Marketing vs. Advertising: Crowning the Champion

In the spirit of competition, the world can recall some of the greatest match-ups in history. From the World Heavyweight Championship to the Olympic gold medal, legendary rivals have gone head to head desperately seeking the proud label of Undisputed King. Consider just a few of the most epic match-ups in history:

  • Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier
  • Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers (1984)
  • Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte
  • Terry Bradshaw vs. Roger Staubach (Super Bowl XIII)

The Meaning of Competition

We live in a society powerfully drawn to competition. We place bets, wager salaries and pool together huge pots to claim the ultimate prize. Everyone wants to go home the victor.
Looking at the greatest match-ups in history, there’s another legendary competition to include on the list:

  • Marketing vs. Advertising

First Things First: What’s the Difference?

Many people confuse marketing with advertising and vice versa. Some people think the two are one in the same. The components are similar in importance but drastically different in function.
Before we ditch the gloves and throw them into the ring, let’s identify the fundamental differences between marketing and advertising with formal definitions. Only then can we officially size them up and crown the champ.


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

Advertising is spreading the word about a business and its products and services. The most basic advertising strategies involve ad placement in newspapers, billboards, television, radio and the Internet. Despite the fact that advertising is the largest expense of most marketing plans – just ahead of public relations, with market research falling not far behind – it is only a single component of the marketing process.


Marketing is 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.

Marketing is everything that an organization does to facilitate an exchange between company and consumer. It’s easiest to think of marketing as a pie made up of individual slices.
Typical slices include market research, public relations, media planning, distribution, product pricing, sales strategy, community involvement and customer support. Advertising is another slice, which must work not only independently of the other slices but also together towards a bigger goal.
Got it? Good! Now, back to the match-up: Marketing vs. Advertising.

The Game of the Century

Crowning the champ between marketing and advertising is a lot like 1946 Army vs. Notre Dame college football game, arguably the Game of the Century during its time.
Both teams had high-powered offenses – just as marketing and advertising have similar strengths – but the game turned into a defense battle ending in a 0-0 tie. The game lives on today as one of the greatest ever played.
What’s interesting is that both Notre Dame and Army ended the 1946 season undefeated with one tie. Despite the comparable performance, The Associated Press awarded the national championship to Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish.

Crowning the Champ

A head’s up match between marketing and advertising could easily end in a tie. Both deliver powerful performances to help organizations flourish and grow. Just like the 1946 college football season, crowning one over the other is not necessarily an indicator of superior performance but rather a need to satisfy the spirit of competition. Only one can go home the victor – and we crown marketing the champion.

Linx is More…

The real strength of marketing and advertising is when the two work together. Marketing without advertising – and advertising without marketing – limits the full potential of the overarching goal. Linx pushes the limits of marketing and advertising with a market-driven business strategy.

Linx is more than an advertising agency.

Ad agencies rely on traditional executions because it’s what they know. Linx relies on market-driven business strategies to give your organization a competitive edge.

Linx is more than a marketing consultant.

More than “marketing advice” – Linx can test, pull back and adjust, perform risk/reward calculations and implement a plethora of our own market-driven business strategies.
Contact us today for a market-driven business strategy.

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