The words marketing and advertising get used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same thing. Marketing and advertising are two distinct approaches, and you will need to understand and use both to help your business.
Marketing is broader and involves understanding your customer and their needs and aims to increase your brand awareness to drive those customers to purchase or engage with your brand.
Marketing can include both free and paid tactics. Marketing includes public relations, brand development, market research, media planning, social media, positioning and segmentation and advertising. A marketing strategy typically addresses what is known as “the four p’s” — product, price, place and promotion.
- Product: What is your company selling? This can be a product or a service. What defines your product? What problem does your product solve for your customers?
- Price: Setting the right price is key to your success, but it has to be set strategically. Think through how you want to be perceived (as cost-effective or luxury) and where your price places you among the competition.
- Place: Where your product is marketed and distributed. Should you have physical stores or be placed in stores? Sold digitally? What is the distribution channels for your product, is it sold through an agent or intermediary?
- Promotion: This defines how you will publicize and promote the product. All channels and communication used by a company to share the message about its products fall under this phase of marketing, and it is also where advertising fits in.
Advertising is usually the most expensive part of any marketing plan. Advertising is a specific form of marketing that has to do with ads, it is when a company pays to promote its message. You can also think of advertising more as a one-way communication tool, and the company has full control over what is contained within the advertisement. Examples of advertising include advertisements in print, billboards, paid social media, television, radio and more. Advertising, when done in a targeted and strategic manner, can boost sales and gain customers.
Advertising is a bit more scientific and psychological than it may seem. Advertising is meant to help guide a customer through their journey leading up to purchase. This journey is also known as the hierarchy of effects model, it describes how a consumer can go from being unaware of a product to purchasing, it is broken up into six stages: awareness, knowledge, liking, preference,conviction and purchase. Additionally, each of those six stages can be broken into three categories, cognitive, affective and conative. Cognitive is the thinking category, and includes awareness and purchase. Affective includes liking and preference, and it is when a consumer begins to feel a certain way about your product. Conative is the behavioral or action category, including conviction and purchase, where a consumer shows intent to buy or actually does purchase..