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When you think of marketing, the first thing that comes to mind is advertising and it is mostly about current promotions and new products to be introduced to customers. Advertisements for services are rarely seen, but this area of marketing is also a very important one. Service marketing (or service marketing) is becoming increasingly important, especially in today's service society. Many companies specialize purely in services and activities or expand their product portfolio with additional services. This means that service marketing can be clearly distinguished from classic goods marketing.
Due to the different content that is generated by products or services, many strategies of classic product marketing cannot be transferred to management in service marketing. In service marketing, the advertised service (the product, so to speak) does not yet exist and it is a so-called immaterial value. The advertising and general marketing should build trust with the customer, which leads to the fact that he uses the company for a future service. This trust is particularly important because, unlike products, services cannot be returned. The service is carried out at the time of purchase or booking. This usually cannot be canceled afterwards.
In order to win new customers, many service providers, especially in product marketing, rely on advertisements and articles in the mass media and on the Internet. However, this classic advertising is less and less viewed positively by consumers. It is perceived as annoying and is often overlooked due to the crowd or even hidden by extras such as ad blockers. In addition, more diverse reasons for a service or a product are in the foreground, especially for services but also in general. Only price and quality are no longer enough. Nowadays, ethical, social and ecological factors also play a role in the purchase decision in service management.
Thus, especially in service marketing, it is all the more important for the service provider to know their own customers and to take their needs seriously. A successful personal relationship and interpersonal communication can strengthen values such as friendliness, integrity and reliability and make the service provider appear trustworthy and serious. In the long term, this has a positive effect on the brand's reputation and strengthens the relationship between the customer and the service provider. This is particularly helpful because customers share their experience with services and can be used as a multiplier. In order to get to know the customer even better, it also helps to deal with the needs and to understand an exemplary customer journey. If these are known, the touchpoints can be used to target marketing.
You will also find in many areas that many (new) touchpoints and also communication through digitization take place online or on social media in the service sector. The use of social media is therefore also essential in service marketing. Here, service providers can primarily use business platforms such as LinkedIn and Xing to appear serious and as experts, for example by publishing or promoting articles. In addition, social media offer the opportunity to have virtual, personal communication with customers and to strengthen customer relationships. The Internet offers the possibility of influencing recommendation marketing even more through targeted communication. The multiplier effects already mentioned, through personal recommendations, are particularly visible online. Here you can submit business directories (so-called local listings) and the well-known search engine reviews about a brand or the company, which are seen as recommendations for other customers. As a company, you have the opportunity to view these recommendations online and, if necessary, react to them with the right communication and use them as positively as possible.
In service marketing, it is generally important to always position yourself as an expert as a service provider. New customers in particular book a service based on the know-how, the image of the brand and the positive experience. Thus, all marketing channels can be used to convey the brand's image as positive as possible and to support the expert status. Whether in personal contact, such as in sales talks or at trade fairs, on social media or through articles what happens in the classic media is up to you. As in all areas, a targeted and diverse marketing mix that can convince on various channels is also recommended in service marketing.