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Advertising, marketing: the key differences, explained

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Advertising, marketing: the key differences, explained

Colleen Romano

Colleen Romano

Colleen Romano

By Sarah O'Beirne, Staff writer

It’s often assumed marketing and advertising are the same despite being in different colleges. Though related, the two majors are distinct in their specialties. 

Professor Mark Wolters, instructor for BADM 320: Principles of Marketing, said marketing and advertising fields work together but are not the same job.

“Advertising is a part of marketing because we work together,” Wolters said. “It is the creative and visual side of the business where people try to get the word out about a product. Marketing just entails a lot more — developing a product, creating a supply chain, pricing, service marketing — but I can see why people might get them confused because the advertising side is all they see.”

Marketing is housed in the Gies College of Business, while advertising is in the College of Media.

Though the College of Media is one the smallest colleges within the University, there are more advertising majors than marketing majors.

According to the University’s Division of Management Information, for Spring 2018, there are 661 undergraduate advertising majors and only 250 undergraduate marketing majors.

Wolters said the number of marketing majors has decreased over the years and the top-ranked accounting program in the Gies College of Business could be a reason for the smaller numbers.

Marketing involves data analysis. Companies such as Facebook and Google can track online footprints and target advertisements based on data. Marketing majors can end up with jobs in sales, brand management, product development and consulting.

“Marketing has had a lot of the job growth. With the all the collected data, we need people to understand what does it mean,” Wolters said. “If a consumer buys diapers, next coupon printed on the back (of the receipt) will be for baby food because we know the purchaser obviously has a baby.”

Advertising, on the other hand, focuses on the creative aspect and directly targets consumers with advertisements. A major in advertising can lead to jobs such as creative director or marketing coordinator.

Gianna Mazeka, sophomore in Media, is an advertising major. She chose advertising because it allows for creativity.

“I came in (to the University) undecided and I took ADV 150 and fell in love with the class,” Mazeka said. “I think I want to work for a company and help them with advertising research and be hands-on with the products.”

Isabel Angel, freshman in LAS, is considering changing her major to advertising.

“Advertising interests me because it is technically business, but still allows people to be creative and use their own mind,” Angel said.

Angel is taking ADV 150: Introduction to Advertising and MDIA 270: Introduction to Media Sales to help her prepare to apply for the advertising major in the fall.

“I really enjoy my ADV 150 class because we get to dive into the concepts of advertising,” Angel said. “We looked at famous ad campaigns and discussed why they did or didn’t work, types of advertising firms and jobs within advertising.”

Both majors, though in different colleges, are required to take BADM 320, STAT 100: Statistics, ECON 102: Microeconomic Principles and ECON 103: Macroeconomic Principles.

BADM 320 focuses on concepts of marketing, such as advertising. The lecture of 550 students is a mix of many majors.

“In a large lecture, I can’t tell exactly what students’ majors are,” Wolters said. “But I can see their reactions and when I talk about things, such as advertising and greater marketing communication, I see advertising majors perk up because it relates to them, but at the same time I get the same with reaction with service marketing and accounting majors.”

Wolters said knowing the basis of marketing can be used for a variety of different majors, not just marketing.

“Marketing goes into any business. You have to be able to sell yourself whether you’re an econ major or a journalism major,” Wolters said. “If I don’t prepare my students for the real world, then I have failed them. For a lot of these students, they only have one marketing course, so I want them to be ready to go out in the real world.”

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