MARKETING SERVICES VERSUS PRODUCTS Marketing services versus products Different peoplehave different needs within any specific setting. Whiles some of these needs are met through the provision of products, others are met through the provision of services. Because of this, there are companies that provide products, whiles others provide services. For these companies, it is always important that they market their products and services to the public. Depending on whether someone is marketing a product or a service, the approach to marketing may be different. There are however times that the approach to marketing products and services are similar or the same.
In terms of similarities, the marketing of both products and services require the presence of a market segment. A market segment is that specific group of people with the same line of needs that the marketer tries to satisfy (Perreault Jr., Cannon & McCarthy (2014). According, whether a company is marketing a product or a service, it is important to have a specific market segment that the product or service is prepared for. Another similarity is with the use of strategic option. A strategic option is a specialized approach used by companies to gain competitive advantage over their competitors (Fill, 2002). Kotler & Keller (2012) emphasized that both those in the product sector and those in the service sector have need for strategic options that ensures that they are able to gain competitive advantage within the market segment. The third similarity has to do with the use of a marketing mix. Whether a company is marketing a product or a service, Perreault Jr., Cannon & McCarthy (2014) stressed that using the marketing mix, which are commonly identified as product or service, place, promotion, and price all become applicable.
Regardless of the similarities identified above, there are some times that differences are identified when marketing products from services. One such difference has to do with the output of what is marketed to customers. This is because whiles the output of products are tangible, the output of services are abstract or intangible (Kvesic, 2008). What this means is that the actual things that marketers sell to customers as products can be seen, felt and handled but those that are marketed as services cannot be seen or handled. A typical example of a product is a car, while banking is an example of a service. The second difference is seen in terms of branding. The difference in branding can however be associated with the differences in outputs of products and services. Kvesic (2008) explained that whereas the use of product branding is very ideal in the marketing of products, corporate branding is very ideal for the marketing of service.
Very often, marketers have wanted to use customization as part of their approach to marketing. Customization is a situation where the company or marketer identifies special customers or segments and provide products or services that directly meets the needs of such special customers or segments. Comparing the situation of customization between products and services, Kotler & Keller (2012) argued that the provision of customized products is easier than the provision of customized services. This is because products are tangible and so it is often easier for customers to define the exact differentiations they require so that the company can provide these specifications to them. This notwithstanding, it is not totally impossible to offer customized service. An example of customized service is special education that may be given a group of students all of who may be receiving education from a school. Personally, customized prestige banking has been received on a number of occasions. Such customization is important because it identifies weaknesses that customers may have in engaging in regular banking and thus providing banking services that meet these weaknesses. For example due to the work of some people, it is not possible for them to be at the banking hall within the usual banking time, requiring additional opening time when service has been closed to others.
Fill K. (2002). Marketing Communications – Contexts, Strategies and Applications, 3rd Edition. UK: Pearson Education Limited.
Kotler R. & Keller E. (2012). Marketing Management, 14th Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall.
Kvesic, D. Z. (2008). Product lifecycle management: Marketing strategies for the pharmaceutical industry. Journal of Medical Marketing, 8(4), 293–301.
Perreault Jr., W. D., Cannon, J. P., & McCarthy, E. J. (2014). Basic marketing: A marketing strategy planning approach (19th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.