Often when marketers hear the words; advertising and marketing, they imagine two concepts sharing similar objectives. And that’s true; the two boast the same purpose; informing customers about the products and services you’re selling. While that’s true, marketing and advertising do have some differences as well.

A lack of adequate understanding of the two concepts may make it challenging for businesses to succeed in today’s competitive industry. Primarily, marketers use these terms interchangeably, making it difficult for novices to understand the difference between the two strategies. Luckily, that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss here. Let’s dive deeper into the meanings of marketing and advertising and how you can utilize each to lead your agency down the path to success. 

Marketing vs. advertising: How to position your agency for success.

Marketing vs. Advertising 

Before diving into the difference and similarities between marketing and advertising, you must note that advertising is a subcategory of marketing. Marketing deals with the steps involved in preparing your product/service for the marketplace.

On the flip side, advertising refers to notifying your ideal customer base about your product/service. Advertising is a vital step of marketing, and it utilizes insightful data and in-depth research that you may collect through your marketing strategies. In turn, you can effectively communicate your brand to viewers.

Marketing strategies ensure better outreach through controlled techniques, whereas advertising focuses only on brand communication. Overall, marketing refers to research alongside practice, whereas advertising is simply practice. While marketing considers typical consumer behavior and marketing research, advertising boasts creative tasks such as multimedia production and designing.

What is marketing?

The word marketing refers to the business of notifying, promoting, and selling your products and services to buyers. Moreover, marketing is an umbrella term for all things marketers do to get the word out relevant to your business’s offerings. Typically, it involves research, as well as analysis. 

From designing and creating to researching and analyzing, marketing helps businesses find the best ways to alert their target audience about a particular product or service. For this reason, marketing requires users to conduct an in-depth study about the market alongside crafting a brand design and voice. It may entail your business’s mission, vision and value statements, slogans, and taglines. 

All in all, marketing is a process that helps business owners define their products/services based upon extensive market research and analysis.

What is a marketing strategy? 

A practical and well-thought-out marketing strategy requires appropriate research alongside crafting a detailed plan that helps you achieve your business goals.

Today the marketing world allows marketers to connect with their target audience in cost-effective ways. A typical marketing strategy entails:

  •   Identifying your business’s unique selling points
  •   Figuring out your target audience
  •   Making a comprehensive list of the benefits of your products and services
  •   Defining the positioning of each product in the market
  • Finding the best marketing and advertising methods

Moreover, your marketing plan needs to include an in-depth analysis of:

  •   The size and potential of different markets
  •   Who your primary and secondary ideal consumers are in each market
  •   Your competitor’s products and services and their pricing strategies, incentives, and the distribution channels they use
  •   The weak and strong points of each distribution platform
  •   What pricing strategies are most useful
  •   Get real-time results after tracking data of sales, market share, and so on.
  •   Allocating a budget necessary for executing marketing and promotion efforts

What is advertising? 

On the flip side, advertising refers to the actual process of marketing your product and service to consumers. Here marketers craft catchy descriptions that offer information about products, ideas, and services to customers globally. 

Typically it entails intricate and well-thought-out advertising campaigns that help position you better in the media. For this reason, advertising requires strategic and timely planning. 

Not to mention, marketers have the liberty of advertising their product in a plethora of different ways. You may utilize traditional advertising techniques like TV commercials, magazines, newspaper ads, print ads, or even place ads on a billboard. 

On the other hand, advancement in the technological world allows marketers to benefit from digital marketing techniques like displaying ads on different social media platforms and PPC advertising.

What is an advertising strategy?

An advertising strategy encompasses an in-depth plan for a specific ad campaign. Here marketers will define tactics necessary to align your goals and objectives with your advertising and overall marketing strategy.

To execute a successful ad strategy, marketers need to follow several different tactics to present the products and services to the ideal audience. To offer the perfect advertising strategy, business owners need to find the ideal “media mix” with methods including billboards, magazines, radio, direct mail, and digital advertising.  

A practical and successful ad strategy should include:

  •   Determine the ideal frequency of ads to ensure you don’t waste the allotted ad budget. 
  •   Create the right media mix.
  •   Utilize social media platforms where you can best connect with your ideal customer base.
  •   Fostering a strong connection and increasing customer retention by ensuring your products/services are visible to them.

In addition to this, your ad strategy should determine the following:

  •   The standing of your product/service in the marketplace. It includes market share, as well as customer perception.
  •   Your secondary and primary target audience for each product/service.
  •   On which media platforms (online, print, broadcast, etc.) you’ll find your target audience.
  •   What markets you should target with various media to ensure better results. In addition to how much you should spend on each effort.
  •   Your selling points that you’ll feature in ads
  •   How well you will test ad content before launching your campaign
  •   Lastly, how well your campaign performs after the initial launch (post-analysis)  

How to perfect your agency for success?

A loose strategy lacking a proper structure may make it impossible for an agency to succeed. On the other hand, positioning your brand by putting your business in the spotlight ensures you cultivate strong brand awareness and brand recognition. 

More often than not, agencies find it challenging to define a strategy for their own business. That’s why here we discuss ways you can curate the perfect plan for your agency:

Building Brand Recognition

It doesn’t matter whether you provide excellent service or not if customers are unable to recognize your brand’s name and logo. For this reason, branding needs to be effective and should stand out.

For instance, consistently utilizing the same color palette across your advertisements and imprinting your logo on each marketing material can enhance brand recognition.

More importantly, you need to design a website that offers an easy interface, is full of valuable information, and includes elements that align with your brand.

Conduct In-depth Market Research 

Marketers may find it challenging to solve client’s problems if they can’t connect with them appropriately. Therefore, you should conduct thorough market research.

From surveys to product testing, there are many practical and easy ways to understand your customer needs— how much they’re willing to pay and where they boast the most presence for your marketing channels

Plus, developing a killer sales strategy before introducing ads to your consumer can help you save a fair amount in the long run.

Expand Your Outreach on Social Media

Your efforts on an ad won’t matter much if your ideal customer never gets to see it. In today’s technological-era, your existing, engaged customer-base on diverse social media platforms is the best way to connect with a more prominent look-alike’ viewership.

These audiences boast similar social media habits, purchasing habits, and demographics to the ones already using your business. 

For this reason, it’s imperative that businesses post relevant and engaging content on a day-to-day basis, respond fast, comment, and share reviews and check-ins to build a robust online connection.

Diversify your channels

When it comes to media channels, their market offers no shortage. From YouTube and Instagram to conventional advertising formats like radio and television, there’s an array of platforms where brands can interact with their consumers.

However, the vast number of channels may make it difficult for marketers to divide their marketing budgets effectively. To solve this problem, business owners need to identify what media target market and the audience uses the most. And, in turn, you can develop a successful marketing plan.

Focus on customer service

According to in-depth research, social media customer care can increase revenue by a staggering 81%. Responding to reviews in a professional yet friendly manner, replying to emails in a timely fashion, and aiming for an excellent five-star rating drives a business to perform better.

Contact each customer while keeping customer service at the forefront of your mind. In turn, you can increase brand trust and watch as they act as ambassadors for your brand.

Marketing vs. advertising: How to position your agency for success.

The takeaway

If agencies want to ensure a steady business flow, they need to properly structure their marketing and advertising strategies. Positioning your business, products, and services serves as your business’s foundation regardless of your specific industry. How you define yourself has a substantial effect on your future business, your ideal clients and how you’ll captivate them, the specifications of your service/products, your network, and staff recruitment. 

For this reason, it’s critical business owners align their advertising and marketing objectives with their business goals and visions, and values. Plus, marketers should focus on the present, past, and future of the media and advertising world. That way, you can enjoy an in-depth insight into how the marketing world is evolving and what problems customers face while simultaneously predicting future market and customer-behavior. Don’t forget to consider partnership opportunities in your marketing and advertising strategies to help catapult your agency toward success. 

Nico Dato
Nico Dato Executive Vice President of Marketing

Nico Dato is the EVP of Marketing at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers. He fuses his passion for statistics, design, and digital marketing to produce measurable results.

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