How the Difference Between Marketing and Advertising is Getting Blurred in the Digital Era

Marketing is an umbrella term for a variety of activities such as public relations, media planning, product pricing and distribution, sales strategy, customer support, market research and community involvement to help product reach the customer. Advertising on the other hand, is the process of making your product and service known to the marketplace. It is essentially about spreading the word about what your company has to offer. So, advertising is more sales oriented. Marketing processes often begins with marketer’s search to learn about the market and the target audience. Then comes the development of marketing objectives, strategies, message formation and delivery, and how to measure if they are effective.  So, marketing is more process oriented. Marketing is an integrated communication process of which advertising is just a sub set.

Marketing is who am I? And advertising is why you should buy me?

Marketing is telling your brand stories. It encompasses the holistic process of preparing your product for the marketplace. The first step is market research – trying to understand your potential customers and what they expect from your product or service. Then comes the branding part. Colours, logo, fonts and other design elements that make your product stand out from the rest, and capture your target audience. Overall, it’s about creating a positive brand image of your product that will resonate with the audience.

Advertising, on the other hand, is giving the shout out. It is creating the buzz about your business, product, or the services you are offering. This involves strategies such as ad placement, frequency, etc. And choosing the platforms on which these ads will come: newspapers, direct mail, billboards, television, radio, and the Internet. There is advertising copy involved. What kind of sales pitch are you going to write? And for whom? The stress is always on the message.

But in digital era, the line between marketing and advertising has become blurred.

2. How the Difference Between Marketing and Advertising is Getting Blurred in the Digital EraThe Internet has fundamentally changed the way people shop and research things. Digital marketing is narrowing the differences between marketing and advertising. One of the primary characteristics of digital marketing is this: it does not make clear-cut differences between marketing and advertising.

Digital marketing doesn’t look at marketing and advertising as two different entities. Rather, it takes a holistic approach of utilizing all the possible channels to attract and win customers, to push sales and make a brand popular. So the focus is not so much on the process, but on the goals. And digital is just a path to connect and reach those goals. Data is a classic example. Let’s say a company’s advertising department has an audience database in-house. But it requires the help of marketing technology to process this data and profile the relevant target audience for a campaign. In this scenario, advertisers and marketers will have to sit together and strategize campaigns that will drive customer engagement across various devices and touch points.

Customer engagement & relevancy are game changers for marketers and advertisers.

Today, most of the marketers need to do a bit of advertising. Advertisers too need to put on their marketing caps every now and then. That is because there are many digital media platforms to choose from to create and broadcast their marketing message. Survival in this digital space depends on how you can keep the audience engaged with relevant messages all the time. In fact, this is one of the most successful strategies in digital marketing space. Customers no longer trust in advertising. And since most of the digital platforms are essentially publishing and broadcasting platforms – advertising is turning over a new leaf. Instead of pushing down sales messages, advertisers are now looking for ways how to craft relevant messages around the customer. Yes, relevancy has become the new currency of digital marketing. And that involves lots of data mining and other research to gain insights into the buying persona and habits of a customer. Only then, a marketer or advertiser will be able to create relevant content.

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