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What’s the difference between marketing and advertising and what would a job in these fields look like?

I think I might be interested in advertising, but I’m not exactly sure what such a job would look like. I think if I knew what a job could look like I might be able to identify whether I might have an interest or aptitude for a similar field. #marketing #marketing

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John’s Answer

GREAT question Clara

Many people think MARKETING and ADVERTISING are one in the same. They are related and MARKETING is instrumental to the success of ADVERTISING. However, they are NOT one and the same.


At its core, marketing is making your product or service interesting to potential buyers, which is a very involved process. You build relationships with prospective clients, reach out to them using the communication channels they prefer, keep existing customers satisfied, seek feedback, provide timely pre- and after-sales support, and so on. Marketing requires several different activities. Market research, audience analysis, market segmentation, pricing, branding, and promotion are all governed by what is known as a marketing mix. An organization’s marketing mix allows marketers to craft a sound marketing strategy and then successfully carry it out. It’s broken down into the following four elements, known as the 4-P’s.

1.) PRODUCT – A product or service that addresses specific consumer needs;
2.) PRICE – The amount that customers pay in exchange for a product or service. The price determines if company will be profitable;
3.) PLACE – How customers access your products or services, e.g., Online, Retailers or through exclusive distribution; and
4.) PROMOTION – Communication techniques used by a marketing company to provide information the product or services.

MARKETING JOB DESCRIPTIONS – How you fill marketing and advertising roles will depend on the size of your organization. Larger companies usually have in-house teams, while smaller ones tend to partner with agencies or independent service providers.

• MARKETING DIRECTOR – They lead the entire marketing department, and that includes overseeing the work of individual managers.
• SALES MANAGER – Sales managers lead a team of sales professionals and are responsible for providing training, crafting sales plans, setting targets, analyzing performance data, and assigning sales territories.
• RESEARCH ANALYST – They conduct research and gather data for analysis, with the goal of finding better ways to market a product or service. Data they collect includes audience demographics, consumer needs and preferences, as well as buying habits.


Advertising is the act of getting the public to notice your product or service, usually via advertisements or paid announcements. Said differently, if you have to spend money to promote your brand or offering, then that is advertising. Advertising’s principal goal is to sway consumer buying behavior through promotion. To understand how advertising does that, it’s vital to also understand the different advertising theories that advertisers subscribe to, one of which is the hierarchy of effects model. The theory is further categorized into these three stages:

1.) AWARENESS & KNOWLEDGE – Consumers process the information the ads have provided. Ads, therefore, should be attention-grabbing and informative.
2.) LIKING & PREFERENCE – Consumers start connecting with the brand. Ads should resonate and evoke positive emotions by appealing to consumers’ values and lifestyles.
3.) CONVICTION & PURCHASE – This is the stage at which advertisers attempt to convince the consumer to take action — specifically, purchase the advertiser’s product or service and dissociate themselves from a rival offering. Ads, therefore, should serve to expedite consumers sales processes, not make them the consumer walk away without making a purchase.

ADVERTISING JOB DESCRIPTIONS – Advertising jobs are generally categorized as management and creative. Management focuses on managing campaigns and clients, pitching new business, and coordinating the work of internal team members. Common roles include:

• CREATIVE DIRECTOR – The creative director conceptualizes advertising ideas and sells them to the client, then oversees the
• ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE – Account executive: Account executives function as the bridge or liaison between clients and ad agencies. Their job includes sales, customer relationship, and business development duties.
• MEDIA BUYER – They’re responsible for purchasing desirable advertising spaces and time slots from various media outlets, as well as crafting strategies for effective media buying.

To keep things simple and less confusing, keep in mind that advertising is just one part of the overall marketing umbrella. So if marketing were a band, then advertising could be the singer of the band.

Hope this was Helpful Clara

Thanks so much! Your post was very helpful! Clara W.

Your Welcome Clara, It was my Pleasure. You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. John Frick

Thank You Eddie. “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” — William Shakespeare John Frick

Thank You Sonia. “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” – Erma Bombeck John Frick

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Tamás’s Answer

Dear Clara,
You have received all the basics or theoretical background between Advertising and Marketing. From a day to day working experience, Marketing job is to plan profitable solutions, products, offerings which will answer or create the needs of consumers or clients of your company. Here strategic planning, research analysis, statistics, calculations and structured thinking are more in focus. Getting closer to the actual place of sales, like point of sale promotions, the planning will narrow down by time and focus on a single product or service, or a more determined goal. One of the outputs of these planning exercises is an advertising brief. When marketing professional decides to spend X amount of money on communications they turn to the advertising agency (internal or external) with a brief to plan the details of the advertising.
In advertising , you start with the aims, goals of the marketing plans and the output is the list of tools you have and you must provide the required goal utilizing advertising tools. These are mostly now days online media, influencer communication, or TV spots, handouts or web sites, and millions of others. When working in advertising, creativity, quick deliverable results, quick learning of new technologies are expected. Based on research, tools and creative work you have to identify the most effective way to achieve the required goal. these goals are very different in nature, like increase sales, altered view on a brand, new uses of an existing service....

Lots of people start in advertising to gain tons of experiences very close to the markets, and grow to understand the broader picture, move on to marketing fields.

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Phong’s Answer

Advertising is a component of marketing. Marketing consists of Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Advertising is a component of Promotion besides things like PR, direct marketing, search engine marketing and so all.

Phong recommends the following next steps:

Read Philip Kotler's foundational book: https://www.bookdepository.com/Principles-Marketing-Global-Edition-Philip-Kotler/9781292220178?ref=grid-view&qid=1592462064488&sr=1-5

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SeungEon’s Answer

Think advertisement as a tool of marketing. It is the most powerful marketing tool for sure.
Marketing is a big concept that includes Ad, PR, event, social media, content marketing, performance marketing and many more.

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SeungEon’s Answer

Think advertisement as a tool of marketing. It is the most powerful marketing tool for sure.
Marketing is a big concept that includes Ad, PR, event, social media, content marketing, performance marketing and many more.

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Jim’s Answer

Hi Clara,

I would start with what your skill set and interests line up with best. Are you a creative type (visual and/or creating compelling messages)? Are you a strategy person - someone who would enjoy knowing when and where to put these messages? Are you a data person - someone who enjoys measuring how effective these messages are at reaching the intended audience and driving a result/conversion?

If you fall into any of those buckets, advertising could be a great pursuit for you. Marketing is super-broad and encompasses many things (including advertising). If you don't feel like any of the above buckets totally line up with your interests, there are many other avenues you can pursue with a marketing degree.

Good luck!

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Rebecca’s Answer

There are some very in-depth and fantastic responses to this.

Advertising usually relates more to advertising agencies. These are companies that produce any different kind of ads- digital, tv, movies, print, mail-merges, e-mail, social media, etc. When working in an ad agency, you could be working with several different clients for completely different target audiences. For example, I worked for an ad agency where I was working with USA Cable Networks -looking to connect with 18-35 year olds. A few months later, I was on the E*Trade account - looking at men 50+ with disposable income of over $120k. Your purpose shifts with which client you have.

To be frank, advertising agencies can be a very cut throat environment (always known for layoffs) and it is hard to find managers who have your best interest in mind. On a positive note, agencies are more creative. You will be surrounded by artists of their craft. Most of the time when working on an ad campaign- you are looking for ways of shock and awe or how to expand your audience while also not upsetting your current one. Thinking outside the box is an every day activity. It is also a great way to meet young and vibrant people. If you are interested in arriving by 9 and leaving by 5, this might not be the right place for you.

Marketing usually relates more to a large company that owns their own marketing department. Usually marketing can take on many different forms- even working with advertising agencies but all with the common goal of pushing the company's sales or agenda. Usually in marketing you have a much broader reach of audience. There is much more consistency in both career, better pay and usually a daily schedule of more of a "9-5" (of course there are always exceptions).

It is easy to locate managers who are known to promote and highlight their staff. Those are the gems you want to never let go of. The day and day out of a corporate environment can be overwhelming for some. For an artist, not having the ability of drawing outside the lines can be frustrating.

Advertising vs. Marketing can be very different even though the words have a history of being interchangeable. The bigger question is - what do you love more? Do you like drawing outside the lines? Or would you succeed with having a strong work/life balance?

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Lori’s Answer

Hi Clara - all the answers so far are spot on. What i would add is that I can't emphasize enough that working in Advertising - and an agency in particular - is one of the best training grounds for a long career in Marketing (or Advertising if you stay on that sound!). You will work hard, learn a lot, make important professional connections, and be exposed to all areas of business no matter your role - working with research, creative, production, media, strategists. Many people with long-term marketing careers have spent time working in Advertising. As to how to get into those roles, don't hesitate to reach out to local ad agencies to see what types of internships and/or entry level programs they have. Ad agencies usually have these opportunities. Good luck!

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Alison’s Answer

Hey Clara! This is a great question, and as someone who ended up working in marketing, I'd say it's an exciting industry to explore. Marketing describes business activities that deal with planning, researching and solving problems that consumers face. Consumers can be another business (in business-to-business, or B2B) or other people (in business-to-consumer, or B2C). Marketing tends to be broad, but it's very important in helping a company or brand define the best environment to compete in and how it can best connect with consumers. Some of the jobs in marketing may be brand managers or strategists who help direct the overall direction of a company or brand. And there's different areas too, such as digital marketing (which involves making strategies around using search or email).

In terms of advertising, this is more when a company pays to place its message or brand in certain places. Think of advertising as a tool within marketing--you can't come up with a strategy or plan without having a way to execute it or communicate it. There's different categories within advertising too, such as traditional (such as print media) or mobile advertising. Advertising is more focused on execution of a message or brand. Some jobs within advertising may be copywriters or graphic design.

I encourage you to explore this industry further, and you'll probably realize that people and agencies often use these terms interchangeably and broadly. It's always good to take a look at a company's work if it's a place you're interested in. Everyone has their own philosophy when approaching marketing and creating work, so it's important to see if it's a direction you'd be interested in. Hope this helped and good luck!!

Alison recommends the following next steps:

Check out We Are Next, it's a great site to explore marketing resources and advice for young talent! https://we-are-next.com/
Sign up for a marketing newsletter/alerts from places like Adweek or Ad Age to see what brands are doing
Check out these common marketing terms https://www.adweek.com/glossary/

Wow! Thanks! I had no idea these resources existed and I will definitely check them out. Clara W.

Glad this helped! I've definitely used these resources a lot, so happy I could share. Alison Yen