What’s the Difference, Anyway?
By definition alone, marketing vs advertising doesn’t conjure up a great war between two adversaries in the bid for sales tactic supremacy.
Marketing is a wide-ranging term, filled with product design, placement strategies, promotional activities and pricing options. Everything from packaging, political mailers, why things end in 99 cents and the people we see handing out free samples in the grocery store is marketing.
Advertising is only the paid, non-personal communication between sponsor and consumer with the intention to sell specific goods or services via various media outlets.
Like squares and rectangles, all advertising is marketing, but not all marketing is advertising.
Remember that first sentence where we said marketing vs advertising was a silly term and the two weren’t at odds with each other?
Well, just being part of the whole doesn’t mean the two share an unbreakable bond.
Throw the definitions to the wayside and you’ll see that not only has advertising started the war for your decision-making processes. It’s winning.
We see more advertising than we realize. Sure, we know that every television and radio commercial is an advertisement. And the glossy pages of a magazine, the coupons in a newspaper and the pop-ups online. Plus billboards and the signs on the sides of buses, taxis and semi trucks.
Advertising wraps around the tails of airplanes and sails of ships. On the sides of blimps and balloons and in the writings in the sky above.
It also adorns professional athletes below, in their branded stadiums, arenas and fields.
It may not say your name in a piece of mail or have one of its ambassadors hand you a cold drink on a hot summer’s day, but advertising is everywhere. Collectively, sponsors spend billions on making sure their products are always on our minds.
When you have a runny nose, what do you do? Do you reach for a Kleenex? Want to Xerox an important document or put a Band-Aid on a paper cut?
How about when you don your best Speedo? Then hop in the Jacuzzi or ride your Jet Ski to get your Adrenalin up before you head to shore, where you toss the Frisbee or pass the Hacky Sack with your friends.
Why not cool down with a Popsicle, some Coke in a Styrofoam cup. Don’t forget to toss the waste in your Dumpster and head back to your house where dinner is waiting in the Crock-Pot. Finish dinner and store the leftovers in your Tupperware containers.
Marketing may lead us from point A to point V, but nothing gets us through XYZ quite like advertising.
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