There has been countless research done on marketing techniques and styles. Especially on service marketing and product marketing. Experts in the field agree that consumers view services and products differently. Henceforth, they should be marketed differently. Here are just a few reasons why:
You can walk into Home Goods and touch the carpet you are thinking of purchasing but you cannot experience skydiving before you purchase. Consumers are more hesitant to buy something they are not able to touch first.
With a service, the stages are not easily separated out. The purchase, production, and consumption generally take place at the same time. With a product, the production takes place before it reaches the consumer. This separation between production and consumption allows time to fix any imperfections.
Services cannot be inventoried. This means that you cannot prepare services ahead of demand increase. Products, on the other hand, are produced ahead of time. Perishable products are costlier. A restaurant pays for rent even when it is empty.
Word-of-mouth is a large influencer in service purchases. Potential customers place emphasis on past customers experience in judging the quality of the service. Word-of-mouth is relevant in product purchases, but customer can also rely on touching it and testing the quality themselves.
How do we apply this to marketing? Well, through understanding that a service is an emotional experience, we want to target the feelings and experience a customer will have with the service. Services are harder to sell because people are afraid of giving you money for something that is not tangible. By increasing credibility and developing trust, you will be able to drive more customers through the marketing funnel. With products, it is important for the customer to be able to see it in action and understand how buying this will fulfill a need in their life. Having return policies or demos also increases sales because it allows the customer to interact with the product first.
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