Services Marketing Mix & Characteristics of Service
Marketing mix for services, also known as the 7Ps of marketing, or even just the services
What is the services marketing mix?
Services marketing mix consists of a set of tactics that a company can use to promote and encourage potential customers to buy their service.
The model is unique to services and does not apply to products. The model is an extension of the 4Ps of marketing. Actually, the model is essentially the 4Ps of marketing, plus three new tactics.
Characteristics of Services
In the following, we will go into the most relevant characteristics of services. Characteristics of services apply universally to any service. The most important characteristics of services are:
- Lack of ownership
- User participation
Service intangibility means that services cannot be seen, tasted, felt, heard, or smelled before they are bought. You cannot try them out. For instance, airline passengers have nothing but a ticket and a promise that they will arrive at a certain time at a certain destination. But there is nothing that can be touched.
Perishability means that services cannot be stored for later sale or use. In other words, services cannot be inventoried. This is one of the most significant characteristics of services, since it may significantly impact financial results. Doctors or dentists often charge patients for missed appointments because the service value has foregone. The value existed only at that particular point and disappeared when the patient did not come
Lack of Ownership
Lack of ownership refers to the fact that you cannot own and store a service like you can a product. This characteristic is strongly linked to several other services, such as intangibility, perishability, and inseparability.
Characteristics of services include inseparability, which means that services are produced and consumed at the same time. This also entails that services cannot be separated from their providers. Contrary to services, physical goods are produced, then stored, later sold, and even later consumed. Services are first sold, then produced and consumed at the same time. In services marketing, a service provider is a product.
Variability does also belongs to the important characteristics of services. It refers to the fact that the quality of services can vary greatly, depending on who provides them and when, where, and how. Because of the labor-intensive nature of services, there is a great deal of difference in the quality of service provided by various providers, or even by the same providers at different times.
7Ps of Services Marketing Mix (Extended Marketing Mix)
The services marketing mix consists of the original four tactics of the product marketing mix, plus three new tactics.
As service companies, now as can be seen from the diagram.
Product of services marketing mix
The product here refers to the service. A company that wishes to sell this would be flights in the case of an airline or rooms in a hotel.
And because services are intangible, it can help to think of benefits as being an asset and the processes around that asset.
For example, when you book a hotel room for the night, you use the hotel room, the asset. But you also undergo a series of processes such as checking in and checking out.
Price of the services marketing mix
Price refers to the price customer pays for the services. It is worth noting that pricing for services could be a little more complex than for products.
For example, airlines charging for flights would need to consider many factors, such as will we charge more as the plane gets increasingly booked?
- Will we charge more for peak times?
- Will we offer discounts for group bookings?
- And these are just a few of the factors that might need to be taken into account when determining the price of a flight.
Interestingly, because services are much more ambiguous than products, customers are likely to associate a higher-priced service with superior quality.
Place of the services marketing mix
The place for services place refers to the ease of access that customers have to service. This can involve a physical decision, such as where to locate a hotel, but it also involves determining which affiliates to use to help you to sell the service.
For example, if you’re selling hotel rooms, you might choose to use hotels.com as your affiliate,
Promotion of Services Marketing Mix
Promotion refers to the different ways you communicate, describe, and advertise your service now because they are intangible.
Services could be more difficult than products to promote, and that’s because there’s nothing physical that could be assessed by a potential customer.
Common ways to promote services include using celebrity endorsements to create trust in the product, offering guarantees to remove risk using testimonials.
People of Services Marketing Mix
By people, we mean those people who are directly or indirectly involved in the delivery of the service. That typically means employees of the company, but it can also mean subcontractors with direct interaction with customers. Actually, it can even refer to existing and past customers of the company.
And these customers represent the company through word of mouth by talking to their friends on their colleagues.
People are a very important factor in the 7Ps because services tend to be produced and consumed at the same time.
Because of this, the behavior of these people is very important in determining the experience of the customer using your service.
All services business should ensure that the staff is well trained and motivated.
Physical evidence of Services Marketing Mix
Physical evidence, as we’ve already defined services are intangible. But despite this, the delivery often involves some tangible elements.
Physical evidence is defined as being both the environment or place where the service is delivered and any tangible elements that facilitate the service or provide information about the service.
Based on this definition, physical evidence includes things such as the company’s website, their annual accounts if they’re publicly available, any logos or brochures, or even the buildings that the services are provided from
As an example, think about a hotel that someone wants to visit for the first time. The physical evidence might include pictures of the hotel’s past customer reviews online and the hotel’s proximity to the town center.
Process of Services Marketing Mix
Process refers to the procedure’s mechanisms on the flow of activities that occur when the customer and the business interact with each other.
When, for example, a customer books a hotel room, a process is triggered when the customer then checks into the hotel. Another process is triggered on, obviously, then, when they check out, yet another process is triggered.
All of these processes need to be tightly controlled to ensure a consistent customer experience. They’re usually defined in written standard operating procedure documents.
Criticism of Marketing Mix
One criticism of the 7Ps is that they force you to think in an internally focused manner rather than a customer-focused manner.
Because of that, it could be useful to use the 7p’s and convert them into the 7Cs
On these reimagine the 7Ps to 7Cs or customer-focused manner.
So, for example,
- Product =Customer
- Price = Cost,
- Place =Convenience,
- Place = Convenience
- People = Caring
- Processes= Coordination
- Physical Evidence = Confirmation
Some people find thinking in terms of the 7Cs makes much more sense to them, as it’s much more customer-focused.
When we’re using the services marketing mix, we’re trying to get the right balance of each tactic so that the service is a success in the marketplace and people buy it.
Now we can think of the sweet spot as being the point when all seven tactics are in balance. If you were just one factor or one tactic, you might have to adjust the others to maintain that balance.
For example, if we decide to change from a budget airline into a luxury one, we need to change the price.
But we also need to change all the other tactics to we probably need more people. To offer a more personal experience because that’s what higher-end customers would expect.
And we need to change processes, so each customer is given more care on attention.
Services Marketing Mix example
A luxury hotel to see the services marketing mix in action and bring everything together.
Products: are rooms in which customers stay for a period of time. Of course, there is more to a luxury hotel than just his rooms. There are also restaurants, WiFi spots, etc.
Price: price will vary according to room size. Maybe, a large suite with a cityscape of you costs significantly more than a small room with no view. And that’s because the value perceived by the customer is much greater, and therefore they’re prepared to pay more.
Place: place concerns on how the service is consumed. Typically, the place will be chosen for a strategic reason. For example, because the hotel makes the hotel close to a city, a business center, or even a tourist attraction, the hotel’s location is obviously in one fixed place.
However, the place could also mean but a mobile app is used to give customers easy access to concierge services wherever they happen to be while they’re staying at the hotel.
Promotion: promotion could include advertising on travel websites related to the location of the hotel. It could also mean directly advertising to pass customers using social media and press releases.
People: There would be many people who interact with guests, including managers, receptionists, consular staff, spar staff, waiters, etcetera.
Process: The key processes for a luxury hotel include things that happened when its guests’ books a room checks in on obviously checks out. Each of these will have a unique and formal process associated with fish designed to delight the customer.
Physical evidence: The physical evidence includes the customer service they receive before they’re said.
It also includes, you know, the hotel’s website on any online reviews or online photos that people have posted, amongst other things.