Difference Between Selling and Marketing

Many people often use the words ‘marketing’ and ‘selling’ as synonyms. In fact, these two terms have different meanings in marketing management. As understanding of the differences between selling and marketing is necessary for marketing professional to be a successful marketing manager.

Marketing and Selling

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

Selling is the modern version of Exchange under the barter system. When the focus is on selling, the company management thinks that after production of the product has been completed. It is the task of the sales department to sell whatever the production department has manufactured. Aggressive sales methods are justified to this goal and customer’s actual needs, and satisfaction on for granted.

But marketing is a wide and all-pervasive activity to a business firm. The task commences with identifying consumer needs and does not end, till feedback on consumer activities 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 generated on a long run basis. The distinction between selling and marketing are summarized in the following table:

Distinction between Selling and Marketing

S.No Selling Marketing
1 Emphasis is on the product. Emphasis is on the customer wants
2 Company first makes the product and then figures out how to sell it. Company first determines customer wants and then figures out to make it
3 Management is sales volume oriented Management is profit oriented
4 Profit through Sales Volume Profits through Customer Satisfaction
5 Planning is short-run-oriented, regarding today products and markets Planning is long-run oriented regarding new products, tomorrow’s markets, and future growth.
6 Let the buyer be aware Let the seller be aware
7 Product first then customer Customer first then the product
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