Advertising and marketing are concepts that many people consider to describe the same thing, selling a product or service to the marketplace. However, they are distinct concepts and understanding the difference is important to ensure you give due attention to each. This article will help explain the two concepts so you can clearly approach both advertising and marketing for your business.
Marketing refers to the strategies and preparation you do to get your product or service ready to sell and identifying the target customers for your product. Marketing is a long term forward looking process whereby you determine how you're going to package and brand your product and design it to appeal to the target market you seek to capitalize on.
Successful marketing involves significant groundwork in terms of clearly studying your target market. What are the needs of your customers? How will you address them? What is most important to them in terms of how much emphasis you should put on different aspects of your product or service? The needs and drivers for individuals in their early 20's differ greatly from individuals in their early 50's, so taking the time to assess your target market comprehensively is important. The branding and messaging you'll need to reach different groups will vary, and to ensure a successful advertising campaign you need to ensure you effectively communicate to these groups.
Advertising refers to the process of actually promoting your product or service to the marketplace. Ensuring that you are effectively getting your product known to your target customers and emphasizing the benefits to them is important when it comes to driving successful sales. So where marketing involves the ground work of branding and researching the needs of your target market, advertising is the process whereby you actually communicate with your target market.
Advertising campaigns can be communicated through numerous venues, television, radio, or online for example, and part of your marketing research will be identifying the most effective venues for your target audience. A product could have a terrific online campaign, but if your market research has identified seniors as the key target market that would not likely be the most effective use of your advertising dollars. For many target customers social media is becoming an ever more popular focus for advertising campaign as it can be a very inexpensive way to reach many different users.
Advertising campaigns also evolve over time for many different reasons. Once your products and services are in the market you'll get further information about and likely be able to refine what your target market is. Additionally if your product is successful different venues like television, which can initially be too costly, may open themselves up to you. How to effectively advertise your products or services is something that should constantly be re-evaluated (as should the market research).
Advertising vs. Marketing
When considering both advertising and marketing it is important that you take the time to address both aspects of selling your product comprehensively. Market research can be done comprehensively, but if the advertising doesn't take place the target market will never know about your product or service. Conversely, a brilliant advertising campaign can be launched, but if it targets the market inappropriately your product or service may not sell. Looking at both advertising and marketing and linking the market research to your advertising will ensure your work effectively drives the sales your business needs to succeed.