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Marketing Vs. Advertising: Understanding the Difference

Marketing and advertising are similar professions, but not identical. Understanding the difference can help you choose the career that suits you best.

Marketing Covers The Big Picture

Marketing is a multifaceted discipline that encompasses many activities, including advertising. According to Marketing Profs, marketing also includes media planning, public relations, sales strategy; product pricing and distribution, customer support, market research and community involvement are all parts of comprehensive marketing efforts.

Marketing combines strategy with research to develop goods and services. Marketing professionals then work to determine the right price for those products and services and the ideal time to release them to the market.  Marketing also addresses brand management, including everything from colors and logo design to how employees approach consumers. Marketing is composed of many moving parts, and those parts often must work independently as well as in unity. Marketing professionals need to be able to work autonomously as well as in a team.

Marketing research plays heavily into all aspects also. Professional marketers invest time in studying consumer trends, forecasting consumer needs and market conditions, analyzing potential for market penetration, assessing competition and looking at ways to improve products or their position in the market.

Advertising Raises Awareness of Products and Services 

Advertising tends to focus on the promotion of product awareness in the marketplace and is a component of marketing. It seeks to spread the word about a product or service. Advertisers use a variety of tools to spread the message about a business and its offerings: direct mail, television, the Internet, radio, magazines and billboards. They aim their message at carefully defined target audiences, then distribute the promotion using the venues that most appeal to that audience.

Successful advertising campaigns take a number of elements into consideration. Professional advertisers study the demographics and psychologies of target markets to identify how to shape their messages. They also look at circulation numbers for newspapers and coverage areas for radio and TV stations and websites to achieve optimum market saturation. In advertising jobs, it is also important to be able to track return on investment. That involves seeing how many leads your advertising campaign generated, how many leads turned into clients and how many of those clients were retained, as well the cost of creating each new account.

Job opportunities in the advertising industry include management and creative roles. Creative directors, art directors, media buyers and account executives pitch ideas, manage staff and guide internal operations. The creative staff is responsible for bringing ideas to life and shaping messages. This involves developing campaigns, ad copy and visual presentations. Creative advertising jobs include copywriters, graphic designer, photographers and videographers. Ultimately, successful advertising efforts are the result of cooperation between creative and management teams.

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