Weekly Column: 2017-11-03


There are times when I do marketing-related consulting and feel quite confused. Most clients believe marketing is advertising or even just publicity, while others believe that if they invest, they will see results right away. This shows how many people still think that of sales and marketing as the same thing.

So what is marketing, and what is the difference between advertising and marketing? Additionally, why do people think that it is now the time where marketing is absolutely essential?

Marketing can refer to all the activities that take place between the producers and consumers. It has a larger scope than just sales, and it, in fact, goes in the opposite direction at times. The main purpose of marketing is not to focus on selling the product, but to change perceptions and convince others of the reason they should purchase the product. Ultimately, the aim of marketing is to understand the customer and fit the products and services to them so that sales naturally follow. Especially since the market has shifted from being producer-centric to consumer-centric recently, marketing is becoming more active as the focus is more on what the benefits are for consumer.

Advertising is a part of marketing. The four components of marketing (the 4Ps) are product, price, place, and promotion, and advertising can be described as a strategy of publicity. It’s a shame that many people still think of marketing as advertising when advertising is just one of marketing’s many strategies.

Marketing has a very large range. Collecting data and analyzing the market, developing strategies for selling products, developing products based on data and strategies, and producing and forecasting sales are all, in fact, a part of marketing. Through this, products and services are promoted and communication with customers and sales is continued. Advertisement is the next step. It is spending expenses to induce sales. If a product or service is well-known, advertising it will be very efficient. To put it simply, the main focus of marketing is to get people to know a product or service while advertising is a means of publicity within marketing that uses repeated exposure through media to increase consumer trust.

In truth, it is not easy for most people to understand the scope of marketing. Because they are only interested in what they can see with their eyes, those who do now know the proper scope of marketing fall into the trap of thinking that marketing is advertising. For that reason, advertising agencies are embarrassingly weak in marketing, and that leads to not being able to understand the wider range of marketing.

I can recall that during the last ten years of helping multiple companies grow through online sales, I did not know the difference between marketing and advertising early on and experienced the results through trial and error. Although the advertising expense was quite large, it was a very inefficient way to introduce consumers to unknown products. So, after that, I communicated with consumers through online marketing via social media and strove to understand the consumers. I listened to what they wanted, and instead of telling them only about the quality of the product, I told them why they should buy our product through service and focused on raising the value of the brand. In the end, marketing is what makes customers happy. Advertising is the next step.


It is only natural to want to see results through marketing and advertising. However, by fully understanding the difference between marketing and advertising, focusing on introducing products and services through effective marketing, and by making it your goal to make your customers happy, you will see even better results.