Marketing vs. Advertising Agencies

Posted at Feb 23, 2022 6:45:00 AM by THAT Agency | Share

Alright, everyone wants to grow their business. Growth is the default setting for most people. If we don't feel like we're moving forward, learning new things and improving, then we feel stuck. In the business world, if you're not growing and improving, then you're losing to the competition. Now, both marketing agencies and advertising agencies are designed to help your business grow. But, which one is right for you? Well, it all depends on your goals. In this article we dive into the marketing vs. advertising agencies conversation. 

Let's start with some definitions. 

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A Marketing Agency helps clients implement and manage marketing strategies to achieve their business goals through various strategies. 

These days, most marketing agencies (like THAT Agency) are "Full-Suite Digital Marketing Agencies". Why? We'll cover that at the end. 

An Advertising Agency is an agency employed by advertisers to plan, design, place, and supervise their advertisements or advertising campaigns. 

Ok, now don't blame us for those definitions. We realize that they're vague, somewhat unhelpful, and almost redundant. But hey, we're not the dictionary. We're the ones who want to help expand on the dictionary. That's why we wrote this article. 



For the purposes of this article, we're going to focus on Digital Marketing Agencies. In today's ever evolving online landscape, trying to keep up can easily become overwhelming. From Social Media to Search Engine Optimization and Content Creation, many businesses turn to marketing agencies to handle the things they don't have the time or resources to take care of in-house. 

Regardless of the industry that your business is in, driving sales and new leads is essential. Now, if your business doesn't have the time or resources to handle marketing in-house, then you also probably don't have a full sales team. And that's fine. Today, people are wary of being sold to. They want to do their own research, and find solutions to their problems that they feel are the best fit. 

So, your business may offer those solutions, but if you aren't appearing in the right places, then those searching for what you have to offer will likely go with someone else. A marketing agency helps you become discoverable. Ideally, your business wants to appear on the first page of search engines for searches related to your products or services, have an attractive website, have a strong social media presence, etc. All of these factors effect whether or not someone decides to go with your company. 

We call this approach "Inbound Marketing". It means drawing your customers to you instead of having to go out and hunt them down. That leads us into the advertising side.



For the purposes of this article, and to compare apples-to-apples, we are going to be talking about digital advertising agencies. 

Advertising agencies are similar to marketing agencies in that they produce content for your brand. The difference is: you are paying an advertising agency to create something for you, and then purchase ad space somewhere else to display the content. 

This approach is more of an "outbound" method. Instead of your customers finding you after performing a search, your business is thrown in front of your potential customers' eyes. This can be a useful tactic. 

Maybe you want to create brand awareness. There is certainly a time and place for that. And the simple fact that advertising as a marketing strategy is still around  is proof that it can be very useful. 

It has also become easier to target people/businesses more accurately with social media and search engines. Data privacy is a hot topic, and one that is contentious. But if you are a business trying to reach a certain kind of customer, it can have a big impact. Being able to create an ad that will be seen primarily by your target audience was just a dream a few decades ago. And now that someone can click on your ad one second, be on your website another, and make a purchase within the minute? That's extraordinary. 


The Comparison

What are you looking for? What are you looking to spend? In conclusion, if you are looking for a quick-win or a bump in sales, then hiring an advertising agency is a good way to do that (as long as you hire a good advertising agency). 

But if you are looking for sustainable organic growth, then a marketing agency is what you want. If you want to build and maintain an online presence, to become a leader in your industry or area, and to build a book of repeat business, then you need to find a marketing agency. And would you look at that, you're reading this, so you've already found one

And since you've kept reading all the way to the bottom, then we hope you've liked the insight and found the answer you were looking for. And, as promised: the explanation of "full-suite". A full-suite digital marketing agency will be able to handle:

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) onsite and offsite
  • Social Media Management
  • Content Creation
  • Web Design
  • Email Marketing
  •  Media Production
  • Ad Buying (if you'd like)

If you think that a full-suite digital marketing agency is exactly what your business needs in order to grow, then reach out to us. We'd be happy to have an open and honest conversation about your business, what you're looking for, and if we truly feel that we're the best ones for the job. 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Tags: SEO, Digital Marketing, Inbound Marketing, online marketing, advertising

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