Through Updated on September 04, 2020
Businesses use the marketing mix to determine how to promote and position their products to attract their target audiences. However, marketing services – rather than products – require a different approach. Unlike products, which are tangible, services are not something that customers can hold in their hands. As a result, it is more difficult to communicate the benefits and value of a service and to persuade customers to make a purchase.
The 8 Ps of Marketing Mix
The original marketing mix consisted of product, price, location and promotions. Over the years, marketers have added additional elements to the marketing mix, including people, processes, physical evidence, and philosophy. When you market services, it is essential to understand how the marketing mix must evolve to adapt to the intangibility of the offer.
The elements of the marketing mix must not only make the service attractive to customers, but they must also solve other problems. According to Boundless Marketing, the intangibility of a service makes it difficult for customers to know what they will get. For example, a haircut is a service. However, customers do not have a clear idea of the outcome until the service is completed. Likewise, services are variable and affected by different elements, such as who provides them. A client’s haircut differs depending on the stylist.
Define the product
The first P is the product offered by the company. In the case of a service, companies must take special care in identifying, defining and designing the service. By nature, services are perishable; you cannot store a service and use it later. It is delivered at the same time as you buy it, like a car wash for example. Not only that, but the service can also vary depending on things like the business of the company or the experience of the service representative. The advantage of this heterogeneous element is that companies can offer customizable services based on customer needs.
In contrast, companies must also create standardization and stability within the service to deliver specific results. In this example of a marketing mix, the car wash still needs to leave the customer with a clean car, but the company can customize the products or processes they use to clean the car.
Set the price
The price of the service is what the customer pays the company in exchange for the offer. When pricing a service, companies take a number of things into account, such as:
- The work involved
- The cost of goods used in the course of the service
- Overheads including ambience
- The demand for the service versus the supply
- Competitor prices
The most important element to consider when pricing a service is the value that the customer receives from the result. For example, the actual cost of a haircut for a salon might be as low as $ 20, but the value to the customer might be five times that. Unlike products where cost-based pricing often comes to the fore, a value-based pricing strategy is essential for services.
Create the place
The place is where customers access the product. This encompasses not only where the business is located, but also what the business looks like. The whole experience of buying and receiving the service must be taken into account. For example, a massage therapist’s office that is noisy and crowded does not provide a relaxing experience.
When providing access to the service, think about what is most convenient for the buyer and what will give them the result they are looking for. The business must be physically easy to locate. Once there, the customer must begin the service experience. For example, a massage therapist’s office might be located in a busy downtown office, close to parking and public transportation. This makes it easily accessible to the target market. The interior of the office should have mood lighting and soothing music to help clients feel the effects of relaxation even before service begins.
Promotion involves how a business communicates its service offering to customers and differentiates it from competing services. Digital marketing consultant Alberto Carniel points out that the type of promotions a business uses depends on its marketing strategy. Promotional channels include advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, direct marketing, and public relations.
Businesses need to determine the best way to reach their target audiences to promote the service. All promotions should include the benefits the customer will receive from the service and details about what makes that service unique. In an example of a marketing mix for a tailor, the promotion might include details about the fit of the clothing. To differentiate this service from all other tailors, the company may use promotions that include details of the company’s unique measuring system or its high-end sewing machine.
In the service industry, the people who provide the service are inseparable from the service itself, according to Boundless Marketing. It’s one of the 8 Ps of Marketing that really differentiates product from service. As a result, companies must position the service provider as an expert.
The marketing strategy should include information about the service provider’s experience and positive reviews. The company must also invest in customer service training so that the service provider can have good relationships with customers, build relationships and relationships, defuse stressful situations and respond to emotional needs.
Differentiate the process
Process is how the business provides service to the customer. This includes everything from how customers are greeted when they enter the business to how they are billed after service is complete. A formal process allows companies to offer a standardized level of service for each customer. It also allows businesses to make small customizations within the process to ensure the desired outcome.
Service companies need to create a customer-centric process that is easy to understand and share it in their marketing materials. This way, customers know exactly what to expect when they enter the business.
Produce physical evidence
Because services are intangible, businesses must offer tangible evidence of the value customers receive. One way to provide physical evidence is in the ambience of the place where the service is provided. In an upscale restaurant, for example, waiters may wear formal attire to showcase the luxury and exclusivity of the service.
Another way for service companies to offer physical evidence is by providing small products with the service. For example, a nail salon may offer free nail polish with every appointment. By providing tangible proof of value, companies turn an intangible service into a tangible offer.
Presentation of the philosophy
One of the 8 Ps of marketing, according to the American Camp Association, is philosophy. It is an integral part of marketing services because it encompasses the “why” element. Since services relate directly to their service providers, it is essential that clients understand a company’s mission, vision and values. Why does the company offer this service and what makes this company unique?
Service companies that promote their philosophies differentiate themselves from their competitors. For example, a mechanic’s philosophy may be to help customers reduce the stress associated with their vehicles. The philosophy of a physician may be to make sure that every patient feels heard. Learning the philosophy of a business can be the deciding factor for a client.