When it comes to marketing any service, the 4 Ps of marketing have long been promoted. Those 4 words starting with the letter P are product, price, promotion, and place.
But today, marketing has a new platform. The digital age has not only arrived, but it is also firmly embedded in our psyche.
As a result, there are now 8 Ps of marketing, with the additional 4 Ps being people, physical processing, processes, and positioning.
Let’s examine each of these 8 marketing factors as they apply to a service industry.
The first step is to clearly identify, define and design the service.
Services cannot be stored and used later, it must be known what the service does and how it fits the needs of the customer.
For example, a car wash must always clean the customers car, but the specific products used and what processes are used to clean the car can be customized to the customer’s needs.
This is how much the customer pays in return for the service offered.
Price is determined by issues like:
- What you need to pay for labor
- The cost of goods used to deliver the service
- Overhead costs
- Demand versus the supply of the service
- Competitor pricing
To determine the price, you can also consider the value the customer gains.
For example, a haircut might only cost $20, but if the customer feels it is worth $100, then the service should be priced accordingly. Value-based pricing strategies are key for services.
This is where customers access the service.
A business repairing whiteware might have a repair shop in town, but wouldn’t it be advantageous to the customer for you to repair their washing machine in their own home?
That makes the service far more accessible.
This is how the business tells potential customers about their service.
A marketing strategy can include promotional channels like advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, direct marketing, and public relations.
Its not just about what the service is, but also how this service differs from competitors. That could be a free offer or a short-term discount of normal prices.
Here the business positions itself as the expert and informs customers about their customer services to build relationships and develop rapport.
This is how the service is delivered.
Process includes everything from where the customer is greeted through to how they receive their final bill.
Customers want to know exactly what to expect for any business they engage with.
Services are intangible, so to provide physical evidence a business can offer complimentary products or be recognizable by a standard uniform.
Many service businesses will have a mission statement, a vision, and values to differentiate themselves from their competitors. These factors can motivate customers to use that business.
By understanding what makes up the marketing mix of a service business, you can better allocate your resources. Some of the mix may come easily but others may be more difficult to implement effectively. Where a business lacks the expertise or the time to fulfill all aspects of the 8 Ps, then that is the time to begin working with a digital marketing agency to develop the business further and reach its potential.
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