Meaning of Service Marketing
Service marketing is a branch of marketing concerned with marketing of intangible products. This marketing is based on value and relationship. It involves marketing of various economic activities offered by business comprising of both Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) services.
The various economic services included in this marketing are telecommunication services, health services, financial services, entertainment and tourism services, trade and professional services. Service marketing emerges as a separate field of marketing in the 1980s keeping in view the unique and different characteristics of economic services from tangible products. With the growing competition of services in the global market, service marketing achieves the great importance making it a separate subject to be studied.
The marketing mix used in service marketing is expanded as compared to product marketing. The service marketing mix comprises of seven Ps namely- Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical evidence. Therefore, through service marketing businesses are able to create awareness and promote their intangible product in the market.
Nature of Service marketing
Marketing of Intangible Products
Service marketing deals with the marketing of products that can’t be seen or touched. It deals with the marketing of various economic services provided by the businesses to its client. There is no physical possession of products marketed in service marketing. Services are the activities which can only be experienced and provide satisfaction to the public.
Non-Transfer of ownership
The products marketed in service marketing do not possess any ownership. Nor the service provider nor the consumer availing the service has any ownership of the service. The service provider only owns the physical infrastructure necessary to deliver the service. Services are intangible products and can’t be owned by anybody. It becomes non-existent after consumption and only provides experiences to consumers.
Expanded Marketing Mix
The marketing mix used in service marketing is expanded as compared to the one used in product marketing. Service marketing has in total seven Ps namely- Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process, Physical evidence. Whereas product marketing mix has only four Ps- Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Additional three Ps are included in the service marketing mix considering the unique and different characteristics of services as compared to physical product.
Inseparability of consumption and production
Service marketing promotes such products which are produced and consumed at the same time. Service provider and services can’t be separated from each other. Presence of a service provider is a must in order to deliver services to clients. Services are unlike physical product which can be used by consumers without the presence of its producer. In the case of services, the service provider generates and delivers the service at the same time to the consumers.
The products marketed in service marketing are generally heterogeneous in nature. These intangible products differ in their nature and each one is unique. These products are not identical as in the case of physical products. Every customer gets different level of satisfaction with the services delivered by the same service provider. Even the same customer gets a different level of satisfaction if he avails the same service from the same service provider at different times. No standardisation and quality control factor can be applied to service, unlike physical products.
Service marketing is a managerial function for promotion of intangible products. It manages all activities concerned with the marketing of services provided by the business. Service marketing designs different strategies that are adopted by business for promoting their intangible product. These strategies are framed and implemented as per the unique characteristics of services that are intangibility, perishability, inseparability, variability etc. Service marketing aims at promoting the intangible products at a large scale to create large awareness in the market.