Basics: The Difference Between Optimization and Marketing

Posted December 20, 2011 - 10:22 am. By Ryan Feyer. comments

We receive a lot of questions, especially regarding our internet marketing services, about the difference between optimization and marketing. Do they mean the same thing? Is one the parent of the other? Can you really compare marketing and optimization side-by-side?

This question often comes up when differentiating our Search Engine Optimization services versus our Search Engine Marketing services. At a 30,000-foot-view, yes, search engine optimization is really just one aspect of search engine marketing. But for us, a fairly focused and simplistic internet marketing company, we like to give the term “marketing services” a different meaning.

We’re an internet marketing company, everything we do is marketing. We only do marketing. So you can assume that if we offer optimization services, it, quite simply, is a form of marketing.

Below are our definitions for optimization and marketing, and how we differentiate the two when talking about internet marketing services.

Putting money towards a specific, measurable goal with the intention of getting more money back in return.

The continual process of presenting your brand in the best possible way.

So what’s the difference?

If marketing and optimization we’re units in a business, marketing would be considered a profit-center and optimization would be considered a cost-center. Marketing, in Feyer Marketing’s sense of the word, specifically targets building revenue. Optimization, while it may also build revenue, specifically targets¬†improving¬†performance, efficiency and accessibility.

For example, Mobile Optimization is the process of making your brand easily accessible to mobile device users. You could do this by creating a mobile-friendly website or using mobile-friendly style sheets (read our blog post about the two here).

On the other hand, Mobile Marketing is the investment of resources aimed at increasing revenue from mobile users. You could do this by advertising in mobile applications or starting a mobile marketing campaign where users can check-in at your restaurant for a discount.

Marketing tries to make the sale. Optimization tries to extend the brand.


This post is part of a series called Basics. Basics is an attempt to give a high level overview of internet marketing services and why they’re important to businesses. If you’re interested in learning more about how internet marketing services can help your business, get a free consultation here.

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