Services Marketing Mix refers to the combination of marketing activities an organization engages in to promote and sell intangible services, as opposed to tangible products. Marketing professionals and specialist use many tactics to attract and retain their customers. These activities comprise of different concepts, the most important one being the marketing mix. Marketing strategy is integrated with the marketing program, or marketing mix. The marketing mix traditionally includes variables such as price, product, promotion, and place. For this reason, the marketing mix deals more with implementation, and is not defined specifically as part of marketing strategy. Marketing mix is frequently used in combination with strategy to help marketing managers promote their product and/or service and it provides a useful framework for decision-making. The first P, product, in the marketing mix involves determining the products or services to offer for sale. “The product area is concerned with developing the right “product” for the target market.” (Perrault & McCarthy, 2004, p. 38). The product refers to tangible products and intangible services. Marketing research is vital in developing the marketing mix and continues throughout the marketing process. Research allows the business to discover what products or services the consumer wants, needs or desires. “If you don't understand what the market needs first, you can't possibly put the Ps to work effectively” (Scott, 2004,).
The services marketing mix is an extension of the 4-Ps framework. The essential elements of product, promotion, price and place remain but three additional variables – people, physical evidence and process – are included to 7–Ps mix. The need for the extension is due to the high degree of direct contact between the providers and the customers, the highly visible nature of the service process, and the simultaneity of the production and consumption. While it is possible to discuss... [continues]
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