At first glance, marketing and advertising seem to be different terms to describe the same thing -- getting a product or service sold. In actual fact, although they both contribute to the same end objective, they are distinct from each other and each has its own process. Understanding the difference between marketing and advertising will help you streamline your customer acquisition strategy.
MarketingMarketing refers to the process of preparing your product for the marketplace. It involves understanding who your potential customers are and what they want to get from your product or service. Colors, logo and other design elements help to align the image of your product with the interests of your target audience. It is marketing that defines your brand and attracts the market share you want.
AdvertisingAdvertising is the process of making your product and service known to the marketplace. It is essentially spreading the word about what your company has to offer. While marketing is the way in which you convince potential buyers that you have the right product for them, advertising is how you communicate to them the existence of that product.
How to MarketTo market your product or service, you must first study your target audience. Identify their values and needs. If you face a conservative, quality conscious demographic, develop a campaign that showcases your brand as being high end, tried and true. If, on the other hand, you are reaching out to the dynamic risk takers, use an edgier, more forward-thinking approach to develop the image of your product. Compose an easy-to-remember slogan or mission statement that communicates your brand message, and create promotional materials that reflect the tone and personality of that message.
How to AdvertiseOnce your product image is developed and your marketing strategy is in place, present your product or service to your audience through advertising. Print, television, radio and the Internet are all venues that can communicate your brand to potential buyers. Social media is an inexpensive but powerful option; tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ can help spread the word about what it is you have to offer. Because your marketing strategy has identified your target audience, you can now focus your advertising dollar on the specific types of media used by that audience to increase your likelihood of successfully acquiring new customers.