first in marketing audits
Managing Services

North America has moved increasingly towards a service economy, and leaders have become increasingly interested in the special challenges involved in marketing services. The service industries are quite varied and include:

  • The Business Sector: with airlines, banks, insurance companies, law firms, hotels, medical practices, real estate firms, management consulting firms and much more
  • The Private Non-Profit Sector: with hospitals, colleges, charities, churches, museums and foundations.
  • The Government Sector: with agencies, schools, courts, employment services, the post office and police and fire departments.

Unlike a physical product; services are intangible, inseparable, variable and perishable. Each of these service characteristics pose challenges and requires different strategies. Healthy service marketing practices find ways to make the intangible tangible; to increase the productivity of service providers; to increase and standardize the quality of the service provided and to match the supply of services during peak and non-peak periods with market demand.

Although constantly getting marketing healthier, service industries generally have lagged behind manufacturing firms in adopting and using healthy marketing concepts and tools. And as the 4 P marketing mix model works well for the goods industry, the service industry must add additional elements to remain healthy and include people, physical presentation and process elements. Special challenges to being a healthy marketing service organization include:

  1. Being able to differentiate your offer, delivery and/or image
  2. Managing your service quality in order to meet or exceed customer expectation
  3. Managing your employees’ productivity effectively while becoming a customer-focused environment