Learn the meaning of service marketing and understand how it can be heterogeneous, perishable and inseparable from the provider.
The Service Marketing Meaning
Before one wonders what is service marketing’, it is important to understand what service means. Simply said, service marketing is the promotion of services offered by a business or professional to its clients. The services that are offered include hospitality, car rental, health treatment, financial services, telecommunications and other professional services. Service marketing is quite challenging for the marketer as the services are intangible or immaterial. He has to describe the benefits of a service to the people in such a way that they become convinced about getting it. Ideas and imaginations have a great role to play in service marketing as they are somewhat tangible.
What is a service?
According to The American Marketing Association, service can be defined as activities, benefits and satisfactions that are offered for sale or are provided in connection with sale of goods. It is something that is intangible i.e. one cannot see it, hear it, touch it, feel it or taste it. Services are divided into two types – core services and supplementary services.
Nature of services
Marketing services is different from product marketing, therefore there must be to some extent different marketing strategies. The natures of services are as follows:
1. Heterogeneous – Services are heterogeneous in nature i.e. they are different in nature. The service offered to a person is different from the same service provided to a different person, or to the same person for the second time. Products are homogeneous in nature while services are not.
2. Perishable – Services cannot be saved, stored, resold or returned once they are rendered to the customer. Once offered, a service is fully consumed and cannot be delivered to another customer. Marketing services therefore call for a different marketing strategy than that for the physical product.
3. Inseparable from service provider – The service cannot be separated from the service provider as it has to be rendered and consumed by the customer at the same time. It is very unlike products where the customer may use the product even being away from the product seller.