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The nature of businesses involves the sale of products which are in form of goods and services. Goods can be objects, devices or things which are traded but services can be defined as deeds, efforts or performances (Srinivasan, 2004). The businesses dealing with the two kinds of products are required to engage different marketing strategies due to the fundamental difference of goods and services. In this essay we analyze the characteristic difference between goods and services, their marketing as well as their effects of technology on the customer service and service offering.

Distinctive Characteristics of Services


The first characteristic is that a service is intangible as compared to goods. It is difficult to quantify the services because they cannot be physically or presented for sale. This means that the process of sampling and judging its quality is difficult making the marketing of a service more challenging. When marketing goods which are tangible, the seller has a way of clearly presenting the product to the consumer making it easy to be marketed. Therefore in order to market intangible product the strategies will include the focus on the benefits and brand name development (Srinivasan, 2004).

Secondly, services are inseparable. This means that it is difficult to separate some services and offer is small portions just like goods. Thus the production and consumption of a service will occur simultaneously. For instance, the barber shaving a customer will be producing the service and the customer will be consuming at the same time. Therefore it requires presence of service provider always unlike goods provider who is not required to be present at the point of every sale. This means that the appropriate marketing strategy fir inseparable services is for producers to work in larger groups which are well trained and working at a faster speed which motivates the customers (Srinivasan, 2004).

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Another characteristic of services is that they are heterogenic which means that it is difficult to standardize the quality. This implies that it is not easy to differentiate two similar services as offered by separate producers because of lack of standardization available. Thus the services are unlike goods which can be standardized based on the selected tangible outputs. Therefore the marketing strategy that can be used in this case of heterogenic services is to carefully appoint the human capital resources which work according to the set norms that guarantee certain level of quality as well as automation of some of the processes involved (Srinivasan, 2004).

Moreover, a service is perishable unlike goods because they require to be offered at specified times only. For example the service provision of transport to work in the morning should be provided at specified time. This means that the delay of service to another time will imply that the service is no longer required. Therefore since a service cannot be stored, it becomes prudent to carefully match the demand and supply requirements at any given time to maximize on the sales (Srinivasan, 2004).

Furthermore, unlike goods, the service provision does not grant a customer the ownership of the facility or activity. For instance, the public transport services will offer customers only transportation service which does not entitle them to own the means of transport such as vehicle or aircraft. The marketing strategy applied in this case is to stress the importance of non-ownership to the client from the point of view that it is easy for them to pay for the service as compared to providing for themselves (Srinivasan, 2004).

Impact of Technology on Customer Service and Service Offering

The technology has been changing the customer service and service offering which has been accelerated by competition. The introduction of new and powerful computer systems by service providing organizations such as banks has improved their customer service as well as service provision (Ozaki, 1992). The technology improves the speed at which a service is provided thus enabling a lot of customers to be served leading to more returns to the organization. Moreover, the customer service has been improved because technology has improved the means in which the organization can communicate with its customers and even make customized products. For instance the communication has made it possible for emergence of e-marketing, customer service and high valued advertisements.

Moreover, the technology has been used in training staff so as to provide quality customer services (Bolan & Cullin, 2007). The level of competence of a service provider is directly proportional to the quality of service provided. Therefore with the technological training it has become easy to provide services which meet the customer requirements. The output of a modern trained worker outweighs that of unskilled laborer thus indicating the importance of technology in the overall service provision.

Therefore we conclude that goods and services have fundamental differences which call for different marketing approaches. It requires more skills as well as technology to market a service as compared to a good. Thus the use of technology has had a great impact by improving the customer service as well as the general service provision. Finally, the advancement of technology will dictate the future trends of customer service as well as service offering.

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