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Marketing vs. Advertising: 7 Key Differences

Marketing vs. Advertising: 7 Key Differences

People use the terms ‘marketing’ and ‘advertising’ interchangeably, but are they one and the same? 

Yes and no. Yes, because they denote similar concepts for enhancing product promotion and generating sales. No, because they deviate from the approach they use to achieve demand generation. 

Marketing is a wide-involving process that accounts for every step of making a product compelling to its potential market. On the other hand, advertising is a subset of marketing and involves several methods of boosting the marketing process. 

This blog post highlights the difference between advertising and marketing and attempts to answer the question, “Are marketing and advertising the same?”

What Is Marketing?

Marketing is a broader term that encompasses everything that the sales department does to compel potential customers. The basic process of marketing a product begins with identifying a target audience and making them aware of your offerings. Once this is done, the marketing teams continue nurturing prospects into buyers using a combination of online and offline campaigns. 

What Is Advertising?

Advertising can be a sub-niche of marketing since everything that takes place in the advertising room involves tasks that support the overall marketing goals. Such tasks include social media ads, YouTube ads, Image Ads, Native ads, CTV ads, and display banner ads

In most cases, advertising involves paid forms of marketing. Traditional advertising often consisted of placing ads in newspapers, magazines, and television. New forms of advertising involve paying for ad placement on websites and video content. 

The majority of advertising instances occur when a brand wants to enhance its brand image and promote a sale/discount offer. However, digital advertising has given brands even more control over their campaigns by enabling them to track click ads, conversion rates, and campaign results. With such tracking capabilities, brands can A/B test and optimize their campaigns where they see fit. 

7 Key Differences Between Marketing and Advertising

After defining marketing and advertising as two distinct terms, the next section explores 7 main differences between the two. This section will also define the purpose of both advertising and marketing. Also, we will go on to outline different advertising goals and marketing objectives. 

Marketing vs. Advertising

GoalsCustomer Retention, Building a Strong BrandPromoting discounts, offers, or short-term campaigns
CostCost encompasses several activitiesCost is directed towards a specific campaign and its reach
ControlLots of teamwork work involved, hence limiting control over campaignsMore control over what goes out
MeasurementMetrics are measurable over an extended periodMetrics are immediately measurable, and it is even possible to make real-time adjustments
PurposeBuilding a strong brand reputationDriving an action, a sale, or anything through brief CTAs

1. Scope


Marketing is a broader term that encompasses several processes, including:

  • Product development
  • Market research
  • Distribution
  • Branding
  • Pricing
  • Demand generation
  • Content creation
  • Customer relationship


Advertising has a narrow scope and is often viewed as a sub-niche of marketing. Advertising strategies usually comprise:

  • Creating compelling messages
  • Disseminating promotional messages through several media channels, from television ads to billboard displays. 

2. Goals


Below are some of the main goals of marketing:

  • Brand building
  • Standing out against competition
  • Market expansion
  • Customer retention
  • General business growth

These goals aim at creating long-term business value and sustained success. 


The goals for advertising in marketing mostly focus on immediate results. These could be: 

  • Generating leads
  • Increasing sales
  • Executing a given campaign. 

The main goals of advertising efforts are short-term objectives. 

3. Timeframe


  • Marketing strategies can extend over a long period of time before getting results. 
  • Marketing campaigns are the best tools for building brand loyalty and market presence over an extended period of time. 


  • Advertising strategies and campaigns have short timeframes. 
  • As mentioned earlier, advertising promotes specific offers and discounts and is designed to offer immediate results. 

4. Cost


As a process encompassing several steps and many areas, marketing expenses may cover the following:

  • Product development
  • Customer experience
  • Market research
  • Overall brand creation. 

The marketing team distributes the cost of its activities across different processes and may not tie those costs to a specific campaign. 


Advertising costs are more direct and easily measurable. In most cases, the advertising budget funds:

  • The creation and placement of ads. 
  • Usually, the cost has a duration/reach count tied to a specific campaign.

5. Control


  • Marketing efforts require attentive coordination from different departments of a business. 
  • As such, it’s difficult to control and manage every aspect of the marketing process. 
  • In marketing, success often depends on the overall strategy, the team’s accountability to the strategy, and its execution. 


Advertising allows a level of control since the team can easily and precisely:

  • Target the right audience
  • Track performance
  • Adjust execution in real time. 

Marketing being broad, the team might have limited control over the message and its impact, hence limiting vital processes such as A/B testing. 

For advertising, the team has more immediate control over the message that goes out. 

6. Measurement


Monitoring marketing campaigns is often:

  • Complex and may involve sophisticated attribution tools when tracking sales
  • The fact that results are long-term and rely so much on data and research
  • Tracking metrics may wait until the end of a long duration, thereby making it difficult for the team to identify and adjust that which does not work. 


The results of an advertising campaign are more immediate and measurable. Some metrics to look out for in advertising include: 

  • Click-through rates (CTR) 

Read also: Tips on how to increase CTR

  • Return on Investments (ROI)
  • Conversion Rates

7. Purpose


Marketing is a holistic process for:

  • Promoting products
  • Creating a strong brand presence
  • Establishing long-lasting customer relationships. 

Additionally, marketing campaigns also utilize data and market research to gauge and adapt to changing consumer behavior. 


The main purpose behind advertising is to:

  • Attract leads and persuade them to perform a specific action. 
  • Such actions could be taking advantage of a running offer/discount. 


To sum up, advertising is an integral part of marketing. With a solid understanding of both terms, it’s time to partner with Bitmedia – a crypto marketing agency that delivers creative, target-driven promotional campaigns. Using a combination of geo and device targeting capabilities, the platform has made a name for itself, promoting gambling platforms, blockchain companies, and crypto-related businesses. 

If you are looking for a customer-friendly advertising network, one that allows you to track ad performance and optimize campaigns in real time, look no further! Draw inspiration from our collection of campaign case studies and start building a campaign with a leading marketing agency.