Advertising agencies deal primarily with communicating an organization's specific message through one or more mediums, while marketing agencies help organizations promote themselves through a more general marketing strategy that includes research and other pertinent data. Advertising can be a key element of a company's marketing strategy.
In a general sense, marketing agencies function as consulting firms to businesses looking to self-promote. Marketing agencies help a company define its promotional strategy, including how and where it advertises. These agencies might provide statistics, reports or other forms of research that helps a company more clearly define its key audience. They often provide the demographic information or buying habits of a specific group of consumers. Some businesses consider marketing agencies when they are in the beginning stages of promotion, as these agencies provide a more holistic approach to company growth.
Advertisers generally work with an organization on a specific project, such as the release of a new product or the opening of a new company location. Advertisers often employ artists, graphic designers and copy writers to create an advertisement for an organization. Independent advertising firms often serve as a liaison between the company and an advertising medium. Some advertising mediums employ an in-house advertising department.