The 7 Ps of Services MarketingPublish Date: Oct 20, 2009
While many companies offer tangible products to sell, many others offer services. There is a huge range of services offered by various businesses. For example, healthcare professionals such as doctors and dentists offer services. Carpet cleaners, massage therapists, business consultants, lawyers, and daycare businesses also all offer services to their customers, to name just a few.
With services marketing, there are 3 additional Ps: people, process and Physical evidence
Whenever a business decides to market a product, there is a significant amount of marketing involved. It is no different with services. And this is where services marketing comes into play.
With product marketing these "4 Ps" are utilized:
- Place (or distribution)
With services marketing, there are 3 additional Ps of marketing which are combined with the 4 above which are also involved in the process:
- Physical evidence
These 7 Ps are often referred to as the "marketing mix" for services marketing. Let's take a look at the additional 3 Ps involved:
If you are going to offer or sell a service, there will be individuals (which may be yourself only or you and your colleagues) as well as various additional staff involved who will be delivering or assisting in delivering the services to your customers. Since you are likely going to have many competitors in the market, it is very important that your staff is well trained as well as highly motivated if you want to have a strong competitive edge in the market.
The process in this case has to do with any type of system which is used to provide or deliver the service. The better your process, the more your customers will value you as their service provider. This may include things such as speed of delivery, efficiency, and thoroughness for example. Process goes a long way in terms of keeping your customers happy.
The physical evidence has to do with both the tangible or physical elements of a service, as well as the customer's experience when using the service you provide. For example, physical evidence may include such things as:
- The building in which you provide the service
- The furniture and décor
- The appearance of the staff (e.g., neat, clean, professional attire)
- Paperwork such as forms or invoices
- Company brochures and business cards
- The company's website
- Any physical tools used to perform the service (e.g., cleaning equipment)
All of these physical components can influence your customer's perception of the service as well as his or her experience of the service. For example, if the building in which the service is provided is run down or the furnishings are tattered, those things may give your customer a more negative perception as well as a less favorable experience of the service you provide. On the other hand, if the service is provided in a really nice building with beautiful furnishings, that may have a much more favorable impact on your customer. Even if the actual quality of the service is the same, the physical evidence may influence the customer's overall perception.
Each of these factors or elements of the marketing mix will play a crucial role in the degree of success you have with your services marketing. While there are many other things which must be considered as well, paying close attention to these 7 Ps will go a long way towards the ultimate success of any service type of business.