Debunking Misconceptions: Marketing is More Than Advertising
The Common Question
My family, friends, acquaintances, and random strangers are always asking me about what exactly marketing is and what marketers do.
All too often, they’ll ask, “It’s just advertising, right?” or, “Marketing and public relations are pretty much the same, isn’t it?”
I can only let out a sigh to compose myself before answering them.
I try to understand where they’re coming from. Most folks only see ads on billboards, commercials on TV, maybe a few influencer sponsorships here and there on social media. No one really sees anything that goes on behind the scenes. And I’ve realized it’s very common amongst our population – not knowing exactly what in the heck marketing is.
So What Exactly Is Marketing?
Marketing is the huge umbrella that covers every process involved in selling or promoting, whether it be to consumers or other businesses. Every step, plan, tactic to get someone to buy a product or service is all marketing. And under the marketing umbrella is advertising, research, distribution, public relations, promotions, strategy, pricing, branding, trends, testing – anything and everything.
Immense amounts of effort, extensive planning, and research go into the ads people see. And even though ads are definitely the most common, it’s not just ads that marketers produce. After someone clicks on an ad that catches their attention, they’ll be directed to a landing page customized to their interests. So you see, the steps that follow after someone clicks on an ad are tactical marketing moves as well. In-store sales, emails in your inbox, company events, brand image on social media, keyword optimization for search engines, website layouts, corporate social stances, these are all components of marketing too. It’s just that non-marketers usually won’t notice.
It’s like watching a blockbuster film. Most people enjoy the final product but don’t give the crew that worked behind the camera to make the movie come to life a second thought.
Just remember, there’s always more under the surface. And if you absorb anything from this post, at the very least, know this: Marketing is way more than just advertising.