Service Marketing

Find out here which factors play a decisive role in service marketing and which advertising measures you can use to score points with your customers.

 

 

 

[Translate to eng:] Service Marketing

What is Service Marketing?

Service marketing is a service-oriented marketing approach that deals with the promotional planning, management and marketing of intangible goods. This includes those areas and strategies in the marketing of service providers which differ from the marketing activities of a producer of tangible goods. Typical examples of service industries include insurance companies, catering businesses, IT and software companies, or companies in the tourism and healthcare sectors.

 

Special features and challenges in service marketing

The special features and challenges in service marketing become particularly clear when one takes a look at the key differences between services and tangible goods. Compared to tangible goods, services are not tangible and not interchangeable. In addition, they cannot be produced in stock, i.e. they cannot be stored. These fundamental characteristics of services increase the complexity in designing the marketing of service companies.

Unlike the purchase of a product, which is visible and tangible for the customer, the customer only receives a performance promise before buying or using a service, which he evaluates in order to make his purchase decision. The challenge in service marketing is therefore to convince through intangible factors, such as image, experience, references and professional appearance. Strategic brand management also plays a decisive role here in building trust with the customer and positioning the service on the market.

Expansion of the marketing mix

In the case of tangible goods, the marketing mix, which includes all activities to achieve the marketing objectives set, consists of the instruments of product, communication, price and distribution policy. Since other activities must also be taken into account in service marketing, the classic four instruments are expanded by three items: process management, personnel policy and equipment policy.

Process Management

Process management encompasses the design of all business processes that play a role in the customer experience. The processes are of extremely high importance in a service company, as the optimization of the processes can result in improved quality of service. Only if the processes run in the same and consistent way, a consistent quality for the customers can also be ensured.
Equipment Policy

Equipment policy, also called physical evidence or physical environment, includes all the features that the customer can see when using the service. This can be, for example, the design of the office in which a personal meeting takes place or the design of the brochure containing information about the service. The aim of the equipment policy is thus to positively influence the customer experience in order to increase the overall value of the service.
Personnel Policy

Human resources policy describes the qualifications and capacity of the personnel responsible for the service. In most services, customers have direct contact with the company's people and often evaluate the overall performance on the basis of the staff's competence and care. Quality factors here include, for example, the appearance of staff on the telephone or the general knowledge, skills and motivation of the people responsible.

You can score points in service marketing with these marketing measures

In general, a strong online presence plays a crucial role in service marketing. In order to make the services more tangible for the customer and to convince him of the quality of the service, visual marketing measures and tools are particularly suitable. Through pictures and videos, which represent the service as faithfully as possible, it can be made tangible for the customer and he gets a better idea of the offer. The company's own website or various social media channels are particularly well suited for the integration of photo and video material.

If possible, you can also offer free, no-obligation initial consultations or give your customers the opportunity to test their service. This gives a trustworthy impression and gives you the chance to stand out from the competition. Also make use of openly sharing customer testimonials and referring to reviews and awards. This also strengthens trust in your company, reflects security and gives a professional impression to new customers. Depending on the industry, events and trade shows are also a good way to promote your service marketing efforts. Events offer the opportunity to introduce yourself to both existing and potential customers, to convince them with a competent appearance and to be remembered.

Success factors in service marketing

  • Trust is the key to customer loyalty. Focus on personality and individual service and make use of customer references and recommendations
  • Work to strategically build and strengthen your own brand
  • Nurture existing customer relationships
  • Customer Centricity: Always consider all processes and measures from the customer's perspective and optimize processes and the customer experience at all points of the customer journey.
  • Use digital marketing strategies and make it easier for your customers to learn more about your performance and your employees.

How can a software support service marketing?

Service companies that work with a local partner* network and have a decentralized marketing structure often face the challenge of managing their marketing activities uniformly and efficiently. On the one hand, the content is to be planned by the company's central marketing department. On the other hand, however, these are to be carried out or published by the local partners.

Software with a fully automated ordering and production process can help decentralized companies in the service industry to make the two-part process of marketing planning and execution more meaningful. For example, local partners can independently select, individualize and order their desired marketing materials via the software. This not only saves costs for the central marketing management, but also means that the marketing headquarters can once again concentrate more on the core business and tasks and resources are used as effectively as possible. The company can also better reach partners in the network and motivate them for local marketing activities. A software solution such as the Local Marketing Platform can therefore help companies with decentralized marketing to centrally manage all advertising activities and marketing materials and save time and costs.