What's The Difference Between Marketing, Advertising, And PR?


You might be under the impression that marketing, advertising, and PR are all the same thing, or at least similar. Well, you're not alone. 🙌 So here is a quick and simple breakdown of their differences and a short introduction to each to help with your small business.



👉 Marketing


The Oxford Dictionary definition of marketing is as follows:

The action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

Although this definition encompasses the aspects of marketing and the role of a marketing expert, it is rather vague. Marketing is a key component in any business from start to finish, as it involves researching and understanding your consumer to be able to then influence them into purchasing your product/service. 🗣



This makes marketing essential to any business venture, as every goal in any business comes back to increasing the number of consumers. 💰



So, to put it simply, marketing is the stepping stone to making money in the business world. For further insight into what marketing is and its history, take a look at this helpful blog by Hubspot. 🔍


One of the reasons marketing is hard to define is because of its various methods. Some argue there are four types of marketing, while others say there’s over 150 (and counting❗). As a starting point, it is important to know that there are two main strategies in marketing.


This is B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) marketing. B2B is the most common option, so here are a few ways to promote your product/service to your consumers:


1) SEO 📊– Search Engine Optimization involves producing online content that appears regularly and at the top of search results. For some tips on improving SEO specifically for blog posts, take a look at our previous GuidedPR post!


2) Internet 💻– Internet marketing is rather self-explanatory, as it encompasses all marketing strategies used online and promoted through various platforms.


3) Print 📚– Print marketing is a traditional method of reaching your target audience, often achieved through sponsored articles and images.


4) Cause 🙌– Cause, or cause-related, marketing involves combining your business with a current social issue.


5) Social Media 📱– Social media marketing, much like internet marketing, involves using various platforms to get to your consumer. To read more on how to use video in social media marketing, read our helpful blog post!


6) Word of Mouth 📢– Word of mouth may seem like an outdated marketing method, however, for small, localised businesses, it can be the most effective way to access your target consumer.


And the list goes on…


If you want to look at further marketing strategies and need guidance on implementing them, take a look at this informative blog on Yodiz.🥳

👉 Advertising


Advertising is most commonly confused as the same thing as marketing, however, it is defined as:

"The activity or profession of producing advertisements for commercial products or services."


You may be thinking that is the same as marketing… ❗❓


Well, the key difference is that marketing is about promotion, and advertising concerns the production of adverts that are then used in marketing campaigns. Essentially, advertising is a specific step in marketing. If you are still confused take a look at Creating Successful Professionals for an in-depth explanation.


Unlike marketing, advertising does not involve the market research stage. Instead, it is focused on communication with potential consumers, and specifically, trying to influence them into becoming regular customers. 🤞


For more on specific comparisons between marketing and advertising, and how they work together, take a look at this detailed article by Inc.🔍


The key thing to remember is that advertising is a targeted, and specific, method of promotion that is involved in the types of marketing listed above. 📝

👉 Public Relations



Although Public Relations, or PR, is directly linked to marketing and advertising, it is defined as:

The practice of deliberately managing the release and spread of information between an individual or an organisation and the public.

More often than not, PR is misunderstood as solely concerning ‘public image’, when in reality it involves the image, promotion, communications, and many other aspects of maintaining a successful business. If this is news to you, and you run a small business, then take a look our other blog post on how to get started on using PR to increase visibility!🚩


Visibility is a key component of Public Relations, or as written in Forbes, 'Persuasion Business'. This may seem confusing as we have already established that marketing involves promotion, and advertising is the method of promotion.


What PR does is connect the business to the promotional strategy. Unlike advertising, PR offers direct and trustworthy promotion of your product/service that is precisely focused on reaching your audience and showing your expertise. And this is associated with persuasion because although PR is often the most successful method of improving your visibility as a company, it is also a lot harder to achieve. 🔍



However, if you sign up to be a member of GuidedPR, you would be granted access to our platform that uses AI to find you opportunities to be featured in the media.🥳 Sound good? Why not sign up today…


Start creating compelling content to share with journalists and on your social media channels. Try for 30 days for free! Sign up with one click!

So now that you know the key differences between marketing, advertising, and PR, you are ready to implement all three and improve your business’s promotion, sales, and visibility. 👏

About the author:

Kate is a Public Relations Assistant and Blog Copywriter Trainee at GuidedPR. She has recently graduated with a first class honours in a BA degree in English Literature and has a keen interest in online journalism. Kate is a creative at heart and wants to become a professional editor or marketing expert in the book publishing industry.


Find Kate on LinkedIn

High Profile Club Limited.®  2020 | Logo and name are protected by trademark worldwide. -  Registered in England, number 10911059.

  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black LinkedIn Icon