There is often confusion between the difference of Advertising and Marketing. Truth be told, these two often come hand in hand. People who are unfamiliar with it often mix them up, or consider them as being one and the same. It is true that there are some similarities between Marketing and Advertising, but it doesn’t necessarily make them the same/or interchangeable.

It is first best to know the definition of these two words.

Advertising: The paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.

Marketing: The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products.

Based on their definitions, it is easy to know why people happen to have a lot of misconceptions or failed assumptions regarding Marketing and Advertising.

Advertising is the much more common term. It is usually what most people know about. Ranging from billboards, television commercials, news paper ads, radio ads, magazines etc., people already have the idea of what Advertising is all about. On the other hand, most assume that Marketing functions the same way, OR that Marketing and Advertising is one and the same.

That is entirely FALSE.

Here are a few points to further differentiate the two:

·         Advertising – it is in itself, a component of the marketing process. It is more like the finished product of one Marketing phase. It can be considered at times as an END RESULT of a successful Marketing plan (because they are still correlated with each other). Advertising is basically the mastermind behind the billboards you see in EDSA, the catchy McDonald’s commercials you see on TV, the perky and funny radio ads we hear over the radio. That’sAdvertising! It is more than just a simple commercial or billboard made out of an idea. It takes long planning and different phases just like in Marketing.

Here is a sample of an Advertising pie that points out the different shares of a certain country on its Advertisement revenues:


marketing pie 708724 Advertising vs Marketing



Marketing – is more like a pie. A pie in which inside it has slices of market research, media planning, advertising, analytics, public relations, sales strategy, customer support, community involvement, among other things. Advertising just takes up one part of the whole Marketing pie/picture. There are various representations or pie/charts than represent marketing. Here is one:


social marketing pie chart 440x440 300x300 Advertising vs Marketing


Marketing takes a lot of planning and cannot be done by a one man show. All these elements may be separated by certain groups/divisions but they must still work as one cohesive unit to produce a perfect Marketing plan. Marketing is a process that takes time and can involve hours of research for a marketing plan to be effective. It isn’t a walk in the park, and so is Advertising.



1.)    Just because Advertising is only one of the many elements in Marketing, it doesn’t mean that Advertising is inferior to Marketing. Both require severely high level of professionalism and work ethic for it to be successful. Advertising is more of a specialty theme, in which one may thrive so well in it because it only focuses on ONE THING, which is to ADVERTISE. Marketing on the other hand, work on teams so technically, they have the same weight in terms of workload because NO ONE PERSON can do a Marketing plan and execute it on his own.

2.)    That Marketing (teams) create the advertisements people see on TV. That may be true in effect, because it could be that the ADVERTISING TEAM,  of a Marketing firm came up with it. But mainly, the credit goes to the Advertising aspect rather than the Marketing aspect because the creative juices of the Advertising team produced that advertisement.

3.)    Marketing is all about Advertising. NO! I repeat, NO! Advertising is just one way that marketing is communicated to potential customers. Advertising is highly visible to the general public, so many people naturally think of advertising when they think of marketing. A famous axiom: Good advertising makes a bad product fail faster (Batra, 1996)


Seth Godin Marketing vs Advertising 001 png scaled10001 300x225 Advertising vs Marketing

The truth is, both are special in their own right. They are not one and the same. I have pointed out their definitions and differences. Advertising is a component of Marketing; but that doesn’t mean that Marketing is superior than Advertising. T
hough there are people like this guy, who believes otherwise.