What Is Services Marketing Mix
The service marketing mix refers to the combination of marketing activities that involve promoting and selling intangible products—services. It is also known as the extended marketing mix as the product marketing mix only consists of four vital components, whereas service marketing has seven. In essence, it assumes that the service is the product while adding three more components into the mix for optimum service delivery.
There is an extension in the service marketing mix due to the high degree of direct contact of the service providers to their customers, the visible nature of the service process, and the simultaneity of production and consumption. The addition of three more areas paves the way for more in-depth analysis to create a business’s service marketing strategies.
Characteristics of services
Four characteristics describe the nature of service, according to Wolak, Kalafatis, & Harris:
Services can neither be touched nor seen. This makes it hard to explain to clients what they will get out of availing the product.
Inseparability or simultaneity
The service is being produced as the client receives it in real-time.
Heterogeneity or variability
People provide most services. And people are all different, making one service not the same as the other. That said, a business should aim to minimize any potential difference in the service by ensuring its people have proper training, follow a set of standards, and implement quality assurance.
When unused, a service cannot be kept for future consumption. For instance, spare seats on the train cannot be transferred on the next trip.
The services marketing mix
Here are the seven Ps of service marketing mix every business should understand:
The mix starts with the product, or in this case, the service. This is the product that a business is selling. Since services are intangible, it cannot be measured. And as previously discussed, a service is perishable, heterogeneous, and cannot be owned.
Your product or service should meet the demand of the market, satisfy and exceed customer expectations.
Price refers to the appropriate pricing structure of your service. It is said that it’s more challenging to identify the price of a service than a product. And that is because the price of a product can be set based on the cost of raw materials used. Whereas, in service pricing, you need to consider the labor and overhead costs on top of the materials necessary to produce the service.
The service price should always reflect the customer’s perceived value of the service and correlate with your budget. When customers think your service is more expensive than it really is, you might lose them before you even have them as paying customers. Whereas, if your services are significantly cheaper, you ought to assess if you still make reasonable profits. That’s why you need to set the right pricing to attract customers and maintain a good profit margin.
The place is the physical location where your business resides and where the service can be availed. Your business place should be accessible to your target market. They should frequent the area more than anyone in the market to amp up visibility and purchase chances.
A good tip to do when finding out the perfect place for your business is by thinking about where they usually look for your product, where they spend the most time, and where your competitors do business. To hit the perfect spot, you must immensely know your target audience, including their wants, needs, and requirements.
The promotion refers to the marketing efforts of the business to advertise and raise awareness of the service. These include the employment of several marketing strategies—both traditional and online—to reach the service’s target market. Some common methods include TV, radio, billboard, print, digital ads, email marketing, and social media.
Promotion is a crucial part of the services marketing mix as it defines how your brand will set itself apart from competitors. Since competition is tight in the market, promotions should be strategic and on-point. This way, you can encourage the target audience to avail your service.
To begin the extended marketing mix, people come first as it defines the service delivery process. As mentioned, service is inseparable from the person producing it. They are the employees in the business. They either design the service, perform it, create it, or manage teams within the company. These people are anyone involved both directly and indirectly in producing the service that a customer receives.
A service business is known for the product made by its people. Thus, most businesses strive to deliver excellence by giving proper training to their employees who provide the service. This is to ensure that customers get satisfaction from availing the service.
The processes refer to the several approaches a business does to facilitate service delivery. These consist of the assessment of the crucial aspects of the business like the sales funnel, payment systems, distribution approach, and client relationship management.
To be effective, these processes should aim to boost customer satisfaction, improve customer retention, and increase the value of the service you offer.
7. Physical Evidence
Physical evidence refers to the tangible and intangible aspects that make up the service’s environment. The tangible aspects include the physical elements customers see in the location as they avail the service. These elements add up to the full experience they get from availing your service. These tangible aspects also include the proof that the service took place and the confirmation of its existence. Some of these include receipts, invoices, packaging, your website, logo, business cards, and more.
On the other hand, the intangible aspects include other customers’ opinions towards the service, which highly impacts potential customers.
Those are the seven Ps that make up the services marketing mix when dealing with a service-related business. Knowing these will enable you to design more appropriate and efficient marketing strategies to bring success to your business. In addition to learning these seven essentials, here are some Skill Success courses we recommend you to take: