Advertising vs Marketing: Lost in translation
“Advertising is the same thing as marketing” most of us at some point have either heard this statement from someone else or have even said it ourselves. I know for a fact that I had at one point when I was in my marketing class in high school, and we started a lesson on advertising, and I had wondered that in my head throughout the lesson. That question sparked a fascination in my head and even followed me to college, where I decided to study both of the subjects. I love both topics very much, they have given me insight different aspects of the field that I would not know about if I had chosen to focus on just one, and its that experience that I believe gives me the credentials to attempt to explain not only the differences in the topics but also how they complement each other.
While the industry may be portrayed a certain way to the public by the hit television series “Mad Men,” this is quite positively not the way the industry works. Advertising is a component of the overall marketing plan, but do not let this lead you to believe that advertising is inferior or lesser to marketing because it is a subset of the process.
An excellent way to think about the relationship between advertising and marketing is the relationship between a dog in species terms and a golden retriever. Marketing is equal to dogs as a whole, encompassing all the different types of breeds. Now think of Advertising as the golden retriever. The Golden retriever is not inferior to dogs as a whole; it is just a specific type, thus making it incomparable. Advertising is in charge of the creative aspects of the process, and they are also in charge of media buying and determining what the best strategy for placing their content is.
Now marketing, on the other hand, is the entire process of activities that just so happens to include advertising. Those who work in marketing have to develop more generalized ideas that area but more business focused than creative strategies are. Marketers have to balance having customer insight in mind while they make decisions that are meant to focus on the bottom line too. The process of marketing as a whole is to bring different elements together to, at the end of the day drive value to the customer.