Before moving on to the concepts of marketing mix and service marketing mix let us first understand the difference between the two.
The service marketing mix is an extended form of the marketing mix and also forms a fundamental part of service blueprint design.
Compared to the marketing mix which consists of 4 P’s, service marketing mix includes 7 P’s. 3 more P’s are added to deliver ideal services to the customers.
Initially, the term marketing mix was used by Neil H. Borden in 1964 in an article named, “Concept of the Marketing Mix”. At the beginning of the 20th century, many authors and marketing educators suggested that the 3 more P’s should be added on the basis of broad marketing concepts and to give emphasis to optimum service delivery.
THE 4 P’S OF THE MARKETING MIX ARE:
WHEREAS THE 3 P’S OF THE SERVICE MARKETING MIX ARE:
- Physical evidence
In a nutshell, we can say that the service marketing mix is an extended form of the marketing mix.
The elements included in the service marketing mix are useful for service-oriented businesses whereas the elements of the marketing mix are useful for product resellers.
Let’s move forward and understand the concept in more detail:
Once you have made the marketing strategy for your business, 7 P’s can be used in order to evaluate and reevaluate the activities of the business. Maximum emphasis should be laid on the 7 P’s to achieve the results and to maintain a position in the market.
As a business entrepreneur, you should have the habit of looking at your product. You should ask yourself questions like, “Is your product or the service is suitable for the customers and the market?
“Is the product or the service that you are delivering to your customer, right?
“Is your product or service superior as compared to your competitors”?
Once you are done with these questions then the next thing is to find out whether your product comes under the category of marketing mix or service marketing mix?
Another thing that should be considered is the product lifecycle and its features. There are three stages in the life cycle of a product i.e. growth stage, stage of maturity and declining phase. At every stage, you need to deal with your products in different ways.
In service marketing mix, the nature of the product is intangible which cannot be measured. For example, education and tourism industry. Service products are consumable, heterogeneous and cannot be owned by anyone.
If you are designing a service product then you have to do it with utmost care. To define the service product, a blueprint is used which describes that how the product is going to be.
When it comes to pricing, it is more difficult for services as compared to the products.
For example: suppose you are an owner of a restaurant, then you can charge people for the food that you serve but when it comes to the ambience that you provide in your restaurant and band for music then who is going to pay for it.
Always remember to include these elements at the time of costing of the product or service. Pricing in case of services includes the following:
- Labor cost
- Cost of material
- Cost of overheads
After adding the profit margin, final service pricing is decided.
Promotion is another element that should be taken in to account for the marketing of your products and services. It helps in attracting the customers and telling them about your products and services. The way you promote your products can make a huge difference and can lead to higher sales.
When it comes to service marketing mix, promotion plays an important role. The duplication of the services can be easily done therefore it is only the brand which helps in setting the service apart from its counterpart.
Promotions in the service sector are important because of high competition.
This P explains the place where you can sell your product or service. Reviewing the location where the customers can meet the salespersons is very important.
For example, if you are planning to open a petrol pump, then the best location will be on the highway or in the city.
Location of your business setup is responsible for increase or decrease in sales. You can use direct selling, telemarketing, catalogues or mail orders to sell your products and services to the customers.
Let’s start with the extended service marketing mix:
People engaged in your business defines you. They are responsible for all the activities, marketing strategies and sales.
For example, if you have an IT company then the engineers define you. People in the organization are responsible for making or breaking it. Therefore, training your staff members and giving them interpersonal and customer service skills is very important.
The way in which the products and services are delivered to the end users is known as a process. Delivery to the customers should be done in such a way that you are quick and confident at each stage and the customer is satisfied.
In case of delivering a service, its blueprint is a critical component as it helps in defining what will be the process of delivering the service to the customer.
- Physical evidence:
The last P of service marketing mix is physical evidence. In service marketing, this P is used as a differentiator.
To understand more precisely, consider the following example:
Imagine a government hospital and a private one. Lavish offices and well-dressed staff are the common features of private hospitals. All these are not there in government hospitals. This differentiator will act as a physical evidence.