Marketing of Services and Importance of Service Marketing


Before now, the average consumer recognizes the tangible physical products they purchase more than the services that go along with such products. Change they say is constant.

Thus, with the change in economic activities globally- most especially in Africa and Nigeria in particular, consumers are conscious of services-marketing. Consumers wish to associate themselves with companies or organizations that provide super and efficient services for the products purchased or consumed.

It becomes imperative for marketing executives to integrate service marketing as an integral part of their products.

Some people may argue that there is no such thing as ‘service marketing, but only marketing in which the service element is greater than the product element. However, we do recognize that there is both a product component and a service component in the sale of most goods (if not all).

In this regard, most proactive organizations do not think of themselves as sell sellers of goods or products, instead, they view themselves as producers of services. Thus, this unit attempts to examine service marketing and its implications on marketing activities.

Marketing of Services

In attempting to define ‘service-marketing’, it is imperative to examine briefly the antecedent of services provided. Marketing developed, initially, in otol physical products such as toottoothpasters, equipment, books, etc.

However, as people become conscious about their environment, and as their purchasing power continues to improve, they demand treatment for the products purchased and consumed. One of the major trends in the world and Nigeria in particular, in recent times, has been the dramatic growth of services.

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Thus, while defining ‘service-marketing’, there are diverse views among scholars. Stanton (1983) defines services as:

“Those separately, identifiable, essentially intangible activities that provide want-satisfaction, and that are not necessarily tied to the sale of a product or another service. To produce a service, you may or may not require the use of tangible goods. However, when such use is required, there is no transfer of the title (permanent ownership) to these tangible goods”.

Let us pause to examine this definition:

I) We include such activities as medical care, entertainment, and repair services

II) We exclude credit, delivery, and, other services that exist only when there are sales of a product or another service the consumer of service can take only temporary possession or make only temporary use of any goods required in the production of the service- a hotel room or rented car, for example.

Kotler and Armstrong (1994) define service as:

“Any activity or benefit 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”.

Activities such as renting a hotel room, depositing money in a bank, travtravelingan alane, visiting a psychiatrist, getting a haircut, having a car repaired, watching professional sports, watching movies, having clothes cleaned by a dry cleaner, and seeking advice from a lawyer/consultant, etc,.- all these involve buying services”.

Suffice it to say that despite the views of the rural schools of thought, the key keywords above the definition are “intangible” and “does not result in ownership of anything”. It should, however, be noted that we rarely find situations in which services are marketed without a product being involved.

Most products are accompanied by services and most services require supporting products. It is this product/service mix that is realizing its importance in our economy.

We are concerned, primarily, with the services marketed by businesses or professional firms with pro-profit-makings-commercial services.

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Marketing Services are described as strategies adopted by the producers of services either to communicate or deliver their products (efficiently) to target markets.

Importance of Service Marketing

Stanton (1983) submits that, since World War II, the expenditures on consumer services have increased, almost every year, at a more rapid rate than expenditures on products.

This is just a pointer to its importance in our economic development. So, serv service mar marketing is important for the following reasons.

The growth of business services may be attributed to the fact that business has become increasingly complex, specialized, and, competitive. As a result, management has been compelled to seek expert advice in providing such services-e.g., advertising, labor- relations, product delivery, etc.

The rate of growth has not been uniform for all categories of consumer services. As disposable income increases and lifelifestylenges, the demand for some services has grown relatively faster than others. For example, attendance at movie centers declined as people turn to television.

Many product manufacturers have diversified into services because of the high demand in that area.

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