In today’s competitive business environment, a wide variety of products is available in the market. Companies face problems in making place for a new product that is not known to the target audience. This is where marketing comes into play. The purpose of marketing is to develop an image of the product or service in the minds of the customer in a way that the brand becomes synonymous to the specific product. Marketing is not just limited to products as services, properties, ideas, experiences and at times even individuals are marketed.
Product marketing is different from services marketing. Product marketing is the marketing of tangible goods, whereas in service marketing, marketing of services take place, which are intangible. The objective of product marketing is to fulfill the needs and requirements of the target population. On the other hand, the goal of services marketing is to establish a relationship with the customer and to gain their trust.
In this article, the terms product marketing and services marketing will be defined and the differences between the two will be explained.
Definitions and explanations
Product marketing refers to the marketing of tangible goods, which comprise of all those things that people can see, touch or feel. In other words, the audiences to whom you wish to sell your product can observe and comprehend the way the tangible goods work.
Product marketing can be explained by the 4Ps of marketing, which are product, pricing, place and promotion. In product marketing, products are marketed to the current and potential customers. Hence, product marketing refers to the overall process, starting from an analysis of the market, to providing the product to the customer and obtaining their feedback. The objective of this process is to determine the appropriate market for the products and place them in a way that good customer response is attained.
Several activities are carried out as part of product marketing, including examining the market, recognizing the demands of the customer, planning and developing the product, pricing and pitching the new product, advertising, promoting, communicating, distributing, selling, and receiving feedback of the product.
Service refers to the act of carrying out an activity for someone in return for appropriate compensation. It is not possible to define services in the same way as products as services cannot be felt, touched, tasted or smelled, i.e. a service is intangible. This is the greatest difference between a product and a service. In addition, services are used at the time of production, and cannot be stored or resold. Every service offering is distinct as it cannot be repeated in the exact manner, even when the service is being offered by the same person/organization. Because of the differences between products and services, there are different ways of marketing them.
Services marketing refers to activities carried out by an individual, an organization or a business to promote the services it provides to its customers. The purpose of services marketing is to offer solutions to the issues or challenges experienced by its customers. It consists of business-to-business (B2B) marketing as well as business-to-customer (B2C) marketing.
As explained earlier, marketing is a mix of the 4Ps; however, service marketing extends further than that as it comprises of 7Ps, out of which 4Ps are the same as those of product marketing, while the rest are solely applicable to service marketing (process, people and physical evidence).
Differences between product marketing and services marketing
The difference between product marketing and services marketing is given below:
Product marketing is the process carried out to identify the appropriate market for the product and to promote it in a way that it generates the best response from the target market. It refers to the marketing of tangible goods. In contrast, the services being offered by a company to its customers are promoted in service marketing.
The objective of product marketing is to fulfill the requirements of its customers, while service marketing has the objective of developing good relationships with its customers and gain their trust. Its aim is to offer solutions to the issues and difficulties being experienced by customers.
3. Marketing mix
The 4 Ps of the marketing mix are involved in product marketing, whereas in service marketing, three additional Ps are added, which include process, physical evidence and people. These are referred to as the 7Ps of the services marketing mix.
4. What is being marketed?
In product marketing, tangible goods are being marketed, which means that they have physical features and can be touched, seen and felt. On the other hand, service marketing is carried out for services, which are intangible. Services do not have any physical characteristics, and cannot be touched or seen. However, they can be experienced and the final results can be observed.
5. How is it delivered?
In product marketing, customers receive the products after they pass through the different distribution channels. However, in services marketing, it is the customers who come to the service provider to get the service as it is not possible to transport services.
People usually show quick response to something that can be seen, which is a significant aspect of product marketing, i.e. it draws the attention of the customers and generates sales. In contrast, it is not possible to see services; they can only be experienced. Therefore, the response to service marketing is comparatively slow.
Product marketing vs services marketing – tabular comparison
A comparison of product marketing and services marketing in tabular form is presented below:
|The process of identifying a market to promote products with the aim of generating sales||Promotion of services being offered by the company|
|Fulfill needs of customers||Form good relationships with customers and provide solutions to their problems|
|What is being marketed?|
|Tangible goods||Intangible goods|
|How is it delivered?|
|Customers receive products||Customers avail services|
|Rapid response||Relatively slow response|
Conclusion – product marketing vs services marketing
The differences in product and service marketing emerge from their distinct characteristics. Product marketing is easier to carry out due to the tangibility of the product. The marketing of services requires a different approach because they are intangible and cannot be seen or touched. Hence, it is a little difficult to market them. Nonetheless, the two functions are extremely important and should be given a lot of attention by marketers to ensure their success.