Digital Marketing vs. Digital Advertising - Choosing the Right One

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Is there a significant difference between digital marketing and digital advertising, or is it just “You say to-may-toe, I say to-mah-toe” semantics? Does it matter to online businesses?

Stripping away the word digital from each leave us with marketing and advertising. As it turns out, there is a substantial difference between the two, and it does matter if you want more traffic and conversions online. Although most people tend to use these terms interchangeably, they are not the same.

This article will provide you with the right definitions for both. Then we’ll delve into which is the best choice for online companies. Let’s tackle the definitions first.

Defining Brand or eCommerce Marketing

Also called brand marketing, let’s start with a couple of clinical definitions from some widely read sources. HubSpot defines digital or brand marketing as, “all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet.” Investopedia calls it, “the use of the internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other channels to reach consumers.”

Using a combination of these definitions, we can surmise that it targets specific demographics or customers through apps and any connected device such as cellphones, computers, games, and message boards.

Brand marketing breaks down into several marketing channels; here are some examples:

Managing all aspects of your promotional messages via these channels to achieve your marketing objectives is the essence of brand marketing.

Defining Digital Advertising and Why it Matters

If marketing is the boss with the blueprints, then advertising is the worker getting the job done. It is the strategic implementation that reaches the target audiences in each of the marketing channels mentioned above.

31% of people respond to an ad by clicking it, and 27% will search for the product, company, or brand.

- Invesp

It combines tools and advertising to deliver measurable results that are instrumental in improving future ads and campaigns. Digital advertising matters because it delivers quick sales messages to potential buyers when they are most likely to buy.


Critical Differences Between the Two

Advertising is a part of marketing. It’s disruptive and literally in your face with pop-ups, and other ads you see and hear while absorbing other audio or visual content. It targets a broader range of people.

Digital ads typically last only 15 to 30 seconds, delivering essential information such as discount coupons, pricing, times, locations, directions, and descriptions. It almost always contains a clear call to action.

Marketing focuses on relationship building, focusing on specific groups of prospects and customers. It’s more targeted, personal, and designed to attract rather than be disruptive. Its approach is nurturing, methodical, and allows for 2-way communication. For example, content and email marketing offer information in greater detail while allowing customers to reply.

Which One Do You Choose?

By default, every online business will inevitably engage in marketing. Planning for your website, SEO, logos, colors, product packaging, and everything that goes into creating your brand is a part of marketing. Once everything is working, you can choose to leverage advertising to drive more sales.

Marketing develops the brand, while advertising creates brand awareness. If you have a successful marketing plan in place that drives organic traffic and conversions, you may choose not to use advertising.

So, there is no “either-or” question. It’s a matter of when.

If you’re not sure of which direction to go or what you need, why not call the marketing experts at Eventige Media Group? We’ll be happy to provide a no-obligation consultation call to help you move in the right direction to maximize your company’s growth.

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