Service Marketing: An Overview

Service Marketing: An Overview

Jaya Ashish Sethi (Pratap University, India)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2475-5.ch001
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The chapter gives an overview of Services Marketing, The chapter deals with the characteristics of Services and the need of services marketing. The chapter also focuses on the types of Services. The elements of the marketing mix as are applied in case of tangible goods are equally applicable to services marketing also. Hence a thorough analysis is done on the Service marketing mix i.e. Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical evidence. An overview of the various decisions to be taken under each has also been taken care of.
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Introduction: The Services Concept

Generally all economic activities are divided into three different activities viz., primary, secondary, and tertiary. Agriculture, finishing, forestry, mining etc. are the part of primary activities. Secondary activities include manufacturing, processing, construction etc. Tertiary activities consist of services, distribution etc. Services today occupy major part of the economic activities throughout the world.

The service sector is extremely vast and varied. It includes banking, transportation, insurance, communication, education, employment, healthcare, legal service, accounting, tourism, hospitality and information services. Services are provided on both profit and nonprofit basis. Education and healthcare are provided on nonprofit basis while others are provided on a commercial basis such as hotels, professional consultants, solicitors etc.

There is no universally accepted definition of a service and it is very difficult to define the term. An earlier definition of the concept of service was that it is a mere benefit attached to a physical product. Now a paradigm shift has taken place in the concept of service and the service industry at present has achieved its independence and growth quite apart from physical goods. Therefore service industries today are seen as different from manufacturing industries.

In common the term services means personal services like repairing, health service, legal services, counseling etc. Marketing experts view the problem differently. They feel that the contents of services are much wider. Berry (1980) says that services are deeds, acts or performance. This complexity of the definition of services increases when one realizes that there are no pure services or pure tangible products.

Philip Kotler (1990) defines the services as “Any act or performance that one party can offer to another that is essentially intangible and does not result in ownership of anything. Its production may or may not be tied to a physical product”

Amercican Marketing Association (1960) says that services are activities, benefits or satisfaction which are offered for sale, are provided in connection with sale of goods.

Hasenfield and Richard (1974) has different view about the services saying them as action of organization that maintains and improves the well being and functioning of people.

Payne (1995) says that “A service is an activity which has some element of intangibility associated with it, which involves some interaction with customers or with property in their possession, and does not result in a transfer of ownership. A change in condition may occur and production of service may or may not be closely associated with a physical product.”

Generally what these and other definitions have in common is their emphasis on the intangible nature of a service. Thus a service firm offers a product which is:

  • Essentially Intangible,

  • Heterogeneous,

  • Inseparable,

  • Perishable.


Service: Features

As Jha (2000) says services have different salient features, which necessitate a new vision, a distinct approach and a world class professional excellence to deal with the various aspects of the services effectively an profitably. The service professionals must be well aware of these features of the service to make creative decisions. The various features of the services that could be analyzed for making appropriate managerial decisions are:

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