Topic: MARKETING DEBATE—Is Service Marketing Different From Product Marketing?
MARKETING DEBATE—Is Service Marketing Different From Product Marketing?
Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers. In addition, marketing might sometimes be interpreted as the ability of selling products and services. As the term "Marketing" may replace "Advertising" it is the overall strategy and function of promoting a product or service to the customer. Many services marketers strongly maintain that service marketing is essentially different from product marketing and that different skills are involved. However, many traditional product marketers disagree, saying, “Good marketing is Good marketing.” This assignment provides a summary of the description of the debate ‘Is Service Marketing Different from Product Marketing?’ indications of possible views, demonstrate the application, and recognize the business implication/significance. Being part of the sales engineering and business development in the oil and gas industry for eight years, it has always been one that is very service oriented. Even when selling a product it is always accompanied by a service and the quality of the service is what really makes the difference of the repeat purchase. During my career, mentors in my field have always had the opinion that services are marketed different from products. Their general consensus was marketing of products and services are two dissimilar situations which require two very diverse strategies. However, since I started the course the literature shows the clear difference how products and services are viewed, but the marketing principles by scholars are viewed somewhat consistently for both products and services. Hence, my interest is peeked by whether or not what I have been thought and held true for many years is or isn’t valid.
The first view by many marketers who believe there is no disparity in marketing a product or service is ‘Marketing is Marketing’. Consumers buy a product or use a service to answer a particular need or want. The customer’s value hierarchy: The customers’ decision-making process and their own consumption system do not change when purchasing a service versus a product. ‘Typically, customers may value many aspects of an exchange, which may involve a product, brand, store or interaction with a salesperson (e.g., Holbrook 1194; Lai 1995 Zeithaml 1988)’. ‘Furthermore, customer value perceptions may occur throughout all stages of consumption (Huber and Herrman 2000)’. From this view we can conclude marketing for either goods or services will not make difference in the customer decision-making process. On the other hand, the essential difference universally cited by authors (e.g., Bateson 1977; Berry 1980; Lovelock 1981; Rathmell 1966, 1974; Shostack 1977 (a) is intangibility. Because services are performances, rather than objects, they cannot be seen, felt, tasted, or touched in the same manner in which goods can be sensed. Intangibility, according to Bateson (1979) is the critical goods – services distinction from which all other differences emerge. The inseparability of the service provider from the consumer; the variability of service from encounter to encounter; and the fact that the service is perishable all create new and different marketing challenges for the service marketer. Since the customer must be present during the production of the service (haircuts, airplane trips), inseparability “forces the buyer into intimate contact with the production process” (Carmen and Langeard 1980, p. 8). This fundamentally unique difference between goods and services is what has made many marketers conclude the approach to marketing must be different.
A second passionate point held by scholars who are of the view ‘good marketing is good marketing’ is that consumers come to understand the core benefit, potential product, or the functionality of...