The difference between marketing and sales. Marketing and sales are very close concepts. But the difference between them is significant. What is it?

What is marketing?

Marketing is understood as a very capacious process, which is a separate activity of competent specialists of an organization or a specialized firm. Its main goals are the following:

  • research of the consumer market – on the subject of demand for a particular product or service;
  • assistance to interested economic entities in the production of products or services that are in demand;
  • evaluation of the effectiveness of the company’s pricing policy for products or services sold on the market;
  • promotion of the relevant product or service on the market as a brand;
  • evaluating the effectiveness of organizing the delivery of products, providing various services to the consumer, ensuring compliance with warranty obligations by the supplier.

The main task of marketing is to ensure the competitive position of a business in the market through accessible and legal methods, as well as using the knowledge and skills of specialists who are competent in solving such problems. This competitiveness is achieved to a large extent by identifying the wishes and expectations of the consumer. Another important area of marketing is the study of offers from competing businesses, studying the strengths and weaknesses of the respective products or services.

What are sales?

Sales is a term that can correspond to:

  • the direction of the company’s activity, which is directly related to the transfer of goods or the supply of services to consumers, as well as the receipt of payment for related products and services;
  • the direction of the company’s activity related to the promotion of goods on the market, the stimulation of consumer activity (in this case we are talking about active sales);
  • developing concepts for an optimal pricing policy, determining selling prices for certain goods or services, establishing discounts, special offers;
  • the work of competent specialists of the company associated with the formation of a range of products or services that are supplied to the market;
  • the direction of the enterprise’s activity related to the legal registration of legal relations with consumers, accounting and tax reporting.

Selling is mostly one-sided: as a rule, we are not talking about getting any feedback from the market for the firm. But, of course, the information that the supplier needs from the point of view of the best supply to the consumer, determining prices, the range of goods or services, can be requested from various sources on the market side.


The main difference between marketing and sales lies, first of all, in the intensity of the use of feedback channels with the market. In the case of sales, the corresponding mechanisms are used, as we noted above, to a very limited extent. In turn, communication with the market, provided that feedback is received from its various subjects, is the most important component of marketing.

The work of marketing specialists is rarely associated with such activities as:

  • organizing the delivery of goods or the supply of services to consumers;
    legal registration of legal relations with consumers, reporting;
  • stimulation of consumer demand through active negotiations with customers, the formation of price offers with discounts, special offers (however, their determination can be carried out taking into account the recommendations of marketers).
    The specified kinds of activity are peculiar, thus, to sellers.

In turn, the work of salespeople is rarely associated with some of the activities that characterize the labor functions of marketers. Namely:

  • with market research for certain characteristics of consumer demand;
  • with the study of products and services of competitors;
  • with an assessment of the effectiveness of certain areas of the enterprise’s activities related to the sale of goods and services.

There is also quite a lot in common between the concepts under consideration. For example, the subject of marketing research may be just the same sales efficiency. In addition, the practical recommendations of marketing specialists can be implemented by sellers as part of ensuring the company’s competitive presence in the market (for example, this may relate to setting discounts, special offers, applying certain active sales methods).