It is marketing that is the lifeline for any business to thrive or sustain. As you must be aware of a business either provides products or services to customers.

Meaning and definition of product marketing

Products are tangible goods like mobiles, laptops, handbags, apparels and other FMCG products (Fast Moving Consumer Goods). The manufacturer produces them for consumers who intend using them. Product marketing is a process where manufacturers employ vendors to promote their range of products. The intervening distribution process stands between production/manufacturing and consumption. This is what is broadly classified as Marketing. As these are tangible or seeable goods that are marketed, we call it product marketing.

Meaning and definition of service marketing

On the other hand, services are not goods that are viewable in nature. These are a value-added range of service-oriented products. To illustrate the most transparent difference between a product and service, this is the one. A hospital bed is a product whereas a nurse tending to the needs of the patient is a service.

Furthermore, services are used or consumed by the production force as well but these are not seeable or viewable in nature. Hospitality, spa/beauty parlor/salon, teaching, health care, and telecommunications fall under the services category. Marketing for services is thus named service marketing. An insurance agent is more of a service-oriented guy than a typical product marketing personnel.

Now, we move on to unveil the key differences between product marketing and service marketing:

Alignment of activities

Marketing activities for products are aligned in such a way that their range of activities caters to a particular segment of society. These aim at selling a range of products within a specified demography. While in service marketing, economic activities are traded for, at a considerable consideration. These are provided by business entities to their respective clients.

In a product marketing scenario, there are 4 P’s that need to be evaluated upon. These include

  1. Product
  2. Price
  3. Place and
  4. Promotion

While in service marketing, you have three more P’s that are added. The extra P’s include

  1. people
  2. process and
  3. physical existence

What do you get?

When products are extensively being marketed, the company offers you a value. This is mainly because the firm or the company fulfills your requirements. Conversely, while services are being marketed, what clients get, is relationship from the business entities.

Transfer of ownership

Again, this is a major difference between product marketing and service marketing. While products are being marketed, the company is able to transfer its ownership from itself to another party. Further, the goods can be resold as well. This happens when wholesalers pick the products in bulk to sell via their retail outlets. The respective products are then transferred to consumers or end-users.

While in service marketing, the company does promote their range of services. But the ownership is neither transferable nor re-saleable in nature.

Channels of distribution

Products reach customers or consumers via various channels of distribution. In other words, these are transported or deported from the manufacturer’s place to the consumer’s place. While in case of services, customers go in search of service providers. Or business clients reach out to customers. These cannot be transported. Services are mainly location based.

Tangibility factor

Products are mainly tangible in nature. In other words, a product can be touched, felt or seen. Hence marketers find it easier to promote or sell them. While services are not seeable or tangible in nature, service marketing is more complicated in nature.

Returns

If a range of products is not of the desired quality, these can easily be returned to the seller. Quite a lot of retail outlets accept the exchange of goods. You can pick another product or get your money refunded. But, in the case of services, these cannot be returned once delivered to the customer. Hence marketing of services needs to be done more carefully. This is with keeping the customer’s expectation in mind.

Durability factor

In the case of product marketing, the products can be separated from the source producer or manufacturer. These are more durable in nature. Hence products can be stacked up in inventories as well.

While in case of service marketing, services cannot be separated from their source providers. Production, distribution, and consumption of services happen simultaneously in nature. Also, these can never be inventoried. Services are therefore highly perishable in nature.

Element of customization

Products offered by manufacturing concerns follow a strict protocol. In other words, these are highly standardized in nature. You cannot alter these and are thus not variable to meet consumer requirements.

On the other hand, services vary from one person to another. These are highly variable. Hence, services can easily be customized or tailor-made to suit the requirements of each individual.

Responsive

Product marketing is highly responsive. As customers touch, feel and utilize products, they can quickly respond to whether the quality standards are met at or not. This is one of the greatest advantages of product marketing, wherein marketers can quickly collect responsive feedbacks from their customers.

While in case of service marketing, it is difficult to gauge the value or the utility of a given service at the first instance. So consumer feedback or response is a little slow. Service marketing is therefore not highly responsive as compared to product marketing.

Quality measure

In the case of product marketing, the consumers can easily measure the quality of products. They just compare the products sold by other manufacturing concerns while in case of the latter, it is little hard to measure the quality of services as these are not tangible in nature.

These are the 11 major Differences between product marketing and service marketing. Though the former has durability, tangibility, separability, transferability and so on, the latter lacks these, both forms of marketing have its own set of plusses and minuses. The marketing companies will have to adhere to innovative methods of marketing to either promote products or services. Digital marketing like pay per click ad campaigns, SEO techniques and effective word of mouth minimize physical marketing efforts by almost a mammoth.

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