Difference between Advertising and Personal Selling

Differences Between Advertising and Personal Selling

Difference between Advertising and Personal Selling

In the field of marketing, it’s essential to understand the difference between advertising and personal selling. These two methods advertising and personal selling both are unique tools that are used by businesses to communicate with their target audience and achieve their goals.

Advertising, as a widely employed marketing technique, utilizes mass communication channels such as television, radio, print media, and online platforms to convey persuasive messages to a large audience. Its primary purpose is to create awareness, generate interest, and stimulate demand for a product or service. By employing creative visuals, compelling slogans, and captivating narratives, advertisers strive to capture consumers’ attention and influence their purchasing decisions. Moreover, advertisement allows companies to establish a brand image, reinforce brand loyalty, and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

The difference between advertising and personal selling lies in their approach and means of communication. While advertising addresses a broad audience through mass media, personal selling involves one-on-one interactions between sales representatives and potential customers. This direct approach allows for tailored communication, relationship-building, and addressing specific customer needs and concerns.

Understanding the difference between advertising and personal selling is essential for businesses to choose the most effective method for reaching their target audience and achieving their marketing objectives.

What is Advertising?

Advertising is the paid, non-personal presentation and promotion of goods and services by an identified sponsor. This method of promotion effectively communicates information about the benefits, price, features, and more of various products and services. This method of promotion is impersonal and doesn’t involve direct contact between the customer and the advertiser, enabling it to reach a broad audience simultaneously.

What is Personal Selling?

Personal Selling is a strategic process that uses direct, face-to-face communication to inform and persuade customers to make purchases. This highly effective approach encourages two-way interaction, enabling sales staff to create product awareness, shape preferences, and drive sales. By nurturing personal connections with customers, businesses can boost their sales performance and cultivate long-lasting relationships.

Difference between Advertising and Personal Selling

Basis of DifferenceAdvertising Personal Selling
1. Personal, Non PersonalAdvertising is a non-personal form of marketing communication. It involves no face-to-face contact between the sender and receiver of the message.Personal selling is a personal form of face-marketing communication in which selling is made through face-to-face contact.
2. Individual, Mass CommunicationAdvertising is a form of mass communication. Here mass media like T.V., radio, and newspaper is used. The message is communicated to a large group at the same time.Personal selling is a type of individual communication. Here message is communicated individually, i.e., at one time message is communicated to one person only. Mass media is not used here.
3. FeedbackAdvertising is a one-way communication method, making it unable to provide immediate feedback. In case the message is not understood by the audience then, they cannot immediately inquire about their doubts/queries.Immediate feedback cannot be taken by a salesman during a sales talk/sales call. It is a form of two-way communication. Target customers can inquire about their doubts/queries from the salesman immediately if the message is not clear to them.
4. Adjustability of MessageIn advertising, the message cannot be adjusted as per the requirements/ background of the individual target audience. The same message is given to all target audiences irrespective of their differences.In personal selling, the message can be adjusted by the salesman as per the requirement/background/circumstance of individual target customers, i.e., the message can be moulded for different target customers.
5. ObjectiveThe goal of advertising is to inform, persuade, and remind the target customers, with a focus on aspects such as brand awareness, popularity, and preference. Here through communication of message, sales objective is achieved. Hence, the sales objective is achieved indirectly through communication objectives.The objective of personal selling is to sell the product. Here achieving sales is a direct objective.
6. UsefulnessAdvertising is more useful for consumer goods having a wide market area.In advertising, the message cannot be adjusted as per the requirements/ background of the individual target audience. The same message is given to all target audiences irrespective of their differences.
7. Cost Per AudiencePersonal selling is more useful for industrial goods where number of customers is lessHere, the cost per audience is less, as the advertising message is communicated to a large group of people.
8. SpeedIn advertising, messages can be delivered quickly by using fast media like newspapers.In personal selling, message communication is a slow process, as each target customer is contacted separately.

Related Articles:

Some key Differences Between Advertising and Personal Selling

1. Advertising is a paid form of communication used to promote a product or service. It’s carried out by an identified sponsor to boost sales. In contrast, personal selling is a promotional approach where sales personnel visit customers directly to sell the product.

2. Advertising is a one-way communication method where messages are sent to customers, but there’s no immediate chance for feedback. On the flip side, personal selling is a two-way communication process. This means messages are shared with customers, and it also allows for instant feedback.

3. Advertising and personal selling are two different but complementary communication methods in marketing. Advertising helps businesses reach a broad audience and build brand awareness, while personal selling offers a more personalized and interactive approach to engage with customers individually. By using both strategies effectively, businesses can optimize their marketing efforts and achieve their goals.

4. In advertising, messages are standardized and cannot be altered to fit an individual customer, lacking flexibility. On the other hand, personal selling uses customized messages, providing a more tailored approach.

5. Advertising spreads messages through mass media like radio, TV, billboards, the internet, blogs, apps, newspapers, and more. In contrast, personal selling conveys messages directly through salespeople to the intended audience.

6. Advertising quickly reaches a large audience, while personal selling takes more time to reach a smaller group of customers.

7. In advertising, feedback is absent, but in personal selling, feedback is present.


The difference between advertising and personal selling are two separate marketing techniques that businesses can use to achieve their promotional objectives. Every day, we see lots of advertisements for things we can buy or ideas we can support. Advertisements come from various sources, and we might not always notice them. On the other hand, personal selling is when someone selling something talks directly to the person buying it. It is a good way to get businesses interested in what businesses are selling.

Differences Between Advertising and Personal Selling

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *