• Christina Pappas

What Is the Difference Between Marketing & Advertising?


Last week I taught a virtual class to high-schoolers via the Nepris platform called 'An Introduction to a Career in Marketing.' During the session I talked a bit about my background, what I loved about marketing, what my pet peeves were and what steps they could take now to pursue this career path.


At the end we opened the session to questions. There were questions from 'how much money does a marketer make' to 'what can I do now to get ready for a marketing career'. But one stuck out to me because it was not easy to answer and that is 'what is the difference between marketing and advertising.'


Now this question does seem simple enough. But I scrambled to consider how I would answer. You see, I have never worked in a company that had an advertising function. I have not worked directly with anyone that had advertising in their job title. So with a background of being a marketer surrounded by marketers, what was the difference? Did I just never need advertising all this time? Was I actually executing advertising tactics under the guise of being a marketer?


Is there a difference? what is it and where is the line?


So this is how I answered.


Marketing is...


the strategy. The marketing team is responsible for defining the market, developing messaging and pitch angles, building pricing structures and constructing a strategy to reach revenue goals by generating demand. This team also manages marketing budgets and makes media buys.


Advertising is...


the creative. Under the direction of the strategy, the advertising team is executing on the creative approach. Whether that be building a creative campaign based on something - like a piece of content or challenger strategy - or developing artwork to bring a vision to life.

TIP: Regardless of if you would define the split the same way as me or something different, I think it's important to really know how each functions works because they are so interrelated. You may actually be a marketer and an advertiser right now.
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Christina Lee Marketing, Inc. 2020