Service Marketing

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Review Question (pg. 54, no. 12)

The term “marketing mix” could suggest that marketing managers are mixers of ingredients. Is that perspective a recipe for success when employing the 7 Ps to develop a services marketing strategy?

The marketing mix is a business tool used in marketing products. The marketing mix is often crucial when determining a product or brand's unique selling point, meaning that the unique quality that differentiates a product from its competitors, and is often synonymous with the 4 Ps: price, product, promotion, and place. However, in recent times, the 4Ps have been expanded to the 7 Ps with the addition of process, physical evidence and people. Marketing mix is not a scientific theory, but merely a conceptual framework that identifies the principal decision making managers make in configuring their offerings to suit consumers’ needs. The tools can be used to develop both long term strategies and short term tactical program (Palmer, 2004). According to Chai (2009), the idea of marketing mix is the same idea as when mixing a cake. A baker will alter the proportions of ingredients in a cake depending on the type of cake we wishes to bake. So, the proportions in the marketing mix can be altered in the same way and differ from the product to product. When applying marketing mix, the managers can be the mixer of the ingredients especially when it comes to the service marketing strategy. The main reason the marketing mix is it makes marketing seem easy to handle, allows the separation of marketing from other activities of the firm and the delegation of marketing tasks to specialist, and the components of the marketing mix can change a firm’s competitive position (Gronroos, 1994). Chai (2009) pointed out that the marketing mix concept also has two important benefits. First, it is an important tool used to enable one to see that the marketing manager’s job. Second is it helps to reveal another dimension of the marketing manager’s job. Thus, this could help the managers to clearly understand on what exactly they have to do in order to alter the traditional 4Ps in the service marketing.

In order to develop service marketing strategy, the traditional 4Ps can be implemented but needs some alter in this strategy. The 4Ps will not satisfy in the service marketing strategy due to its focus in term of the product not the service provide. Moller (2006) highlighted that the shortcomings of the 4Ps marketing mix framework, as the pillars of the traditional marketing management have frequently become the target of intense criticism. The concept of 4Ps has been criticism as being a production-based definition of marketing, and not a customer-oriented (Popovic, 2006). As according to the book of Service Marketing (seventh edition), the 7Ps are integrated into wider organizing framework, combining it with the consumer and competitor analysis, as well as implementation. This is shown that the 4Ps are not adequate enough to deal with the issues arising from marketing services and have to be adapted and extended. In addition, the traditional marketing mix does not cover on how to managing the customer in terms of customers interface for example like the customer preferences, complaint, managing customer waiting, so on and so forth. The 7Ps can represent the ingredients required to create viable strategies for meeting customer needs profitably in a competitive marketplace. Considering others factors rather than the product oriented strategies may bring to the success of the service marketing strategies. This is because the managers consider the aspect of four parts that are first, understanding service products, consumers and markets; second is applying the 4Ps of marketing to services; third is managing the customer interface and lastly, is implementing profitable service strategies. The 7Ps are in included in all of the part, so that employs the 7Ps will result to success in developing the service...
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