Selling Concept Vs. Marketing Concept: 9 Key Differences [Explained]

Selling Concept Vs Marketing Concept

The selling concept and the marketing concept are two marketing philosophies from the six which are frequently used interchangeably yet understood by most people in today’s business world. However, they differ from each other to great extent.

The main difference between selling and marketing concepts is that – the selling concept is focused on increasing sales whereas the marketing concept is on achieving greater customer satisfaction.

Let’s find out what the selling and marketing concepts are and the differences between them.

What is Selling Concept?

The selling concept is the marketing philosophy that explains aggressive and heavy promotion of products as the means to get products sold.

What the selling concept tells us is that unless companies do not make an effort to persuade consumers to buy the product they usually do not buy. It is about reaching out to customers, convincing them to buy, and closing the sale.

This concept came into practice after the 1930s when most companies were involved in promoting and publicizing their products. The practice of that time led to the development of a selling-based marketing approach.

Insurance products and expensive products are where the selling concept is mainly used. However, the main drawback of this concept is that it ignores the needs and wants of customers and remains a seller-focused marketing philosophy.

Related: Unsought Product

What is a Marketing Concept?

The marketing concept is one of the new and most practiced thinking in the marketing world. It is a marketing philosophy that’s main aim is to increase customer satisfaction.

It includes first, identifying the needs and wants of customers and making the products. And, then serving the consumers as they want to be served so as to get better customer satisfaction.

The marketing concept emphasizes companies make products that customers want not the products companies think the customers will buy. This concept relies mainly on its four principles they are target market focus, integrated marketing, customer needs satisfaction, and profitability.

Difference Between Selling and Marketing Concept

The following are the notable differences between the selling and marketing concepts.


Selling concept – it is a marketing philosophy that relies on aggressive and persuasive selling of products. Heavy promotion, luring, convincing, and persuading buyers are its main strategies to increase sales.

On the other hand, the marketing concept is about identifying customers’ needs, tastes, preferences, and wants developing products and serving the customers.

Also Read: What is Production Concept?


The emphasis of the selling concept is on the product. Whereas, the emphasis of the marketing concept is on the customer’s needs and wants.


The main objective of the marketing concept is to serve products to customers as they want and achieve higher customer satisfaction. It aims at earning profit through customer satisfaction.

On the other side, the main objective of the selling concept is to increase sales. It aims to increase sales volume and then profits. It usually ignores the customer’s satisfaction.


The functioning of selling and marketing concepts better help us to understand how they work. The below pictures better show how they function.

The functioning of the selling concept:

Selling Concept

The functioning of the marketing concept:

Marketing Concept


In the selling concept, the planning is short-term and it is about today’s products and markets. Whereas, in the marketing concept, the planning is long-run oriented in terms of new products, tomorrow’s markets, and future growth.

Choice of Product

The marketing concept first stresses the want of buyers. The product is based on the buyer’s choice. What it tells us is that the company should make products that customers want to buy. It is based on the slogan “We Make What We Can Sell”.

Read Also: What is Core Product?

Conversely, the selling concept sells the products of the seller’s choice. It is a seller-based marketing approach. It is based on the slogan “We Sell What We Make”.


The perception of the marketing concept is outside to in. That means it first addresses the customer’s needs, produces the products, and sells the products to consumers. In the process, it first goes outside of the organization for searching opportunities and comes into the organization to work on the goal.

Whereas the perception of the selling concept is inside to out i.e. directly selling what the sellers want to sell from the organization to the outside world.


In the selling concept, production cost determines the price. Whereas, in the marketing concept, customers determine the price.


Examples of the selling concept include products like insurance policies, political campaigns, expensive products, and other products that are most infrequently purchased.

Similarly, the example of the marketing concept – takes the practice of Lamborghini company which first receives orders from the customers and designs the product as per customers’ choice.


Selling and marketing both are important marketing philosophies. However, the marketing concept is more applicable and practical in today’s business settings as compared to the selling concept. That does not mean the selling concept is ineffective.

Read Next: Difference Between Product and Production Concept

Leave a Comment