Marketing, Advertising and Branding- What's the Difference?
Updated: Nov 5, 2022
In the world of business there's many different buzzwords and phrases that get thrown around and used far too often. Thing is, most of the time they're used incorrectly.
The example we'll be highlighting today: The difference between Branding, Advertising and Marketing.
A simple analogy to help you remember the 3:
Your MARKETING is how you want others to view you,
ADVERTISING is how you act in public,
and your BRAND is ultimately how you are perceived by others.
Though the 3 are vastly different from each other, they are all part of the same equation that adds up to how your business is viewed in the marketplace.
Your Marketing is how you want others to view you.
Think of your Marketing like your self image.
It can include how you dress, the styles you choose and how you keep yourself groomed. We all focus on this kind of stuff- even that guy you know who rarely showers and has the same rock band tee on every time you see him.
That's because even not having a marketing strategy is a strategy in itself.
In the context of business, a marketing strategy is how you want potential customers to view your company. It should convey your vision, values and mission of your business while expressing them in a way that helps the public associate with your company.
Ultimately how you "dress" your company will determine how effectively your message and company image will be accepted by consumers.
Advertising is how you act in public.
If marketing is how you see yourself, Advertising describes how you convey that to others.
This includes stuff like how you carry yourself, who you hangout with, and what you say around others. Your advertising should combine with your marketing in a way that shows you have consistency between your image and your actions.
For example, if you're a Yankees fan and went to a home game to cheer for them while wearing a Red Sox jersey, you will confuse (and probably infuriate) your friends and be exiled from future ball games.
In business your advertising strategy is the same. If you execute it in the wrong places, with the wrong message/tone, at the wrong time, to the wrong audience? It will ultimately confuse consumers and maybe even turn them away.
Your Brand is how you are perceived by others.
While marketing is how you want others to see you, Branding is how they actually do.
It can be highly difficult to both build a brand or rebrand an already existing brand, and this is solely because of its relation to your marketing and advertising.
Sure, you can tell someone "My brand is that I'm a good person!", But if that's not how you market yourself or what your advertising shows, people will assume you to be a fraud.
The same goes for your business. You can tell your audience all you want how high quality your products are or how committed you are to the community, but if you don't exemplify it consistently then you're basically just false advertising.
If you find that your brand is not being perceived by others how you intended, you will have to take time to identify where in your marketing or advertising that the inconsistency shows. Only when you address the disconnects between you and your audience is when you will begin to connect with them.
The Bottom Line.
From a business standpoint, understanding how consumers perceive you is crucial for how you decide to execute a marketing and advertising strategy. Applying these concepts to ourselves creates an effective self image, and will do the exact same thing when applied to your company.