What Is The Difference Between Marketing And Advertising?

What's the difference between marketing and advertising?

Marketing and advertising are often confused for one another. They are intrinsically linked but are actually two remarkably different concepts.

Put simply, advertising is the presentation of a product or an idea, whereas marketing is the introduction of something new to the marketplace. In other words, they work well together but are two different processes which must be combined to create a successful campaign...


Marketing is a complex process by which a careful strategy is formed for a new product or idea to be placed into the marketplace. This can involve using a variety of devices such as logos, colour and branding. Companies today are required to have a recognisable and relatable brand in order to be successful. A brand is something a company develops which represents them in the marketplace.

The question to consider when building your brand is ‘how do you want your company to be perceived?’ Two prime examples would be HSBC and Innocent. The former, being a bank, has built a brand around being helpful and friendly but without losing a serious undertone, whereas the latter approaches healthy eating and environmental issues in a fun and often silly way, ensuring that their customers like the quirkiness of their product without being put off by anything too serious. Innocent do this by using bright colours, recognisable illustrations, and informal language; HSBC do this by using subtle colours which echo their logo and by developing a brand tagline of ‘The World’s Local Bank.’


Advertising focuses more on securing new and repeat customers by promoting a new product or idea. Adverts can be found nearly anywhere in today’s world: TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, on the sides of buses, websites, even directly into our email inboxes.

In recent years, some of the more successful advertising campaigns have developed narratives, jokes, catchphrases, or even gone so far as to offer cuddly toys to customers: CompareTheMarket.com came up with the idea of use meerkats to promote their insurance comparison website; the cuddly critters were initially complaining about the mistaken connection between it and their own CompareTheMeerkat.com. Since then, they have been involved in an extensive campaign which often has very little to do with insurance at all and, instead, are now instantly recognisable – the same as their catchphrase, ‘simples!’.

How the two concepts work together

Both require research into how best to reach certain demographics. For instance, there is very little use in gearing up your branding and advertising campaigns to the elderly if you’re trying to see children’s toys. Customer testing is done to assess the viability of products and their ensuing advertising and marketing to ensure that they are reaching the ideal corner of the market. However, your first step would be to work on your product’s marketing by building your brand and ensuring that it (your logo included) is liked by your target audience. Following this, you would build your advertising campaign up to place your product in the market. Doing both of these things and recognising their different roles is the first step towards a successful product launch.

Editor - 

Kane is the Managing Director of Giraffe Social Media. His primary focus is Finance and Operations Management, that's when he isn't watching clips from The Office on YouTube anyway. Google+ Profile

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