Looking back through ages before the Internet, (when the world was ruled by the printed editions, TV and radio programs) the marketing gurus on Madison Avenue would tell you there was a certain difference between “advertising” and “marketing” itself, even though these terms used to be interchangeable. Flashing forward to digital and mobile world we’re living in, it's even harder to uncouple these two concepts. After all, with campaigns that combine direct email actions, in line with YouTube and many other mixed media strategies, it's already a common practice to apply for the concepts of “digital marketing” and “digital advertising” simultaneously, as if they were really one and the same.
But don’t be mistaken: online marketing is not exactly the same thing as online advertising. Do you want to know why it happened so? Let's see.
Initial Concept of “Advertising” Falls Under the Umbrella of “Marketing”
The process of digital online marketing starts as soon as the team of marketing professionals is brought to real action. Some initial considerations will include determining the price point for the product(s) or service(s), coming up with design outlook for their packaging, followed with writing a special sales copy that highlights all points, which would be appealing to potential customers. From this point of view, decision making on what kinds of ads and posts will be used (Print, Sponsored Links, Social Media, TV/YouTube, etc.) becomes the main engine driving the whole marketing strategy for business. Thus, digital advertising means designing ads to get them posted online. Yes, it is a crucial part of digital marketing, I should admit. But it's still just a small part of the bigger picture.
Digital Advertising Is Broad. Digital Marketing Is More Specific.
Everything published online with commercial purpose can be observed as a part of digital marketing. This includes every blog post, podcast, explanatory videos and tutorials, and any other social media activities aimed at promotion. Over and over again, let’s observe online ads as just a single component of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Besides, dealing with them takes certainly less time and efforts, rather than the rest of aspects we mentioned above.
And it may often lead to such case, when a digital advertising specialist makes an advertisement based on the data collected by the crew of digital marketing agency. What's more, ads should have a general appeal aimed at covering the target audience as broadly, as possible. Their effectiveness is comparable with CTA (Call to Action) buttons, as these ads are intended to convert occasional visitors into potential customers. Most commonly, they offer to sign up for a newsletter, follow on social media, etc.
In contrast, once the profile of the followers/customers is finally determined, the other specific means of digital marketing like direct emails or blog posts become reasonable, and therefore, much more effective.
Advertising Stands for Brand Awareness. Marketing Means Brand Development.
Whether it's a billboard, a page in a magazine, a sponsored FaceBook post, or an online pop-up ad, the aim of advertising is to make the brand more recognizable, to be remembered by the audience. (That's why catchy slogans and jingles are really doing their trick!).
On the other hand, marketers are concerned about defining a brand's image, that’s why they always try to make it appealing in a much broader sense. Thus, getting a feedback from the actual clients and the rest of audience is important for successful ongoing process of marketing. I mean the marketing process is never stopping and should be constantly adjusted as your business is kept running.
Digital Advertising Is Just a Single Tool within the Realm of Digital Marketing
So let's make a brief conclusion.
Digital advertising means just advertising, while the rest of tools used for online ads today are actually comparable with those used in the “traditional” era of advertising long ago. These include a so-called dominant text ads fueled by carefully crafted slogans and sales copies, image-dominant ads highlighted with the powerful graphics and psychologically sound color combinations, audio ads (radio jingles), as well as audio visual advertisements (TV ads). After all, digital ads are just a form of online adaptation of these good old classics, while the main objective is kept the same: their mission is to make the viewers aware of the brand by simply grabbing their attention for a while.