Difference between Advertising and Personal Selling

06/02/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

Advertising is one of the widely used techniques of promotion, wherein modes like television, radio, newspapers, internet, etc. are used for creating demand or interest of the customers towards the product or services offered by the company. On the other hand, personal selling is the verbal communication of the message, to one or more customers, so as to create sales.

Both advertising and personal selling are two major elements of promotion mix, which is employed by the organization to reach communication objectives. Advertising differs from personal selling, in the fact that the former is a monolog activity, but the latter is dialogue.




  Advertising is a means of communication, which calls customer’s attention towards the product or service, through mass media. Personal selling refers to a form of promotion, wherein the sales representative sells the product to customers, by directly visiting them.
Communication One-way communication Two-way communication
Form              Impersonal form of communication Personal form of communication
Strategy        Pull strategy Push strategy
Message        Standardised Customised
Channel         Mass media Sales personnel
Time Conveys message to end number of individual in less time. Conveys message to a few customers only in relatively high time.
Feedback Lacks direct feedback Facilitates direct and instant feedback


Advertising can be defined as the act of drawing the attention of the target audience, towards a product or service. It is an impersonal, paid message, delivered to the general public with the sole aim of creating demand for the product and thus increasing sales. It has a great role to play in marketing, to make people aware of the product.

The sponsors of the advertisement, have full control over it. The advertising message is aired through various channels like radio, television, magazines, newspapers, posters, billboards, websites, blogs, apps, text messages, social networks, e-mail, etc.

Advertising aims at creating such an image in the minds of the audience, that they are instigated to purchase that product. The greatest advantage of advertising is its range, i.e. it reaches a large number of people in one go.

Personal Selling

Personal Selling, as the name signifies, is a promotional tool, where companies use sales force, to increase sales of product and services.

Under personal selling, there is a face to face meeting between the clients or customers and the sales representative, wherein the representatives visit customers personally, so as to transact a sale, by offering and inducing them to make a purchase. Personal Selling involves developing a strong relationship with customers, discovering their needs and providing them such products, which satisfy their needs.

The process requires huge workforce to cover the entire market. Moreover, proper training is also an important requirement of this process, to deal with different types of customers and instigating them to buy the product.

The difference between advertising and personal selling, are as follows:

  1. Advertising alludes to paid form of communication, which commercializes product or service, offered by an identified sponsor, to increase sales. On the other hand, a form of promotion, wherein the sales personnel sells the product to customers, by directly visiting them, is known as personal selling.
  2. While advertising is a one-way communication, wherein the message is transmitted to the customers, personal selling is a two-way communication, wherein the message is transmitted to customers, as well as feedback is provided simultaneously.
  3. Advertising is a non-personal form of communication the message reaches the target audience after it is being aired. On the contrary, personal selling, as the name suggest involves salesman visit to customer’s place individually, which is a personal form of communication.
  4. Advertising uses pull strategy, which draws public attention and persuades them to buy the product. As against, personal selling uses push strategy, which induces them to buy the product.
  5. In advertising, the flexibility is missing, as the message is standardized and cannot be changed according to customers. In contrast, personal selling uses customized messages.
  6. Advertising uses mass media, like radio, television, hoardings, the internet, blogs, apps, newspaper, etc. On the flip side, in personal selling, salesman delivers the message, personally to the target audience.
  7. Advertising conveys a message to end number of individual in less time. As against this, personal selling conveys the message to a few customers only in relatively high time.
  8. There is a lack of feedback in advertising, whereas, in personal selling, feedback is always present.

There are hundreds of advertisements, that we go through almost every day, that are used for commercial or social purposes. These are messages, which reach us through various mediums, though we do not recognize them they are present.

Personal selling involves direct contact between the seller and buyer. It is one of the best technique used for business customers.