Blog 2
Mar 09

Understanding the Difference Between Marketing and Branding

Understanding the Difference Between Marketing and Branding… And Why it Matters

Marketing is one of those fields that’s filled with jargon and buzzwords. With so many new terms, tactics, and strategies, it’s no wonder so many business owners scratch their head and wonder, “why can’t someone just tell me what I need to do to grow my business?”

Two of the most vexing terms are “marketing” and “branding.” What is the difference between marketing and branding? Aren’t they basically the same? Don’t they overlap?

These two terms might seem interchangeable on the surface, but dig in deeper and you’ll see that the differences are vital to building your strategy and growing your business.

The Difference Between Marketing and Branding

Marketing is direct response focused. You create a campaign, post an ad, and wait for a response. There is an end goal in mind; a specific action you want the viewer to take.

Branding is the messaging that plants your business in the mind of the customer. There is no specific end result that comes from branding. Instead, you brand your business with the goal of keeping your company top of mind so when a customer needs your service, you’re the first one she calls.

Putting the Differences to Work

It’s one thing to know the differences. It’s another thing to see them in action. Here are three of the most effective ways you can use both strategies to grow your business.


Marketing Your Small Business

Marketing requires promotion so that you can sell your products or services. For small, local businesses that requires promoting your campaigns in the right place at the right time. Three of the best ways to do that are:

  • Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Local SEO goes a step beyond basic SEO. Instead of trying to rank high for broad keywords, you hone in on your specific region. This way, your website appears at the top for people looking for what you have to offer in your area.
  • Targeted Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns. Think of PPC campaigns as a way to jumpstart your SEO. You choose the keywords you want to rank high on, make your bid, and watch the traffic pour in.
  • Yelp. Yelp is quickly becoming the new search engine for local businesses. People take to Yelp to find the products or services in their area that are most loved and recommended by their friends, family, and neighbors.

Each of these channels allows you to set up a campaign that has a direct goal of selling something to the consumer at the end.

Branding Your Business

Branding your business requires a different approach. With branding, you want to be seen and heard, but you don’t necessarily have an agenda to push.Three of today’s best strategies for branding include:

  • Targeted Facebook Ads. On Facebook, you only pay for clicks. That means that when people see but not engagewith your ad, you’re getting free publicity, increasing brand awareness.
  • Ads on Targeted Industry Websites. Similar to Facebook ads, you can display your ad on targeted industry websites without being charged until someone clicks. Again, you get more free publicity and only pay when someone takes action with your business.
  • Sponsored Social Media Updates. Be seen and heard with sponsored social media updates. Simply post something insightful and interesting. Then, “boost” your post so that it’s shown in more newsfeeds. This strategy is becoming increasingly important as social media platforms update their algorithms.

Measuring Success

You know the strategies, but how well do they work? More importantly, how well do they work for your business?

Measurement is the key to all investment. It shows where you’re spending money in the right way or where you should stop investing your resources.

To measure your marketing success, look at your traffic and conversions analytics. The goal is to have your customers take a specific action as a result of your marketing. With that goal in mind, you can determine how successful a marketing campaign is by analyzing your Google analytics or dynamic call tracking.

Measuring your branding success might seem a little harder, but it’s not if you know where to look. Monitor how many times your brand name searches for your business increase. Link your Google webmaster tools to Google analytics, and then run a search query result. Are more people looking for your business by name? Then your branding efforts have worked!

How Well Are You Doing With Marketing and Branding?

Now you know the differences, but how well are you doing? Without much data, it can be hard to tell.

Get a fresh set of eyes on your website and marketing strategies with a free audit. You’ll find gaps that could be hurting your efforts. Stop wasting your resources! Request your free audit with no strings attached to find new ways to give your business a boost in both marketing and branding.