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Marketing, Advertising, and Branding: Understanding the Difference

Many people think advertising and marketing are the same thing, while marketing can generate sales it is not “advertising.”  Branding is marketing, but a strategic part of marketing.

It can get confusing.

Here is how it breaks down, what marketing, advertising and branding mean, as well as why they are all important to your business and its success.

Marketing Grabs Attention

Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings (products/services) that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. (American Marketing Association)

Marketing includes the actions you take to capture the attention of an audience, once that attention is captured marketing assists in educating that audience to make a purchasing decision.

Marketing is a long-term process that is used educate, inform, interact, and engage with customers, and potential customers, grabbing their attention so your business is thought of when your products/services are needed.

Advertising Inspires Action

Advertising is a type of marketing tactic that involves paying for space to promote a product or service.  The advertising message is targeted to reach the most people who are most likely to pay for your products or services.  (Shopify) These ads are a call-to-action to entice consumers to purchase your products or services.

Advertising is used to influence behaviors of an audience, typically a targeted audience based on the demographics of your specific customers.  Ads are placed in mediums that will reach your customers and persuade them to take a specific action.

Branding Sets You Apart from the Pack

Branding is creating a unique image or name for your business, products, or services.  Branding is used to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

Branding defines your business.  It fosters customer recognition.  Using the right message, on the right medium, with the right “look” as well as your logo, consistently will assist in people distinguish your business from your competitors.

Marketing + Advertising + Branding = A Solid Strategy

Marketing is communicating, advertising is promoting, and branding is defining.

Marketing and advertising are both important to growing your business’ visibility (online and offline) in order to generate revenue, branding your message with the right images, tone, and medium is also important.

Incorporating all into a professional strategy will work to effectively drive the sales you need to stay in business.

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