Updated May 31, 2023
Difference Between Service vs Product Marketing
You might be aware of the fact that there are different types of marketing. Did you know that service and product marketing differ? Yes, there is a big difference between the two. You can easily understand the difference in the explanations and differences given below.
Before moving on to the differences, you must understand Service and Product Marketing.
Following is a product marketing:
To start with, product marketing is the marketing of tangible goods. People can touch, feel, and see tangible goods or products. The audiences you want to sell your products to can see and understand the performance of real goods. The 4Ps of marketing can define product marketing: the product, the product’s pricing, the place, and promotions. This type of marketing deals with outbound marketing tasks by marketing the products to existing customers, prospective customers, and others, as they never know who may be their prospective customers.
Product marketing also differs from other and all the organization’s different functions, such as communication marketing, strategies, marketing, online marketing, advertising, etc. It is a continuous process of maximizing profit by promoting and selling a product to audiences, primarily people who need it; it also creates a requirement for the product in audiences.
However, Service Marketing is quite different. Let’s see how?
Following is a service marketing:
Firstly service marketing is the marketing of intangible assets. It is huge and versatile. It works in two ways are
1st : (B2C), which means business to customer. Business to customers includes companies in the industries that give or provide services directly to customers in exchange for some fee.
2nd : (B2B), which means business to business. Business-to-business includes companies in the service industry that serve other business segments.
Marketing is an integral mix of the 4 P’s; service marketing is much more than simple marketing. It includes an undivided blend of 7 P’s. The 7P’s consist of two parts. The 1st 4 are product, place, promotion, and pricing where; as the 2nd extended part of service marketing includes people, process, and physical evidence.
The service economy is an entirely different part of the growing world economy. When you describe a service, you cannot define it as a product. Unlike a product, you cannot touch, feel, smell, or taste a service; service is intangible. The most significant difference between the two is service and product. Marketing service is unique as it involves challenges like attaching tangible characteristics to something intangible.
Some features of services include
- Changeability or Variability: Service differs from person to person and company to company. Hence, the same service provider or the entire industry will give you a different service. It will keep changing.
- Expiry: Once someone uses or receives a service, they cannot resell, save, return, or store it. In short, one cannot use the service again.
- Timeframe: One should consume Services within a particular time. Unlike a product, the service is inseparable from the service provider.
Products and services are different in their ways and means, and hence are their marketing strategies. Product marketing cannot be like services; services are unmarketable, unlike products.
Service Marketing vs Product Marketing Infographics
Below infographics on Service Marketing vs Product Marketing,throws light on major points of differences between the two.
The Difference between Service Marketing and Product Marketing
Following are some differences:
1. Tangible and intangible
Product Marketing and service marketing patterns or techniques are different for both. Because products are tangible they can be touched, seen, felt, tasted, smelled etc. hence the marketing techniques for sales of products are different. However, marketing techniques for services are too extra for intangible services because the customer needs help seeing, feeling, sensing, tasting, or smelling benefits.
Product Marketing can be done by showing and displaying them; however, one can only experience services. Hence style of marketing both the products and services are different. For example, the seller can display and sell a ready food product; however, the service provider cannot show a telephone service. One can only experience it.
The ownership of a product can be transferred or changed. You can also resell a product or a good to someone else. You cannot resell the service consumed by someone else at all. In simple words, you can resell a product but you cannot resell a service.
For example, the ownership of products such as cars, residential or commercial property, all sorts of machinery, etc can be resold or transferred on a different name or request. However, once you own a degree, have your hair cut by a hairdresser, or have surgery done, you cannot resell the same or transfer its ownership to someone else as it has already been consumed.
3. Products come to the customer whereas customer comes for service
Products once sold can be taken by the customer, or the customer can take the products with them once they buy them; however, it is vice versa in the case of a service, to enjoy or experience a service the customer needs to come to the service provider. Hence,’ the product goes to the customer whereas the customer goes to service.’
The reason is simple and clear service cannot be separated from the service provider. Example is a better way to understand ‘When you buy a car you bring the car home with you so that is how the products comes to the customer.” In contrast, for a haircut or surgery, you must go to the service provider, the barber, or the surgeon. It is where the customer has to go to the service provider because the service is inseparable from the service provider’.
4. Products are standardized and services are customized
Manufacturers and producers make products according to the standards of that particular product, the middle of the market, and the target audience. Manufacturers have to maintain the standard of their product because products are checked by their respective regulators before they are rolled out in the market.
In order to make sure that the regulator, the consumer and the market does not ban the product the standard needs to be maintained. However services work the other way around. Every customer is different when it comes to enjoying benefits. Hence the service provides services as per each customer’s needs and preferences. This is called customizing of a service as per the requirement of the customer.
For example a biscuit manufacturer who manufactures delicious yummy chocolate cream biscuits has to make sure they maintain the standards of hygiene, the looks, the presentation, the taste and the quality of the products to keep the sales going for the product will be checked before it is rolled out in the market. However, doctors will give each patient different treatment depending on the patient’s problem; hence they will have to customize their service per the patient’s needs.
5. Quality delivery is different for both
Now how does the quality factor differ for both? Both certainly have to deliver good quality. The manufacturers have to maintain the quality of their product. The product quality depends on the raw material used and the mechanism. The company can change and improvise both the material and the machine because they are inanimate objects and only resources for the company. However it is different when it comes to service.
Each service provider is different in terms of service as they are human beings and each human being is different from the other. Service purely depends on the customer’s customization, the skills and experience of the service provider, and the motivation given by the service provider to the customer. Experts say that customers appreciate variation in service depending on their needs.
6. Variations in scalability
Scaling up the production business is simple by just increasing the production of the product to meet up to the requirements of the customers, by increasing its distribution, the reach of its sales and reaching out to more and more customers. Scaling up service business is more challenging than scaling up products business.
To do so the service providers will have to increase their team of trained or experienced service providers, this involves recruitment by recruiting employees from competitive companies or recruiting freshers; this includes a lot of investment of time and money on recruitment, induction, training, and motivation of employees and also retaining them as losing existing trained and experienced employees is the most significant loss for a service provider.
7. Added value to the customers
When the customer buys a product, he looks for the value he paid for that product inside the box. That is where he finds the product, for he knows that its quality is defined by how the raw materials have been selected and converted to give him the effect he has. For example be it soap or television the customer pays a price to buy it and use it.
However, if a customer buys a service, he looks for returns from the value paid to buy the service across the counter or over an encounter with the concerned service provider. These service providers can be anyone a specialized doctor, a waiter in a restaurant, a financial consultant, etc. The quality of every service provider differs and entirely depends on how the company selects, trains, and motivates them to keep providing the required service.
8. The real heroes
When it comes to a product, be it the manufacturing of the product, the management of the product, or the product marketing, the real heroes there is the management of the company as they are the ones who design the product, manage its manufacturing, and other aspects and also market it to sell the product and maximize profits. It is entirely different in the case of service.
When it comes to service, the real heroes here are the employees right in the front, that is, the frontline employee. However marketing here is also designed and strategized by the marketing team of the company, yet the same is implemented by the frontline employees of the company who are the heroes of the company who maximize business and earn revenue for the company.
9. Customer placement
Products place the customer outside their business, not that the customer is not essential for product business; however the manufacturing of the products is not directly related or linked with the customers. Even here the customer is very important and the king of the market, hence the customer priorities and the requirement of a customer in a product is collected in a data from the customer to manufacture and design a product.
For services, it is simply the opposite, as the customer is directly involved in the business because the service providers directly interact with the customer daily, which one cannot ignore.
Every part and every difference between the two; that is the product and the service separate them from each other. These differences impact the sales and marketing of any company, its cost of manufacturing, selling, marketing, etc., the assets of the company, the managing tasks of the company, its performance matrices, etc.
Yet the ‘Perfect Product’ or the ‘Perfect Service’ cannot be defined as perfect because it differs with individuals as each individual has different choices, different sets of needs and necessities, etc. Marketing creates and develops wants amongst target audiences to create awareness about the same. Creating awareness increases their business and maximizes profits correctly.
However, marketing strategies for the products and services differ as they have other characteristics. To maximize profits, the company’s management or marketing team makes sure they market smartly and efficiently.
This is a guide to Service vs Product Marketing. Here we have discussed the basic concept, features and 9 essential differences along with infographics. You may look at the following articles to learn more –