Marketing is essential because every business wants to get its message across. However, it’s intimidating to choose the most effective and powerful channel. Many people feel that digital marketing and advertising are the same things, and they are interrelated.

Most marketers use the terms interchangeably, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same. Let’s define both of them:

Digital Advertising

Marketers often define digital advertising as a form of marketing where messages are delivered through the internet to the target audience. Sometimes, it’s referred to as internet marketing, web advertising, and online advertising.

Pretty much, if you see any ad on the internet, it’s called digital advertising. Therefore, when you run online ads to promote your business, services, products, and create brand awareness, you’re using digital advertising.

This can include:

  • Social ads (Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook)
  • Display ads (Static, banner, pop-up, mobile, video)
  • Pay Per Click (PPC) (Bing ads, Adwords search ads, and Search7 ads)

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is often an umbrella term for any marketing done using digital technology. If you’re promoting your services and products with electronic media, that’s considered digital marketing.

In a sense, digital marketing is done on the internet or by using different digital technologies. However, to understand it more, you must know what marketing is, too.

Marketing includes activities and processes for delivering, creating, exchanging, and communicating offerings that have an established value for customers.

The Four P’s of Marketing is what it’s all about. With it, you put the product you’re selling at the right place for the right price, and the best time (product, price, place, promotion).

When you do all that while using the internet, you’re engaging in digital marketing tactics. Within that, there are different types, such as:

  • SEO
  • Online PR
  • Online advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing
  • SMM

If you think about it, digital advertising is part of digital marketing, but there’s so much more that goes on behind the scenes with the marketing aspect.

With that, digital advertising isn’t necessary for any business, and you can survive without it.

Why is that, though? In a sense, digital advertising is just one way to promote products online. You can use other mediums to attract customers and leads, and if you see results, it’s working.

However, your business might need digital advertising to generate traffic. You might choose to bring in traffic from social media, search engines, press releases, content marketing, and email marketing (the other types of digital marketing solutions).

Most businesses use digital marketing at the promotional stage to inform their audience about the services and products.

What’s the Difference, Then?

Digital advertising is just one subset of digital marketing. When you prefer to market in a specific digital channel, you have to start with your idea and plan. As you begin sharing that idea with experts, it’s called marketing and not advertising.

Your product creation, idea, packaging, prices, and all the rest define the different marketing segments. They’re all essential to your strategy.

Therefore, digital advertising is necessary when you’re using the internet to advertise your brand, products, and services. However, it’s just one part of the process. Look at it this way: digital marketing is the process, but digital advertising is the activity.

The process (digital marketing) never ends. It starts with research and moves to controlling and refining your data. On the other hand, digital advertising is the activity you perform to promote yourself.


It’s a bit confusing, and most people don’t understand the subtle difference between the two. However, digital marketing and advertising are both parts of your process. Marketing yourself starts from the moment you decide to create a company or product. As you develop it, you advertise it online to get people interested!