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Is marketing the same as advertising?

Is is Marketing or Advertising?

People often confuse the terms “marketing” and “advertising.”

Part of that confusion comes from the words being used often interchangeably on the web, especially when people are speaking of  “internet marketing.”

It’s a problem, not only of semantics, but of expectation! The processes of marketing and advertising are really very different. The actions are different and the outcomes will be different. In fact,  if you do not do your marketing (homework), your advertising will be a costly bomb.

You could have the best product or service EVER but to run out and advertise it,  will not to get you sales. Here’s why …

Lets say I have a new product, an Unrivaled-Incredible-Doohickey and it IS the best thing EVER … AND you simply cannot live without it!

You gonna buy one?  No?!  Really?

But it’s unrivaled!  But it’s incredible.  It’s going to change your life?!

🙂 Of course you are not going to buy it.! You don’t know what the heck it is or what an Unrivaled-Incredible-Doohickey is supposed to do or how it’s supposed to change your life

or hey … maybe your life is just fine! Why should I presume that it needs changing?!

Those are the reasons why you are not going to buy it.  You are not going to buy it because there was no marketing.

Marketing is a process and it takes time. It’s a process of education. It lets people know that this product called an Unrivaled-Incredible-Doohickey is out there, what it can do and eventually how it could solve their problem. Only then would it make sense for advertising to come along and tell you that this Unrivaled-Incredible-Doohickey is for sale. Only then would it make sense to ask if you want to buy one!

Marketing, advertising and public relations are all connected in promoting a product or a service (or cause or organization or person) but they serve different functions. Take a look at a sample marketing strategy list [below].

The difference between marketing and advertising is apparent,  by the location of ‘advertising’ on the list!

Also you  see that advertising and public relations would fall under the bigger category of “marketing” but they should all be united in their message and tone representing the business.  Take a look …

Marketing Strategy Planner

Marketing Research – Planning and Development

Customer research:  target market

Understanding who your customer is:

  • What do they want?
  • What problems do they have?
  • What are their values and needs?
  • How can your product/service help them?
  • Segments – by age or gender or location or buying habits?


  • What kind of Logo would THEY (not you) like?
  • What colors appeal to this group?
  • What designs?


  • What product names work with your target group?
  • What colors, names, designs work for products?

Product Pricing

  • What is appropriate pricing for your product?
  • AND for this target group?

In tandem with distribution below …

Product Distribution

  • How will the products be sold?
  • Stores, Kiosks, brick-and-mortar?
  • MLM, distributors, drop-shipped?
  • Internet, online, digital?


  • How much will you spend?
  • For the Marketing?
  • For the Launch?
  • For Advertising?


Marketing and Launch

Marketing is education.  You must educate people about your product and what it will do for them.  Customers or clients buy trust and your reputation just as much as the product or service that you offer. All forms of content that you put out should reflect your values, motto and professionalism.

Content Marketing

  • Maintain quality, the key message and reflects company mission
  • Provide good, relevant, problem solving content
    • Helpful (not selling)
    • Builds trust
    • Builds authority and reputation as an expert in field
  • Website Content
  • Email Campaign
  • Magazine Article

In-person marketing

  • Network, meet and explain your product
    • Brochure about Product/Service
    • Slogan, key phrase, motto that people identify with, like and remember
    • Exhibitions
    • Conferences
    • Presentations

On-line Marketing

  • Presentations can be done online as well, to meet and explain product
    • Webinars
    • Podcasts
    • Email marketing
    • Online courses

Sales Strategies

Sales Strategies will develop as interest in product builds through marketing  Then consider:

  • Segmenting – how to present same product to different segments?
  • What kinds of different offers for different segments?
    • Segments of age, gender, lifestyle, preferences, location?
    • Segments of new to list, frequent readers, frequent buyers, one-time buyers?
  • Contests
  • Give-aways



Where marketing is education, advertising is presentation.  You  present a product or idea so that the customer wants to buy or support or approve of it! You know who your customer is and what s/he is looking for and now you can shout that you have it, you have the answer!

Ads SHOUT!  They are usually creative and catchy,  memorable and short.

Media Planning

  • What methods of advertising is appropriate for your audience?
  • Traditional media?
    • Television? Radio?
    • Print?  Newspaper
    • Poster? Billboard?
    • Direct mail? (yes, it still works!)
  • Online
    • Streaming services?
    • Cell phone?
    • Internet Banners, Solo Ads, classifieds, PPC?
    • Social media
    • Re-targeting
  • How much
    • Print space
    • Air time
  • Test, quantify, tweak and repeat

Public Relations

What do people think about your business?   True or not … because that really doesn’t matter!  What perception do people have? This is as important as ALL the marketing and all the advertising. Without this, all the above could mean nothing!

  • Positive Spin
    • Any positive press puts your business in good a light
      • more subtle than ads
      • credibility
    • Foster relationships with people in press
    • Write press releases
    • Inform press of your company’s news
    • Highlight community involvement
    • Speak about your business on forums
  • Focus on maintaining the good reputation of your biz in the ALL media
    • Track how you are perceived in media
    • Monitor Yelp and social media and address problems
    • Give a statement when necessary

You see?  The advertising is a very small part of the entire marketing process.  Advertising is also expensive!  I hope this clarifies for you, that unless the marketing groundwork is done, advertising is not likely to result in sales.  Therefore, do not hurry out to buy ads until you are truly ready!

If you are a solo-preneur,  a new business start-up or an affiliate marketer, it is likely that you will not have different departments taking on all these tasks.   It will be you, yourself and you so buy yourself a set of different caps.  Don a different cap  for each task if you must but don’t let them all blur together!

Blurry notions of customers and fuzzy marketing processes usually result in lots of money out the door in ads and no customers.  Take the time to start off right and your very own Unrivaled-Incredible-Doohickeys will be flying off the shelves or internet pages!



Patt Timlin is a marketing expert set on sharing her expertise with other online marketers to help them achieve the dream of working online. She is secretly pleased with the surge in content marketing as revenge of the English majors! Entrepreneur, blogger, guide, helper – Patt loves the online world and loves to share it!

Patt is the author of:


Spot4connectionsblog [focus beginners online]

Work At Home Product Guide 

Patt Timlin Online 

BloggerPatt! [just for the fun of it!]

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About the Author Patt Timlin

Patt Timlin is a marketing expert set on sharing her expertise with other online marketers to help them achieve the dream of working online. She is secretly pleased with the surge in content marketing as revenge of the English majors! Entrepreneur, blogger, guide, helper - Patt loves the online world and love to share it!