What’s the Difference between Marketing, Advertising, and Sales?

Business Tips and Trends

People often confuse marketing with advertising and sales with marketing. While the three share many similarities, they are not the same but should all be used simultaneously for success. Let’s break it down to the basics with a dictionary:

Marketing: the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

Advertising: the activity or profession or producing advertisements for commercial products or services.

Sales: the exchange of a commodity for money; the action of selling something.

Marketing is the action; advertising the activity; and sales (or selling) is the exchange.

Marketing entails the planning, research, public relations, product pricing, distribution, customer support, sales strategy and community relations used to sell from this mix of business activities intended to bring sales.

Advertising is the announcement of a persuasive message with the intent to promote products or services. Advertising is a single component of the marketing process. It’s just the part that involves getting the word out via advertising design using such mediums as TV, radio, direct mail, billboards, social media and brochures or catalogs.

Making a sale is the end result of the marketing and advertising process. The sales process usually consists of interpersonal interaction, often done by one-on-one meetings, cold calls and networking. Most of the time the prospect or potential customer has been driven to you via intense marketing efforts and well-designed advertising.