During the Industrial Revolution, there were many discoveries, inventions, transportation modes and technological breakthroughs. As the income of people increased, it paved the way for many industrial goods. With more disposable income the demand for more services in health, education and entertainment sectors increased. The services sector produces intangible goods for business, communication, and various other sectors. These services are human capital centric and thus the need of producing educated and skilled work forces became a “need” for the day.

So what does Services mean? Services mean the various activities performed by the organization to deliver excellent quality and creating value to the customers.

The various categories of Services are

  • Independent Services – e.g. Counseling, consultancy, etc.
  • Combination of Product and Services – e.g. Restaurants
  • Usage of Services as a component of a product – e.g. Repair of home appliance

Services have their own traits

  • Intangible – You cannot experience the service before you purchase it.
  • Inseparability – Possibility of direct sale only through a proper channel of distribution
  • Heterogeneity – You cannot standardize the output
  • Perishability – It cannot be stored for future usage

Need for Services Marketing – You cannot only market products but also services since in todays world, organizations offer services apart from products and marketing the services will help the customers know that this kind of service exist as well as create the differentiator in your business. This brings an important concept to the fore – Service Encounters and Moments of Truth. Each and every service encounter introduces an opportunity to showcase the quality of the provider. It is critical as it shapes customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Types of Service Encounters

  • Remote Encounters – e.g. customer using ATM
  • Telephone Encounters
  • Face to Face Encounters

An organization needs it’s employees, organizational framework and also customers, to develop, promote and deliver services. This is possible by combining Internal Marketing, External Marketing and Interactive Marketing. To provide a good product or service, a marketer would need to focus on the following – Segment the Services | Target the Segment | Position within the Segment. Organizations should integrate and coordinate its various communication channels to deliver a clear, consistent and compelling message about the product and its services. The services marketing then becomes a combination of three business drivers –

  • Managing the brand of the company
  • Training employees to maintain the brand image
  • Maintaining the customer company relationship

The concept of the extended Marketing Mix comes into picture. We are all aware of the traditional marketing mix (4P’s – product, price, place and promotion). With services there is an addition of 3 more P’s – People | Process | Physical Evidence. To explain them briefly

  • People – It represents the people involved in the process of creating and delivering the services
  • Process – Refers to the system used to assist in delivering the services
  • Physical Evidence – Element of the service mix which allows the consumer to make judgements on the organization providing the services

For an effective service marketing system, the entire marketing mix has to be collaborative and has to have a relevant effort to support each other otherwise in this fierce and cut throat competitive market even the best service will fail. Interesting and complex I should say before I sign out.

Sanjeet Kumar Sen is the Country Marketing Manager (Cloud and SMB) at Symantec.

 Published with permission from his blog

Article Image courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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