Many people use the terms marketing and selling as synonyms. In fact, these two terms have different meanings in marketing management. An understanding of the differences between them is necessary for you to be a successful marketing manager.

Selling is an action which converts the product into cash but marketing is the whole process of meeting and satisfying the needs of the consumer. Marketing consists of all those activities that are associated with product planning, pricing, promoting and distributing the product or service. Selling focuses on the needs of the seller whereas marketing concentrates on the needs of the buyer.

Selling is the modern version of the exchange under barter system. When the focus is on selling, the business man thinks that after production has been completed the task of the sales force starts. It is also the task of the sales department to sell whatever the production department has manufactured. Aggressive sales methods are justified to meet this goal and customer's actual needs and satisfaction are taken for granted.

But marketing is a wider and all pervasive activity to a business firm. The task commences with identifying consumer needs and does not end till feedback on consumer satisfaction from the consumption of the product is received. It is a long chain of activity which comprises production, packaging, promotion, pricing, distribution and then the selling. Consumer needs become the guiding force behind all these activities. Profits are not ignored but they are built up on a long run basis. Distinction between selling and marketing are summarised in

Difference Between Selling and Marketing




The selling theory believes that if companies and customers are dropped detached, then the customers are not going to purchase enough commodities produced by the enterprise. The notion can be employed argumentatively, in the case of commodities that are not solicited.

The marketing theory is a business plan, which affirms that the enterprise’s profit lies in growing more efficient than the opponents, in manufacturing, producing and imparting exceptional consumer value to the target marketplace.

Related to

Constraining customer’s perception of commodities and services.

Leading commodities and services towards the consumer’s perception.

Beginning point



Concentrates on


Consumer needs


Inside out

Outside in

Business Planning

Short term

Long term




Cost Price

Cost of Production

Market ascertained


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