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Question:What is the difference between marketing, advertising, and sales?

Answer:This is a common question, and a lot of people confuse these various terms. First of all, marketing encompasses a wide range of both analysis and tactics. For example, marketing involves doing customer analysis, including market segmentation, market peceptions, market sizing, but also competitive analysis and reactions, target segment selection, positioning, branding, advertising, sales, promotions, channel of distribution arrangement and management, product line decisions, sales force management, and more. You can see, marketing involves a number of activities.

Advertising, however, is a tactic in marketing. It involves a number of activities to be sure, but it really focuses on communicating a message to the market (which it partly shares with Public Relations).

Sales is also a tactic of marketing. This is typically what the sales force does. But it is marketing's job to focus the entire marketing effort (of which the sales force is one part) towards providing what customers want and gaining a sustainable strategic advantage.


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