Difference between Marketing and Selling

Marketing and selling are termed as synonyms of each other. But this is not true. Both work on different aspects of the business. People often use the words interchangeably. Too many of them have been merging the concepts of both. They think that sales work in the direction of marketing and they have been calling selling as ‘marketing’, which it is not. There is a clear difference between Marketing and Selling.

So, in today’s blog, we will clear this misunderstanding. And will try to understand how these two siblings are in relation to the business. Let’s start with understanding the definition of both terminologies.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is termed as the activity of showing and advertising a product of a particular company, by applying different marketing techniques. It involves all the actions that a company takes to take care of potential or past clients. In other terms, marketing helps the company to match their product and service to the customer. Who is in need of it or wants to access that particular product or service. Thus, matching results in the profitability of the business.

Marketing Image - Difference between Marketing and Selling

To understand marketing more efficiently let us discuss the four P’s. Which are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Let’s talk about them one by one. ‘Product’ refers to the item that the company plans to offer to its customers. ‘Price’ refers to how much the company will charge for that particular product. ‘Place’ refers to the positioning of the product. This means where it is to be sold physically in stores or through online mode. And the last one ‘Promotion’ refers to the activities which involve advertising, sponsorships and many other techniques to increase awareness about your product.

At its core, marketing seeks to take a product or service, identify its ideal customers, and draw the customers’ attention to the product or service available.

What is Selling?

Selling is termed as the process in which money is exchanged for a product or service. During sales, the seller will represent his/her product to the buyer. If the buyer wishes to strike the deal. Then they will give the agreed amount of money to the seller in exchange for the seller’s product or service.

What matters in selling is how smooth/frictionless your sales process is. One can perform a frictionless sales process by following these simple steps:

  • Analyzing your sales process, which results in long term growth.
  • Understand to whom you are selling and why they need your product/service.
  • Regular sales training programs for the team to get better results.
  • Build a team with the right skills and knowledge.
  • Creating onboard programs for new hires, which helps them in moulding according to the companies standards.

Thus, in a nutshell, selling is the art of persuading.

Now, we have understood both the aspects of ‘marketing’ and ‘selling’. Let’s talk about the differences between them.

Selling Image - Difference between Marketing and Selling

Basic Difference Between Marketing and Selling


Marketing focuses on customer satisfaction. It initiates with customers need and demand and end up with customer satisfaction. On the other hand, selling focuses on what the company produces. It does not care much about customer satisfaction but cares about profit.

Timeframe Required

Marketing is a long term activity. It is for the entire marketplace. It is not restricted to a particular area. While selling is a short term activity. It is for a particular time, segment, or needs. Long term view does not matter at all. Changes are rapid and short.


Marketing is oriented towards product quality and customer satisfaction. The product is launched with respect to the need of the customers. Selling is oriented towards a particular product. It does not have to take care of customer needs or satisfaction. It is about generating maximum sales, which results in higher profitability.

Use of Technology

In marketing, the emphasis is on innovation in existing technology and providing better value to the customer by adopting superior technology. They focus on providing guests with the best level of comfort. Selling emphasizes staying with existing technology and reducing costs. Cost-cutting is their main focus in this aspect.


Marketing makes use of long-term strategies to generate sales. As it creates a better impact on the customers and the chances are high of conversion. For example- Customer education, Value-added services are some techniques. Selling makes use of short-term strategies to generate sales. For example- discounts, coupons, free gifts.


Marketing begins much before the launch of the product in the market. This is done to identify the customer’s needs. It continues even after the sale. To ensure customer feedback. This helps in finding the improvements which can be done in the product/service. Selling begins after the launch of the product and ends up with the delivery and collection of payment.


Marketing gives prominence to an integrated approach, by a unified plan of action which covers, products, promotion, pricing, and dispersion. Thus the mindset is to provide customers with the best in class product. Whereas selling gives importance to anyhow selling the product and service. There is no strategy amidst the distinct activities of the overall marketing assignments. Thus the mindset is just to gain maximum sales no matter how.

Marketing vs Selling Difference


It is true, that marketing concept is a relatively wider term than selling concept. This is because the selling concept itself is a part of the marketing concept, which is related to promotion and transfer of ownership and possession of the commodity from one person to another. 

Selling usually attracts plans and suggestions to make customer barter money for their products and services. Marketing is engaged with the belief of gratifying a customer’s necessities by virtue of the product along with the supply of value-satisfaction to the consumer.

So, both ‘Marketing’ and ‘Selling’ are important pillars of a business. Both are to be maintained in a well systematic manner. So as to ensure the smooth functioning of the operations. This will lead to a more profitable and valuable business.

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