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 need to understand the terms that is Service Marketing and Product Marketing
To start with product marketing, it is marketing of tangible goods. Tangible goods or products include things that can be touched, felt and seen. In simple words the performance of tangible goods can be seen and understood by audiences you want to sell your products to.
Product marketing in very simple words can be defined by the 4Ps of marketing and they are the product, the pricing of the product, the place and finally the promotions. This type of marketing deals with the tasks of outbound marketing by marketing the products to existing customers and prospect customers and even others as they never know who may turn out to be their prospect customer.
Product marketing also differs from other and all the other functions of the organization such as communication marketing, strategies, marketing, online marketing, advertising, etc. It is a continuous process of maximizing profit by promoting a product and selling the same to audiences mostly people who need the product, it also creates a requirement of the product in audiences.
However Service Marketing is quite different lets see how?
Firstly service marketing is marketing of intangible assets. It is huge and versatile it works in two ways that is
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 of some fee.
2nd : (B2B) which means business to business. Business to business includes companies in the service industry that give service to other business segments.
Marketing is an integral mix of the 4 P’s however service marketing is much more that simple marketing it includes an undivided mix of 7P’s. The 7P’s are divided in 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.
Service economy is a completely different part of the growing world economy. When you describe a service you cannot define it the way you define a product. Unlike a product you cannot touch, feel, smell and taste a service hence service is an intangible. This is the biggest difference between the two that is service and product. Marketing service is unique as it involves challenges like attaching tangible characteristic to something that is intangible.
Some features of services include
- Changeability or Variability: Service differs from person to person and company to company. Hence not necessarily will the same service provider or the entire industry will give you the same service, it will keep changing.
- Expiry: Once the service is used or rendered the same cannot be resold, saved, returned or stored. In short service cannot be reused.
- Timeframe: Services are made in a way that they can be consumed within a particular time. The service cannot be separated from the service provider unlike a product.
Products and services are both different in their own ways and means and hence are their marketing strategies. Product marketing cannot be like services and services cannot be marketed like 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 Service Marketing and Product Marketing
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 way to different for intangible services because the customer cannot see, feel, sense, taste or smell services.
Product Marketing can be done by showing and displaying them; however services can only be experienced. Hence style of marketing both the products and services are different. Lets understand with an example a ready food product can be displayed and sold however a telephone service cannot be displayed it can only be experienced.
The ownership of a product can be transferred or can be changed you can also say that you can resell a product or a good to someone else. The same cannot be done with service as you cannot resell the service consumed by someone else at all. In simple words a product can be resold however a service cannot.
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 ownership. However once you own a degree or have your hair cut by a hair dresser, or have a surgery done you cannot resell the same or transfer its ownership to someone else as it has already been consumed.
Products come to the customer where as 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 it is said that ‘the product goes to the customer where as the customer go 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’ where as for a hair cut or for a surgery you need to go to the service provider that is either the barber or the surgeon this is where the customer has to go to the service provider because the service cannot be separated from the service provider’.
Products are standardized and services are customized
Products are manufactured and produced as per the standards of that particular product, the standard 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 round. Every customer is different when it comes to enjoying services. 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 manufacturing 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 doctor will give each patient different treatment depending on the problem of the patient hence he will have to customize his service as per the needs of the patient.
Quality delivery is different for both
Now how does 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. Both the material and the machine can be changed and improvised because they are inanimate objects and only a resource 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 also on the motivation given by the service provider to the customer. Hence experts say that variation in service is appreciated depending on the customer and his needs.
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 not as easy as 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 fresher’s, 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 biggest loss for a service provider.
Added value to the customers
Rightly said 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 then converted to give him the product he has got. 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 his 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 is different, completely depends on how each service provider is selected, then trained and also kept motivated to keep providing required service.
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 are 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 completely different in 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.
Products place the customer outside their business, not that the customer is not important 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 opposite as the customer is directly involved in the business because the service providers have direct interaction with the customer on daily basis, and this cannot be ignored.
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 coz it differs with individuals as each individual has different choice, different set 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 both the products and the services are different as they have different characteristics. To maximize profits the management or the marketing team of the company makes sure they market smartly and efficiently.
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