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The difference between Advertising, Marketing, and Graphic Design


Marketing is all of the things that a company does in order to sell its product or services. It includes making sure that customers have access, whether through stores or through the web. It includes keeping the reputation of the company as positive as possible (that's called Public Relations, or P.R.) and it includes Advertising.

I often describe myself as an old Marketing Guy, but really I'm two steps down from Marketing. I'm a Graphic Designer, so I've spent most of my career making ads look good. I'm the visuals guy, I don't write catchy slogans, or create campaigns - that's what the Advertising people do. If you've watched "Mad Men", you've seen Advertising, not Marketing or Graphic Design.

I majored in Graphic Design, but I had an interest in the bigger picture, so I minored in Advertising. And the prerequisite for Advertising is Marketing. So I learned how to do Advertising Campaigns, and how catchy slogans help to advertise products and services, but I also learned how Marketing works.

Most of the people that I've met have no idea how Marketing works. And the less that people know about it, it seems like the more confident they are that the Marketing people can control things. I like to compare it to people who have never worked for the Government, believing that there are conspiracies, etc. But really, Marketing people are doing the best that they can, but they can't control how people spend money. They wish they could!

If I learned anything from studying marketing, and advertising, it was to look out for easy answers. Many people that I've talked to consider this manipulation of the masses, and it is, but only for people who accept easy answers. Anything that's set to a jingle, or described in just a few words, makes me suspicious. And fortunately, there's a way to escape this manipulation - it's called doing your own research.

So if you want to fight back against the Marketing, Advertising, and Graphic Designing people who are trying to get your hard-earned money with easy answers, catchy slogans, and flashy design, just do your own research. I call it doing homework. And if you hate homework, then guess what, the Marketing people will get you. Don't let them - go check the facts yourself.