“Advertising is the same as marketing,” you may be thinking as you’re forced to sit through yet another ad for something you don’t want on YouTube. “I’m so sick of it!” On that note of being sick of this, we wholeheartedly agree with you. Advertising may have its place in some ways (as much as we hate junk mail, coupons are okay), but online is most definitely one of the most annoying.

However, the claim that advertising is the same as online marketing is not at all true. Shocking, right? Did you know that there are many other misconceptions as well? Some of these false claims could actually be harming what’s valuable to you: your business! Without further ado, let’s address these misconceptions about online marketing and really straighten things out.

1: No, Online Marketing is Not Advertising

First we need to define what marketing is for both online and offline purposes, and here’s Google’s answer:

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

From here we can see that advertising is an action related to marketing, but it is not the same. Now let’s look at advertising’s definition:

“the activity or profession of producing advertisements for commercial products or services.”

As you can see, there are two different methods at work here. One, marketing (and this applies to offline and online) involves promotion in addition to selling. Two, Google does not define advertising as marketing.

If you’re still adamant about believing that marketing and advertising are still one and the same thing, let’s change your mind with a little information from MarketingProfs:

“Advertising is just one component, or subset, of marketing. Public relations, media planning, product pricing and distribution, sales strategy, customer support, market research and community involvement are all parts of comprehensive marketing efforts.”

To mistake marketing for advertising is dangerous not only because of people mixing the two together, but also because relying purely on ads for a business will not provide any long-term benefits. Advertising is much, much more expensive to run than it used to be when it was the only solution we had for marketing our businesses. This is why more and more businesses are relying on social media marketing to promote themselves (more on that later).

For the record, let’s set a few other things straight:

  • No, marketing is not PR (public relations) either
  • Neither is branding, for that matter

Public relations is defined as professionally maintaining a positive image for a company or person, and branding is whole other process with many steps involved in the making of a brand. These are part of the same umbrella that is marketing, but they are not to be mistaken as such.

2: Marketing is Unaffordable, so We Have to Cut it Out of Our Budget

This is another harmful misconception because without marketing, no one will learn about your business in the first place. Also, cutting marketing out of your business’s budget is exactly how some great ideas and businesses sink in the first place! What makes online marketing so necessary now is how signing up for certain aspects of it, such as social media, can actually be done free of charge; it’s actually putting effort into the content aspects of it that requires some skill and planning. There are smarter ways to rethink your budget if money is tight right now, but cutting out marketing entirely will harm your business rather than help it.

3: Everyone Already Knows About Me Offline, So I Don’t Need Online Marketing

This is not even remotely true, and it’s the most dangerous misconception of all. Everyone, no matter how big or small their business is or how well known their brick-and-mortar location is, needs online marketing. It’s just how the cards are falling right now. People are becoming smarter about the services and products they want to purchase, and they’re looking for real engagement and a great experience whether they’re just shopping for groceries or trying to hire some extra help for their housekeeping. They are also turning more and more towards online to find those very services. That right there is exactly why you need online marketing.

4: There, I have Online Marketing Now, I’ll Just Wait for the Sales to Roll In

Nope. That is not how it goes. Online marketing requires more than just having it. It’s a process, one that is as involving as branding, PR, and advertising are. For the record, content and SEO are also processes rather than quickie solutions to gain more traffic fast. (In case you’re wondering, yes, we have articles about each of these subjects. Check out this post for SEO, and this post for content marketing to see what we mean.) The main difference between advertising and the latter strategies is that for all the costs you can pour into ads, creating great content and properly applying SEO to a website doesn’t cost you nearly as much.

That being said, if traditional marketing is working out for you regardless, keep on using it. We’re not saying to throw the idea out entirely, so much as to help you gain some perspective on the two types of marketing.

5: If I Don’t Have Social Media Marketing, I’ll Stand Out

Actually, the opposite is true. In addition to online marketing (which does include hosting a website, FYI), social media marketing can do what print ads can’t: be customized towards the particular target audience you’re looking for.

Any promotions on Facebook, Twitter, etc. require you to fill in the blanks about the gender, age, and so on of your target audience so that rather than blaring out advertising to just everyone, they reach the people you really want to get in touch with, and at a way less expensive cost. The promotions can cost as little or as much as you want them to, starting at $1 per day. The reach of promotions for only that much money may surprise you!

Do you feel more enlightened now? We sure hope so! If you’re still not convinced, why not give us a call at V3 Media and we can discuss the subject in more detail? In the meantime, think hard about your website, and if you want to stay in touch with our modern times, let us know and we can consult with you one on one.