Differences between Marketing, Promotion and Advertising

When it comes to marketing, advertising and promotion, it's easy to get confused about the difference between them. But they typically have different objectives and roles in the marketing mix. Understanding these different objectives helps us to use the tactics effectively.

Before we get into the significant differences between these terms, let's define each one individually:


Marketing is the process of showing why consumers should choose your product or service over those of your competitors. It is made up of every process involved in moving a product or service from your business to the consumer. Marketing includes creating the product or service concept, identifying the price, promoting it, and moving it through the appropriate selling channels (4Ps).


Advertising is a paid or non-paid method done to make a product and service known to audience. It involves the development of messages that present products, services, ideas, and brands to the world via the television, radio, newspaper prints, magazines, billboards on the streets, etc. Advertising is different depending on the products and services and also the organization selling it. Advertising is one specific action you could take to promote your product or service. In other words, it's one type of promotion.


Basically, promotion is raising or increasing the awareness of a product and a service amongst customers to increase and improve sales. Promotion is one of the most important ingredients of marketing mix as it is one of the 4 P’s that is Price, Product, Promotion and Place. Promotions comes equipped with incentives for the consumers (e.g., special events, sampling, rebates, coupons, etc.).

What Is the Difference Between Marketing and Advertising?

1. Structure of Marketing, Advertising and Promotion:

The structure of the three definitions is not the same, as updated above. Marketing is a process that entails a variety of activities. Consider marketing to be a cake. Advertising, market research, media planning, public relations, product pricing, distribution, customer support, sales strategy, and community involvement are all included in that cake. Advertising and promotion have the same structure - they are both individual components of the overall cake. Marketing is a comprehensive process and strategy, not a single task or activity.

2. Goals of Marketing, advertising, and Promotion:

Essentially, they all work toward the same goal: increasing sales of a specific product or service. However, within that larger goal, each side has its own set of objectives, which can help you understand how they differ. So, in general:

Marketing: getting people interested, acquiring new customers and nurturing and maintaining positive relationships with them in the future.

Advertising: inform, persuade, or remind customers about your brand or product.

Promotion: communicating the product to the customers, making people aware and attract to buy the product

By VSHR Digital Media


1. Smallbusiness.chron.com

2. Investopedia.com

3. Indeed.com

4. b.online.csp.edu

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