Updated: Nov 5, 2021
In case you’re wondering, what the heck is the difference between a brand, branding, marketing, advertising, digital marketing, organic, paid, and communications anyway?
Here are some basic definitions from my own experience and subject-matter experts such as, Julian Cole, a strategy consultant to global brands including Apple, Facebook, Disney and Uber.
No one is an EXPERT at all of these. There are many different roles and people that play a part when it comes to a fully functioning marketing operation for any company. It takes a special person to manage it all, but likely there is a team working TOGETHER on all of these different aspects to fully function. Unless a company is only focusing on 1 or 2 of these at at time—only a unicorn could attempt to handle ALL of this on their own.
Here are some basic terms:
Brand: A set of non-verbal and verbal concepts—your energy, a vibe, who you are to the core, what you stand for, what your customers view you as, and what you aspire to be.
Branding: A way of bringing those concepts to life with everything you do, speak, publish, write and share.
Marketing: Strategy and actions taken to determine your “Product, Placement, Promotions, Price.” And...don’t forget the 5th “P” - PROCESS. Your process must match-up or you'll have angry customers. Yep, you better check that process because you are toast if it doesn't match your promotions.
Advertising: The channels and places where you set out to promote your business— traditionally these are paid placements like billboards and television, and there are many different ways to advertise on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok.
Paid: There is a cost associated with the advertisement placement. For example, an ad in a magazine costs money, a sponsored ad running on Facebook is not free.
Organic: The placement is free. There is no cost associated, but one catch...you likely have some investment in developing content. For example, getting a video produced may have a cost, but posting it on your own Facebook channel is free.
Digital Marketing: It's is advertising delivered through digital channels. Channels such as social media, mobile applications and email.
PR: A relationship that you establish with the media and public, and a way to communicate with the public through the media. The placement is free! However, you may need a PR expert to help you get placed.
Communications: A rigorous discipline of communicating with the public or internally, and a way of maintaining and continuing a two-way communication channel.
Paid vs. Organic: Paid is when you pay for the space your ad is going to be placed in or run on (i.e. paying for Facebook ads or a Linkedin ad) and organic is when the space is free—like a post you did on your own page or your own blog.
ShuBu Creative founder and brand strategist, Becca Cooper Leebove, has nearly 20-years of experience leading and being part of marketing teams and large brand initiatives at Vail Resorts, PorchLight Real Estate Group, Regis University, and Starz Entertainment. Becca has been featured as a speaker on marketing and awarded for her work. Learn more.