What’s The Difference Between Marketing and Advertising?

What’s The Difference Between Marketing and Advertising?

The difference between marketing and advertising is vastly overlooked by so many professionals. By the end of this article, you’ll know the difference and where to focus your efforts.

If you don’t respect the concepts of advertising and marketing, you simply won’t be effective at either.

Today I’m going to help you build up that respect by helping you define these terms clearly. The result will be that you will know the difference between marketing and advertising.

Just understanding this will put you ahead of the competition. Because you’ll use your resources more effectively.

Still not sure you need to read this article. Check out the intro video below:

The Difference Between Marketing and Advertising

Most people think of advertising and marketing as this side project they have to do in order to get more customers. There is a truth to that for sure.

There Are Two Problems With This Mentality:

  1. They lump advertising and marketing together. With the emphasis being on advertising.
  2. It causes them to just go through the steps of implementing these strategies without going through any of the processes that make it effective, which is predominantly the marketing part.

The result is you have people advertising without doing any marketing. This is a fantastic way to burn up your advertising budget and not get results.

Get Your Lips Around This!

Marketing effects both the potency of the advertising and the nurturing of the leads as a result of the advertising.

Think of a sandwich, without any bread (let’s call the bread marketing) and just the filling (let’s call this advertising).

That sandwich would go all over the place. No matter how tasty the filling is, most of it will fall on the floor and you’ll have a mess all over your hands.

Advertising without marketing is the way of the amateur. I’m not judging we all have to start somewhere. However so many people never even realize they are being amateurs in their efforts. So they continue to plod along and get mediocre results. They waste money and often get poor leads.

You want your advertising and marketing efforts to be something you can really grab and sink your teeth into.

If you don’t get to grips with marketing you won’t achieve consistant and scalable growth.

It’s Time to Get Ahead

We see this time and time again. Many of us know people operating businesses that remain at the same level of achievement year after year after year.

We can see they are working hard. They are excellent at what they do but they can’t scale their customer base. Marketing is the key to scaling.

What if I don’t want to grow the size of my business, is marketing still relevant to me?

Please note scaling does not necessarily mean that you have to grow in size – As in going from 2 employees to 10 employees.

In many people’s cases, growing a business solely for the sake of getting bigger is a bad idea. There are other ways to scale that do not translate into simply getting bigger.

For instance, you may want to stay small but increase a certain customer demographic while mitigating on less desirable ones.

Or you may want to grow a segment of your products or services that have a greater profit margin while phasing out others with a lower profit margin.

Or perhaps you want to increase the efficiency by which you get high-quality leads. So you can be more selective about which customers you choose to work with.

You may want to increase the monetary cost of your time. Working less and earning more. After all it may be your free time you want to scale up so that you can spend more time doing the things you love.

These are all valid ways of growing a business without growing in size.

Word of Mouth – The Best Form of Advertising

Well first of all, it’s not advertising, technically it’s marketing.

When someone tells you how good someone’s business is, they don’t follow it up with a call to action and shove a phone in your face to make a deal with them.

However, it does connect your business to an individual and that generates the beginning of a new relationship between you and the prospect. Which is why it’s a form of marketing and not a form of advertising.

Is it The Best Form of Marketing?

Now I know word of mouth is powerful when it comes to your business goals, however, the downside of word of mouth is that it is not scalable.

It’s fantastic and a testament to you and your skills. However, if it’s not scalable, it’s not controllable. And just as it has worked for you, it can also work against you.

Word of mouth is awesome but it lacks consistency, scalability, and is very unstable.

Some Useful Definitions (Part 1)

Advertising is about the manipulation of people’s senses to achieve a micro commitment. This in turn gets them into your sales funnel with the possibility of converting the lead to a paying customer.


“Call Diamond Dave now for 50% off our jewelry – Offer ends in 48 hours – Limited stock available”

The above is aimed at triggering a response that will lead the prospect or lead to a CTA (Call To Action)

It creates a sense of scarcity, which creates a sense of urgency. This will increase the likelihood of someone clicking on an ad.

No matter who you are, at some point your attention has been captured by this and it has led you to make a purchase. We know this works universally.

The methods for achieving it can become quite sophisticated and manipulative.

Why Advertisers Get a Bad Rep

It’s the manipulation factor that gives advertising a bad rep. We have incredibly intelligent people working hard to tap into your subconscious and your primal instincts to make you want what they’ve got to offer. It’s a big part of the world we live in.

We get tired of it as consumers, so the advertisers adapt and round and round we go. It’s an ongoing, ever-changing game.

The manipulation runs deep, leading to all sorts of conspiracies. For instance, people believe they are being watched and recorded right now in their homes, through their devices. This information is then used to target us.

Conspiracy or reality? Well that’s a whole new article.

The Primary Objective

The objective of advertising is to turn all our behavior into data. Then use that data to target us with products and services.

In some ways, it makes our lives more convenient, in other ways it robs us of our privacy. However, in this world, it’s clear that the majority value convenience above privacy. Therefore this is the direction the advertisers go.

Can we Blame Them?

We can’t really blame them. We are constantly telling advertisers that is what we want, so that is what they will give us. From an idealistic point of view, we may hate this, but based on our actions, the data shows that we value it. Greatly!

We want people to understand us. To know what we want, how we want it and when we want it. We enjoy this level of service. In order to increase this level of enjoyment, the level of understanding must also increase.

The more we support it, the more we lose our right to complain about it.

We may not like the speed at which it is happening or the level of invasiveness. However, we are constantly buying into it and collectively saying “GIVE US MORE”.

Some Useful Definitions (Part 2)

Marketing is about growing your relationship with a relevant audience. Nurturing your connection with them through understanding their wants, needs, pain points and then providing value. This will give them a valid reason to want to stay connected with you as a business in a more personal way.


“Feeling adventurous? Sign up and get this FREE ebook on the best places to photograph natural landscapes in Brasov, Romania this winter”

You can see straight away that is targeted. However, you can also see the effort to connect to the individual.

Also, note there is no attempt to sell anything here. The marketer wants to give you value. And for FREE. How can you resist?

A FREE ebook based on a topic that is exactly suited to you – if you happen to be going to Brasov this winter and have a passion for landscape photography.

Think about this. We often despise people when they do something because they want something in return. The opposite is also true.

We often adore people who give selflessly. We think of these people as trustworthy. People we want in our lives because they bring us value.

Is This Also Manipulation?

You could say this is also manipulative. However if what the marketer gave was of value, are you not better off as a result?!?

You’ve got new information, which made your life better. You will enjoy life more because of this FREE eBook.

At the end of the day, you’re going to give your money to someone. Would you not rather give it to someone who is committed to giving you lots of added value for free?

I know I would prefer that. And this is marketing!

This is the type of world I want to live in. A world where people provide value to one another through information, the exchange of ideas and wisdom.

Yes I’ll buy a few products along the way, but I’m going to do that anyway.

Advertising and marketing go hand in hand. But knowing the difference is the key to having a strategy that works and makes people’s lives better.

Now that you have a good understanding of the difference between marketing and advertising where will you be focusing your efforts when it comes to connecting with potential customers and keeping existing ones?

If you’d like to learn more about the difference between marketing and advertising and how you can apply it to your business. Check out this FREE webinar designed to help you nurture an online audience and grow your client base for whatever it is your business is based on.

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