Marketing vs. Advertising

June 22, 2011
What’s the difference between marketing and advertising? These days’ people seem to use them interchangeably, but are they the same or are they different disciplines? Let’s discuss the differences.

What’s the difference between marketing and advertising? These days people seem to use them interchangeably, but are they the same or are they different disciplines? Let’s discuss the differences.

Marketing is a process that companies use to determine the products or services they offer in order to meet the needs or desires of customers. This includes strategies used by the company in sales, product development, communication methods, messaging, and business development a company will use. How a company goes to market determines the strategy that supports sales methodologies, customer communication, and product development. Marketing is an integral business management discipline through which companies generate interest in their products, build strong customer relationships, and create value for stakeholders and for themselves.

In a manufacturing environment, marketing management in its truest form, establishes the customer properties, conducts research into customer wants and needs, and it develops a pricing model that includes costs and margins. In addition, it takes that data and drives engineering to develop new products that meet these requirements. It then devises strategies to promote the company’s products and it assists the sales force in selling those products. Moreover, marketing maintains detailed information on competitors, their products and pricing structure. It develops and maintains competitive analyses, and it acts as the voice of the company for all communications, both internal and external.

In a contracting environment, marketing plays a very similar role. While you don’t manufacture a product as a manufacturer does, your product is your service, your installation prowess, and the reputation of your company. Marketing in your organization identifies your customer, it helps you select the right combination of services to meet your customer’s needs, and it helps you achieve your company’s goals. All of the traditional services that marketing provides for manufacturing organizations apply to contracting companies but on a smaller scale. Marketing is a process that touches every facet of a business.

Advertising is a discipline within an agency whereby advertisements are developed. For our purposes, advertising also is a vital tactic or component of a strategic marketing plan. It’s the paid placement of public solicitation consisting of persuasive content and a call to action by a business offering its goods, products, or services for sale to its existing and potential customers. Advertising includes newspapers, magazines, television, radio, billboards, direct mail, email marketing, mobile ads, and Internet ads.

Advertising generally takes the largest portion of the marketing budget followed by public relations and market research. When considering advertising, consider multiple venues; remember that you must cut through the clutter in order to reach your intended audience. It’s often difficult for businesses to justify advertising expenses, but remember that advertising is cumulative and it takes time to build awareness.

So there you have it, marketing and advertising are not interchangeable. They’re two distinct disciplines. Don’t say marketing when you mean advertising and conversely don’t say advertising when you mean to say marketing. It’s not an Earth shattering difference, but it does help keep the lines of communication clearer when talking with a marketing professional.

I’ll answer your marketing questions here. Email your questions to [email protected].

My website contains links to all the articles I’ve written for the HVAC-Talk Newsletter. If you want your marketing efforts pay big dividends, contact a marketing professional. I’m available to assist you in all of your marketing efforts. If you need a branding consultation, a complete strategic marketing plan, or help with lead generation, call or send an email to discuss your needs.

Andy Fracica is president and CEO of Fracica Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in marketing, PR, social media, and lead generation strategy. He has over 30 years of sales, marketing, and product management experience in the heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. He concentrates on helping manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and startup companies find their voice in an ever increasingly crowded market by doing more with less($). Contact him at 260-338-4554, [email protected] or visit the website