What is the Difference between Marketing, Promotion and Advertising?

What is the Difference between Marketing, Promotion and Advertising?
What is the Difference between Marketing, Promotion and Advertising?

8 June, 2015

While the terms marketing, promotion and advertising are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. If you want the short answer, promotion and advertising are components of marketing. Public relations, which this post does not concern, is something else entirely. Think of it as a sister, rather than child of marketing.

Marketing is creation of demand in order to sell products. Marketing most often giving money to third parties to help meet goals, such as advertising.

The components of marketing are often cited as product, price, place and promotion. It’s the soft science that determines the what, where and how much mix that will successfully connect a product with consumers. That’s a big umbrella. Promotion and advertising are more easily identified, and are components of marketing.

One of the four elements of the marketing mix, promotion is an activity that raises customer awareness and sometimes directly encourages purchases. There are of course different types of promotions including personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, and publicity. The last is also commonly used interchangeably with public relations, which adds to the confusion!

Describing advertising is the easiest task here. Advertising happens when an identified sponsor, i.e. Coca-Cola, pays to place a message somewhere, whether it be a billboard, the side of a bus, on television or radio, on a milk carton or on Facebook.