Service is provided by the seller to the buyer in exchange for money (economic activity), but it does not provide the ownership of the services provided to the buyer, only values are exchanged. This is the feature that distinguishes services from physical goods.
According to Philip Kotler, “A service is an act or performance that one party can offer to another that is essentially intangible and does not result in the ownership of anything. Its production may or may not be tied to a physical product”.
According to Zeithaml and Bitner, “Services are deeds, processes, and performances.”
Services marketing is marketing based on relationship and value. It may be used to market a service or a product also. Marketing a service-based business is different from marketing a goods-based business.
Service marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on selling services. They can be tricky to sell, and the marketing approach for them is much different than the approach for products.
Some companies offer both products and services and must use a mixture of styles; e.g., a store that sells computers also tends to help people select computers and provide computer repair. Such a store must market both its products and the supporting services it offers to appeal to customers.
When people market services, the goal is not to get customers to buy a product but to get people to do business with a particular company, often in a specific location.
For example, a restaurant offers a service: it provides food to customers, both on-site and in a to-go form in many cases. When the restaurant markets itself, it must convince people that it is preferable to other restaurants and that its facility is worth the trip.
As with the marketing of products, the marketing of services covers issues like what is being offered, the price point, how it compares to similar things, and why people should choose that particular iteration over other options.
With services, which are often intangible, consumers must also be convinced that it is something they need that will have some sort of benefit through marketing. The following key points regarding the concept or perception of services marketing are:
- It is a managerial process of managing the services.
- It is an organized effort to provide a sound foundation for the development of an organization.
- It is a social process helping an organization understand the emerging social problems and take part in the social transformation process to justify its existence.