What is the difference between marketing and advertising? The basic answer is: Marketing is your overall plan for getting your product out to market, while advertising is a piece of your marketing plan. As it relates to online selling, marketing includes putting your item on eBay; building a store; branding your business; and learning who your customer is and gearing your sales toward that demographic. Once you have that in place, you should be advertising. That can include social media, buying keywords, using newsletters to advertise a sale or special, ads in industry-specific newsletters, etc. To succeed, you need both marketing and advertising.