Whether the closest you get to the business world is about as close as an athlete is to a paintbrush or you have been a part of a business team for over a decade, it is still difficult for people to explain the difference between marketing companies and advertising agencies.
In a way, they both work towards the same goal: help their client grow.
This goal is common for a lot of businesses, but the reason marketing and advertising is so intertwined are because there is quite a lot of overlap. You cannot take a marketing 101 class at college without going over advertising, and that is what creates all the confusion—advertising falls under the wing of marketing. The reason advertising is not always under the management of marketing companies is because advertising has too much depth and importance to simply ask marketing companies to include it within their other services; this is why many colleges have advertising tracks separate from marketing degrees.
Ultimately, the difference between advertising agencies and marketing companies comes from the different purposes and roles that each firm seeks to fulfill.
To put it simply, marketing companies aim to enhance sales and profits for their respective clientele. In order to do this, they will create in-depth strategies that entail product sales, retail distribution, pricing discounts, and more. Instead of simply creating content for their client to use, a large portion of their work comes from consulting. In order to fulfill these services, marketing companies have communication managers, product managers, research analysts, and marketing directors on their team.
A lot of the same work is done at advertising agencies (such as research, consulting, and etc.), but the overall focus is ever so slightly geared differently. Instead of profits and sales, ad agencies focus on branding and the company’s reputation. Advertising agencies work towards this improved image for companies through creative content and written and visual media. In an advertising agency, you are likely to find video producers, photographers, writers, graphic designers, and web designers working together for the client.
The contrast between purpose and position is enough to distinguish a marketing company and an advertising agency even if there are some overlaying goals and roles. In this article, we have not mentioned social media managers, but you may find them at both types of firms. Not all agencies are the same and their specialties alter what service they perform, and this only adds more confusion. However, if you can recognize the difference between marketing companies and advertising agencies purpose and positions, then you will likely be able to tell the difference.
Whether you are looking for a marketing company or advertising agency, if all you want is to promote your brand or product, look no further than Fusion 360. We have talented teams that will fulfill your needs and take your company to the next level.