Difference Between Marketing vs Sales

Difference Between Marketing vs Sales

This article is focused on uncovering the difference between sales and marketing in the most accessible way possible so that you have a full understanding of these two business-related terms going forward. It is very easy to confuse the two as they are actually closely interwoven with and related to one another, but they are completely separate entities.

Our aim is to provide you with a comprehensive breakdown of the definition of each word in conjunction with providing you with a quick reference table that gives a fast and easily digestible overview of the key points of variation that separate them from one another.

Definition of Marketing

The definition of marketing is any activity or printed or digital advertisements that directly promote a business, product, or service to potential consumers as a means of increasing revenue through sales.

When reading the above description, it becomes apparent straight away that marketing is used as a means of acquiring a sale or several sales via the promotion of a product.

The reason why people often get sales vs marketing mixed up is that the two words are frequently included as part of the same sentences and as part of the same conversational themes and discussions.

We cannot really define sales without talking about marketing because marketing is actually a precursor to a sale occurring. You need to market a product, service, or business in order for people to be aware of it and to want to make a purchase.

Marketing comes in many forms including printed and digital marketing and even word of mouth. Regardless of the form it takes though, it is important to understand that marketing itself does not actually generate money.

Instead, marketing is what creates and enhances the potential for money to be made in the first place. Next, a business or individual can then capitalize on that opportunity by exploiting it in order to create more sales and therefore more revenue for their company or business.

Definition of Sales

The definition of sale is the provision of money in exchange for the agreed upon goods or services.

Whereas marketing can take on several different forms at once, there is only one form of a sale. We can define a sale by saying that it is simply an agreement or transaction where money is provided in exchange for a product or some kind of service provided by a sole trader or business.

You can of course have several sales at once, but it is important to understand that the act of selling is one singular type of transaction regardless of how many different transactions are occurring at once.

Businesses and individual traders rely on sales to maintain and grow their revenue streams. Regardless of the type of goods or services a business offers, they will always rely on obtaining money via sales in order to survive and thrive.

On balance, where the difference between marketing and sales can easily be observed is that a business can choose which forms of marketing are most appropriate to reach its target audience. It cannot however choose what form a sale comes in, except for the means used to acquire revenue (card payments, cash payments, and online payments, for example).

Main Differences Between Marketing vs Sales

Here are the key variations between marketing vs sales in a quick reference table.

Basis of ComparisonMarketingSales
End resultSalesRevenue
Associated strategiesPulling people inPushing people into a transaction
Which comes first?Is required prior to salesFollow effective marketing
Impact on revenueHas no direct impact on revenueHas a direct impact on revenue

Difference Between Marketing and Sales: Conclusion

So there we have it. We have now finally summarized the contrasting areas of these crucial business terms. When looking back, in summary, it is easy to separate them if you remember that marketing leads to sales, but it is not directly the same thing.

You simply cannot get one (sales) without the other, and marketing would not need to exist without there being a need to acquire sales. Anytime you would like a quick refresh on the key differences, take a glance at the quick reference table.