FAQ Friday: The Difference between Marketing and Advertising Ideas


There seems to be a common misconception between marketing and advertising. That if you use one, you cannot use the other or rather the other may affect your audience in a negative way. In today’s FAQ Friday, explore the difference and convergence of marketing and advertising ideas through the lens of video.

What is the difference between marketing and advertising?

Marketing is the act of spreading your message about your product or service to a targeted audience. In fact, you don’t even have to limit your message with just your product or service. Sure, usually the one with the price tag becomes the ultimate goal for your sales team as well as just accomplishing your overall business goals. But with content marketing, interactive marketing and especially inbound marketing, there’s so many ways to attract your audience that makes them feel like they are a part of the conversation and more importantly a part of your brand.




With advertising, it’s all about promoting your brand message usually through paid channels like banner ads, commercials, etc. The misconception with advertising is that the more noise you make, the more people will come to your brand. So investing in paid ads seems to increase with that idea in mind. But in today’s digital landscape, we are learning more and more that only investing in paid advertising will not create business success—especially when during a time when you need to have more engaged interactions with your potential and current customers online.

Because there is so much noise in the digital space with every business vying for people’s attention, you have to be targeted. You have to make sure that you know your audience, you know what your brand message is, and you keep it consistent across all platforms. With this in mind, this is the beginning of how marketing and advertising can converge to help boost your brand.


I think of advertising as a subset of marketing. I always think of marketing as getting my word out for the purposes of awareness or conversion. I think of advertising as a paid means of doing that. An organic approach of search engine optimization for the Internet would be an opposite approach to a paid approach.—Mark Robertson

How can marketing and advertising work together for my business?

Marketing and advertising should be on the same page. In fact, marketing, advertising and sales should all be on the same page. If these are three different departments, they should be meeting to make sure that strategy doesn’t get displaced or morphed along the way. Think of these three entities as being on a relay team. Each team member needs to pass the baton.


I would say that advertising and marketing should be best buddies. They should be very well connected. They are so intertwined, especially with content marketing. Content marketing is sort of a different type of advertising, where your content can educate and then sell. It doesn’t seem like such a commercial endeavor.—Matt Ballek

To see marketing and and advertising working together, take video distribution for example. The best way to distribute your video is through organic search, but that can take a while. So you need to consider other channels of marketing video distribution. You can post or share your video directly to Instagram and other social venues. Or host your video on your website—allowing visitors the chance to come to your site in order to view more of your content.


Organic views can benefit directly from advertising. When it comes to video advertising and video marketing, they are starting to come together. So much of the advertising is social, so it’s very similar to what you would do organically. You’re sharing things, you’re paying for people to share things Advertising these days is much viral, much more social. It doesn’t feel like advertising, like it did in the past.—Ray Lane

But what if you want quicker, bigger video viewership numbers? Advertising then becomes the needed ingredient to video distribution. It can get results quicker, but you will need to pay a premium to do this.

Advertising by nature is time driven. Once you stop paying for a video advertisement, the ad goes away, whereas organic inbound video marketing is evergreen. You don’t have to choose between one or the other though. For example, in the following video, Tommie Powers elaborates on keeping your messaging consistent across your marketing and advertising strategies.




An advertisement for your video is designed to promote or boost your video distribution efforts. However, this much different than a video advertisement, which is usually placed within your videos about another form of content.

Mark Robertson from ReelSEO noted that, “Oftentimes an advertising strategy on top of an organic strategy is a win-win. If your organic reach can be furthered by some paid advertising, it’s worth attempting.”

Perhaps the ultimate example of how marketing and advertising have fused is retargeting.

Ray Lane from Ray The Video Guy agrees that, “Retargeting is one of the best things that we have seen in a long time. To be able to take a video, to take a website and drop a little piece of code in there and then have people that have visited that site constantly being reminded to go back there is absolutely brilliant. It really makes a huge difference in your marketing, because these people that have already been warmed up to you, they’ve been to your website. In marketing, we have learned that people don’t buy on the first time. It usually takes seven or more times before they decide to buy. Retargeting makes conversion easier.”

Hopefully, this information has dispelled myths about the convergence of marketing and advertising. If you have questions you would like to see featured in our weekly FAQ Friday, please submit them in the comments below or mention us @DirectImages on Twitter.

Until next FAQ Friday, keep your communication lines open. Don’t know the answer—just ASK.

Subscribe to our BLOG

Stay in touch & learn how to attract customers, become a thought leader, create effective marketing campaigns, & more.


Handy Toolkit


You might also be interested in:

Thought Leadership Monday Mashup: Video Distribution Strategy

Thought Leadership Monday Mashup: Video Marketing Trends

Advertising vs. Marketing Your Startup: The Battle of ROI


Topics: Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Advertising

Direct Images Interactive is an inbound marketing agency specializing in high-impact video production and online graphic design. We are centrally located between Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. Come see us at The Gate in San Leandro, a thriving tech-hub of innovators. What can we do for you?

Learn more   How do you launch & measure a remarkable inbound marketing campaign? Get the tools you need.  Download tool kit.
Contact us  Share your challenges with us! We'll help you achieve your goals and ease your pain.  How can we help you?
Call us  Want quick answers to your problems?  What’s better than picking up  the phone and calling us?  510-613-8299 <>
The Power of Choice VOD

Recent Blog Posts

In-Sites LIVE! Video