Services are not tangible. Because of this intangibility, it can be more difficult for a marketer to promote and sell a service. Take the example of finding a personal trainer. How is the decision madeas to whom to use to help you train for your next race? This decision involves making a judgment
call because you may use a referral, but you can’t know firsthand what the experience of working with a trainer will be like or what results his or her service might provide until you’ve utilized his or her services.Products are, by design, intended to fulfill consumers’ needs or wants. Think of all the advertisements you may have seen recently that promote the latest version of a product as being so much better than prior versions. Are you thinking of your phone, tablet, or perhaps your refrigerator or dryer? With products, a consumer can make a comparison between the product currently owned and the one they see being advertised. The comparisons of these products are likely to be based on hard data. Perhaps the consumer compares the products side by side.ServicesIn contrast to products, services focus on relationships between the consumer and the service provider. The marketer of a service has to convince the consumer that the service provides value. While you can touch a product, this is not feasible with a service. Something like marital counseling relies on consumers perceiving the value of the service. The counselor has to attempt to convey the potential benefits and possibly provide examples to convey the value of his or her services. The potential client then has to comprehend the counselor’s explanation, feel a relationship to the information provided, and make a personal judgment on the potential benefits of the counselor’s guidance.One Versus ManyProducts often offer a wide variety of options for a consumer. Go back to the example of a consumershopping for a new dress. A retailer will offer a number of dresses in various sizes, materials, fabrics, and styles for the consumer to choose from. These choices can be provided from a single manufacturer, but are often provided from multiple sources. The consumer, therefore, has a wide range of options to choose from in shopping for the dress.Services typically have limited options. The consumer may find it hard to choose between potential service providers because no two providers may offer identical services. Looking at the earlier example of shopping for a personal trainer, it is possible that two personal trainers could claim to offer the same service and possibly the same pricing for the training sessions. However, the reality is
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- Spring '14
- Consumers, web site, Customer relationship management