Marketing is one of the most used terms in business. It has taken different forms and keeps developing over the years, which creates confusion with other terms. Most people believe that Marketing, Advertising, and Selling are the same thing.

Some of them use these words as synonyms of Marketing, but in fact, they are not. People change the words to avoid repetition, but instead of pumping up their language, they get the opposite effect.

The biggest confusion is the one between Marketing Vs Advertising. We will today understand how they are different, and why it’s essential to not mix between the two words. 

The two terms we often mix when working with mid-size companies. But this is logical because the two need to work together. They may have the same objective, which is reaching a targeted audience to promote products or services, but they are very different.

To be able to differentiate between the two words, you need to know that that advertising is a component of marketing.

Let’s think of marketing as a cake. The whole marketing cake can be divided into advertising, market research, media planning, public relations, community relations, customer support, and sales strategy. This means that advertising is a piece of the big cake, it’s only a fraction of the whole Marketing process.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is the process of getting people interested in your company’s product or service[^Hubspot] . It’s a process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for selling, it works through market researching, promoting, advertising and selling. 

For Philip Kotler, marketing is “The science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit“. 

Some of the essential activities of marketing are :

  • Planning
  • Developing Strategy
  • Research
  • Public Relations
  • Advertisement
  • Budgeting
  • Customer service
  • Feedback and Analysis

What is Advertising?

Advertising is a marketing tactic to promote a product, service, or cause. It’s one of the 4P’s of Marketing which is Promotion. It’s making your product and service known to an audience or marketplace. 

Advertising is the paid element of marketing, and it can take many forms. Some forms of advertising are:

  • Print ads in newspapers and magazines.
  • Digital advertisements online: On websites or Social Media sites like Facebook.
  • Outdoor ads on billboards or buildings.
  • Broadcast ads on radio and television.

Marketing and Advertising both are designed to increase sales, and raise awareness of a company or product positively. Another similarity is that both of them promote the product and explaining the value of the product or service to target customers.

The main differences between marketing and advertising are: 

First of all, Advertising is marketing, but Marketing is not advertising.

Aspect : 

  • Marketing: Product, Price, Place, People, Promotion.
  • Advertising: Promotion

Term : 

Marketing is a long-term process. Advertising is a short term process.


Marketing is done to increase Sales, while advertising is done with the intent of persuading customers.


Marketing focuses on creating a market for the new or existing product and building brand image and reputation. However, advertising focuses on grabbing the attention of the public.


  • Marketing: Market Research, Promotion, Advertisement, Distribution, Sales, Public Relations, Customer Satisfaction.
  • Advertising: Radio, Television, Newspaper, Magazines, Social Media, Sponsorships, Posters.


Marketing: A wide range of activities to sell product/service, and determines future needs alongside the strategy to meet those needs. 

Advertising: Unique to product/service

To sum up, Marketing tries to pull the customers, and Advertising tries to attract them. Understanding the difference between them will allow people to work effectively and also drive more sales to the business.

As conclusion:

  • Marketing is how you see yourself.
  • Advertising is how you act in public.
  • Branding is how others see you.



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