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When you think about marketing your business, do you immediately think about advertising? Many business owners and professionals confuse these two terms and think that marketing and advertising are the same things.
Both marketing and advertising have the same goal — to grow your business by bringing in new customers. However, advertising is a specific approach to marketing. It’s a way that you market your company.
Let’s take a deeper look at the difference between advertising and marketing.
Marketing refers to the entire process of amplifying your message, building your brand, and encouraging customers to buy your product or service. Creating a marketing plan starts by understanding what makes you unique in the marketplace. Your unique selling proposition (USP) is the reason that a customer should buy from you and not your competitors.
You also need to clearly identify your target market. Many products and services can be useful to a broad range of people, but there are specific audiences to whom your product or service is extremely important. Your ideal customers are the ones that most need your offer, and are best able to pay for it.
For example, all parents can use daycare centres. However, if your daycare centre focuses on early childhood education for advanced students, then you want to specifically target mothers whose children are advanced for their age. These mothers should also have the financial resources to pay for your services without straining the budget.
A mother whose child is average or who doesn’t have the income to afford the daycare could benefit from your business, but they aren’t your ideal customer.
Finally, you need to create messaging that resonates with your ideal customers. Perhaps you want to appeal to their social class, to the potential their child has for changing the world, and to the importance of education in setting children up for success. This messaging can then be used in your advertising.
The first few steps of marketing lay the groundwork for a successful advertising campaign. After all, you’re just wasting money on advertising if you don’t know your USP or ideal audience, or if you haven’t yet developed an appealing message.
The purpose of advertising is to amplify your message so that it reaches your ideal audience. For example, you might buy Facebook ads that are targeted to mothers with young children in a specific income bracket. These ads would share the message that you’ve created to engage with their needs and offer your services as a solution.
Ads are generally outbound marketing. That means you push your message out to consumers, often interrupting them while they are engaged in another activity. Your Facebook ad comes up while they are engaging with family and friends, or they hear your radio ad during their favourite music set.
This helps answer the question, “Is marketing and advertising the same thing?” As you can see, advertising is one of the ways you put your marketing into the world.
If your ads are highly targeted, they can be effective even though the timing isn’t ideal. However, there are other forms of marketing that can be even more effective than traditional advertising.
Inbound marketing is an approach that encourages people to come to learn about your business and seek out your products and services on their own initiative. This means educating and engaging your ideal audience while inviting them to come to your website to learn more or make a purchase.
For example, you can track down an animal by pursuing it, or you can set up something that it will find attractive and allow it to come to you. An animal that comes to you is much easier to capture, and the same is true for leads that come in through inbound marketing.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective forms of inbound marketing, and it’s a strategy that can bring in ideal leads more consistently and help you spend less on traditional advertising. Your website becomes the hub of your online presence, and you optimize your content to attract people who are actively searching for information about your product, service, or industry.
With SEO, you earn trust over time and by showing that your website is highly relevant to specific search terms. If you’re a small business in a local area, you can also use local SEO to help capture leads that are in your local area while they are searching Google.
Once you rank highly in Google search results, you’ll get more traffic to your website. With high-quality content that shares your specific marketing message and USP, you can turn that traffic into customers.
As you can see, marketing and advertising are not the same things. Marketing is an overall strategy to get your message out into the world, and advertising is one way of executing that strategy. However, advertising is expensive and doesn’t capture attention at the right time.
Inbound marketing is another way to implement your marketing plan, and it can be more effective for a lower investment cost. That means it has an excellent return on investment (ROI).
If you’d like to learn more about how SEO can help you save money on traditional advertising while still growing your business, we’re here to help. Contact us for a free consultation today!