Editor’s note: Hey, folks! Our team at Blackwood has launched a podcast called The Big Brand Theory, and we’re currently doing a “Marketing Vs.…” series. If you’d prefer to listen to the episode about Marketing vs. Advertising, you can do so at this link. Enjoy!!

You can have marketing without advertising, but you can’t really have advertising without marketing. These two terms are often tossed around together, but though they work side by side, there are quite a few differentiating qualities between them. What sets them apart, and why do both of these terms matter to your business?

What is the difference between marketing and advertising?

Marketing is the process of engaging your potential customers to get them to buy your product or service. You may have heard of the 4 P’s of marketing: product, pricing, placement, and promotion; these four are all related to capturing the attention of your target audience and persuading them to buy from your company.

Advertising is often a piece of marketing, but more specifically, it is the act of spending money to get the attention of your target market. Many people lump it in with marketing; however, while marketing refers to the content being produced, advertising is the money that is put behind it to get the desired reach. 

These two essential business functions are often handled by the same person.

Depending on the size of the company, one person can often handle the entirety of marketing and advertising efforts. Particularly within an agency, the Marketing Director commonly oversees the entirety of ad spend and marketing content. However, within larger companies and corporations, there is sometimes a person whose job is specifically dedicated to handling the advertisements and ad spend for that company.

In order to begin advertising, your first steps may look different depending on your individual business. 

A lot about advertising is largely dependent on the size of your company, as well as the types of people you serve. Business-to-business (B2B) companies advertise quite differently than business-to-consumer (B2C) companies. 

When it comes to advertising, there are a few different approaches you can take. Word of mouth is an extremely powerful form of both marketing and advertising, and it’s a great place to start; however, it shouldn’t really be all you’re relying on. Nowadays, with social media being at the forefront of society, digital ads are one of the most effective ways to reach your target market. 

Small businesses in particular often rely on word of mouth for a lot of their reach. Just for a moment, let’s put an imaginary small business next to a humongous business like Nabisco, the company who manufactures Oreos. If they were to say, “oh, instead of advertising Oreos, let’s just tell people to spread the word and hope for the best,” you’d probably think they were insane! Instead, they have a strong advertising strategy, and along with their marketing, it’s super difficult to walk through the grocery store without buying a package. 

However, small businesses often only rely on word of mouth; while this is a great place to start, wouldn’t it be cool to see what happened if you did advertise? Advertising allows you to reach audiences outside of your immediate area – your business could be known nationally or even internationally just by placing a few digital ads. Why not try?

Budgeting your ad spend properly is extremely important.

Determining a budget seems like a daunting task, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. In order to dictate your budget, look back at your growth goals. Many people will try to tell you that you need to spend X amount of dollars on channels X, Y, and Z, but the best approach is to dip your toe in the water and test a few different things. 

The beauty of social media and digital advertising is the ability to test easily. Trying out a few different styles of ads and performing A/B tests is a great way to figure out what type of ads your audience responds to. Check out our blog post here for more information about split testing.

According to the SBA, you should probably anticipate spending about 5-8% of your annual gross revenue on marketing and advertising. This number may include payroll for your marketing team; even if it doesn’t, you still should spend 1-3% on advertisements. If you aren’t already doing so, the dollar amount may shock you a bit, but it’s completely worth it.

Depending on your business, you may want to consider hiring an agency to assist you.

There are a few factors to consider before deciding whether or not to work with an agency. Agencies are wonderful if you either need a team to handle all of your marketing efforts, or need some assistance for your company’s marketing person to tackle all of the aspects of the marketing and advertising. Additionally, agencies often have more connections and abilities for advertising on certain platforms that other companies may not have. 

If you’re looking for an agency to help you out with both marketing and advertising, you’re in the right place! Reach out to us here at Blackwood Creative. Our team would love to work with you to come up with and execute a flawless marketing and advertising strategy. We’re in the business of building remarkable brands, and yours could be next – contact us today.

3 Keys to Mastering Social Media for your Business

3 Keys to Mastering Social Media for your Business

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