Difference between Marketing and Selling

Key difference: Marketing plays a major role in creating new channels or clients and maintaining the existing channels, which contributes to more sales. Selling involves making sales so as to increase the company's revenues. Despite their differences, the two functions are dependent on each other.

Marketing and selling are both activities aimed at increasing revenue. They are so closely entwined that people often don’t realize the difference between the two. This is particularly true in the case of small businesses, which often equates marketing with selling deliberately due to organizational and resource limitations. However, the fact is that they are two very different business activities.

Marketing is an ancient art and is preset everywhere. Good marketing has become an increasingly vital ingredient for success. It is a comprehensive term, which includes a lot of research in selling, advertising and distributing the goods. Marketing is a series of different steps and processes which help in getting the products to the consumer from the producer. 

In the business world, marketing is defined by the four P's:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

It is the process of planning and executing the product idea with the goal of customer satisfaction. Marketing is a proactive approach done often before the product or service is produced and sold. It gives importance to the consumer's wants and satisfaction. In the initial stage, marketing decides what the consumers want and then it decides how the commodity can be profitably produced and finally delivered to consumers for satisfying their needs. It takes into consideration both the internal and external factors. The efforts are buyer oriented and emphasize the satisfaction of the buyer's needs effectively. It refers to an integrated approach towards achieving long term objectives. Profit is sought by ensuring customer's satisfaction.

The term ‘sale’ is a process, whereas the term ‘selling’ is an act that transfers the ownership of a product from the manufacturer or the vendor to the consumer. It is a part of marketing, hence it is not considered as a comprehensive term. It is said to be the last leg of marketing activities, where the product is finally presented to customers through retailing.

Selling is the ultimate result of marketing. It is the act of closing a sale or when the product has been purchased by the end consumer. It transfers the ownership of the purchased goods to the buyer. It emphasizes on the products. The products are first produced and then efforts are made for their profitable selling. It only takes into consideration internal factors such as production and distribution of goods. The efforts are seller oriented and emphasize their needs. The profits are sought by ensuring higher sales volume.

Comparison between Marketing and Selling:





It is a strategy based on a mix of activities that are aimed at increasing the sales.

It is the strategy of meeting the needs in an opportunistic, individual method, driven by human interaction.


  • It targets the construction of a brand identity, needs of the consumers and how to reach to the consumers. 
  • It starts with the buyers and focuses constantly on the buyer’s needs.
  • It is the final act of buying goods or products by the consumers through a point sale.
  • It starts with the seller and is focused with the seller’s needs.


It makes an effort such that the customers actually want to buy the products in their own interest.

The company makes the product first and then figures a way to sell and make profit.  


A customer satisfying process.

Actual sales of goods.


The consumers determine the price; the price determines the cost.

Cost determines the price.


Customer satisfaction is the primary motive.

Sales are the primary motives.


External market orientation.

Internal production orientation.


It takes an outside-in perspective.

It takes an inside-out perspective.


It is a broad, composite and worldwide concept.

It is a narrow concept related to buyer, seller and production.


It has a ‘pull’ strategy.

It has a ‘push’ strategy.


It begins much before production of goods and services.

It comes after production and ends with delivery and collection of payment.


It has a wider connotation and includes many research activities. 

It is a part of marketing.


It concerns with customer satisfaction.

It concerns with value satisfaction.


It is an organizational structure.

It is a functional structure.


The main job is to find the right products for the customers.

The main job is to find the customers for the products.


The mindset is “Satisfy the customers”.

The mindset is “Hook the customers”.

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