Marketing vs. Publicity: FITE!
Anyway, the indie fanboys on ILX are having another pointless argument about whether any bands have sold any records without the benefit of "marketing". This, however, brought up the interesting question of whether there is a difference between "marketing" and "publicity". (With the typical snotty NOIZE children insisting that there wasn't.)
Putting aside indie cred for a second, actually, there is a huge semantic difference between the two words. Marketing refers to a very specific type of activity (apart from anything else, it usually involves a paid transaction, purchasing advertising or product placement or the like), while Publicity is a much broader concept. Also, they are at two different ends of the process. Marketing is an attempt to gain Publicity, while Publicity is the end result of the attention that one hopes to attract - by Marketing or other means. Marketing is a driving strategy, generated by record company or band down, while Publicity is something afforded by the Public up (be that Public the Media or the Consumers themselves, though in indie record circles the Media itself in question - in the form of fanzines, blogs etc. - are themselves the Consumers).
They are not at all synonymous, though yes, the aim of most Marketing is to attract Publicity. You can attain Publicity through many other means than Marketing. And all the Marketing in the world is not a guarantee of Publicity. (In fact, often the purpose of Marketing is to minimise the effect of "bad" Publicity!)
I find it irritating the way that indie boys seem to use the terms interchangably - usually in a disparraging sense. More precise language, please.