We've seen a significant increase in the number of service startups in recent years. And we're not referring to the traditional high-tech SaaS model. There are numerous health and transportation startups, such as Grab and Airlift. These are the companies that provide the platform but rely heavily on the quality of service. And to do so, they must develop highly engaging brand stories. This is high-level marketing, and in this article, we'll explain what that entails, how to do it correctly, and what are the service marketing tips and strategies.
What is Service Marketing?
The marketing and sale of intangible products are known as service marketing (non-physical products). Services include all of the personal amenities that we require on a regular basis, such as medical care, education, renting living spaces and vehicles, hair cuts, spas, musical concerts, dance classes, and so on. However, the goal of service marketing is to use effective methods of communication, such as advertisement, promotional deals, or offers, to create demand for services among customers. For example, Las Vegas, an American city, launched a well-known and successful service marketing campaign to attract tourists from all over the United States. The marketing slogan was "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," and the goal was to give tourists as much freedom as possible.
The Importance of Service Marketing
Services differs in terms of features and qualities at least as much as products do. Marketers must differentiate themselves from the competition and attract customers in a highly competitive and saturated services market. The factors that distinguish your service from a competitor can significantly impact a buyer's decision, and these are the ones to keep in mind when planning your service marketing. Here are some examples of features of service marketing that influence purchasing decisions:
- Affordability - It entails determining the appropriate price range for your services that your customers will accept (and you consider profitable for your efforts)
- Functionality - Simply put, your service and value promise best meet the needs of your customers.
- Credibility - As previously stated, because service is intangible, a large part of the customer's purchasing decision will be based on how much they trust you.
- Experience - in the particular service you are offering, no. of years in the field.
- Convenience - how easily and quickly your customers can use your service.
- Variety - Customers appreciate the ability to choose, but keep in mind the proper balance between too little and too much.
- Self-service - the degree of control your customer has over their service experience, including what they can and cannot do for themselves.
Customer profiling can provide information about the factors that influence purchasing decisions in your market for your type of service. This research uses questionnaires, polls, designated tools, or third-party service providers.
Service Marketing Characteristics
Different service providers provide various services to businesses and customers. However, when we talk about service as a facility, several features distinguish it from products. The following are some of the features of service marketing:
- Intangibility: Tangible products are physical in nature. On the other hand, intangibles lack any physical existence, texture, or color that can be seen with the naked eye. As a result, it is difficult for marketers to persuade people of the utility of something they cannot see.
- Inseparability: Unlike any physical product you receive from the seller and then consume, service marketing operates entirely differently. The customer receives and consumes the service at the same time. It is impossible to separate its receiving and consumption. For example, a barber may be providing a haircut service while the customer consumes it. Online doctors and lawyers provide legal and medical services to their clients.
- Perishability: You can save physical products for later use by storing them. However, services cannot be saved for later use; they expire over time. For example, if you book an airplane seat for today, you will not use the same seat tomorrow or any other day. It will perish if you do not use it when you have the chance.
- Variability: When service providers are different people, their services may differ. For example, if you are receiving dance, acting, music, or any other type of training, the training method and content material will differ from trainer to trainer.
- Change the Demand: The demand of the service industry changes with the season. Winter services would be different from summer services.
Types of Service Marketing Strategy
Having said that, because a service cannot be seen or touched, its marketing strategy would be completely different. However, when launching a service marketing campaign, you must include more explanation and relevant information about the service. Customers cannot see or touch your service, so you must provide them with a simulation experience. In any case, the following are the types of service marketing strategies:
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Word of mouth is an excellent strategy for service marketing. It is because if a satisfied customer tells his friends and social circle about his experience, it is highly likely that they will come to experience your service. Some businesses even provide a different free service for each new subscription or referral their customers bring. That is how they promote referral marketing to increase service sales.
2. Customer Education
It is preferable if you educate your customers about the service you intend to launch. The more aware your customers are, the more likely they will request your service. More sales result from increased demand. You can begin by writing a pro-article in the newspaper about your service, or you can organize meetups, seminars, and talk shows about your service. One thing to remember is that when you're in the educational marketing stage, it's better to focus on the benefits and utility of the service rather than the price. For example, if you own a dog and cat grooming business, you should organize shows and write an article about the effects and dangers of flea and pet tickets. How your grooming service can care for people's pets.
3. Social Media
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We live in a social media age, where almost everyone uses various social media platforms. Facebook is at the top of the social media list, providing a fantastic opportunity for local small businesses to do service marketing. The interesting thing about Facebook is that it gives some of its basic advertising tools for free, and if you prefer the paid method, it allows you to customize your package based on your budget. Facebook also allows users to create free business pages where customers can leave feedback. People can also Like, comment on, and share your posts directly from your page.
People are usually hesitant and shy about trying new products, especially if they haven't heard of them before. However, if you provide them with a free demonstration and utility of the product, they are more likely to purchase it. For example, if you want to start yoga classes, you should start with a free one-day session. As a result, people could sense the impact of meditation on the human body and soul. If they like the impact, they will accept your training.
Product Marketing vs. Service Marketing – What's the Difference?
The primary distinction between product and service marketing is that product marketing focuses on tangible, storable, and measurable products, whereas service marketing focuses on services. On the other hand, the distinction between product marketing and service marketing covers differences between the product and service and how customers’ needs are met. A product or service can be used in isolation, but they work together to provide the best customer experience in most cases.
As a result, there are many parallels between marketing products and marketing services. For example, a restaurant may serve a product, but the customer may receive both the product and the service (time taken for delivery, customer reception, quality, and taste). As a result, sellers should always prioritize this interconnection and dependence.
Service Marketing Tips And Strategies
The argument that services necessitate different service marketing tips is based on the realization that services are fundamentally different from goods and that service marketing necessitates different models to comprehend service marketing to customers.
As previously stated, trust is a critical component of service marketing. When marketing a product, the product itself is the main selling point. People can inspect or even touch the product, read its legal guarantees, explore its features, or request a demo. When it comes to marketing services, all you have are words. The best way to build trust is to use other people's words about you.
2. Testimonials from Customers
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Customer testimonials are the most effective way to build trust and the more the merrier in the case of service marketing. Attempt to obtain customers who are similar to the audience you are attempting to reach, a.k.a. your buyer persona. People have a tendency to believe and empathize with people who are similar to them.
3. Certificates and Badges
Service verification awards or badges can also be beneficial. Depending on your industry, numerous websites have already established a high level of credibility and brand awareness and can verify your product. The Google and Facebook Partner badges, for example, are well-known in the marketing industry (respectively).
While the desired end result is what your service sells, the elements of the process that get you there is unquestionably part of your value proposition. Flexibility, responsiveness, and kindness in the service process can sometimes be so important that you can use them as your primary service marketing differentiating values.
Delivering the end results of service usually takes longer than a typical product sale and requires more personal interaction. Your customer expects to be updated on the status of your service, rather than waiting for the end result.
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