The general consensus among marketing and business professionals is that advertising falls under the broader umbrella of marketing—a small slice of the larger marketing pie. So how and why do we differentiate between the two? Where does one begin and the other end? There is a certain amount of overlap between the two activities, depending on the company and the marketing plan—but here’s the breakdown: The fundamental activity associated with advertising is to take a product or service and build a promotional campaign to generate interest and excitement, usually via a paid, persuasive message directed toward a general or specific segment of the public. We’re all pretty well familiar with an advertisement, and a good deal about what goes into producing and disseminating one. As we explore and identify the multiple functions of marketing, we can draw a clearer picture of how advertising fits into the overall “marketing mix.”
The function of marketing is to do less hard selling and more planning. This planning includes a mix of business initiatives or activities designed to promote the company’s success. The primary goal of any marketing campaign is to bring together sellers and buyers toward a mutually beneficial arrangement, and is not necessarily geared toward the sale of a particular item or service. Marketing tends to focus on promoting brand awareness and involves a certain degree of public relations, assessing the competition and the market, and establishing pricing schemes—rather than engaging in the outright selling of products or services. In the end, perhaps the practical similarities are greater then the differences—and for our purposes, someone with a career in advertising might easily transfer their skills over to a career in marketing, and vice versa.
Jobs in advertising are generally built around the actual production and dissemination of the advertisements themselves. Jobs range from the creative and technical to the administrative and directorial. Here are several job titles to look over:
Jobs in marketing tend to cover a broader range of job functions and careers, as they relate to the other various subfields of marketing: market research, public relations, creative services, etc. Job titles include:
Small businesses typically hire advertising agencies to handle accounts and advertising production work, although sometimes smaller firms handle all marketing, advertising, public relations, creative and layout work—even sales—themselves.
Naturally, the first place to start is with a graduate degree program. Masters-level programs are designed for students who intend to pursue careers in the industry. Doctoral-level programs are designed for those who would like to teach marketing at the university level.
Most graduate students interested in a career in marketing tend to go for an MBA (master of business administration) with a concentration in marketing. There are some programs in the United States that offer graduate degrees specifically in marketing.
Marketing and advertising, as in any job market, have seen some minor ups and downs. However, the truth is that the marketing and advertising industries are in a steady growth period, and have been for some time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job growth in marketing and advertising should follow the average rate for all occupations, about 12 percent. This job growth will be brought on by intense competition in products and services offered, and a continued increase in online, television and radio advertising.
No matter the industry, whether it be the public or private sector, for a large corporation or a smaller independent firm, an MA, MBA with an emphasis in marketing or PhD in advertising will open you up to a world of professional career options. A career in marketing or advertising can take you in many directions—toward that creative and exciting career you’ve dreamed of. So start looking through the GradSchools.com directory now to find the program that matches your goals.