Digital Marketing vs Digital Advertising: Which to Choose?
Roshith V K
by Roshith V K

Digital Marketing vs Digital Advertising: Which to Choose?

While digital advertising is broadly targeted and disruptive, digital marketing includes content marketing, which is more focused on specific customers. The latter aims to attract potential customers instead of disrupting them.

Although they both play important and valuable roles in how companies attract new customers online, let’s find out how to use them individually to attract fresh leads.

Difference Between Digital Advertising and Digital Marketing

Features of Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is related to digital marketing. However, digital advertising is a disruptive form of marketing communication. It is an unwanted form of communication as it is not specifically designed to talk to one person. It is also distracting. It is directed at a mass audience with the hope that it reaches a few interested viewers. Businesses that take up digital advertising are entirely aware that it is an inefficient tool but will continue to make use of it as long as the results justify the ad spend.

If you had to choose between digital marketing and digital advertising, 
what would you go for? 

Features of Digital Marketing

Contrary to digital advertising, digital marketing is designed to be highly focused and targeted. A form of it is content marketing, which has gained momentum online. A targeted marketing message is used when content marketing is done correctly.

Digital marketing ideally provides a specific solution to business marketing problems. When it becomes too broad and loses its focus, it becomes digital advertising. Moreover, digital marketing caters to establishing organisational competency by solving specific problems for potential customers in need of solutions. Since doing business is all about building connections with customers and clients, digital marketing remains an excellent way of making connections with potential clients.

The Difference Between the Two

In a nutshell, digital advertising is a part of marketing, targeting a broader range of people. Whereas digital marketing is more specific and hence focuses on relationship building, focusing on specific groups of prospects and customers. 

Both methods are vital to the overall marketing strategy, and hence understanding the two and the difference between them is crucial. Digital marketing, while encompassing advertising, has a clear vision of using everything at the right time, at the right place, and for a specific reason.

Digital Marketing is a Process While Digital Advertising is A Part of the Process

The former, digital marketing is a process that begins from the moment you choose the name of your business or brand. Sometimes even before that. It is a process that is continuous and never-ending. It begins right from the market research phase and moves all the way down to the control and refining stage. This data is then further used for research to create new marketing strategies. Digital advertising is one of the activities that are included in the digital marketing process.


Digital marketing is the umbrella strategic process of which 
digital advertising is an activity in the process.

So, Which One Would You Choose?

Online businesses invariably engage in digital marketing, which includes planning for websites, logos, colours, product packaging, and everything that goes into creating a brand is a part of marketing. Once all of these are up and running, advertising can be used to drive sales.

Digital marketing helps develop brand while advertising creates brand awareness. Therefore, if your organization has a successful marketing plan in place that drives organic traffic and conversions, you may choose not to advertise.

Bottomline, it is not an either-or question. But the question heavily relies on when. Thinking of ourselves as a buyer, we can differentiate the importance between digital marketing and digital advertising.

When we develop a strong marketing presence, advertising backs what has already been established. Potential customers and clients automatically identify the brand and see the value the advert is promising. These are highly targeted, provided the marketing research is great and feels like needed to be taken action to solve the problems.

In conclusion, both digital marketing and digital advertising are powerful ways to connect with audiences and clients to build a brand. Hence, knowing the difference between the two methods can be utilised at the right time for successful results.