What is marketing mix?
The marketing mix is one of the most important frameworks in the marketing world. It has been developed by Jerome McCarthy and it involves the 4Ps. The 4Ps include the product, place, promotion, and price. It is a very useful framework for marketers because it gives them a thorough view of the firm for which they need to develop a marketing plan. It is included in the tactical section of the marketing plan and is followed by the marketing strategy.
Why should service marketing mix be different?
Services are different from physical products as they are invariable which means that the quality of service offered to the customer differs from time to time. They are perishable and it means that the services cannot be stored unlike products and they are produced and consumed at the same time. They are also intangible as they cannot be touched and felt by the consumer. The last difference is that there needs to be cooperation between the consumer and the service staff. These differences force service marketers to differentiate their service marketing mix from traditional product marketing mixes.
7P the New Service Marketing Mix
To address the differences outlined above, service marketers have changed the service marketing mix by adding 3 additional Ps to the common 4Ps. These are Physical evidence, People and Processes. Each of these elements is explained below.
Services are intangible, they cannot be touched and felt by customers. But physical pieces of evidence are added to the service marketing mix so that marketers try to make sure to design their physical properties such as their office, their documents, and other physical elements in such a way that reflects the quality of their service. The marketer wants to position her brand as a premium service provider, she can do so by changing the design of the location in such a way that has a feeling of being premium. Using high-quality chairs, having your office in an upscale district and such things can help her position the service brand in such a way.
People are an integral part of any business. They are even more important in a service business because customers need to have a close relationship with the service staff. The service marketer needs to pay extra attention to this element by cooperating with the HR department. They also need to have frequent briefing sessions with the service staff and explain the brand meaning and proper way of conduct to them. They can further control this aspect by defining dress codes for the service staff, compiling scripts and have control over their tone of voice with the customer.
As has been explained above, one of the features of service businesses is that they are variable. The quality of service may differ from session to session. Maybe one day your service staff are not in the mood and the quality of the service they offer to the customers is not satisfactory. The service marketer can control this effect by outlining the proper processes. Giving the service staff a document that details the process step by step will prevent major discrepancies in the quality of the service.
To sum up
In this article, the difference between the service marketing mix and the traditional product marketing mix has been discussed. While the traditional marketing mix included 4Ps and these include product, place, promotion and price, the service marketing mix involves three additional Ps which are people, physical evidence and processes.