4 P’s and created a marketing strategy, it’s time to get down to the details and integrate advertising campaigns into your marketing strategy.
Successful ad campaigns should be memorable, informative, and create exposure for your business that ultimately drives traffic and profits.
This is the reason that a strategy that puts marketing vs advertising, especially when it comes to budgeting, is often unsuccessful. Without doing the work required for a marketing strategy, such as researching your audience and choosing the right social channels, your advertisements won’t reach anyone!
Use your marketing knowledge to determine what type of advertising will have the most visibility and farthest reach.
That might mean a series of videos distributed through social channels for an audience that is always online. A campaign that revolves around a big annual sale for the customers who you know are always on the hunt for a great deal. Or maybe an Instagram ad that shows off awesome shots of your followers using your product!
Whatever you choose, you’ll know that you’re set up to succeed when you make a plan based on the research, knowledge, and understanding of your target market that you gained from all of your previous marketing efforts!
Making $$$: Marketing vs Advertising
So when it comes to marketing vs advertising, which makes more money? The honest answer is neither! It turns out that marketing and advertising have a symbiotic relationship.
A successful marketing strategy includes well researched and executed advertising across various platforms and mediums, and the best advertising campaign in the world can’t reach its full potential without the groundwork done with a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Instead of thinking about your strategy as “marketing vs advertising”, businesses should be thinking “marketing AND advertising” in order to have the most success.