Before considering the marketing part, first, let us understand what is a product-based and a service-based business or company?
A Service-Based business as the name suggests provides services, suppose you go to a parlour for your hair cut they will provide you with a haircut according to your choice, so actually they are providing you with their service when you need it. In other words, the service companies build software or a product only when the customer approaches them.
On the other hand, A Product-Based business already has a number of products manufactured for their customers and the customers choose out of those products according to their needs like the parlour was selling shampoos and conditioners or hair oils to their customers then it would have been a product-based business.
As a customer, we purchase skills from the owner or say the service provider of a service-based company and products and goods from a product-based company. For example, TCS is a service-based company on the other hand apple or dell would be considered as a product based company.
1. Product Marketing VS Services Marketing
Here we deal with the intangible nature of services and tangible nature of the products, like Starbucks is famous for its coffee but it also offers an experience to people to go and meet.
Due to dissimilarities in the characteristics of Product and Service marketing their strategies also differ like the aim of
Product Marketing– fulfil the needs of the target audience.
Service Marketing– maintain good relationship with their clients.
2. Service Marketing Features
Intangible in nature, it cannot be touched or viewed so it is obviously difficult to tell the clients what they will be getting in advance like if you go to an electronics repair shop the type of service they provide like time they are taking to complete their job and how they treat you as their clients decides whether you will go to this shop again or not.
The services that are provided are provided by – people so there is a possibility the same inquiry will be answered differently, the quality of the service can never be standardized.
Demands of various services are either seasonal or fluctuate like for example for tourism the demand can be seasonal on the other hand for cricket or say golf course the demand there can be fluctuations in demand.
Pricing of the services fluctuate according to the demand of that service like the price of hotels rise during the seasonal period of time when more tourists are arriving similarly the price of a cab can fluctuate according to the demand.
Services Marketing is used by an organisation who are providing services either to the Individuals –B2C ( business to customer or To other organisations – B2B ( business to business).
There are different types of advertising and sales techniques a company uses for services marketing, the most important three steps that are involved are,
Before moving towards planning any campaign, companies usually spend a lot of time in researching about the needs and interests of the audience like for ‘ What Happens Here’ campaign in Las Vegas, LVCVA hired R&R Partners marketing firm to conduct a survey in several US cities to know their feeling for Las Vegas as a tourist destination.
After researching and compiling of all the data that are collected by the company, the next step arrives that is creating the marketing materials which is based on the message that the company thinks will attract the target audience.
Like the data that was gathered by the R&R partners that people associated Vegas with freedom, what is not acceptable at home, is permissible in Las Vegas. So they developed a series of ads across multiple media communicating the message with a tagline- “ WHAT HAPPENS HERE, STAYS HERE”.
Evaluation is the most prominent part of any marketing plan, through evaluation only you come to know whether your campaign was successful in delivering the message and was it effective and did it reach the target audience or not.
There Are Specific Goals Set For:
- Advertising cost ( per customer)
- Conversion rates
Evaluation is also done through feedbacks and surveys with questions relevant to your campaign.
Now moving on to product marketing, it is usually very common and the basic goal of this marketing is to sell and promote a product. All the advertisements like apple- iPhone (XR, X, MacBook), KFC, Mac Donald’s etc. are made to sell different products of different brands. The main objective of product marketing is to find the right customer for the product and then pitch them in an appealing way so that they buy your products.
- Drives sales and profit
- Helps your company develop new products ( extension)
- Helps in differentiating you from your competitors
- Identify the needs of the market place
- Able to develop a successful marketing strategy
Product marketing consists of several components :
Everything starts with an idea, or in simpler words the vision of an organisation. This idea or vision helps in the development of the product and conveys energy as well as excitement to the consumers. These well-established brands like apple or Harley Davidson also started with an idea and today with a lot of hard work they achieved what they deserve.
Turning your idea into reality is another component, where the company looks for their target audience, their competitors and also their product’s market position like what problem does it solve. For example, if you plan to start a coffee shop it’s really important to consider that why would anyone drink your coffee and not Starbucks or CCD what makes it different from these well-established brands with good quality products.
It’s very important for any organisation or firm to decide what they want to achieve meaning setting your goals and initiatives if it’s a start-up don’t aim very big but the goals should be very precise and short and clear and they should grow along with the company.
Marketing of a product is different from marketing services
If we talk about quality then measuring the quality of a product is easier because you can use it and see if it is up to the mark or not like you can lure the customers offering them a good quality product on the other hand for services you can’t measure the quality because usually, it is something that a customer needs or a client needs so it is hard to measure the quality of a service.
For a product, since it is tangible in nature a customer can see it, can be easily marketed as compared to the services which are intangible and can only be experienced by the consumers.
The fact that a product can be returned very easily and not the services also affect the marketing, as a service is usually consumed as it being offered and is just an experience but the products can be returned where you can get cash or sometimes maybe credit.
Product fulfils a customer needs and wants the companies to use this to sell a product and services is more about selling you skills and forming a relationship and maintain it between the buyer and the seller of the service.
For example, gym trainer might help you in maintaining a particular diet and help you in training but it is not something a person can place on the wall of his home or in the kitchen drawer, it is a service provided by the trainer and the trainee needs to perceive the value of the service.
If we consider challenges then definitely there are more challenges faced by the service industry, you can consider people as an important factor here for example if you are in a flight and then the attendants don’t behave with you properly or are rude then you will definitely think twice before travelling in that flight.
Taking another example of Ritz Carlton which is known for its superior service as it makes the guests genuinely feel that the staff cares about their food and comfort, which makes it a unique selling proposition when compared to the competitors.
But in both the cases if the product whether tangible or intangible can’t effectively convince the buyers then they have an equal chance of failing.
It doesn’t matter if your company is product-based or service-based, if it can prove effectively why it is better than the others (competitions) then definitely you are successful. There is an opportunity to be successful in both service and product marketing the only thing that is important is how you communicate your message to your audience.