What is the difference between marketing and advertising?


Difference between marketing and advertising

So, what is the difference between marketing and advertising? Really, not much, but advertising is a subset of marketing.

This is a pretty good question and one that seems to be asked quite often. In fact, this was brought up just the other day, so I felt compelled to post a blog about the topic.

About the easiest place to start sharing differences is to provide the official definitions of each word, which are as follow:

Advertising: The paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.

Marketing: The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products.

So, in summary — advertising is anything you do to reach your prospective or existing customer audience(s) via a solicitation of kind, and is a subset OF marketing.

Marketing includes advertising, but also includes other activities, such as planning, research, data analysis, psychological evaluation of target audiences, sales/territory planning, brand management, reputation management, etc.

Think of it this way, when you have a pie graph, the pie graph itself would be measuring the “marketing” volumes, and advertising would have it’s own slice within the pie.

The differences are subtle, but by in large, the two have become synonymous over the years.

That’s it for this week, as I’m writing from a flight between Philadelphia to Dallas/Fort Worth, so I want to keep this one short & sweet.

Next week’s blog, which will be posted on my regularly scheduled day of the week (Tuesday) will feature a video about subliminal advertising.

This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in awhile and I look forward to sharing it with you all.

I will also answer the question of: “Why should we continue doing banner advertising on the web if we’re not seeing the direct ROI numbers in terms of donations/revenue being generated?

This next one will be fun, so be sure to tune in. If you want to receive updates via email on Friday mornings, simply click my registration button at the top right of the blog.

It will send you to a new form I’ve added to automate the delivery of this blog’s activity. Again, I will not abuse your trust and will only deliver this content into your inbox.

Thank you for your trust & readership. I’ll see you all next week.

— GC


People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.


I recently watched a video about communication, sales and marketing that struck me as the most influential piece of footage that I have seen in some time. The following video is simply amazing and should be digested by all marketers, regardless of the product/service they market or sell.

The Golden Circle, by Simon Sinek:

In the video, Simon talks about motivations of the human psychology – and more specifically, gives examples of tremendous successes and failures throughout history of true visionaries that have leveraged The Golden Circle to become some of the most influential people or companies in modern history. He chronicles the stories of Apple, The Wright Brothers and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Summary of The Golden Circle methodology:

The Golden Circle methodology teaches us marketers to communicate the reason “why” we do things. If you think about your marketing efforts — do they commonly focus on the “what” you do (this widget can do this, here’s what we’re doing to help people, etc.)? If so, try shifting your messaging, value propositions and brand to focus on the “why” you do it is what you do.

The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle of motivation, or in this case marketing, should be leveraged by all marketing groups across the globe. Communicating from the center to the outside is the proper way to be successful. Remember, people don't buy "what" you do, they buy "why" you do it.

The purpose of your organization, the cause you serve or your belief in how you can change the world (or business, etc). This is driving your organization’s motives and actions.

These are the guiding principles of your organization. These are specific steps or actions you take to realize your “why” (or purpose).

The what is a byproduct of the steps you take to fulfill your purpose. This is the tangible result of “how” you bring your “why” to life. These items could be your product or service.

Marketers deal with these three areas every day. This is not new thinking at all, is it? But what Simon teaches is to focus on the direction in which we message.

Most marketers will build their campaigns starting with the “what” and work their way into the center of The Golden Circle — which is the “why”. Worse yet, some marketers forget the “why” all together. The “why” should be communicated in every thing you do when interacting with your prospective and existing customers.

In Simon’s example of Apple, he says that if Apple were run by most marketers, that a marketing message from them would sound something like this:

What: We make great computers.
How: They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly.

… Want to buy one?

Of course, there is no “why” here — because as he says, most marketing organizations do not clearly communicate their “why”. He then outlines exactly how Apple markets and sells their wares, by outlining the following way in which they inspire, which is:

Why: Everything we do, we believe in challenging the ‘status quo’. We believe in thinking differently.
How: The way we challenge the ‘status quo’ is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly
What: We just happen to make computers.

… Want to buy one?

Clearly, the second of the two is far more motivating. It explains why people will camp outside of an Apple Store for weeks before the new iPhone is released in 100+ degree temperatures. People are inspired. People are motivated. People buy from Apple not because they make a cell phone, or a smart phone or even that they have a touch-screen phone per se.

They buy from Apple because they are inspired by what they believe. They, too, want to challenge the status quo. By buying Apple products, they feel that are different from the rest of the world. They feel that they, too, are innovative and creative.

They buy from Apple because they believe in thinking differently.

In conclusion, I would like to first thank Simon for opening my eyes with this discussion. I have now completely changed my line of thinking with regards to strategy and marketing approach. Every single marketing objective I build, develop or deploy will now be filtered through The Golden Circle moving forward.

Did it inspire you, as well?

— GC

How do you turn petition signers into donors?

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Names. Donors. Dollars. Impact.

How do you turn petition signers into donors?

Petitions are a great name acquisition marketing strategy, but the petitioner will usually underperform in donation campaigns. So, how do you leverage these names to generate dollars and impact?

These are the four things that most non-profit organizations are looking for with regards to their marketing and advertising efforts. They want to acquire more names to market to, cultivate a relationship with them to turn them into donors, collect dollars, which will assist them in extending their reach (thereby making an impact for their cause).

One of the best ways of collecting names is by putting together a petition and asking for folks to sign it. We did this recently with one of our customers and the results were staggering. When you find a polarizing issue and support the tactic as an “acquisition strategy” — you can really gather a significant growth in your overall email file size.

Where most organizations fail in their efforts of collecting funds from these petitioners is that their next email appeal to these newly acquired names is to ask for money.

I learned that you really need to have at least one intermediary step in this equation to “ease the friction” involved with the giving process.

If you evaluate the psychology of the names gathered from a petition signing campaign, you come to the realization that these folks want to be involved. They want to have their voices heard and by signing a petition, they’ve felt that they’ve done at least a small portion of the heavy-lifting.

Psychologically, if you approach them with an “ask” for donations with your very next message — odds are your results will be lackluster at best.

You need to find a bridge between the two places and a quiz is a great second step in the process of cultivating these new names on your email file into an active and involved donor file.

Ask them to become once again involved with your cause or issue. Test their knowledge on the subject matter by asking several questions & then providing them answers based upon factual information regarding the cause. Once you’ve run them through a series of quiz questions to build a desired emotion (anger, compassion, etc.), then ask them: “If you could do something to  ________ (insert: promote, support, stop, fight, change, etc.) this issue, would you?”

If they answer yes — then provide the visitor with the ability to easily make a donation to your cause.

Of course, this will not turn all of your petitioners into donors, but the process has begun to cultivate a relationship with these individuals.

Odds are, however, that you will have a much higher open, clickthrough and email response rate as a result of this tactic.

— GC

Emotion vs. Logic in your marketing pitch

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Emotion vs Logic

When it comes to your marketing pitch, you should strike a delicate balance between emotion and logic. Don't just tug the heart strings, that's sometimes a turn off for certain audiences.

I recently was asked by the local chapter of a large, national non-profit organization (whose mission is to help today’s youth reach their potential through one-to-one relationships with mentors) to consult with their staff regarding their offline and online marketing initiatives for their biggest event upcoming in the fall.

There was no question in my mind that the folks I was speaking with were highly capable marketers, who were deserving of their positions at this non-profit, however I could tell that they have been in “do mode” for far too long.

When you’re stuck in “do mode”, you often forget to start in “think mode”. And when you’re not thinking clearly, you often receive varying (but usually lackluster) results.

I used to preach “accuracy over speed” to my marketing team in a past life. The goal of an effective marketing team should be to be calculated and precise with their messaging and motives.

The organization I was speaking with throws an annual “black tie” event, in which they invite their mentors to attend a nice formal gala, they throw an auction and raise large sums of cash for their cause.

In our discussions, I was able to (after much questioning) arrive at their target audiences, which are (ordered in their level of importance):

  1. Corporate sponsors
  2. In-kind donors of items for their auction
  3. Event attendees

They admitted that the corporate sponsors will bring between 65% – 80% of the overall donation dollars generated by the event. With the slow economy, they were experiencing sponsors either withdrawing their funds, or dropping between sponsorship levels (from a higher donation amount, to a lesser one).

They were perplexed and they needed help identifying how they could justify the investments these corporate sponsors were making.

When I asked them about the demographic information of the event, they weren’t able to tell me anything. They knew attendance numbers from past events and could show an incline in tickets being purchased, but they could not share any information about the audience (breakdown on age, gender, household income, ethnicity, etc).

I felt like it was clear that this organization was not thinking about what materials their primary target audience needed to justify any sponsorship or donation considerations they were asking for in form of a sponsorship for this event. Yes, businesses will provide sponsor events like this to support a cause (and have their organization affiliated with the organization) because it brings good publicity and builds brand reputation. The bottom line, however, is that business decisions are based upon results.

The fix seemed simple enough: Provide the corporate sponsors with more detailed information about their audience to provide them with a level of analytical justification.

This is where the Emotion vs. Logic debate comes into play.

The organization had focused completely on the “emotion” side of the fence by hyper-promoting the impact the organization was having on today’s youth, posting pictures of those children they were helping in their collateral and having testimonials from either mentors or the mentored on the impact the organization had had in their lives.

Although this is great content, there simply was no balance in their pitch, as there was no representation for “logic” or analytical content.

With a few simple tweaks, the organization now plans to leverage a healthy balance in their promotional materials by:

  1. Providing more statistical & demographic ammunition for corporate sponsors to evaluate (logic)
  2. Leverage testimonials from past corporate sponsors about what it has meant to support their cause (emotion)

The team was excited. By having our brief conversation, I believe they now fully understood the need for a good balance between the levels of emotion and logical content used in their marketing pitch.

I was happy to help and look forward to speaking with them after the event has taken place to see what kind of impact these recommendations had on their fund raising efforts.

— GC

Don’t make your fund raising effort a long distance relationship

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Long Distance Relationship

Our fund raising efforts should not mimic long distance relationships. Bring people together and provide them with a chance to provide a gift at the same place your compelling content is.

I was asked to attend a meeting with one of our long time direct mail customers to assist in reviewing their website, online marketing and donation materials/processes. My purpose for being in the meeting was to bring a fresh set of eyes to the table, as I had no preconceptions about their organization, their efforts or their online giving process.

Often, an “outsider’s perspective” can provide a tremendous amount of value to something that has been “stagnant” for a large amount of time. In this case, I quickly realized something that this organization was doing wrong.

Their website had tons of great content, including Flash animation with images and voice over recordings that clearly communicated their mission and specifically what impact they had made with the funds that had been donated to them. There were prayer guides, videos and tons of other great things for their constituents to interact with and learn from.

The problem was that they were not really leveraging this content to ensure that donations to their cause could be easily collected.

When someone wanted to provide their organization with a donation, the process was very shopping cart-like. There were at least 5 steps involved with providing a donation and there were the dreaded SSL certificate errors popping up stating that there were insecure items on the page which could potentially jeopardize the organization’s success rate in collecting funds.

They had effectively created a long distance relationship with their prospective constituents. Ugh!

Giving a gift should be SIMPLE! Provide me with compelling content and when I consume that information and feel moved to give a gift to support your cause — give me a chance to do that easily and immediately.

I’ve created a credo that I will promote at every turn moving forward and that I think every non-profit organization that is looking to increase their fund raising results should live by. It is as follows:

“The distance between your compelling content and your donation form is directly proportionate to your failure rate.”

I was in a long distance relationship once that lasted for about a year. Although we made it through that time together to be once again reunited, the relationship was never the same. So, it got me thinking about how long distance relationships work out by in large.

Did you know that there is an institute specifically dedicated to the study of long distance relationships (or as they call them “LDRs”)? The organization’s name is The Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships.

Below are some of the statistics that they put together in their (albeit somewhat dated) studies.

The Centre for the Study of Long Distance Relationships compiled data of over 200 couples and found the following averages:

  • Average distance apart: 125 miles
  • Average number of visits: 1.5 times per month
  • Average number of phone calls: once every 2 days
  • Average length of phone calls: 30 minutes
  • Average number of letters written (excl. E-mail): 3 letters per month
  • Average amount of time couples expect to live apart before they can move closer: 14 months

A 2002 study by a large US southeastern university of approximately 450 university students reported the following statistics:

  • 20% of respondents were currently in LDRs
  • 37% of respondents have been in LDRs
  • 11% of respondents in LDRs managed to see their partners weekly
  • 16% of respondents in LDRs never saw them at all
  • 56% of respondents in LDRs spoke on the phone several times a week
  • 53% of respondents in LDRs e-mailed daily
  • 1/5 of respondents in LDRs reported that being in an LDR made their relationship worse

In summary, if 20% of the respondents to their study stated that having a long distance between themselves and their significant other made the relationship worse, then I would argue that nearly 80% of your constituents that have to travel the lengths of the Earth to provide you with a kind donation we’ll be turned off by your relationship.

Simplify the process and make providing your organization a gift and your likelihood that overall gifts increase will be strong. Any time spent on optimizing the giving process will be time well spent.

Of course, if you need some experts to help analyze, optimize, implement, test, reinvent and establish steady growth for your fund raising efforts … you may need to turn to experts like KMA Direct Communications to help.

Oh, and if you do, tell them that Greg sent you! 😉

— GC

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