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.