Advertising Vs. Marketing: How to Make Sure Your Team Knows the Difference

Samantha Pratt Lile
July 27, 2022
 min read
Advertising Vs. Marketing: How to Make Sure Your Team Knows the DifferenceAdvertising Vs. Marketing: How to Make Sure Your Team Knows the Difference
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What is the difference between marketing and advertising, and how do these two key business functions relate to one another and the rest of an organization’s operations? 

While the terms sometimes are used interchangeably, there are significant differences between marketing and advertising. Understanding these differences can help professionals explain the varied roles to their teams, and it helps marketing and advertising teams work together for enhanced results.

Want to learn the key differences between marketing and advertising? Read on to learn about these important business functions and how you can communicate the concepts to your teams:

What are the key differences between advertising and marketing?

To many, it might seem there is little difference between advertising and marketing. While the two business functions share the common goal of alerting and informing consumers about products and services available to purchase, there are key differences between marketing and advertising. Understanding those differences helps brands develop better strategies to reach target audiences and close more deals.

How can you understand the differences between two such similar concepts? Let’s start with defining marketing and advertising:

What is marketing?

Marketing strategies consist of the research and data used to discover opportunities to reach target audiences. Through marketing, brands can better customize the design and creation of products to attract customers. Marketers also establish value propositions to guide promotions and inspire customers to make a purchase.

What is advertising?

Advertising refers to the process of informing an audience about a brand, product or service. Advertising processes include developing messages to present products, services and brands to the market, usually through media-based advertising campaigns. Advertising campaigns typically consist of timely offers, catch-phrases and creative positioning.

Marketing vs. advertising

So, what are the key differences between marketing and advertising? They include the following:

  • Marketing teams and advertising groups have different responsibilities. Marketing handles aspects such as branding, competitor tracking, customer relationship management and market research. Advertising teams, on the other hand, hold responsibilities including customer analysis, media buying, managing creative production and communication between stakeholders.
  • Marketing and advertising teams serve different purposes. While both groups share the ultimate goal of increasing sales, each does so through different processes. Marketing’s purposes consist of tasks like lead generation, customer acquisition and retention, branding, product development and results tracking. Meanwhile, advertising’s purposes include activities like attracting buyers, informing customers, creating ads and motivating customers to make repeat purchases.
  • Advertising and marketing teams use different techniques to accomplish their goals. Marketing employs strategies like inbound marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization and email marketing to influence target audiences. Advertising teams instead focus on strategies like traditional advertising in print, TV or radio mediums, retail advertising and digital advertising, as well as billboard and mobile ads.

How do you explain the difference to teams?

How do you explain marketing and advertising concepts to teams? After all, it’s vital that team members recognize the varying functions so they can effectively perform their individual roles. While a variety of communication tools can be employed by teams to understand complex concepts and strategies, presentations offer a powerful method of telling a story while engaging audiences with memorable visual elements.

With visual presentations, professionals can communicate with entire teams with simple and clear messages that ensure everyone is on the same page. By using engaging visual presentations, information can be broken down into multiple topics and explained with engaging visual storytelling elements, as well as informative infographics and powerful video content.

A variety of presentation types can help explain the differences between advertising and marketing concepts, while nailing strategies and plans. users can customize any of a plethora of presentation templates, many curated for specific marketing purposes.

While marketing presentation templates like the marketing campaign plan template and marketing communication plan template were designed with marketing teams in mind, also has a great advertising deck. And thanks to artificial intelligence, you don’t have to be a professional designer to create engaging and informative visual presentations with Just add your custom content and let the AI designer handle the formatting and other design details for you.

How do advertising and marketing work together?

Just because advertising and marketing are distinct from one another, that doesn’t mean the two business areas can’t work together. In fact, many brands are harnessing the combined power of advertising and marketing to create effective and lasting strategies that exceed desired results.

How can marketing and advertising teams work together to attract more customers and achieve a higher sales volume? Advertising teams can rely on marketing to deliver a strategic approach to ad processes. Without marketing purposes like audience research, advertising has a hard time fulfilling its functions. Likewise, advertising’s impact on audiences is what makes marketing strategies successful.

How else can marketing and advertising work together? Consider the following scenarios:

  • Advertising can get marketing content in front of a larger audience. While marketing might make an impressive email list of potential customers, it’s advertising teams that can deliver a message to a larger audience, especially for campaigns involving mass media like TV and radio.
  • Advertising teams can create powerful advertising content, but they won’t know the best avenues to display that content without target audience research from the marketing department. 
  • Thanks to marketing research and analytics, advertising can better steer its strategies to yield the strongest results. Otherwise, campaigns that work in the overall market might not be right for customers of a specific brand.

By understanding the differences between marketing and advertising, you can determine the best ways they can work together for your organization, creating the perfect balance and a ticket for success.

Samantha Pratt Lile

Samantha Pratt Lile

Samantha is an independent journalist, editor, blogger and content manager. Examples of her published work can be found at sites including the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and Buzzfeed.