The confusion between marketing and advertising has been around for quite some time. Although the difference is extremely simple, it’s just … hiding in plain sight. In this article, we will try to clarify the distinctive features of both advertising and marketing. After which you will be in a much better position to distinguish between the two.

Before we jump right into the nitty-gritty details, let’s have a look at what these terms mean in the business industry.


A business can be addressing the most important issue in a society and it still can fail. Why? Because of its lack of exposure to the consumers. This tells us that even after successfully catering to the most pressing issue, the presentation of your solution stands greater value than the solution itself. This is where marketing steps in. When businesses feel the need to attract their customers and convert them from customers to consumers.

The entire department and process of marketing is strategically devised and holds great importance. Let’s have a look at the basic steps:

  1. Market Research – The first phase that deals with the detailed studying of the customers. It deals with the analysis of what’s already present in the market and then comparing it with the company’s own strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Advertising – The second phase consists of self-presentation showing how the company’s better than its counterparts and explaining the product.
  3. Selling Products – The third phase is concerned with the sales sector of the company. To bring in money.
  4. Branding – Converting your customers to consumers and then building a community around them to transform your company into a brand.

According to Forbes, in this fast-paced digital world which is highly influenced by data, marketing is more important than ever.


As discussed earlier, advertising is a subtype in marketing. It holds a focused role in an organization. The sole purpose of advertising is to use any and every appropriate form of communication to spread awareness about the organization’s product, about the organization for the customers.

Moving on, let’s finally start differentiating between the two apparently similar yet significantly different disciplines.

Difference between Marketing and Advertising

Marketing is the process of preparing and polishing a product to be introduced in the market. It consists of the entire knowledge of the making of the product, the pros and cons of a product and its significance against the purpose it is being built for.0

Advertising, on the contrary, is the process of providing the product with the necessary attention it demands. It deals with the fact that a product should satisfy a user when created for a particular purpose. The presentation of the product should be complete and concise to provide the user with the necessary information about it. Furthermore, advertising creates an environment that attracts and lures the user to use the product. It would not be incorrect to say that advertising is a specific step in marketing. It deals with the usage of organized and well-researched data that is obtained with the help of a number of marketing strategies. This is done to help increase the relevance of the manufacturers’ brand communication with their users.

Although the differences are starting to show up, they are still hazy. To help get a different perspective, let’s observe a tabular representation of the differences between marketing and advertising.

Advertising is a creative process which demands a detailed understanding of what the customer needs.Marketing deals with the assurance of providing the customer with satisfaction in every aspect of the concerned product.
Subset of Marketing and focuses on the elaborate and concise communication between company and customers.Consists of a variety of components that include customer data collection, sales analysis, PR, brand communication, marketing strategy, etc.
Advertising Manager is only in-charge and answerable regarding advertising.Marketing Manager is expected to be aware of the Principle of Advertising to ensure the Advertising Manager is performing its duty correctly.
Advertising is concerned with providing values to the customer values.Marketing has a holistic nature. It is concerned with customers’ premium experience with all its concerned departments such as sales, etc.

Why do people confuse Advertising with Marketing?

The most plausible factor to confuse either of the terms with the other is that advertising is a component/subtype of marketing. So despite the number of differences, they still are closely related to one another and it is fairly common to misinterpret either of them.

When it comes to marketing, it is a lot more controlled and refers to a larger domain. Whereas advertising specifies the domain of the procedure to simple brand communication. Advertising, in actuality, is a nested progression in marketing that portrays the accurate image of a product.

Considering the above information, we believe it is sufficient to help you clear your doubts regarding the apparent confusion. Please let me know if this post was helpful for you in the comments section below.


Pursuing my passion i.e. Graduation in Computer Science while creating exciting and informative content to satisfy my thirst of writing.

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