As an entrepreneur or someone who has collaborated with a media company, I’m sure you’ve heard the terms “marketing”, “advertising” and “branding”. But these terms can easily become oversimplified and muddled.  

So, what do each of them really mean? And how do they fit together? 

It shouldn’t have to be a puzzle, so we’ll break it down for you. 


Marketing is the image you want to portray to others. It’s the way you see yourself, and it begins with “how you dress, the colors and patterns you choose, and how you groom” (Gasca, 2018). Everyone has their own daily routine for this, or “strategy”, which is incredibly important to define. 

Although we don’t love admitting it, the way you appear to others is vital for business, especially since what most people notice during first impressions is how a person looks. Think of it this way: the way you dress is how others believe that you “dress” your company.  

A marketing strategy, therefore, is how you want others to perceive your company, and so “it should convey the vision and values of the business and express these in a way that the public will recognize and associate with your company” (Gasca, 2018).  


While marketing is how you see yourself, advertising describes your actions. The way you act and who you hang out with (among many other things) should be “considered with your marketing strategy to assure that you have consistency between your image and your actions” (Gasca, 2018).  

If you execute your advertising strategy in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong appearance/message, customers will become confused and disinterested. You don’t want to show up to an OKC Thunder vs. Golden State basketball game with your fellow Thunder fan friends wearing a Golden State jersey… That would convey the wrong message to your friends and perhaps even alter their perceptions of you.  

Always remember this: consistency is key to successful advertising. 


Marketing is how you see yourself, and advertising describes your actions. So, what could be left to describe branding? 

Branding is how people actually see you. Your marketing strategy needs to consider your personal brand and how strong or weak it is. You must make sure your reputation is strong, or at least work on building your reputation to gain positive perceptions from your audience. 

It’s just as important to understand how and why your audience perceives your business the way they do in order for you to decide how to execute a marketing and advertising strategy. Keeping your brand consistent is also important to the success of your business.  

If you had any confusion before about these three terms, hopefully this article helped break it down some for you. We understand that it can be tricky to accurately differentiate these terms, but once you do, you’ll see the immense effect it will have on your business and/or business endeavors.