If you’ve ever been uncertain about the differences between advertising and marketing, you’re not alone.

Even people who work in either world sometimes don’t always see the fine distinctions between both two worlds.

Part of this is that there’s some overlap and it’s not just a ‘one or the other’ situation. In fact, to do well in marketing it helps to do well in advertising, or at least hire people good at this. The converse is true – ad efforts can be boosted by a great marketing strategy.

Marketing is sometimes described as the planning part of advertising, and ads are the action part of marketing.

The easiest way to visualize this is to think of a company coming up with a product they hope will be successful.

If they follow good marketing practices, they will identify their target audience, look at the competition, and figure out a general price. They can incorporate suggestions from past products to hopefully appeal to the same purchasers, such as color, style and design.

An advertising plan for this product is developed, including the best way to let potential customers learn about it, including different forms of messaging or different strategies over time. It can incorporate design elements such as fonts, shapes, and colors plus visual brands like logos.

Members of the advertising force also can be consulted in the early stages based on their previous experience and knowledge of target customers.

Then, once a product is believed to be ready for the marketplace, it moves into the ad realm, and then these experts are asked to use their resources and relationships to make sure it reaches customers.  This could include discussions with retailers or direct contact with customers.

 One example of the balance between both worlds is the show “Mad Men.” Once you take out the personal drama and sometimes poor behavior, the show was all about an early marketing agency hired by businesses to come up with great ideas that the company could use to sell more stuff, including ad campaigns.  

For more interesting business strategies visit Anchor Digital Marketing Group.