Product versus Service Marketing
Louis J. Toto
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
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With a career spanning thirty plus years in the computer services industry, my background and experience with product marketing has been limited. In the traditional roles of post sales service the interfacing with product marketing is limited even more. In today’s technology driven environment, and especially in smaller customer markets it is not uncommon to not even know who the product marketer even is. Several years ago, I moved within the organization from the role of service delivery provider to a service delivery manager. The significance has been in the level of interface with the ...view middle of the document...
These and other statistics have led to a growing interest in service marketing and solving any special problems encountered (Kotler & Keller, 2009).
Every business needs a good marketing plan and understands how absolutely vital it is to the success of the business venture. Without a good marketing plan there will be no clear vision of the organizational goals to achieve within the market sector. There are different approaches to marketing based on whether or not you are marketing products or marketing services. For a company that markets both product and services then perhaps the need to develop two different marketing plans that share some similarities exists. Sharing the business identity and the image is important, realizing that different tactics work better for services versus products (Business Knowledge Source, 2010). Many businesses know how to market products, and in some scenarios products can market themselves. Listed below are some things to consider when marketing both products and services (Business Knowledge Source, 2010):
1. When you are marketing a service, you are really marketing relationship and value.
2. Another major difference is a service, is intangible, instead of a tangible product.
3. Concept of a service can be based on the reputation of only one single person.
4. Comparing the quality of different services can be more difficult than comparing the quality of products in the mix.
5. Products are returnable, services are not returnable.
The four and seven P’s
Marketing product requires what are known as the "4 P's":
Product / Price / Place / Promotion.
Marketing a service adds three more "P's" to the mix:
People / Physical evidence / Process.
When selling a service the customer experience is extremely important to closing the deal and marketing effectively. The experience has an impact on the perceived value of the service. The people involved in selling and performing the service have the ability to make or break a company's reputation. It's harder to do damage control for service companies, which means your reputation must remained untarnished. ...