Services play an increasingly important role in the US economy. Adding services can be an important strategy for manufacturers looking to differentiate themselves. However, it’s important to realize that the approach to marketing these services should be different from the marketing of products.
Services and products are quite different in nature. It is important to be aware of this, both for the service delivery and for how a firm goes to market with its service offerings.
How Is a Service Different?
A product provides benefits to the user because of what it does, the functions it performs. A product has physical characteristics, such as size, weight, etc.
On the other hand, a service is intangible. A service can be:
- An intangible act, such as legal services, financial services, education, medical care, or consulting, just to name a few.
- An activity performed by the service provider that requires the presence and involvement of the customer. For instance, a medical procedure, a hair cut, fitness training. The customer must to be present and involved in the process, in one way or another.
- An activity applied to someone’s business, home, or other possessions. For instance, lawn care, car repair, house painting, dry cleaning, or janitorial services.