Services are different from tangible goods. They are-
- Intangible (have no fixed existence)
- Inseparable (Cannot be separated from its provider)
- Not stored (Cannot be stored in a warehouse or anytime before the actual performance)
- Perishable (Perishes as soon as the work is done)
- Heterogeneous (result in different experience to different users)
The service marketing mix is also different from marketing mix of tangible products. It isn’t limited to the 4 ps. A service requires people to perform the tasks which becomes the 5th P. Physical evidence is the 6th P, and the process of the service is the 7th P of the service marketing mix.
A product is something which satisfies the needs and wants of the customer. It is the actual item which is held for sale in the market. Product mix constitutes the combination of all the services for sale in the market.
For example, the product mix of a saloon will be the combination haircut service, manicure and pedicure service, facial, shaving etc.
The life cycle of services is same as that of a product as it starts from the day it was first thought until the time it is finally removed from the market.
Price is the amount which the customer pays for the product. But unlike goods pricing, pricing of services are a bit different and a bit difficult. Price of a service include the actual costs of goods used (if any), process costs (labour costs + overheads) and profits.
Just like goods, businesses can decide from one of these practices for pricing
- Penetration Pricing (low price kept to capture market share)
- Skimming Pricing (high price initially then lowering of price)
- Competition Pricing (pricing at par of competition)
Pricing decides the position of the product among the competition.
Place mix is deciding where and how the services will be available to the customers at the right time and at the right place to result in maximum advantage to the business.
Unlike goods, services cannot be separated from its provider and are provided where its provider is. But the same services can be performed by different providers (E.g. different franchise of the same saloon provide same services).
A business has to convey about its offering and its USP to the customer. It is what keeps it alive in this competitive environment. The promotion mix decides the marketing communication techniques, strategies, and mediums used. The medium includes:
- Personal Selling
- Sales Promotion
- Public Relations
- Direct Marketing, and
- Social Media Outreach
The extended P’s of Services Mix
Services are inseparable from the provider. These providers form the people of the service marketing mix. For example, the chef in the restaurant, a banker in the bank, an air hostess in the flight, etc.
Companies spend much time in selecting and training their staff and every other person who represents the company to the customer.
Services are intangible. But they are often provided along with many tangible elements. Physical evidence includes the environment/place where the service is provided and any tangible elements that facilitate the performance or communication of the service. It’s the tangible part which is more or less complementary to the service. For example, a physical evidence mix of a premium saloon will include the staff’s uniform, a good ambience created by playing nice music and spraying good room freshener, etc
The actual mechanism involved in delivering a service is the process. It’s the route of the actual product from the provider to the user. For example, a bank has a definite process for its every operation (to deposit a cheque, to withdraw money, to change your address, etc.).
Since services are diverse, processes involved in carrying out those services are also diverse. Process can be involved in planning and/or in the execution. But it is always involved in carrying out a service.
Process results in uniformity. Hence process is an essential of the services marketing mix.
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