Services Marketing Basics

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1. What is service marketing?
Service marketing is a form of marketing which focuses on selling services. Services can be tricky to sell and the marketing approach for them is much different than the approach for products. Some companies offer both products and services and must use a mixture of styles; for example, a store which sells computers also tends to offer services such as helping people select computers and providing computer repair. Such a store must market both its products and the supporting services it offers to appeal to customers. 2. Discuss services system

Service marketing is the marketing of processes deeds and performances, i.e. anything which is essentially intangible in nature. This criteria of intangibility also differentiates goods from services and underlines the importance of marketing of services to be managed in a different manner as compared to marketing of products. The services marketing process is also different because services are more heterogeneous in nature; again, as compared to products which are more standardized in nature. Another important difference between goods and services is that services have to be produced and consumed simultaneously and cannot be stored (inventoried) for future consumption because of their perishable nature.

When people market services, the goal is not to get customers to buy a product, but to get people to do business with a particular company, often in a specific location. For example, a restaurant offers a service: It provides food to customers, both on-site and in to-go form in many cases. When the restaurant markets itself, it must convince people that it is preferable to other restaurants and that its facility is worth the trip.

As with the marketing of products, the marketing of services covers issues like what is being offered, what the price point is, how it compares to similar things, and why people should choose that particular iteration over other options. With services, which are often intangible in nature, consumers must also be convinced through services marketing that the service is something they need which will have some sort of benefit.

Thus, the services marketing is marketing of services while appreciating these differences and adding additional elements in the tradition marketing mix i.e. the four Ps: product, promotion, pricing and place (distribution). The expanded marketing mix for services includes: People (all human actors who play a part in service delivery and thus influence the buyer's perceptions), Physical Evidence (the environment in which the service is delivered and where the firm and customer interact, and any tangible components that facilitate performance or communication of services), and Process (The actual procedures, mechanisms, and flow of activities by which service is delivered i.e. the service delivery and operating systems). 3. What are the characteristics of service marketing? Discuss each. Information scientists are often providing services (eg advice, or searches), rather than physically distinct products. Marketing experts acknowledge that marketing a service is more difficult than marketing a tangible product. They identify the following as being characteristic of services: * Intangibility the service cannot be touched or viewed, so it is difficult for clients to tell in advance what they will be getting; * Inseparability of production and consumption the service is being produced at the same time that the client is receiving it (eg during an online search, or a legal consultation); * Perishibility unused capacity cannot be stored for future use. For example, spare seats on one airplane cannot be transferred to the next flight, and query-free times at the reference desk cannot be saved up until there is a busy period. * Heterogeneity (or variability): services involve people, and people are all different. There is a strong possibility that the same enquiry would be answered slightly...
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