There is a lot of confusion about what the difference between marketing, advertising, and branding are today. Because of these terms becoming popular, people conflate them with one another. While they are similar, they are different and it is important for your business to understand how to use them at the right times to stay focused on getting the results you want in your market. Here is what each one is and how they are different:


Branding is the core mission of your business. It is all about what you stand for and what you believe in. If there was a symbol of your business, or a spirit animal, then this would be your brand.

A person should be able to understand who you are and why you even do business in your industry from your branding. Your branding is done with everything you do as a company. This goes from your logos, to your product, to your people. When someone has a great or negative experience with your company, this is branding. They are going to share their experience and this will craft the reputation of your company in the public’s eye. And in today’s world, word travels fast. So you must take control of your brand.

Realize that everything from the clothes you wear to the words you say on social media are going to be a negative or positive reflection on your company. Don’t just be in business for the sake of making money. Make your brand mean something more. Tap into emotions and you can move people to choose your company over all the others. In today’s day and age, people crave authenticity. So make sure your branding doesn’t just pander to the masses but that it actually represents what you believe in. Then, you will build a loyal tribe of followers naturally.


Marketing is about the overall strategy of getting awareness about your brand and protecting the brand while growing it. Marketing takes the information that the brand gives it and makes it work on social media, email, and all other marketing channels.

Marketing is both an art and a science. You must be creative and come up with big ideas on how to get attention when most people are distracted today. Marketing takes these big level ideas and also does the dirty work of creating the campaigns.

Every social media post, infographic, and email campaign is the work of a marketer. But marketing is not done with the strategy. Marketing is also about numbers. You have to constantly be testing and seeing which campaigns are working or not through A/B tests and other methods. You have to understand trends with Google Alerts and tools like Cyfe that let you spy on the competition. You must be a student of your market, hence the name marketing.

There are a variety of ways to learn more about your market too, which is where marketing also comes in. For instance, you may need to create surveys to ask customers what they are wanting more of in your product or what they don’t like about it. You can also test new products and come up with new designs or even re-brand strategies.

In essence, marketing is about taking the higher level ideas of the brand that you decided on and drawing out the plans to promote the brand. Everything from video, to colors, to the words you choose is a part of marketing.


Advertising is a subset of marketing. Whereas marketing takes into account many advertising principles, advertising is very specifically about creating content that will aid the marketing goals. Advertising is a piece of content whose sole purpose is to educate the market or persuade them and sell more merchandise. A video, article, or picture can all be ads. They usually incorporate sales principles.

The first thing a great ad must do is get attention. Consumers have a million distractions today. Advertising is the art of figuring out what will cut through the noise and stop a visitor in their tracks. Then, it must speak to them on an emotional level. Finally, it must ask for some kind of action, such as a sign-up or a purchase.

When it comes to the business world, understanding how to promote your product so that it will sell while also having your brand be understood is quite a task. And that is why you must understand the difference between these words and how they differ in the context of your marketplace. That way you can deploy your resources in the right way and generate more exposure, a better reputation, and more sales.


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