What do you do – Marketing or Advertising?

Nine out of ten times people mistake advertising for marketing. Don’t be embarrassed if you do the same. I too, was one of those 9, till some time back.

Before getting into the details of marketing and advertising, why do people mistake advertising for marketing in the first place. Well the simple reason is that advertising is seen everywhere. It is so huge that it overshadows marketing.

The truth is advertising is a subset, a small part of marketing.

Here are the definitions of advertising and marketing:
Advertising is “the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcement.”
Marketing is “the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.”

Clearly, advertising is a form of promotion. There are many others.

But what exactly is marketing!

Marketing is everything from planning to implementation of the business idea. It involves validation of the idea in nascent stage, gathering enough steam to help that idea find resources (read investments), then bring the idea to life, and finally sell that idea to earn profits for investors and promoters.

Many will argue that all these are part of management. Well they are not. Management is there to run the business or its processes. Marketing helps determine what processes are required for the business. Note: I am not talking about legal, regulatory, or financial matters, but processes that involve clients, vendors, sales and purchases, their interactions, etc.

This is not a place to explain what marketing is. I will need to write a book for that. But, in one word, marketing is everything.

To get your brain working, here are three pillars of marketing in regards to promotion: Target, Message, Media.

Target is the ideal profile of your client.

Message is your unique selling preposition that will make sense to your target client. Like message in print and video (TV) advertisements, word of mouth messages.

Finally, Media is the medium you can use to deliver your message to your targets. Like Television, Newspapers.

With that said, now is the time for you to decide what you do. If you do advertising without marketing, your business is doomed.