Are branding and direct marketing the same? If yes, what do the terms mean? If they are different, explain how

They aren’t the same thing.
Branding is the process of creating a memorable relationship with an audience by reaching out to them and increasing the brand’s visibility. Branding efforts usually take the form of a story and contain engaging material, but not any type of direct sales pitch.

Direct marketing, on the other hand, is the process of interacting directly with a target audience in order to persuade them to make a purchase choice.

Running an interesting blog on a corporate website and distributing it across social media accounts, for example, is an attempt at branding. The goal of the blog is to bring visitors back to the website on a regular basis, provide them with material, and establish a relationship with them. Running PPC ads with Call To Actions like “BUY NOW” is, on the other side, an effort at direct marketing.