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Module 1: Marketing of Services

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Promoting Services and Educating Customers - Part 2

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MODULE OVERVIEW

Know a few important specific roles service marketing communications can assume.
Understand the challenges of service communications and how service Communications can overcome those (“How”).
Be familiar with the marketing communications mix in the context of a service (“Where”).
Know the communications mix elements of the traditional marketing communications channels. -
Appreciate the role of the Internet, mobile, apps, QR code, and other electronic media in service marketing communications.
Know the communications mix elements available via service delivery channels.

Maximizing Value from Service Communication Strategy

Promote tangible cues to communicate quality
Add value through communication content
Facilitate customer involvement in service production
Promote the contribution of service personal and backstage operation
Stimulate and shift demand to match capacity

Problems of Intangibility-

The benefits of services can be difficult to communicate to customers as they are “performances” rather than objects.
Especially when the service in question does not involve tangible actions to customers or their possessions.
Intangibility creates four problems for marketers

 
 
Non-searchability
Mental impalpability.


Abstractness: Refers to concepts such as financial security or investment related matters
Generality: Refers to items that comprise of class of objects, persons or events
Non searchablity: Refers to fact that many of the service attribute cannot be inspected before they are purchased.
Mental Impalpability: Refers to services that are sufficiently complex, multi-dimensional or novel

OVERCOMING THE PROBLEMS OF INTANGIBILITY

How should service messages be communicated?
Here, the intangibility of service presents problems for advertising that need to be overcome.
Specific communications strategies marketers can follow to create messages that help to overcome each of the four problems created by the intangibility of services.
Tangible Cues —

Commonly used strategies in advertising include the use of tangible cues whenever possible, especially for services that involve few tangible elements.
It’s also helpful to include “vivid information” that catches the audience's attention and produces a strong, clear impression on the senses, especially for services that are complex and highly intangible.


Metaphors —

Some companies have created metaphors that are tangible in nature to help communicate the benefits of their service offerings and to emphasize key points of differentiation.
Insurance companies often use this approach to market their highly intangible products.



THE SERVICES MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS MIX

After understanding our target audience, our specific communications objectives and message strategy, we now need to select a mix of cost-effective communication channels.
Most service marketers have access to numerous forms of communication, referred to collectively as the service marketing communications mix.

SOURCES OF MESSAGES

The services marketing communications mix featured in Figure 2, can also be categorized into three broad categories of sources of communications:

Marketing communications channels, which include traditional media and online channels.
Service delivery channels.
Messages that originate from outside the Organization.



Traditional Marketing Channels

Direct marketing: Offer the potential to send personalized message to highly targeted micro segments
Sales Promotion: Communication with an incentive
Personal Selling: Interpersonal encounters in which efforts are made to educate customers and promote a particular brand or product or product

Online Marketing

Company’s website
Online Advertising

DELIVERY CHANNELS

Service firms typically control the point-of-sale and the service delivery channels, which offer service firms particularly powerful and cost-effective communications opportunities, such as-
Service Outlets
Frontline employees
Self-Service Delivery Points

CONCLUSION

In this module we learnt about few important specific roles service marketing communications can assume.
Also understood the challenges of service communications and how service Communications can overcome those (“How”). -~
Got familiarity with the marketing communications mix in a services context (“Where”).
And the role of the Internet, mobile, apps, QR code, and other electronic media in service marketing communications.