How to Differentiate between Marketing and Advertising

For a layman, it is not easy to differentiate between marketing and advertising. Although these subjects are closely related to each other, there are major differences between the two. The scope and the processes of both of these subjects are unique in their own ways.

As a businessman or business student, it is important to know the difference between marketing and advertising to utilize both of these amazing concepts appropriately. So, without further ado, let’s delve deeper into differentiating marketing from advertising.

How to Differentiate between Marketing and Advertising
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Marketing: Definition and Core Concepts

In simple words, marketing is a set of processes that companies use to meet the needs of the market. The American Marketing Association defines it as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

Marketing has many core concepts and techniques such as market segmentation, identification of the target group and building a strategy based on the needs of the target group. But here we will discuss the most popular concept of marketing which is known as ‘4 Ps’. These four Ps are product, price, place and promotion. Identifying and working on these four elements is a major part of the marketing process. So, let’s try to understand why these four elements are so important:


This is the object or service which is demanded by the consumers. Without a product, there would be no marketing. So, its identification is very crucial.


This is what the consumer is willing to pay for the product. The price can be determined by studying the cost, market value and competitor’s prices. Setting the right price is very important in terms of the success of the product.


Once the product and price are determined, it is time to decide a place where consumers can find this product. It can either be a physical place like a shop or a digital place like online stores.


After determining the three elements mentioned above, it is now time to promote the product and reach the target audience. Promotion requires public relations and advertising. Without promotion, the consumers wouldn’t know about your product.

Here are some tips to improve your marketing skills.

You would have guessed some of the difference between marketing and advertising from the last paragraph. Let us explore it a bit further.

Advertising: Definition and Core Concepts

We can define advertising as a form of marketing communication used by businesses to promote and sell their products. In advertising, we usually mention the benefits of the product to demonstrate how the product meets the needs of the market. So basically, advertising introduces the product and its purpose.

Advertising is actually one of the components of marketing, as we saw in the ‘Promotion’ section of the article.

The main objective of advertising is to influence buying behaviour by promoting one’s product. Advertising focuses on the creative message and the media to achieve this goal. In the process, advertising spreads awareness about the offered product.

Just like the ‘4 Ps’ of marketing, in advertising, there are six stages through which a buyer goes when making a purchase. These stages are conscience, knowledge, taste, preference, conviction and purchase.


Marketing is a set of elements such as public relations, sales and distribution strategies. While advertising is just one of these elements. It is a subset of marketing.

People often confuse marketing with advertising because advertising is the most visible component of the marketing process. While the other components stay in the backend.

After reading this article, you should be able to differentiate between marketing and advertising. And you will be able to utilize both of these concepts to the fullest.

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