Skip to content


Marketing vs Advertising: Which is Right for My Business?

Ashley Quintana, M.S., B.A.

June 7, 2016

1 minute read

Everyone is talking about digital marketing and digital advertising, and the small business owner has every right to be confused. What is this inbound marketing everyone is talking about? What about native advertising? And where should you invest your company’s budget to get the best results? Let’s break down the marketing v advertising debate.

What's the difference between marketing and advertising?

First of all, pitting marketing v advertising is a trick question: they are not separate or opposing concepts.

Rather, an advertising campaign is only a part of a wider marketing strategy for lead generation.

For example, if you think of a presidential campaign, advertising is limited to TV and radio spots, newspaper and internet ads - basically, instances in which somebody pays to get a message out in front of people.

"The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time." - Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company

On the other hand, the marketing strategy will also contemplate social media strategies, market studies, coordinating visits to communities and interviews in talk shows, managing PR, coordinating tours and much more.

Advertising in marketing is just a slice of a larger pie that includes other approaches to generate leads and brand awareness.


Advertising of any kind is a clear example of outbound marketing: the marketing approach that reaches out to the public with information and offers, trying to generate business in a more or less targeted way.

The opposite of outbound marketing is - you guessed it - inbound marketing, which uses content advertising to attract the right audience by offering them quality content they are interested in, and in this way building trust and a reputation as experts.


A small business marketing strategy should contemplate as many approaches as possible: advertising for local business, inbound marketing, use of digital assets, raising brand awareness and more. However small your marketing budget, a good strategy will increase lead generation and revenue, and help your business grow steadily.

New Call-to-action


Ashley Quintana, M.S., B.A.

Ashley Quintana is a co-founder of Bridges. In her role, she develops, leads, and executes digital marketing strategies for the company’s growing client base, including a Fortune 500 subsidiary and an NBA basketball team. Ashley’s work can be found in the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science, and she is an 40 Under 40 honoree for her leadership in business and community. She frequently speaks at universities, churches, and conferences on marketing, diversity, and business.

Stay in the know