What’s the difference between marketing and advertising anyway?

This is a question I hear quite often working in the marketing discipline. Advertising is one of the tangible parts of marketing (we all have those parts of our jobs, the ones that our parents can get a handle on). But advertising is just that, a part of marketing. I frequently refer to marketing as being like baking a cake and you need to have all the ingredients to ensure it’s successful. Some ingredients you measure (flour and online marketing) and some it’s best you don’t (chocolate chips and brand marketing). 

So, what are the ingredients and how should you focus on them?


This is your chance to tell your story. Why do you exist? What problem are you setting out to solve and by what values will you be doing it? At realestate.co.nz our promise is to give our users the shortest path to their perfect property. We do this by ensuring we are clear, knowledgeable, positive and considered. This underpins everything that we do across all departments in our organisation. Every company, no matter the size, should know their why. 


This generally is how you’re going to achieve your why. This can be everything from brochures, to product adverts, how-to videos or instructional manuals. Your product and service messaging should be more tactical, as opposed to your brand messaging which is more emotive. This messaging is a great place to show off your unique selling points (USP’s), what you have over and above your competitors. Our product is our website and we build features to ensure our users find their perfect property faster. We market our key USP’s being: New Zealand’s number one property site with the most listings, the only site dedicated to property, and no private sales (all properties for sale on our site are governed by the REA.) 


Whether you are telling your story or key benefits of your product or service, you need to think of the best way to communicate it to prospective customers. I am a fan of using both online and offline mediums to tell our different stories and I think, if possible, you should use both. If budgets are constrained you can’t go past a good Google search campaign, social media with specific targeting and a targeted radio burst. Remember that your brand messages should be targeted and told differently to your product and services messages.


Chances are, if you’re running a successful business/department you are good at what you do. As an expert in your field you are likely to have some tips and tricks you can share even if you don’t realise it. Writing might not be your forte but anyone with a smart phone can record a short video or voice recording. Push this out via social media, add it to your blog and share it with media outlets. It doesn’t have to be hard to create content, just utilise what you know and be creative with it. 


You have a story, a message and are solving a problem – people want to hear from you. Think about publications and media outlets that are suited to what you have to say and then make it your business to be on their radar. Magazines, papers and radio stations are always looking for quality content. Each month we work with property journalists to produce the New Zealand property report. Because we report nationally we also reach out to the regional papers and radio stations with relevant stories. 


Where are your current customers and where are your future customers? How can you get to them? Trade stands are a good way to talk to a specific captive audience but if that is outside your budget, why not just buy and ticket and start talking to people. We attend several real estate conferences a year to ensure we are talking to our customers and are top of mind for them when it comes to online advertising. 

It may seem like there is a lot to do but engaging with these key ingredients is sure fire way to ensure you have a delicious and successful cake in the end. 

Vanessa Taylor is realestate.co.nz’s Head of Marketing. Vanessa believes there is no such thing as 'because that's the way we do it'. "Let's break the process, keep it simple, automate if possible and do it all for our customers". This article first appeared in M2Woman magazine.

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