Services Marketing Strategy for Students Who Market Products

Marketing a service is different that marketing a product. 'Marketing' causes many businesses tome start thinking about 'pushing the product' onto the customers. This strategy is followed with mass-advertising with the product in plain sight. This cannot be done when selling a service. Products can be seen and physically examined and this is why mass-marketing strategies have proven successful for tangible items but mass-advertising isn't the best method for service retailers.
A Product is tangible (And delicious)
With services, market segments must be targeted to meet specific needs. This is because of the intangible nature of service retail and the variances among consumer groups. The article also identifies that service providers are selling themselves -their knowledge, skills and abilities. For small service industries like private investigators, it is important to not spread efforts and services 'too thin' by working for too many clients and the quality of their services and reputation suffers.

Service Jobs are respectable and require special marketing strategies
Referrals from previous clients is one of four ways service retailers can find success, according to Marketing Your Service Business ( J. Withers and C. Vipperman) and analyzed in the journal article. The second factor emphasizes the importance of customer relations. This will improve the reputation through word of mouth and is even more important when there is a service being sold and not a product. Services are learned and skill sets are developed which cannot necessarily be manufactured in a supply chain. Each company and their customers have expected levels of service. Participating in organizations was also key to sustaining a successful service retail business and promoting the service being sold. The Internet has key social areas which retailers need to use to improve their networking.

With services it is necessary that people understand that they are intangible and also inseparable. This means that once you get a haircut, pedicure, manicure, lawn mowing, any service job, it cannot be undone and you must trust the service provider. This is often an obstacle for many service retailers. A strategic advantage is often found when the retailer decides to implement a product along with the service. 
Take lawn mowing services for example. If the retailer simply sells his business as a grass-cutting service and markets his service the same way as a product the promotions will not have an effective impact on sales and profits. If the retailer decides to sell the service while emphasizing the technology or advantages that the customers can see, the service will have a better chance at success and ultimately earn a better reputation, which will spread from person to person and client-to-client, resulting in the desired goal of increased profit share for any shareholders or stockholders. The same benefits are given to employees because their job will pay more and their boss will be apt to give them raises and recognition for a "job well done."
Lastly, the article concluded with the fourth point regarding direct mail which has still proven to help strengthen the service retailers promotion strategies and also helps them to improve their profits, keep customer satisfaction high, and ultimately gather loyal customers from a market segment. These are the goals that are of unique importance to service retailers.

Now lets take a marketing quiz based on what the students have learned. Answer True or false depending on the question. The answers to the marketing questions are underneath.

1. Mass-marketing works best for products, it does not work as well with services. 


2. Being professional and using common sense are important to keep good customer relationships.


Market Research on Parking on LSU campus and the campus police

Define the relevant population for this marketing study. What are the characteristics of the persons and subjects who should be included in the sample from the population? The relevant population includes those from the LSU population like students, faculty, and LSUPD, who drive and park on campus. Their perception of the LSU police department were shown to be incorrect. Preliminary research also shows a majority of the driving and parking population lives off campus. Those who suffer from the high traffic and intolerability of walking far distances to get to work may be more inclined to be corrected about their misconceptions.

Identify a sample frame plus how will it be obtained.  Discuss the degree of sample frame error present in your plan.  A list of names from the Traffic Department who is responsible for writing tickets on the campus will be obtained and used as the sample frame. The list will include the only those who have received non-moving traffic violations. This will be used with as the population, N, for the sample plan. The two sources of sample frame error occur when elements like those who violated parking rules but did not get a ticket and all others who suffered from the high traffic and possible ticket but are missing from the Traffic Department's list. The second error is that the list includes those who got non-moving violations unrelated to parking- like driving without a seatbelt- and also includes those who do not attend LSU and/or have no concern with the campus parking.

Television for your Dorm Room? Let me do some research

a. Sample Plan - Simple Random Sampling
A random numbers method will be used and each member of the sample frame will be assigned a number and the sample will be selected with a computer program which utilizes the free numerical library licensed under the GNU GPL for random sampling. The best substitution process is handled by the software to select the sample-size. The advantage of SRS is an equal and known chance of sample-size selection but it requires a complete accounting of the population and it is cumbersome to provide unique designations to every population member.
b. Sample Plan - Systematic Sampling
Our Population will be chosen randomly but more efficiently than by simple random sampling because the skip interval will be used for non responses and creates substitutes from dividing the list of the populaiton size by the desired sample size resulting in an approximate known and equal chance of selection because it is a probability sample plan. It is also efficient and is less expensive and faster that the sample random sample. The disadvantages are that there is a loss in precision.
c. Sample Plan - Cluster sampling
The population will be divided into groups based on geographic location based on proximity to campus. With these will form two groups considered to represent the non-homogeneous population. We will use the drop-down method as it applies to each group. This way the sample size will be economic efficient- by being faster and less costly than the simple random sampling. However, it is vulnerable to cluster specification error because the more homogeneous the clusters, the more precise the sample results are and we are using the two-step cluster to limit errors. Increased variance between the two clusters may decrease accuracy.
d. Sample Plane - Stratified sampling
Research assumes the subgroups are going to vary, so we will assume those who live off campus will value parking more than those who live on campus. We would expect the mean score of our questionnaire differ based on the distance traveled for the students. The off-campus students will show less variance and more agreement to the questions should be represented. The advantages of this method would be more accurate overall sample of a skewed population because the less variance in a group the less sample size it takes to produce a precise answer. This method allows the market researchers to allocate more sample size to strata with less variance and less sample size to strata with less variance Therefore, for the same sample size, the researches achieve higher precision. We would accomplish this via disproportionate sampling because students who have not experienced parking problems because they live on campus can be sampled less. Alternatively, the disadvantages are the complexity of the sampling plan requiring different sample size for each of the stratum.
e.  Sample Plan - Convenience sampling
As the only non-probability method this will give us the fastest and relatively inexpensive answers. Convenience sampling will also cost less. The sample size will represent the first names from the sample frame  who received tickets on LSU campus and who also are accessible via school email systems. Next, a list of names for the sample size based on this attribute is created. The sample frame error is going to occur because the members may be infrequent drivers or offenders, may no longer own a vehicle, or may not have a license anymore. The way the respondents are chosen presents sample errors that are avoided with the probability sampling methods. With such drastic misunderstanding of who is responsible for the tickets, the decision may be able generalized and applicable to a small sample-size say that of 300 names. These name are ultimately drawn based on the convenience and randomness of the LSU marketing research department.

Welcome to Marketing Research. We are happy to have you, subject #7089

Which of the aforementioned five sampling methods would you recommend that the students use? Why? I would recommend using the convenience sampling. Even though it is subject to problems, overall it will allow for an accurate sample-size for a large population and ultimately give a better representation of the attitudes of those students who have to drive and park on campus. For LSU Campus Police Department and Captain Mark Shaw, the results of the questionnaire should to a high degree of accuracy a sample-size that can be attributed to the entire population and they can take further research or marketing actions post-analysis.

Qualitative Research for Marketing Minor or Major

According to observational analysis the supermarket chain was accurate to a high degree in their beliefs about shopping behavior for customers over 65 years old. The notes from in-field observation were measured against the six beliefs of the supermarket chain. The chain wants a successful future by targeting this older market segment so it is important to understand the target customers. The supermarket chain believes older consumers behave differently while shopping compared to other consumer groups. For the majority, elderly consumers are more price conscious and purchase items in smaller servings. Non-grocery items and impulse products are less likely to be purchased by older shoppers. Last, elderly shoppers may have some physical problems.

Elderly shoppers evaluate grocery stores differently from other consumer groups. Other consumer groups were moving at a much faster pace than the subject. Other consumers also selected more brand names, used baskets instead of grocery carts, and stopped at displays. Larger displays and brighter lights may have improved how the subject (and whole consumer group), evaluates County Market. The friendly cashier bagged the subject's groceries which is another example of the differences because the same service would likely be less valuable for a different segment.

Healthy Part of a Balanced Breakfast and Hard Working Mind

The belief that elderly consumers are more price-conscious is accurate according to field observations. The subject purchased the cheaper alternative for most products and examined the prices for almost every item. There was a low impact of price savings between items, usually under a dollar, but it was still a heavy influencer. Many items had a sales sticker. The cost of the item was not the only deciding factor, the subject bought favorable, familiar, and more expensive products such as frozen meals. Next, the purchase of multiple, large, and pricier lasagnas also contradicted the belief that the elderly buy items in smaller servings. While this error could be related to a number of uncontrollable variables such as the upcoming holiday, overall observational analysis shows this belief to be the only one found incorrect. Most of the items purchased were inconsistent with the smaller-serving-size belief.

To confirm elderly shoppers rarely purchase non-grocery items a statistical analysis of the final purchases was conducted. This belief came out to be accurate for 90.90% of the items. The subject purchased paper towels which was the only deviation from a grocery only shopping cart. Next, according to the direct observation analysis, impulse items are not usually bought and may not be bought at all by the subject and segment as a whole. The subject was unaffected by items such as 99-cent snacks displays located at high traffic areas. The subject showed no interest in other impulse items like tabloids, candy bars, and car fresheners at checkout. Because impulse items were unnoticed while close inspection was needed for a single tomato, the subject confirmed this consumer group will not be likely to get impulse items.

Structured observation revealed physical limitations for the subject. The physical problems the subject had while shopping were mostly vision related. The subject inspected a lot of items closer and farther away from the eyes. In addition, the subject wore thick-lensed glasses. Items above eye-level were considered impossible and out of reach. However, an extensive assistance program may not be cost-effective because the subject demonstrated a high degree of independence. Attempts by the store to help elderly customers such as motorized scooters were not needed by the subject, neither was the assistance of any employee. However, brighter lighting would have helped inspect products and brighten the tall aisles. A greater availability of employees who are aware of the segment’s physical limitations could lead to higher sales.


Through disguised observation the behavior of the subject, an elderly shopper, was found to be consistent with the majority of the findings conducted by the large supermarket chain. Five of the six aforementioned beliefs were all confirmed to a substantial degree of exactitude based upon an analysis of field notes from observation of the subject. The subject definitely contradicted the belief of buying smaller serving sizes, but this conflicting shopping pattern was wont to uncontrollable variability for factors such as holiday visits or special/ unique occasions. Understanding the physical difficulties and its relationship to how the market segment evaluates stores is critical. In addition to evaluation differences and physical limits, price-consciousness, avoiding impulse buys, and preferring grocery items were all agreeable with the supermarkets data.


Store Location:
County Market 101 W Arizona Ruston LA 71270

Wednesday 3/27/13
Arrival Time:
Exit Time:
Total time in store:
47 (minutes)
County Market private brand:


Age (approx.):
Sight, Hearing, Speed
Handicap Parking::
Requests for Assistance:
Impulse Buys:
Avoids non-grocery purchases:
Smaller serving size preference:
Evaluation differences among segments:
# of complete stops to inspect items:
# of different items looked at (approx.)
2-3 per stop
Products* finally purchased:
Brand name purchases:
Payment Method
Cash, one coupon

*Unique products purchased; buying more than 1 of the same item counted as single product purchased.