Digital Marketing

Marketing is Not Advertising

Here is an article on why Marketing is not Advertising

After three-year studies in economics, I specialized in marketing and business communication; then I entered the world of work with digital marketing and I became familiar with copy, social channels, and advertising campaigns… This is to say that from that moment on they often ask me: what exactly do you do?

Starting from the family, my grandmother used to tell me: “Erika, today I met Maria. She asked me about your work but I never know how to explain it… So what are you doing?” I in response, pointed to the television: “Grandma, do you see that commercial?

It’s a good thing no one heard me. I was looking for a way to explain my work in a few simple words, difficult to understand for the more mature generations and beyond.

This brief familiar parenthesis says that marketing and advertising may seem synonymous, but that’s not really the case. Let’s see why.

Marketing: one term, many definitions

To explain what marketing is, let’s be bothersome gurus.

According to Philip Kotler, “Marketing consists in identifying and satisfying human and social needs. Social process through which individuals and groups obtain what they need through the creation, offer and exchange of products and services of value”.

Perhaps a convoluted and complex explanation.

Personally, I prefer concreteness, which is why I quote the definition of marketing according to Seth Godin “Marketing is the generous act of helping people solve a problem”.

I could go on and on because marketing is full of definitions!

I leafed through books and books on marketing and I got my own idea of ​​what it is: a bridge that connects the company and the public to make them communicate successfully. Thus companies establish a relationship with customers, understand their needs, and satisfy them.

The 4 Ps of marketing

Marketing is based on the main elements, the “4 Ps”, famous for those like me who have opened some Marketing books

Which ones are they?

The first P consists of the study and realization of the product, which can be a tangible good or a service. With marketing, we go to understand the needs and requests of customers and then shape the product or service offered.


The second P tells us that the product must be available in places that the consumer can access without too much effort. Marketing helps to choose the best distribution channel to reach the final customer.


The third P is the price which, in addition to representing the economic value of an asset, is the source for determining the company’s profitability. Through prices, the company can estimate its success or failure. With marketing, you go to understand the ideal price.


The last P, but no less important for this, represents a promotion, a set of activities carried out by the company to launch information on products and services and reach potential customers. Among these are direct marketing, and promotional sales… but among the most famous is advertising. Here she is!

This is precisely the critical point where the confusion arises. Advertising is only a small part of marketing or promotion.

Advertising is not marketing

Advertising can be defined as the medium that allows the passage of information from the company to the customers. Help the public get to know the company, in everything it offers.

The goal of advertising is to persuade customers, convince them to take a certain action, or even make them curious about the brand.

Let us remember that advertising is only one of the levers to achieving marketing objectives.

Marketing VS Advertising

Different benefits, different features, and different goals for marketing and advertising.

The benefits of marketing:

– Measure user activity, to know how many people have responded to your ad

– Visibility, to convey personalized messages to your audience

– Interactions with the public, to provide useful information to capture attention, stimulate sharing and retain existing customers

– Qualify and profile users, to reach ideal profiles that are really interested

The advantages of advertising:

– Increase awareness of the brand

– Improve positioning on search engines

– Expand the target audience

– Loyalty of customers

– Increase sales and turnover

If the marketing has the aim of creating a structured plan distributed over time, advertising has the sole purpose of bringing customers closer to the products in a defined period of time.

This is why the marketing process takes more time than advertising. While ad campaigns are faster in generating traffic.

Generate trust, expectation, and word of mouth

Although the two concepts are easily confused, they are different from each other. Even though advertising remains a fundamental component of marketing.

Once there was only TV, radio, and newspapers. The consumer was held hostage by commercials and shopping malls. That’s why some generations struggle to diversify concepts. You see my grandmother who is speechless when faced with “I do marketing”, while when faced with “I do advertising” she seems to understand something.

Another example is my father who over time (about a couple of years ) understood my work. Above all, you have the intuition, as an Entrepreneur, that in 2022 marketing and the figures behind marketing are essential for the business of companies.

I conclude with these words from Skande “The best marketing is not done to sell, but to generate trust, expectation, and word of mouth.

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