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  • Frank Gussoni

Marketing and Advertising Are Two Different Things…

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

You and Your Agency Should Understand the Difference!

While many people use the terms marketing and advertising interchangeably, they are two very different things. Knowing the difference and how they each impact business is crucial not only for the client but for the creative and media agencies to understand.

Marketing, which includes the creation and design work also includes research and data mining. When a product or service is being developed, marketing teams think about the audience and who the end user typically looks like, and why the product of service will be beneficial to them. These last two pieces are key in aligning the product or service with the perfect target audience.

Developing an ad campaign that speaks to the right audience means understanding the audience you are trying to reach. Who they are, what they do, places they go, their likes, dislikes, etc. While most marketing people focus on these items for creative design, they are equally as important in the development of an effective strategy for the media placement.

Both marketing and advertising have the same objectives, to bring awareness and enhance products and services. They each play a unique role in achieving this goal. For many media agencies, their main focus is on advertising. Advertising is the process of bringing awareness to a product or service, to the right audience, so it makes perfect sense for a media agency to focus their efforts in this area. They are hired to develop campaigns and put together a strategic way to get the message out to market through various forms of media.

Media placement should always include research and data analytics before being selected. And, not just for the media choices themselves but specifically relevant based on local consumer profiling for each of the markets the product or service is being promoted in.

Consumer ages, genders, ethnicities, work status, largest employers, education level, hobbies, past times and local consumer trends, along with a whole list of concerns should be determined and analyzed and then converted to data that assists in selecting the proper media placement choices.

Example: Why would anyone run a print or out of home campaign in an area that has a low literacy rate? Or run an influencer campaign when the targeted market for a product is 65+? It doesn’t make much sense. The only way to know these things is to think about the media side, as if it were the marketing side. Both need to connect to impact.

Going deeper than just finding the available media in a market should be what every agency does. Just because a medium is available to use doesn’t mean it’s a good fit. Because it may be speaking to the wrong audience. In the end, it’s all about communication. If your agency isn’t considering the marketing portion of your campaign and doing their due diligence in market fact finding, then all they are doing is helping to put a message out to what “could possibly be the right audience” and hoping it sticks. And, that my friends is a waste of money!



President & Founder of A3 media.

We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

Frank’s Take provides uncommon sense media buying advice for regional and mid-market businesses.

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President & Founder of A3 media. We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

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