Business marketing is the promotion of a company’s products or services to a specific audience. It can also be the act of engaging in actions to improve a company’s name recognition and public goodwill. Advertising is a much more generic promotion of a product or service to a less specific segment of the target audience. Even though advertising and marketing are not synonymous concepts, adding an advertising component to a marketing strategy is standard business practice.
A traditional marketing plan outlines a company’s strategy for publicizing its products and services, improving its mindshare with the target market and building goodwill about the company’s brand identity. Several marketing activities are not related to advertising. Some marketing activities are more passive such as a coherent and consistent logo and stationary design.
By contrast, an advertising plan is intended to actively promote a specific product or service to a defined consumer segment.
Although it is possible to market a company or even a product line without direct advertising, in general, advertising is the most effective way of communicating a product or service to a target audience.
Professional marketers usually segregate the return on investment for both the marketing and the advertisement programs. An ad program should generate more closed sales than the program cost to develop it. However, not all the impact from advertising is quantifiable.
Advertising plans are generally tactical approaches to a larger strategic vision contained in the marketing plan. Ideally the marketing plan should drive the ad plan, but not the other way around. In addition, the core principles in the marketing strategy will typically shape the types of ads that are acceptable.
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