14 Jun Marketing: Product vs Service
People buy product, people buy service. They spend money either way. Simple and similar or complicated and different? Actually, both.
Even though we spend our money, we also buy the difference. Products are physical, services are not. This is a common knowledge, but what difference does it make for marketing?
Marketing of products and services requires different strategies: there are just too many little tricky parts due to the dissimilarities in their nature. While in product marketing, the aim is to fulfill the needs and wants of the target population by selling them a product, service marketing seeks to create a good relationship with the customer, to win their trust.
Believe it or not, but actually producing a product is the easiest stage. The most difficult part starts right after that when you are trying to reach your end user through marketing by creating a place for a product in the highly competitive world so your end customer will at least know that your products are available. Marketing here is needed to make an impression of the product in consumer’s mind so he will associate the brand and the product.
Thus, we make a place for the product, we impress, we promote and then we sell a specific product to a particular segment. Marketing here is based and is totally dependent on 4Ps: product, price, promotion, place.
Since services are intangible and do not have a physical existence it poses a unique challenge to those engaged in marketing as they need to attach tangible attributes to this offering.
Moreover, services need more Ps in regards to their marketing strategies – the 4Ps above + 3 more:
People (who are playing the lead role in the process);
Process (that defines services in general);
Physical evidence (that represents that tangible attribute mentioned above).
Something about knowledge
When it comes to product marketing, the audience often already knows a lot about you. This is especially true if you are not a newbie and work in an established market. You may be offering a new and improved product but your audience will be familiar with existing products.
Yet if you’re marketing a service, your audience may need more information before they can understand the true value of your offer. Skip that step and they may not be able to choose you over other offers.
When you are selling a product you are selling it all as it is – its specs, its features, its performance. When you sell a service, you’re marketing something different: your own credibility. The best way to create a foundation of trust is to use testimonials and case studies. By sharing real experience of satisfied clients, you’re proving your ability to deliver the promised result.
Relationships are a key part of both product and service marketing, but service-based businesses live and die by their relationships more than product-based companies.
Marketing services require a different kind of reliability, one created by a consistent and more personal connection. Providing a service usually means continuing the relationship over a certain period, so your team will be marketing to the customer for as long as they want the relationship to renew. If you’re selling long-term relationships, your service marketing plans will need to involve a long-range vision that focuses on quality at every step of delivery.
While there are a lot of differences, important steps are common for both, products and services. If you want to reach great results in marketing, think about differentiation. The ability to differentiate is critical. Quite often competitors will make the same promises and claims. That is why you need to stand out, once you are one step forward, you will see the results, which can lead your products or services to success.