Marketing a service-base business is different from marketing a product-base business.
There are several major differences, including:
- The buyer purchases are intangible
- The service may be based on the reputation of a single person
- It’s more difficult to compare the quality of similar services
- The buyer cannot return the service
5. Service Marketing mix adds 3 more p’s, i.e. people, physical environment, process service and follow-through are keys to a successful venture.
When one markets a service business, one must keep in mind that reputation, value, delivery of “Managing the evidence” refers to the act of informing customers that the service encounter has been performed successfully. It is best done in subtle ways like providing examples or descriptions of good and poor service that can be used as a basis of comparison. The underlying rationale is that a customer might not appreciate the full worth of the service if they do not have a good benchmark for comparisons.
However, it is worth remembering that many of the concepts, as well as many of the specific techniques, will work equally well whether they are directed at products or services. In particular, developing a marketing strategy is much the same for products and services, in that it involves selecting target markets and formulating a marketing mix. Thus, Theodore Levitt suggested that “instead of talking of ‘goods’ and of ‘services’, it is better to talk of ‘tangibles’ and ‘intangibles'”. Levitt also went on to suggest that marketing a physical product is often more concerned with intangible aspects (frequently the `product service’ elements of the total package) than with its physical properties. Charles Revson made a famous comment regarding the business of Revlon Inc.: `In the factory we make cosmetics. In the store we sell hope.’ Arguably, service industry marketing merely approaches the problems from the opposite end of the same spectrum.