Digital Marketing vs Online Advertising

Digital Marketing vs Online Advertising

Posted on : by : CCDM Staff

The terms Digital and Online mean the same thing and can be cancelled for being one and the same. So you are left with the same old intriguing thought – “How do Marketing and Advertising differ?”

The traditional answer is Advertising is simply publicity, taking your product to your audience. While Marketing is much deeper, which involves planning, strategy, budget, ROI etc. Advertising is a sub-set of Marketing. While advertising is more inclined towards branding, marketing is a fusion of advertising and sales. Advertising is just one stage in the marketing process.

So whats the difference between Digital Marketing and Online Advertising?

Digital Marketing is a blanket term to describe all the online activities done to advertise and sell your products/services online. Digital Marketing is a generic term and typically includes Website design, SEO, Content Marketing, Pay-Per-Click, Social Media Optimization/Marketing, Display Ads, Email Marketing etc. While Online advertising is strictly PAID advertising (Pay Per Click) on search engines and social media.

Compare Audience: Digital Marketing vs Online Advertising

To understand the difference between Digital Marketing and Online Advertising, it is important to know the persona of the audience searching these terms. “The term Digital Marketing” is searched by corporate managers and business owners looking for a complete set of services and it is possible that the audience themselves are not sure what the package includes. Job seekers and students too use the term “Digital Marketing” to find related jobs and courses. On the other hand audience searching for “Online Advertising” are looking specifically for PAID ads on search engines and social media.

What is not a part of Online Advertising?

Online Advertising does not include organic services like SEO, Content and Social Media Optimization. It also does not include website design/development and email Marketing.

Compare Popularity: Digital Marketing vs Online Advertising

“Digital Marketing” is of-course more popular than “Online Advertising”. When we compared the ratio of the “digital marketing” related keywords with “online advertising” ones, we found the total searches of “online advertising” is just 4% of “digital marketing” keywords.

Google Trends INDIA comparison screenshot. Digital Marketing is more popular than Online Advertising

Compare Keyword Variations and Context

Digital Marketing keywords are often suffixed with the location name like “digital marketing company in pune“. On the other hand “online advertising” keywords are specific and are suffixed/prefixed by the platform or service name and some times by the location, for e.g. “seo company in pune“, “linkedin advertising services”, “social media advertising agency in pune”, “ppc advertising services pune” etc.

Compare Skills Required: Digital Marketing vs Online Advertising

Digital Marketing as mentioned is a blanket term for a wide range of services. The skills required for a digital marketing analyst include domain knowledge, sales funnel optimization, conversion optimization, tracking, market research, content strategies, platform expertise, SEO, ROI calculation etc. Where as in case of Online Advertising you just require a couple of skills, they are creative ad designing using multi-media and advertising platform expertise like Google Adwords and Facebook Ads. You have to be well versed with the program policies and fair practices of these advertising platforms.

Compare Scope: Digital Marketing vs Online Advertising

Digital Marketing has a greater scope than Online Advertising. While online advertising is limited to just setting up of paid advertising campaigns on search engines and social media platforms like Google Adwords and Facebook, digital marketing goes much deeper as you have to consider factors like ROI, Inventory, Competition Analysis and Sales. A digital marketer has to look at all the aspects that would contribute to the success of the campaign like landing pages/website, lead generation funnel etc. He also has to take into account the sales part, where based on the competition he has to change the pricing of the products and services.

Compare Measure of Success

The success of Online Advertising campaigns is measured by parameters like clicks and CTR. More the clicks and higher the CTR, the advertising campaign is deemed as a success. While in the case of digital marketing sales, leads and the ROI achieved decide the success of the digital marketing campaigns.

Compare Activities Involved

Activities involved in Digital Marketing Include:

  • Keyword Research and Analysis
  • Website Structure
  • SEO Audit
  • SEO Friendly Website Design
  • SEO Strategy
  • On-Page and Off-Page SEO
  • Content Marketing
  • Lead/Sales Generation
  • Domain Expertise
  • Competition Analysis
  • Paid Campaigns

Activities Involved in Online Advertising

  • Keyword Research
  • Setting up of the Paid Campaigns
  • Landing Pages
  • Lead Capture Form
  • Reporting


Often Digital Marketing is often confused with Online Advertising. But both are distinct services. Online advertising is a subset of Digital Marketing. Digital Marketing is vast and encompasses almost all the digital landscape while online advertising is limited to only paid campaigns.

About Us

At Complete Circle Pune we provide affordable and the best digital marketing services that include paid online advertising, search engine optimization, content marketing and social media marketing. Our key USPs are affordable pricing, retainer based working model and domain expertise. Contact us for more details.

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