Marketing in itself involves the flow of goods and services (distribution and sale) based on relationship and value from the wholesaler to the consumer.
Service marketing alone is solely based on value and relationship. Marketing alone puts into consideration the 4p’s which stand for product, price, place and promotion. Service marketing on the other hand has additional 3p’s that consists of people, process, and physical environment/evidence. In layman language service marketing is the marketing of a product /service through the services offered. Various attempts on this give different results thus the grouping of service losers, nonentities, professional and leaders.
These are companies that try hard to market their good or services but they do not meet their objective due to various reasons. These reasons differ depending on whether its product or a service. The strategies that are used to market a product are not the same as for marketing a service. A majority of service providers do not dwell on service marketing as they tend to confuse the selling of the service being sold with an extra favor, something that is common with service marketing (Peter and Raja, 1988). Last week I happened to experience a vain attempt to offer service marketing at cutsaholic barbershop in Las Vegas.
I being the consumer/buyer of the service namely the hair cut was quite elated to see that the barber also wanted to wash my head at no extra cost, which I obliged. However, barber used a very strong-smelling aftershave on me which in fact was allergic to me since I did sneeze for over 10 minutes continuous. Well, I appreciated his good intentions but his way of marketing his shop lost its effect through the aftershave.
Apart from companies that try to impress the consumer through service marketing, there are others that are completely not eligible to impress the consumer other than through the product/service itself. Companies such as this are the ones that we categorize as nonentities in service marketing provision. This is most prevalent among companies that deal in providing services.
However, it is important to note the reason why it is hard to recognize service marketing in this industry is because we tend to judge it based on an individual/technology. It is also hard to compare similar services though some consumers are prone to bias be it due to gender, religion, race or class. ATM’s make an ample case in question. Generally, ATM’s are the same worldwide with the main difference being the welcome note in basic operations. Unlike the traditional way of banking where one queue in the banking halls to make a transaction the modern ATM machines have brought a lot of difference. Every time I use the machine, I somehow feel like cheated. Why because? I get no smile from the teller and lose a chance to make a live conversation.
These are organizations that solely deal in providing services in various fields i.e. they sell intangible products. service marketing professionals need to demonstrate their core value in service provision that make them distinguishable from other sellers of the same service as it is hard to standardize a service as we would for a product. In this genre of organizations, we may have a problem distinguishing service as a product or service as a marketing strategy. (William, 2006) The service product represents what the buyer paid for but the marketing service is what the buyer did not pay for but is given out as a marketing strategy. In paid parking bay in Las Vegas I was happy to note that they offer free car wash to their clients during weekends, such a service ensures the firm registers optimum sales as a result of their car wash offer.
This is a recognition given to the outstanding organizations in providing the best service marketing for their products either tangible or intangible. One of the major contradictions when it comes to service deliverance is that, the service professionals always tend to have their effect overlooked since provision of service is said to be their main business rather than in other industries whereby tangible products are the main items on sale.
The McDonald chain of hotels has dominated this field of service marketing although they deal in tangible products. The speed at which a customer is served, the dress code or the language used by the attendant or the waiter is very vital in deciding whether a customer will consider another visit to the same hotel. The hotel chain provides drive that is very essential to long distance travelers who do not want to a light their vehicles to make a purchase. (William, 2006)
Information on the above available from,
William, J. (2006). Marketing Strategies, New York: Prentice Hall.
Peter, S. and Raja, J. (1988). Servicitization of business: Adding value by adding services. European Management of journal, vol.6, no. 4.