Why advertising is not marketing

“Oh, you’re in advertising”

How many times have people said that when they ask what I do, and I respond “Marketing.”

The truth is, many people, including some clients, view marketing as advertising. In their defense, it is a tangible part of marketing that they can see. But advertising is a small slice of marketing – one way to get the message out.

Marketing, on the other hand, encompasses everything from creating a new product or service, to the price points and distribution channels to PR/advertising/promotions and events. It encompasses a lot of behind-the-scenes-get-your-hands-dirty work and a great deal of strategy. For advertising to work, a strong marketing plan comes first.

Advertising is one tool in the toolkit, and considered part of a larger category called “promotion”. Other activities in promotion include publicity (PR), events, sweepstakes, coupons and many others. If a marketing firm sells itself as advertising only – beware.

-Published February 16th, 2009

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