Marketing of services

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					    MBA (Marketing)
      Paper 4.13


                                    MBA PAPER 4.13

                                     MARKETING OF SERVICES


UNIT 1   Services: Definition, characteristics, classification – Relationship Marketing – Services Mission:
         Meaning – Services mission statements Developing a services mission – Services Market
         Segmentation: Meaning – Process Bases and purpose of market segmentation.

UNIT 2   Services positioning and Differentiation: Evolution of positioning – Positioning and services – Levels
         of positioning – Process of positioning – Importance of positioning.

UNIT 3   Services Marketing Mix: Marketing mix elements- Service product – Pricing the service – Service
         location and channels – Promotion and communication of services – People in services – Processes
         – Physical evidence – Developing a marketing mix strategy.

UNIT 4   Marketing Plans for Services: Marketing planning process – Marketing strategy formulation –
         Resource allocation and monitoring – Marketing planning and services.

UNIT 5   Service Encounter: Tourism and Travel marketing – Hotel marketing – consultancy marketing –
         Courier services.

UNIT 6   Marketing of Services: Bank marketing – Insurance marketing – Hospital marketing –
         Telecommunication Services – Education marketing



        1.   Services Marketing – An Introduction
        2.   Classification of Services
        3.   Relationship Marketing
        4.   Services Mission
        5.   Services Market Segmentation


        6. Positioning and Differentiation of Services


        7. Services Marketing Mix


        8. Marketing Plans for Services
        9. Customer-focused Services


        10. Tourism and Travel Marketing
        11. Hotel Marketing
        12. Consultancy Marketing
        13. Courier Services


        14. Bank Marketing
        15. Insurance Marketing
        16. Hospital Marketing
        17. Telecommunication Marketing
        18. Education Marketing

                                                        Lesson 1

                                       Services Marketing – An Introduction

The service sector has increased dramatically in importance over the last decade, where it now accounts for nearly
two-thirds of the economy by income and jobs. Deregulation of services, growing competition, fluctuations in demand,
and the application of new technologies are presenting a considerable challenge to service organizations. Services
marketing concepts and strategies have developed in response to the tremendous growth of service industries. Due
to their increased importance, the world economies have drawn increasing attention to the issues and problems of
service sector industries.


The American Marketing Association defines services as activities, benefits or satisfactions which are offered for sale
and are provided with the sale of goods. This definition is considered to be too broad as products also offer benefits
and satisfactions to customers. So there were attempts to differentiate physical products from services by defining
characteristics which are prese4nt in services but are not found in case of physical products.

Kotler defines a service as “any act or performance that one party can offer to another that is essentially intangible
and does not result in the ownership of anything. Its production may or may not be tied to a physical product.” Abrain
Payne defines it as “an activity which has some intangibility associated with it, which involves some interaction with
customers or with property with it, which involves some interaction with customers or with property in their
possession, and does not result in a transfer of ownership. A change in condition may occur and production of the
service may or may not be closely associated with a physical product.”

A more mundane definition in the Indian context is provided by section 2(r) of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade
Practices Act, 1969. Under the said statute a “service means service which is made available to potential users and
includes the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance, chit fund, real estate, transport,
processing, supply of electrical or other energy, board or lodging or both, entertainment, amusement or the purveying
of news or other information”.

Stanton defines services and identifies factors which distinguish products from services which are accepted by most
of he commentators. According to Stanton, “services are those separately identifiable, essentially activities that
provide want-satisfaction, and that are not necessarily ties to the sale of a product or another service. To produce a
service may or may not require the use of tangible goods. However, when such use in required, there is no transfer of
the title (Permanent ownership) to these tangible goods”. Stanton emphasizes four characteristics which distinguish
services from product. They are, intangibility, inseparability, heterogeneity and perishability and fluctuating demand.
Kotler also emphasizes intangibility, inseparability, variability and perishability.

A service is an activity which has some elements of intangibility associated with it, which involves some interaction
with customers or with property in their possession, and does not result in a transfer of ownership. A change in
condition may occur and production of the service may or may not be closely associated with a physical product.

Put in the simple terms, ‘services are deeds, processes and performances’. The core offerings of hospitals, hotels,
banks and utilities comprise primary deeds and actions performed for customers. Services are produced not only by
service business such as those just described but are also integral to the offerings of many manufactured goods
procedures. For example, care manufacturers offer warranties and repair services for their cars; Computer
manufacturers offers warranties, maintenance contracts and training. all of these services are examples of deeds,
processes and performances.

Characteristics of services

Stanton points out that the special nature of services stems form several distinctive characteristics and he singles our
four for particular comment. They are:

    1. Intangibility,

    2. Inseparability,

    3. Heterogeneity (Kotler terms this as variability), and

    4. Perishability and fluctuating demand.

These four have been identified by Kotler also as the major characteristics greatly affecting the design of marketing
programmes for services.


Services are essentially intangible. Because services are performances or actions rather than objects, they cannot be
seen, felt, tested, or touched in the same manner that we can sense tangible goods. For example, health-care
services are actions (e.g. surgery, diagnosis, examination, treatment) performed by providers and directed toward
patients and their families. These services cannot actually be seen or touched by the patient, although the patient
may be able to see and touch certain tangible components of the service (e.g. equipment, hospital room). In fact,
many services such as health care are difficult for the consumer to grasp even mentally. Even after a diagnosis or
surgery has been completed the patient may not fully comprehend the service performed.

Marketing implications

 Intangibility presents several marketing challenges: Services cannot be inventoried, and therefore fluctuations in
demand are often difficult to manage. For example, there is tremendous demand for resort accommodations in Simla
/ Ooty in May, but little demand in December. Yet resort owners have the same number of rooks to sell year-round.
Services cannot be patented legally, and new service concepts can therefore easily be copied by competitors.
Services cannot be readily displayed or easily communicated to customers, so quality may be difficult for consumers
to assess. Decisions about what to include in advertising and other promotional materials are challenges, as is
pricing. The actual cost of a “unit of service” are had to determine and the price/ quality relationship is complex.


Services are created and consumed simultaneously and generally they cannot be separated from the provider of the
service. Thus the service provider – customer interaction is a special feature of services marketing.

Unlike the tangible goods, services cannot be distributed using conventional channels. Inseparability makes direct
sales as the only possible channel of distribution and this delimits the markets for the seller’s services. This
characteristic also limits that scale of operation of the service provider. For example, a doctor can give treatment to
limited number of patients only in a day.

This characteristic also emphasizes the importance of the quality of provider – client interaction in services. This
poses another management challenge to the service markets. While a consumer’s satisfaction depends on the
functional aspects in the purchase of goods, in the case of services the above mentioned interaction plays an
important role in determining the quality of services and customer satisfaction. For example, an airline company may
provide excellent flight service, but a discourteous onboard staff may keep off the customer permanently from that
company. There are exemptions also to the inseparability characteristic. A television coverage, travel agency or stock
broker may represent and help marketing the service provided by another service firm.

Marketing implications

Because services often are produced and consumed at the same time, mass production is difficult if not impossible.
The quality of service and customer satisfaction will be highly dependent on what happens in “real time”, including
actions of employees and the interactions between employees and customers.


This characteristic is referred to as variability by Kotler. We have already seen that services cannot be standardized.
They are highly variable depending upon the provider and the time and place where they are provided. A service
provided on a particular occasion is somewhat different from the same service provided on other occasions. Also the
standard of quality perceived by different consumers may differ according to the order of preference given by them to
the various attribute of service quality. For example, the treatments given by hospital to different persons on different
occasion cannot be of the same quality. Consumers of services are aware of this variability and by their interaction
with other consumers they also get influenced or influence others in the selection of service provider.

Marketing implications

Because services are heterogeneous across time, organizations, and people, ensuring consistent service quality is
challenging. Quality actually depends on many factors that cannot be fully controlled by the service supplier, such as
the ability of the consumer to articulate his or her needs, the ability and willingness of personnel to satisfy those
needs, the presence (or absence) of other customers, and the level of demand fo he service.

Perish ability and Fluctuating Demand

Perish ability refers to the fact that services cannot be saved, stored, resold or returned. A seat on an airplane or in a
restaurant, an hour of a lawyer’s time, or telephone line capacity not used cannot be reclaimed and used or resold at
a later time. This is in contrast to goods that can be stored in inventory or resold another day, or even returned if the
consumer is unhappy.

Marketing implications

A primary issue that marketers face in relation to service perish ability is the inability to inventory. Demand forecasting
and creative planning for capacity utilization are therefore important and challenging decision areas. The fact that
services cannot typically be returned or resold also implies a need for strong recovery strategies when things do go
wrong. For example, while a bad haircut cannot be returned, the hairdresser can and should have strategies for
recovering the customer’s good will if and when such a problem occurs.

Services Marketing Management

There are a number of areas of marketing management which do have special significance for services marketing. It
is worth commenting on some of those aspects, as they are important to developing an awareness of problem and
key issues in services marketing.

Productivity and quality

In striving to gain and maintain competitive advantage, both productivity and quality are of key importance. However,
the nature of services implies that it is difficult to avoid a trade-off situation, when improvements in service productivity
can lead to sacrifices in the level of quality. This is most sensitive in services marketing where people are the service
delivers. If a bank cashier or travel agent needs to process customers more quickly to improve productivity, how can
organisatoins ensure that there is not resulting drop in quality?

Service quality is measured on two levels:

       Technical quality – the overall efficiency with which a bank handles its customer accounts in terms of prompt
        statements, rates of interest offered and so on.

       Functional quality – the way the service is actually delivered; this includes personal courtesy, the service
        environment in terms of comfort and décor, the customer’s own role.

The importance which is attached to functional and technical quality depends on the type of service, and the benefit
sought by the consumer.

Service Marketing Triangle

A useful way to conceptualize the questions the decisions that need to the made is presented in the services
marketing triangle shown in Figure 1. The trainable suggests that there are three types of marketing that must be
successfully carried out for a service organization to succeed, and that all of them revolve around making and
keeping promises to customers.                    Company

                          Internal Marketing                          External Marketing
                        “enabling the promise”                       “setting the promise”

                                   Employees                          Customers
                                                Interactive Marketing
                                               delivering the promise”
On the right side of the triangle are the external marketing efforts that the firm engages in to set up its customers’
expectations and make promises to customers regarding what is to be delivered. Anything that communicates to the
customer before service delivery can be viewed as part of this external marketing function. In service firms there are
many factors that communicate toe customers beyond traditional elements of advertising, special promotions, sales,
and public relations, for example, the firm’s personnel and the physical facilities themselves.

On the bottom of the triangle is what has been termed interactive marketing, or what some refer to as real-time
marketing. Here the actual service delivery takes place-the firm’s employees interact directly with customers. It is at
this point that the promise is delivered ( or nor delivered). Having a positive link between what is promised through the
external marketing in the world is useless if promise cannot be kept.

The left side of the triangle suggests the critical role played by internal marketing, which enables employees to keep
the promises that have been made to customers. Internal marketing refers to the activities the firm must carry out to
train, motivate, and reward its employees. unless service employees are able and willing to deliver on the promises
made, the firm will not be successful in keeping its promises and the services marketing triangle will collapse. Internal
marketing hinges on the assumption that employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction are inextricably linked.

What the triangle implies is that all three sides are critical to successful services marketing and management, that
without one of the sides in place the triangle, or the total marketing effort, cannot be supported. Each side represents
significant challenges for most service business, and as we proceed through the text we will find approaches and
strategies for dealing with all three.

                                                        Lesson 2

                                               Classification of Services

The underlying objective in any service classification scheme is to get a deeper understanding of the service product.
Despite the diversity in the range of service products it is possible to classify and explore them on the basis of certain

There have been more than sixteen studies regarding the classification schemes. Naturally, some are worthwhile in
developing marketing strategies, while others suffer shortcomings. Christopher Lovelock identifies certain issues as
important in the classification of services. He points out that –

       Service industries continue to be dominated by operations orientation, with the service managers insisting
        that their tasks and challenges in their industry is unique and have nothing in common with those from other
        service industries;

       A managerial mind set evident in many service sectors argues that the marketing of a service industry has
        nothing in common with the marketing of another service industry. For example, the marketing of an airlines
        service has nothing in common with marketing of a banking service or a financial service;

       Classification schemes should offer strategic marketing insights so as to have managerial value. Any other
        simple classification would be insufficient.

Payne identifies a wide range of factors which are used in various classification schemes. They are –

       Type of service,

       Type of seller,

       Type of purchaser,

       Demand characteristics,

       Rented versus owned services,

       Degree of intangibility,

       Buying motives,

       Equipment based versus people based,

       Amount of customer contact,

       Service delivery requirements,

       Degree of customization and

       Degree of labour intensity

A simple form of classification is to list out the service industries, like transportation, banking, health care, education
etc. obviously, such listing are not helpful to identify the features relevant to the marketing of services. Recent
researchers have sought to classify the services in a more meaningful manner that give insight into the strategic
dimensions of services marketing.

Various classification schemes, clubbing various groups of services that share marketing commonalities, are relied
upon by good marketers to gain strategic marketing insights. The underlying aim for such classification scheme is to
gain a deeper understanding of the service product. Service products are also very diverse. They include services like
entertainment, health services, education, legal services, management consultancy, accounting, travel etc. inspite of
such diversities, the services can be classified and on the basis of some criteria they can be explored to provide a
deeper insight into the nature of service.

Kotler and Station

According to Kotler, service may be equipment based. The service may meet a personal need or a business need,
according to the difference in their objectives and the ownership. The objectives may either be for profit on nonprofit
and the ownership may be private or public.

Stanton also lists a classification of services as follows:

    1. Housing,

    2. Household operations like utilities, house repairs, repairs or equipments in the house etc.,

    3. Recreation,

    4. Personal care like laundry, beauty care etc.,

    5. Medical and other health care,

    6. Private education,

    7. Business and other professional services,

    8. Insurance and financial,

    9. Transportation and

    10. Communication

Lovelock’s Classification Schemes

Obviously the classification schemes proposed by Kotler and Stanton appear to be simple. To understand the nature
of service businesses and the extent of common characteristics shared by different services businesses, Lovelock’s
classification systems provides a helpful framework. The marketing insights obtainable from Lovelock’s classification
schemes, mentioned below, are worth discussing.

Nature of the service act

In this scheme, the nature of the service act, i.e. intangibility etc. and the recipients of the services are considered. It
has wide dimensions and considers how the customer presence, physically or mentally, is required during the
services delivery and the benefits gained by the customer. It also considers how the customers changes on receipt of
the service. It leads to the consideration of location and scheduling convenience for the presence of the customer to
utilize the service. It also provides marketing insights as to the restructuring of the service activity to standardize it in a
way providing convenience to the customer in terms of service delivery and to the service provider.

Relationship with customer

This classification matrix contrasts the nature of service delivery and ascertains whether there is a formal relationship
between the customer and service marketer. As knowledge of customers identities and addresses is grained to meet
out specific offers to specific customers by targeted direct marketing, market segmentation seems to become easier
and the customer’s loyalty is expected to be stronger. Further, this scheme provides insights into trade off between
pricing and usage rates. In the absence of personal relationship, services may be provided by continuous delivery or
by discrete transactions. In discrete transaction where the customer pays for each specific service being provided, the
customers are often anonymous and there will be a lack of information about them and so the market opportunity is
restricted. Where no formal relationship exists the important issues for marketers would be established some form of
more enduring relationship.

Customization and judgement in service delivery

In this classification, the degree of customization of service characteristics is contrasted with the degree of judgement
required by customer contact staff. A decision regarding the extent to which the service offer should be customized is
very important to the service marketers. They have to balance the cost of custom made service with a standard
service and so the service marketers often seek to limit the number of options while deciding the extent of
customization. In professional service firms, customer contact staff may exercise a high degree of judgement or may
exercise-relatively little judgement establishing a series of routines and procedures.

Nature of demand and supply for services

This classification contrasts the nature of demand fluctuation over time and the extent to which the supply is
constrained. Since services cannot be product for strong, the business may be lost to another service provider if the
demand exceeds the supply of any particular service. This classification is useful to contrast different supply demand
situations which affects all service marketers. It emphasizes in establishing demand patterns overtime, and to
understand their existence. Then development of strategies are considered to help change patterns of demand so as
to make them more favourable to the service provider.

Method of service delivery

The fifth classification focuses attention on examination of the availability of service outlets, ranging from single to
multiple site, and the nature of the interaction between the customer and the service provider. Distribution issues
realtiong to the method of delivery are focused upon. Customer convenience is the important consideration deliver
yare focused upon. Customer convenience is the import consideration here.

These classification systems of Lovelock provide frame work for service marketers to consider both the nature of their
business and to what extent they share common characteristics with other seemingly unrelated service business.

Other classifications

Equipment based and labour based: Classification of services, according to Thomas, can be on the type of equipment
or people rendering the service. In equipment based services, the equipments or the machines being utilized for
service position are important while people play a secondary role. Some of the examples are automatic vending
machines, automatic car washes and movies. In such services, the equipments may be operated automatically or by
unskilled or skilled labour. In labour based services, the human element is primary in the production and delivery of
services. The equipments or machines, if any, are secondary. This type of services include counselling, legal advisory
service, catering and hair dressing service. There are services in which both he equipments and labour have equal
importance as in the case of hospital.

Convenience Shopping Specialty Services According to Nickles services can also be classified as being
convenience shopping and specialty services. Evidently, the buyer behaviour will be different requiring special
marketing strategies. Convenience services are those which the customer usually purchases frequently, immediately
and with the minimum of efforts. Dry cleaning services, and shoe repairing services are examples of convenience
services. Convenience of availability with minimum efforts determines the buying decisions. The user is not prepared
to go to any efforts to secure a supply and will accept a substitute often compromising on price and quality. So the
marketer must secure a widest possible availability if he is to maximize sales.

In contrast to the convenience services, shopping services are purchased after comparing quality and price. As
information regarding the service product is important for customer comparisons, a marketing strategy has to be
evolved providing enough information to the customer. Word of month is also an important factor in the selection of
shopping services. Shopping service include banks, insurance companies, physicians and beauticians.

In the case of specialty service the customer puts in special purchasing efforts. The customers will be ready to travel
distances and pay a premium for the services. Specialty services include medical specialists and legal advisors. As
the customer is willing to take special purchasing efforts the marketing strategy will be focused on service product and
building customer satisfaction. According to Hill the services may be classified as follows:

       Affecting person (eg. Health) or affecting goods (eg. Cargo maintenance),

       According to the permanent or temporary efforts,

       According to the reversibility or irreversibility of those effects,

       Physical effects or mental effects and

       Individual or collective services.

                                                      Lesson 3

                                              Relationship Marketing

The term ‘relationship marketing’ was introduced during the 1980’s and is a relatively new and evolving concept.
Relationship marketing (or relationship management) is a philosophy of doing business, a strategic orientation, that
focuses on keeping and improving current customers, rather than on acquiring new customers. This philosophy
assumes that consumers prefer to have an ongoing relationship with one organization that to switch continually
among providers in their search for value. building on this assumption and the fact that it is usually much cheaper to
keep a current customer than to attract a new one, successful marketers are working on effective strategies for
retaining customers.

According to Leonard Berry: “Relationship marketing is the attraction, maintaining and …. in multi service organisatoin
…… enhancing customer relationships. The marketing mindset is that the attraction of new customer is merely the
first step in marketing process”. This view has three complementary perspectives:

       The nature of the way the companies views their relationships with customers is changing. emphasis is
        moving from a transaction focus to a relationship focus with the aim of long-term customer retention.

       A broader view is emerging of the markets with which the company interacts. In addition to customer markets
        the organization also becomes concerned with the development and enhancement of more enduring
        relationships with other external markets including suppliers, recruitment, referral and influence, as well as
        internal markets.

       A recognition that quality, customer service and marketing activities need to be brought together. A
        relationship marketing orientation focuses on bringing the three elements into closer alignment and ensuring
        their combined synergistic potential is released.

Customer Markets

Customers must, of course, remain the prime focus area for marketing activity. But the focus need to be less on
‘transactional marketing’ and more on the building of long-term client relationship. These two approaches can be
contrasted as follows:

Whilst a relationship focus has been fully adopted by some service businesses, it is noticeably absent in others.
Unfortunately, many companies take the transactional route. The investment made in winning a new customer, once
successful, is immediately transferred to the next prospect. Little effort goes into keeping that customer.

                    Transaction Marketing                                 Relationship Marketing

              1.   Focus on the single sale                      1. Focus on customer retention
              2.   Orientation on product features               2. Orientation on product benefits
              3.   Short timescale                               3. Long timescale
              4.   Little emphasis on customer service           4. High customer service emphasis
              5.   Limited customer commitment                   5. High customer commitment
              6.   Moderate customer contact                     6. High customer contact
              7.   Quality is primarily a concern of             7. Quality is the concern of all
Firms are now starting to recognize that existing customers are easier to sell to and are frequently more profitable.
However, whilst manages intellectually concur with this view, much greater emphasis and resources are often
devoted to attracting new customers, and existing customers are taken for granted. It is only when some breakdown
in service quality occurs, and the customer levels or is on the point of defection, that the existing customer becomes

                                             === Advocate ===

                                            === Supporter ===                Emphasis on

                                                                               developing and
                                              ===     Client   ===              relationships
                                                                             (customer keeping)

           Emphasis on new                    === Customer ===
          customers (customer

                                               === Prospect ===

                           Fig. 3.1 The relationship marketing ladder of customer loyalty

This is not to say that new customers or clients are not important – indeed they are vital to the future most services
businesses. Rather, a balance is needed between the effort directed toward existing and new customers. The
following figure shows the relationship marketing ladder of customer loyalty which emphasizes this point. It is
apparent that may organizations put their main emphasis on the lower rungs of identifying prospects and attempting
to turn them into customers rather than on the higher ‘relationship- and ultimately more rewarding – rungs of turning
customers into regular clients and subsequently into strong supporters and eventually active advocates for the
company and its products. But moving customers up the loyalty ladder is not simple. Organizations need to know
explicitly and in depth exactly what each customer is buying – and every customer is different – and how it can
continue to offer additional satisfactions that will differentiate its offering. Essentially, the only way to change someone
from customer to advocate is to replace customer satisfaction with customer delight – by offering service quality that
exceeds expectations.

Goals of relationship marketing

The goal of customer enhancement suggests that loyal customers can be even better customers if they buy more
products and services form the company over time. Loyal customers non only provide a solid base for the
organization, they may represent growth potential.

Benefits of customer retention

Both parties in the customer/ firm relationship can benefit form customers retention. That is, it is only in the best
interest of the organisation to build and maintain a loyal customer base, but customers themselves also benefit form
long-term associations.

Benefits for customers

Assuming they have a choice, customers will remain loyal to a firm when they receive greater value relative to what
they expect from competing firms. Remember that perceived value is the customer’s overall assessment of the utility
of a product based on perceptions of what is received and what is given. Value represents a trade-off for the
consumer between the “give” and the ”get” components. Consumers are more likely to stay in a relationship when the
gets (quality, satisfaction, specific benefits) exceed the gives (monetary and non-monetary costs). When firms can
consistently deliver value from the customer’s point of view, clearly the customer benefits and has an incentive to stay
in the relationship.

In addition to the specific inherent benefits of receiving service value, customers also benefit from long-term
relationships because such association contribute to a sense of well-being and quality of life. Building a long-term
relationship with a service provider can reduce consumer stress as initial problems, if any, are solved; special needs
are accommodated’ and the consumer learns what to expect. This is particularly true for complex services (e.g. legal,
medical, education), for services where there is high ego involvement (e.g. hair styling, health club, weight-loss
program), and for services that require large investments (e.g. banking, insurance). After a time the consumer begins
to trust the provider and to count on a consistent level of quality service.

Human nature is such that most of the people would prefer not to change service providers, particularly when they
have a considerable investment in the relationship. If the service provider knows he consumers, knows their
preferences, and has tailored services to suit their needs over time, then changing providers would mean educating a
new provider on all of these factors.

Most consumers (whether individuals or business) have may competing demands for their time and money and are
continually searching for ways to balance and simplify decision-making to improve the quality of their lives. When they
can maintain a relationship with a service provider, they free up time for other concerns and priorities.

In some long-term customer/ firm relationships a service provider may actually become part of the consumer’s social
support system. For example, hairdressers often serve as personal confidents. Less common examples include
proprietors of local retail stores who become central figures in neighborhood networks; the restaurant manager who
knows his customers personally; the private school principal who knows an entire family and its special needs. These
types of personal relationships can develop for business-to-business customers as well as for end-consumers of
services. The social support benefits resulting from these relationships are important to the consumer’s quality of life
(personal and/ or work life) above and beyond the technical benefits of the service provided.

Benefits of the organizations

Increasing purchases: As consumers get to know a firm and are satisfied with the quality of its services relative to that
of its competitors, they will tend to give more of their business to the firm. And as customers mature (in terms of age,
life cycle, growth of business), they frequently require more of a particular service.

Lower costs: There are many start-up costs associated with attracting new customers. They include advertising and
other promotion costs, operating costs of setting up accounts and systems, and the time costs of getting to know the
customer. Sometimes these initial costs and outweigh the revenue expected from the new customer in the short term.
A prime example occurs in the insurance industry.

Free advertising through word of mouth: When a product is complex and difficult to evaluate, and there is risk
involved in the decision to buy it – as is the case with many services – consumers most often look to others for advice
on which providers to consider. Satisfied, loyal customers are likely to provide a firm with strong word-of-mouth
endorsements. This form of advertising can be more effective than any paid advertising the firm might use, and has
the added benefit of reducing the costs of attracting new customers.

Employee retention: an indirect benefit of customer retention is employee retention. It is easier for a firm to retain
employees when it has a stable base of satisfied customers. People like to work for companies whose customers are
happy and loyal. Their jobs are more satisfying and they are able to spend more of their time fostering relationships
than scrambling for new customers. In turn, customers are more satisfied and become even better customer.
Because employees say with a firm longer, service quality improves and costs of turnover are reduced, adding further
to profit.

Lifetime value of a customer: “If companies knew how much it really costs to lose a customer, they would be able toe
make accurate evaluations of investments designed to retain customers. One way of documenting the monetary
value of loyal customers is to estimate the increased value of profits that accrue for each additional customer who
remain loyal to the company rather than defecting to the competition.

A somewhat less complex approach to understanding the life-time value of a customer is simply to multiply out the
customer’s average money value purchases over the average lifetime of the customer in a particular industry. The
numbers can soon become very large. These relatively simply calculations can be used to assess at least
preliminarily the lifetime value of customers in a variety of industries.

A more complex calculation would attempt to estimate the money value of all the benefits associated with a loyal
customer, not just the long-term revenue stream. The value of word-of-mouth advertising, employee retention, and
declining account maintenance costs would also enter into the calculation.

Given the many benefits of ling-term customer relationships, it would seem that a company would not want to refuse
or terminate a relationship with any customer. But all relationships may not be beneficial, and that every customer is
not right all of the time.

A company cannot target its services to all customers, some segments will be more appropriate than others. It would
not be beneficial to either the company or the customer for a company to establish a relationship with a customer
whose needs the company cannot meet.

Similarly, it would not be wise to forge relationships simultaneously with incompatible market segments. In many
service business (e.g. hotels, tour package operators, entertainment, education), customers experience the service

together and can influence each other’s perceptions about value received. Thus, to maximize service to core
segments an organization may choose to turn away marginally profitable segments that would be incompatible.

In the absence of ethical or legal mandates, organizations will prefer not to have long-term relationships with
unprofitable customers. Some segments will not be profitable for the company even if their needs can be met by
services offered. This may be the case when there are not enough customers in the segment to make it profitable to
develop a marketing approach, when the segment cannot afford to pay the cost of the service, or when the projected
revenue flows form the segment that would not cover the costs incurred to originate and maintain the business.

At the individual customer level, it may not profitable for a firm to engage in a relationship with a particular customer
who has ban credit or who is a poor risk for some other reason. Retailers, banks, mortgage companies, and credit-
card companies routinely refuse to do business with individuals whose credit histories are unreliable. While the short-
term sale may beneficial, the long-term risk of nonpayment makes the relationship unwise from the company’s point
of view.

Customers behaviour such as verbal / physical abuse of employees, refusal to follow policies or laws were found to
result in dissatisfaction for the customer.

Although often these difficult customers will be accommodated and employees can be trained to recognize and deal
with them appropriately, at time the best choice may be not to maintain the relationship at all – especially at the
business-to-business level where long-term costs to the firm can be substantial.

It should be noted that the best customers are not just the ones that generate the most profit. Especially in business-
to-business settings, those customers that inspire the best ideas and innovations are also good relationship
customers even if they do not necessarily generate the highest profits.

Thus, while in general firms will seek to maintain strong relationships with customers because of the benefits
discussed, all customer segments and all individual customers are not necessarily good long-term relationship

                                                       Lesson 4

                                                   Service Mission


“A mission is an enduring statement of purpose that provides a clear vision of the organization’s current and future
business activities, in product, service and market terms, its values and beliefs, and its points of differentiation from
competitors. A mission helps determine the relationships in each of the key markets with which the organisation
interacts, and provides a sense of direction and purpose which leads to better independent decision-making at all
levels of he organisation”.

Such a mission statement should explicitly reflect the underlying beliefs, values and aspirations, and strategies of the

During the last decade many services organisatoins have started to develop mission statements. Over this period
there has been increasing recognition of the potential value of mission statements and some companies have spent
enormous amounts of time and effort in developing them.

The development of an effective mission statement is especially important in services because of the need for focus
and differentiation in service sector businesses. Given the intangibility of services and the significance of people in
service operations, organizations need to develop a clear statement of purpose or ‘mission’ to ensure that the
appropriate attention is directed at the key elements of their strategy.

Issues to be considered while developing a good mission statement for a services business:

       This mission statement should be defined clearly.

       The audience for a mission should be carefully considered.

       It is necessary to understand in what business we are in.

       A mission statement should be unique.

       A mission statement should be market oriented.

Organization’s mission statement should be defined clearly

In developing a mission statement the key is to achieve a balance between not being so narrow as to restrict growth
opportunities and not being so broad as to lose focus. For example, some banks which diversified away from their
core business into stock broking and investment banking, with disastrous results, are not reconsidering their strategy.
Similarly, a number of retailers that have diversified away from their core businesses, have been unprofitable in these
new areas, and are now leaving them and consolidating back into their core retailing business. Hence the
organisation must be cautious while defining mission statement.

The audience for a mission should be carefully considered

Before formulating a mission statement the target audiences for the mission and thrie relative importance should
becomes dared. The sophistication of the mission needs to be reviewed taking into account the audience to whom it
is addressed. The following figure outlines some of he key potential audience for admission and some of their
expectations, based on a consideration of stakeholders. A mission statements aims to capture the values and beliefs
of the organization and provide guidelines for the way it should interact with its identified markets – customers,
internal employees, influence markets (including shareholders), suppliers, referral markets, as well as the recruitment
markets for employees.

It should be clear that a mission which attempts to address every one of these groups equally could become
extremely long a and consist of general ‘motherhood’ statements. In considering the various markets outlines above
the company needs to consider how the company intends to serve each of them and to extent it wants to incorporate
recognition of them within the mission.

The decision on target audiences for the mission should be based on the context of the particular service firm and its
current position within the industry sector. Most senior managers in service firms consider that the key messages in
the mission statement should be concerned primarily with providing a strategic direction for the organisatoin and
motivating and focusing its internal staff.

                                           Good service quality
                                           Trustworthiness
                                           Fair prices

        Suppliers                                                       Internal staff
            Clear requirements                                              Recognition
            Partnership                                                     Rewards
            Large orders                                                    Security
            Reliable settlement                                             Opportunity for advancement
                                                                        Referral Sources
        Employees (Potential)                                               Reliability
           Job supply                                    Fig.4.1
                                                                            Performance
           Imager of first choice                                          Recognition
              employer                                                      Reciprocation
           Courteous treatment


                    1. Shareholders                                 2. Government and regulators

                         Returns                                      Credit rating

                         Growth                                       Compliance

                         Compliance                                   Reliability

                         Good corporate                               No surprises

                         Good corporate citizen

It is necessary to understand in what business we are in

Consideration of the mission for a service organisation involves asking two interrelated questions: What business are
we in and what business should we be in? The mission should provide the target audience determined above,
including employees and other relevant stakeholders, with a understanding of the strategic direction and scope of the
organization.The mission is a key vehicle for developing and reviewing the strategic market and service options. In
considering the basic purpose of the business it is essential that these strategic growth options are considered,
otherwise the mission may simply be a series of elegant words used to reinforce the existing status quo. To do this
what should be done is to consider the service and market areas in which the organisatoin may wish to develop. The
following figure outlines the product/ market options which the organisatoin needs to consider. These include the

       Market penetration

       Market development

       Product or service development

       Diversification
                                                  Product / Services

                                                    Present                              New

                                Market New
                                              Market Penetration          Product or Service Development

                                             Market Development                     Diversification

Each section of the matrix in the above figure represents a core marketing strategy based on combinations of focus
on existing markets, new markets, existing services and products or new services and products.

For the services firm four possible growth options are available. A first option involves expanding its markets position
(market penetration) it can attempt to penetrate the existing market for its services by attracting customers away from
competitors, by increasing usage rates amongst existing competitors or by improving customer retention. A second
option (service development) involves introducing new services to the existing market place. Many of the banks are
following this strategy by introducing a continuous array of new products including investment and insurance services.
A third option (market development) is to develop new markets for the existing services. This could involve
identification and attack of new market segments or may involve regional or global geographic expansion. The fourth
option (diversification) involves offering new services or products to new markets.

Developing a mission involves consideration of what services and markets the company wants to be in, not just those
in which it is involved at present. A mission can help identify a policy defining future business growth and probability,
based on these four growth options.

A mission statement should be unique

 A mission statement needs to be unique to the organisatoin under consideration: a key method of obtaining
competitive advantage is to be different in a preferred way to a selected customer base. The mission statement
should articulate the point of differentiation and at the same time act as a framework for helping evaluate current and
future activities. A mission statement should differentiate the company from other companies operating in the same
sector and help to establish an organization’s individuality and uniqueness.

It is essential to have a mission statement which is market oriented

It is particularly important to avoid mission statements that are product oriented, i.e. the mission should be defined in
a way that reflects customers needs rather than product features and attributes. Organizations such as airlines, hotels
and banks need to consider customer needs carefully and use this knowledge to make an input into the design of the
services that are offered.

A mission statement should articulate the right balance in terms of the desired long-term direction of the organisatoin,
determine to whom the mission is addressed, indicate the services to be offered and markets to be served, be unique
and focus more or customers’ needs rather than on the characteristics of the products and services offered.

Service Mission Statements

David ahs identified nine components of mission statements. These include the following:

    1. Customers—who are they?

    2. Products or services – what are the firm’s major products or services?

    3. Location – where does the firm compete?

    4. Technology – what is the firm’s basic technology?

    5. Concern for survival – what are the firm’s economic objectives?

    6. Philosophy – what are the basic beliefs, values, aspirations and philosophical priorities of the firm?

    7. Self concept – what are the firm’s major strengths and competitive advantages?

    8. Concern for public image – what are the firm’s public responsibilities and what image in desired?

    9. Concern for employees – what is the firm’s attitude towards its employees?

                               Example of service organization’s mission statements

                                                  Worldwide express*
                                           Worldwide mission statement
                DHL will become the acknowledged global leader in the express delivery
                of documents and packages. Leadership will be achieved by establishing the
                industry standards of excellence for quality of service and by maintaining
                the lowest cost position relative to our service commitment in all markets
                of the world.

                The evolution of our business into new services, markets, or products will
                be completely driven by our single-mined commitment to anticipating and
                meeting the changing needs of our customers.

A good mission should to the following:

       Define the purpose of the organisation.

       Identify relevant services and markets

       Assist in reviewing current and future strategic options.

       Create a balance between narrowness and breadth

       Differentiate the organisation from others in its sector

       Be specific enough to have an impact on the behaviour of the organisation.

       Be realistic, attainable and flexible.

       Focus more on customer needs and their satisfaction than on the characteristics of the service themselves.

       Reflect the core competencies of the organisation.

       Permit close integration with corporate objectives, so that success in achieving the mission can be measured.

       Be clearly understood and widely communicated through the organisation.

The nine components of the mission outlined earlier together with the list above, can act as a check-list when
developing a mission.

Once a satisfactory mission has been developed, it should be communicated within and where appropriate outside
the organisation.

Andrew Campbell and his colleagues have identified the following four elements as important in a mission:

       Purpose – why the company exists

       Strategy – the competitive position and distinctive competence.

       Values – what the company believes in.

       Standards and behaviour – the policies and behaviour patterns that underpin the distinctive competence and
        the value system.

Degree of Sophistication

It is important that the degree of sophistication in the working used in a mission is appropriate to the organisation
concerned. The use of technical academic terms appropriate for a strategy consulting firm’s mission would be totally
inappropriate to a small company operating in road transportation.

Levels of Mission Statement

Just as companies have different levels of objectives, ranging from strategic objectives to tactical objectives and
action plans, a service organisation should consider to what extent it should develop mission or purpose statements
at lower levels. For example, a bank with diverse financial services operations could have a mission statement for the
bank as a whole as well as individual missions for each business unit. Thus it might develop missions for retain
banking, international banking, investment banking and its insurance and stock broking activities. Many multi-
business services organizations are in a similar position of needing to develop missions for their constituent parts. It
may also be appropriate to have missions at individual functional levels.

Developing a Service Mission

The first point in developing a mission statement is to consider if the organisatoin is ready to proceed with the task. A
number of different approaches can be used for the development of a mission.

A workshop approach

This typically takes place in the context of a strategy or marketing planning workshop with senior executives from the
organisation. A period is spent explaining the purpose and role of a mission statement and the different types of
mission that can exist at different levels. This is followed by syndicate exercises, where groups of about five people
spend a sufficiently long period to produce a first draft mission. The missions fro a number of different syndicates are
then presented and the strengths and weaknesses of each are discussed in detail, leading to the eventual
development of a mission statement.

T top team approach

Another approach is one which consists of boards of directors, with a group of upto eight people. The session starts
with the senior management, or board, being asked the purpose of their business. Each member is asked to write his
or her view of he mission on a card. Significant variations are often found. After an appropriate period the missions on
the cards are collected and shuffled, and during a coffee break they are written up on large sheets of paper and
pinned to the walls. The mission statements do not identify their authors. The terms is then invited to write a second
version of the mission on a card and again these are collected and written on large sheets of paper which replace the
ones on the wall. At this point a more detailed discussion follows. After two or three attempts a good draft mission
may start to evolve, although in some cases more fundamental analysis may be needed.

This time devoted to the development of a satisfactory mission can be considerable. The development of a mission
statement can be assisted by an external consultant.

Once completed, mission statements change only less frequently. The emergence of a new opportunity, a decline in
the company’s existing markets or a new technology offering a breakthrough in service delivery can create the need
for change. A mission should be sufficiently robust to last for some time but should be reviewed on an annual external

                                                       Lesson 5

                                          Services Markets Segmentation

Market segmentation is the process of aggregating customers with similar wants, needs, preferences, or buying
behaviour. Market targeting involves evaluating the attractiveness of the segments and selecting ones the firm will
serve. In other words, segmentation is the analysis conducted about customers and targeting is the managerial
decision about whom to serve. Both of these are required for effective market positioning, which involves establishing
he competitive position for the service in the mind of the customer and creating or adapting the service mix to fit the

Market segmentation is especially important for services in the current competitive marketplace. Service industries
are suffering from increasing competition both in the number of competitors and in the proliferation of service
offerings. Market segmentation helps prevent the waste of valuable resources by directing effort into those areas that
will help achieve success.

Service products are frequently not clearly differentiated. Market segmentation offers the opportunity of gaining
competitive advantage, in a highly contested market, through differentiation. The market segmentation approach
involves identification of the benefits which different homogeneous groups seek, allowing relevant features and
requirements to be determined and used as a source of service differentiation.

Different customers have different needs. A hotel which aims to satisfy the prestige executive market needs to
consider the specific requirements of this segment. These might include full secretarial and office facilities,
conference amentities, twenty-four hour catering, a fitness facility and late check-out options. Successful marketing
identifies specific needs and preferences for services, and then develops strategies to satisfy these preferences.

A single service or product cannot meet the needs of all customers, but it can meet the needs of a specific group of
customers. A service business should be positioned to serve particular segments of the attractive parts of the market
so that it can serve them effectively and produce the greatest profit.

The segmentation process, shown in the following figure is concerned to divide a heterogeneous follows four broad

       The definition of the market to be addressed.

       The identification of alternative bases for segmentation.

       An examination of these bases and the choice of the best base or bases for segmentation.

       The identification of individual market segments, an assessment of their attractiveness and the selection of
        specific target segments.

Once the market segment has been selected, the process of target marketing involves developing a positioning for
the target segments selected and then developing a marketing mix for each target market.

                                        Definition of Markets

                                  Identify alternatives bases for
                                                                                      Process of
                               Select best base/s for segmentation

                              Identify and select market segments

                            Develop positioning for target segments                  Positioning

                             Develop marketing mix for each target                   Marketing
                                          markets                                       mix

                             Fig. 5.1 Services market
Definition of Relevant Market      segmentation
The definition of the relevant market to be addressed involves specifying the customer group to which the company is
seeking to market its services. This can be a broad group such as retail customers for a supermarket in a given
geographic region, or a much more specific group which can be further segmented.

Successful market segmentation means satisfying the needs of existing and potential customers in a clearly defined
market. This involves understanding customer attitudes, and customer preferences, as well as the benefits which are
sought. Definition of the target market and its requirements is the first essential step in the segmentation process.

Bases of Segmentations

Market segments are formed by grouping customers who share common characteristics that are in some way
meaningful to the design, delivery, promotion, or pricing of the service. Common segmentation bases for customer
markets are demographic segmentation, geographic segmentation, psychographic segmentation and behavioural
segmentation. Segments may be identified on the basis of one of these characteristics or a combination.


                      Consumer                                  Consumer
                    characteristics                             responses

             Demographic and                 Physiographic               Geography

         Benefits              Usage                                      Loyalty               Service

                                            Fig 5.2
Demographics and socio-economic segmentation

Demographic segmentation includes a number of factors including sex, age, family size etc. Socio-economic
variables may also be considered here, including income education, social class and ethnic origins. Many retail stores
target different customer group.

An interesting example of market segmentation is seen in the banking patterns of consumers based on the lifecycle of
the household. Whilst other factors such as socio economic level are also important, the age and family composition
of the lifecycle concept are particularly valuable predictors of a household’s propensity to either save or borrow.

An analysis of the stages within the customer lifecycle determines what kinds of banking relationships are needed to
meet the demands of the household. These need change significantly from a bachelor who wants easy credit facilities
and convenient transactions, young married requiring higher levels of credit facilities, through to older families at the
peak of their earning and spending potential, and then older people without children at home who have a higher
propensity to save. A financial institution can therefore direct various service offering to individuals based on their
stage within the lifecycle model.

Psychographic segmentation

This form of segmentation cannot be explained in clearly defined quantitative measures it is concerned with people’s
behaviour and ways of living. Psychographic segmentation is concerned with analyzing lifestyle characteristics,
attitudes and personality. Often these elements are examined in conjunction with demographic variables. Service
companies are increasingly starting to look at psychographic segmentation.

Geographic segmentation

Geographic segmentation divides customers according to where they live or work and correlates this with other
variables. This is appropriate where customer needs vary it different areas, or where local and regional trends favour
particular types of service offerings.

A geographic analysis is a relatively simple means of segmenting a market, it is frequently one of the first
segmentation variables to be considered by a service firm Geographic segmentation dimensions are typically grouped
into market scope factor and geographic market measures.

    1. Market scope factors include a consideration of where the markets to be served are located: this maybe local,
       national, regional or global. To be a major player in some service business requires a regional or global
        presence: airlines wishing to be significant players are recognizing this. Many airlines are seeking increased
        scale of operations through mergers and strategic alliances.

    2. Geographic market measures include examination of population density, climate-related factors, and
       standardized market areas. Geographic measures are especially important in the selection of specialized
       mass communications media. Most mass circulation media profile geographic coverage of standardized
       market areas in detail as well as providing media circulation by type of reader and other variables.
       Geographic market measures are used to determine relative sales potential in different geographic areas.

Benefit segmentation

The segmentation variables listed above focus on the personal attributes of the customer. Segmentation can also be
carried out on the basis of the customer’s response.

Benefit segmentation assumes that the benefits that people are seeking from a given product or services are the
basic reasons why they buy the product. This differs from psychographic segmentation which focuses on who will buy
a product. Identifying a segment seeking a common benefit permits the service provider to develop a relevant
offering. For example, various benefits are sought within the retail banking market. One segment seeks large, well
known banks which offer a full range of service for varying needs. Another segments looks for advantageous loans
with borrowing easily available at low interest. A third segment may seek high savings interest with quick service and
a personal banking relationship. A fourth segment might seek a one-stop bank with a wide variety of services,
convenient hours and quick service. A bank can direct its service to satisfying one or more of these segments and
gain a reputation for offering a distinct package.

Benefit segmentation is applicable to almost all services as it focuses on the clearlying reasons for purchasing them.
For example, within the education market consumers can be analyzed based on the primary benefits they seek from
the education experience. An example of benefit segments used for categorizing prospective MBAs can be identified
from a survey of candidates.

Usage segmentation

Usage segmentation focuses on the type and extent of usage patterns. Consumers are typically divided into heavy
users, medium users, occasional users or non-users of the service being considered. Many services marketers are
concerned with focusing on the heavy user segment, who may consumer many times more of the service than the
occasional user. This is the basis of many fast food restaurants who cater for high volume usage by providing speedy,
low-cost food.Banks and building societies are concerned with heavy, medium, light and non-users of their services.
They wish to understand the nature, behaviour and identity of heavy users and attract them to their bank.

Promotional response segmentation

Promotional response segmentation considers how customers respond to a particular form of promotional activity.
This may include response to advertising, sales promotions, in-store displays and exhibitions. Users of mail order
catalogues tend to be good users of credit cards and will have a higher response rate to other direct mail offerings.
This information can be used by service companies to ensure that this segment receives frequent communication by
direct mail, thus building a relationship with the customer as well as obtaining a high response rate to promotions.

With loyalty segmentation customers are categorized according to the extent of the loyalty they exhibit to the
particular product or service being offered. Customers can be characterized according to their degree of loyalty in the
channels of distribution on outlets.

Some customers are very loyal to the services organisation they are currently with, even if they are not happy with the
service they are receiving. Customers are sometimes divided into four categories according to consumer loyalty
patterns, ‘hard-core loyals’ (consumers who buy their brand all the time); ‘soft-core loyals’ (who are loyal to two or
three brands); ‘shifting loyals’ (who shift from favouring one brand to another); and ‘switchers’ (who show little
sustainable loyalty to one brand). The underlying reasons for these different behaviour patterns need further analysis.

Segmentation by service

One area which has received relatively little attention is the consideration of how customers respond to varying
service offerings. This may be considered a subset of benefit segmentation, but it is of sufficient importance to be
addressed separately. The various elements of customer service that can be offered, and possible differentiation in
terms of service levels within these elements, represent a considerable opportunity to design service package
appropriate to different market segments.

Segmenting markets by service involves addressing the following issues:

       Can groupings of customers be identified with similar service requirements?

       Can we differentiate our service offering?

       Do all our products require the same level of service?

The types of segmentation outlined above are illustrative of the main forms of segmentation used by services
companies. they are, however, by no means exhaustive. To a large extent the identification of segmentation bases
involves and element of creativity. Those marketing services should constantly be considering alternative ways of
segmenting the market and seeking ways in which they can create differential advantage over their competitors. This
stage of the segmentation process should result in the selection of the best base(s) for segmentation.

The segmentation process should result in one of four basic decisions being reached:

    1. The service firm may be decide to target one segment of the market.

    2. The service firm may decide to target several segments and so will develop different marketing mix plans for
       each segment.

    3. Management may decide not to segment the market bout to offer the service to he mass market. This may be
       appropriate if the market is very small and single portion would not be profitable. It also may be the case that
       the service company dominates the market so that targeting a few segments would not increase volume or

    4. Analysis may show that there is no viable market niche for the service offering.

The relevance of market segmentation if now being increasingly recognized in the services sector. A number of
studies have pointed to the importance of market segmentation. One study ranked ‘problems in recognizing, defining,
understanding and segmenting markets’ as the most important problem facing the senior executives surveyed.
Another survey ranked segmentation as the third most important marketing tool out of eighteen surveyed. However,
despite the recognition of the importance of market segmentation, and the developments that have been made in
market segmentation methodology, some service firms are still basing their marketing strategies and tactics on either
abroad approach to the market, or a relatively unsophisticated approach to segmentation. May service firms need to
be more disciplined in their focus on their marketplace.

Segmentation is at the heart of marketing strategy and is concerned with the development of a market position that
minimizes competition’s strengths and maximizes the strength of the service providers. Segmentation and the
associated steps of positioning provide the opportunity to tailor the service offered to better meet the needs of specific

                                                      Lesson 6

                                     Positioning and Differentiation of Services

Services firms are not identifying their key market segments and then determining how they wish consumers to
perceive both their company and its products and services. Positioning is of particular significant in the services
sector as it places an intangible service within a more tangible frame of reference. Thus the concept of positioning
stems from a consideration of how an organisation wishes its target customer to view its products and services in
relationship to those of its competitors and their actual, or perceived, needs.

Positioning can be defined as follows:

“Positioning is concerned with the identification, development and communication of a differentiated advantage which
makes the organization’s products and services perceived as superior and distinctive to those of its competitors in the
mind of its target customers.”

Positioning offers the opportunity to differentiate any service. Each service firm and its goods and services has a
position or image in the consumer’s mind and this influences purchase decisions. Positions can be implicit and
unplanned and evolve over a period of time or can be planned as part of the marketing strategy and then
communicated to the target market. The purpose of planned positioning is to create a differentiation in the customer’s
mind which distinguished the company’s services from other competitive services. It is important to establish a
position of value for the product or service in the minds of the target market, i.e. it must be distinguishable by an
attribute, or attributes, which are important to the customer. These attributes should be factors which are critical in the
customer’s purchase decision.

There is therefore no such thing as a commodity or ‘standard’ service. Every service offered has the potential to be
perceived as different by a customer. Buyers have different needs and are therefore attracted to different offers. It is
therefore important to select distinguishing characteristics which satisfy the following criteria:

       Importance – the difference is highly valued to a sufficiently large market

       Distinctiveness – the difference is distinctly superior to other offering which are available.

       Communicability – it is possible to communicate the difference in a simple and strong way.

       Superiority – the difference is not easily copied by competitors.

       Affordability – the target customers will be able and willing to pay for the difference. Any additional cost of the
        distinguishing characteristic(s) will be perceived as sufficiently valuable to compensate for any additional cost.

       Profitability- the company will achieve additional profits as a result of introducing the difference

Each product or service has a set of attributes which can be compared to competitive offerings. Some of these
attributes will be real, others will be perceived as real. A company wishing to position itself should determine how
many attributes and differences to promote to target customers. Some marketers advocate promoting one benefit and
establishing recognition as being the leader for that particular attribute. Others suggests that promoting more than
one benefit will help in carving out a special niche which is less easily contested by competitors. The selection of the
differentiating attribute(s) is most successful if it confirms fact which is already in the mind of the target market.
Denying or fighting customers’ perceptions of different offerings in the market is unlikely to be successful. A
successful positioning strategy takes into account customers’ existing perceptions of market offerings. It determines
needs which customers value and which are not being met by competitors’ services. It identifies which unsatisfied
needs could be satisfied. The positioning strategy seeks to integrate all elements of the service, to ensure that the
perceived position of the service is strongly reinforced.

Services have a number of distinguishing characteristics which have special implications for the positioning and
selection of which attributes to emphasize. Three of the key characteristics of services, make positioning strategies of
particular importance in marketing a service. These are the intangibility, the degree of variability or heterogeneity in
quality of a given service, and inseparability – the fact that the performance of a service will often occur in presence of
a customer.

Positioning can permit an intangible service bendfit to be represented tangibly. It can help the customer see an
intangible benefit – cleanliness; and this view can be reinforced by plastic covered glasses in rooms and a paper
cover over the lid of a lavatory stating ‘sanitized for your protection’. This helps the customer to associate cleanliness
with the service offering, reinforcing the position that the hotel wishes to portray. Service companies often promote
their reputations in an attempt to ad tangibility.

Services are also highly variable and rely to a great extent on input from company employees for their production. For
example, in a restaurant the waiter is the main point of contact with the customer and his service performance will be
a major factor in the say the establishment will be judged. His performance will vary at different times, and there will
also be variance between his service and that of another waiter or waitress in the restaurant, as a result, the quality of
the delivered service can vary widely.

Further, the quality of small elements of a total service offering may affect the received quality of the service as a
whole. For instance, a poor check-out procedure from a hotel, may greatly affect the perceived quality of the overall
experience of staying on it. The customer’s perception of the quality of the service is therefore greatly affected by the
quality of the overall experience of staying in it. The customer’s perception of the quality of he service is therefore
greatly affected by the quality of the staff who are responsible for delivery. An advantage can be gained by providing
better trained and more highly responsive people. A positioning strategy may therefore include the distinctive
characteristic of employing ‘better people”.

Services tend to be inseparable and are characterized by the fact that they are performed in the presence of the

The distinctive features of the services outlined above provides the basis for competitive positioning strategy.

Positioning can be considered at several levels:

Industry positioning – the positioning of the service industry as a whole.

Organizational positioning – the positioning of the organization as a whole.

Product sector positing – the positioning of a range or family of related products and services being offered by the

Individual product or service positioning – the positioning of specific products.

Process of Positioning

Product positioning involves a number of steps including the following:

Determining levels of positioning

Identification of key attributes of importance to selected segments

Location of attributes on a positioning map

Evaluating positioning options

Implementing positioning.

Determining levels of positioning

The first step in positioning is to determine which level(s) – service level, product sector level, corporate level – are to
receive explicit positioning attention. Some examples will illustrate the choices that are made by some service
organizations. The level or levels of positioning to be undertaken are usually fairly clear out, although some
organisation, have placed different emphasis on these levels at different points in time.

Identification of attributes Once the level of positioning has been determined it is necessary to identify the specific
attributes that are important to the chosen market segments. In particular, the way in which purchasing decisions are
made should be considered. Individuals use different criteria fro making a purchase decision of a service.

Location of attributes on positioning map
The positioning process involves the identification of the most important attribute and location of various companies’
services, for these attributes, on a positioning map. Where a range of attributes are identified, statistical procedures
exist for combining these attributes into aggregate dimensions. Such dimensions are referred to by various names
such as principal components, multi-dimensional scales, factors etc. depending upon how the data were elicited and
which statistical procedures were used. Usually two dimensions are used on positioning maps and these often
account for a large proportion of the ‘explanation’ of the customer’s preferences.

Products or services are typically plotted on a two dimensional positioning man such as show in the following figure.
The positioning map can be used to identify the position of competitors’ services in relation to the selected attributes.
The analysis can be further developed by drawing separate positioning maps for each market segment. Customers in
each market segment may perceive the service and its benefits differently and different map will show these different
                                                    Attribute - 1

                                 Services - D                                 Services - A

                                                                     Services - B
                                          Services - E
                                                                            Services - C

                                                                    Services - F

                                      Fig. 6.1 Illustrative positioning man
Positioning maps can be based on either objective attributes or subjective attributes Maps can also use a combination
of objective and subjective attributes.

Evaluation positioning options

       Strengthening current position against competitors to avoid head-on attack.

       Identifying an unoccupied market position that was not filled by a competitor

       Repositioning the competition.

Once a company had identified where it is positioned at present, it then needs to determine how to enhance or
sustain its position relative to its competitors.

Criteria for good positioning

       The positioning should be meaningful.

       The positioning must be believable.

       The positioning must be unique.

Implementing positioning and the marketing mix
How a company and service is positioned needs to be communicated throughout all of its implicit and explicit
interactions with customers. This suggests that all elements of the company, its staff, policies and image, need to
reflect a similar image which together conveys the desires position to the market place. This means that a company
must establish a strategic positioning direction, which is followed through in all of its tactical marketing and sales

A successful positioning strategy should make the service clearly distinguishable by features which are desirable and
important to the target customer segment. This means that the positioning strategy should be examined from time to
time to ensure that it does not become outdated and that it is still relevant to the target market segment.

The marketing mix is the key to implementing a positioning strategy. The design of the marketing mix to implement
the positioning must be based on the key salient attributes relevant to the target segment. These attributes should be
identified in the context of analysis of competitors, whose positions should be assessed to discover their vulnerability.
All the elements of the marketing mix can be utilized to influence the customer’s perception and hence the positioning
of the product or organisatoin concerned. The marketing mix can be used to develop a coherent totality that creates
the positioning in the customer’s mind.

Importance of Positioning

Positioning involves both launching new brands into the marketplace (new brand positioning), and repositioning old
brands. It is concerned with the differentiation of products and services and ensuring that they do not degenerate into
a commodity. To maximize its potential a company should position itself in its core market segments, where it is
objectively or subjectively differentiated in a positive way over competing offerings.

Positioning is particularly import   for services in the market. As a result of competitive pressure the consumer is
becoming increasingly confused       by the huge offering of services within each market sector. These offering are
communicated by a vast number        of advertising messages promoting different features of the services. The key to a
successful positioning strategy is   to promote the feature which the company is best and which exactly matches the
needs of the customer.

Because of intangibility and other features associated with services, consumers find that differentiation of services
can be more difficult and complex. Successful positioning makes it easier for the customer to see a company’s
services as being different from others and exactly what is wanted.

Positioning is a strategic marketing tool which allows managers to determine what their position is now, what they
wish it to be and what actions are needed to attain it. The permits market opportunities to be identified, by considering
positions which are not met by competitors’ products. It therefore helps influence both product development and the
redesign of existing products. It also allows consideration of competitor’s possible moves and responses so that
appropriate action can be taken. The concept is often considered at the product level although it is also relevant at the
product sector and organizational level. Positioning involves giving the target market segment the reason for buying
your services and thus underpins the whole marketing strategy. It also offers guidelines for development of a
marketing mix with each element of he it being consistent with the positioning.

                                                          Lesson 7

                                                  Services Marketing Mix

The marketing mix concept is a well established tool used as a structure by marketers. It consists of the various
elements of a marketing programme which need to be considered in order to successfully implement the marketing
strategy and positioning in the company’s markets. The discipline of considering the integration of the elements of the
marketing mix, as well as the individual various elements, helps ensure that there is consistency within the marketing
strategy as a whole.

Essentially the marketing mix represents the factors which need to be considered when determining a service firm’s
marketing strategy. For example, in marketing a law firm the following elements should be considered: What
particular legal services it offers to the target market segment(s) it has selected; the pricing strategy that is
appropriate to those services; how it will promote itself and communicate with its market; the processes it will adopt;
the appropriate service levels it will offer to its clients; the processes it will adopt; the appropriate service levels it will
offer to its clients; the delivery system of the legal services; and the type and expertise of the people who will be
involved in providing them.

The elements of the marketing mix for services include – Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Processes and
Physical evidence. The underlying concept in developing each of these elements is to use them to support each
other, to reinforce the positioning of the product and to deliver appropriate service quality to achieve competitive

Service Product

The term ‘product’ is frequently used in a broad sense to describe either a manufactured good or service. Thus goods
and services are two types of product. A service product denotes and activity or activities that a service provider
offers to perform, which results in satisfaction of a need to want of predetermined customers. The services are offered
to a variety of customers at several levels as individual service products. In fact customers are not buying goods or
services – they are really buying specific benefits and value from the total offering. We term this total offering to
customers ‘the offer’; it represents those benefits that customers derive from the purchase of goods or services.

In planning the offer of products and services, a good marketing managers devices a strategy whereby the offers are
viewed at various levels to achieve unmatched product differentiation and superlative customer service. Generally,
four levels of service products are identified. They are:

The core of generic product

It is the basic service product. Although the term ‘generics’ is the most usual descriptive term, the generic products
have also been described as brand free, no names and unbranded products. A typical example would be a bed in a
hotel rook for a night.

The expected product

It is the minimum set of benefits expected by a customer from a service product. It consists of the generic product and
the minimal purchase conditions which has to be met. Thus, a customer having a transaction with bank will expect, in
addition to the service, a correct transaction recording, timely service and minimum courtesy.

The augmented product

They are offering in addition to what the customers expect in addition to the benefit expected by him. The augmented
product is described as the complete bundle of attributes perceived by or offered to an individual buyer incorporating.

       The properties of the core product;

       The specific properties differentiating the offering of one supplier by contrast with another;

       The attendant elements of customer service, which when added to the core and differentiated product
        influence the customer’s tastes and preferences. Due to these added features consumers prefer many
        products that are indistinguishable physically. For example, a marketer who may not have the most

        technological advanced core product will differentiate by adding value in the form of excellent customer
        service to the core product for reliability and responsiveness.

The potential product

It consists of potentially feasible added features and benefits to hold and attract customers. It includes the potential
for redefinition of the product to take advantage of new users and the extension of existing applications.

A service product is a complex set of value satisfactions. People buy services to solve problems and they attach
value to them in proportion to the perceived ability of the service to do this. Value is assessed by the buyers in
relationship to the benefits they receive. But it has to be recognized that customers differ and that their requirements
for different attributes vary by market segment.

This framework reconciles the marketer’s view of a product, seen in terms of various inputs and processes needed to
produce it, and the various benefits. This is shown in the example of the personal computer market.

The core product for a computer is a machine that permits input, processing, storage and retrieval of data. This is the
minimum requirement for such a product.

The expected product will also have service support, warranty, a recognizable brand name and attractive packaging.

The augmented product may include the supply of the free diagnostic software, a generous trade in allowance, user
clubs and other product augmentations which are valuable to personal computer buyers.

The potential product may consist of future applications including use as a systems controller, facsimile machine or a
music composer.

The brand name itself also becomes an important element of the augmented product. Brands can be a major
determining element in the purchase of services and an important means of adding differentiation at the augmented
product level.


The product level subsequent to the generic product offer opportunities to provide added value to the customers.
Value is added through the creating of strong brand names and the owners of he brands can command premium
prices for them. Thus branding has an important role in assuring customers of uniform service quality.

Of late, branding has become common in services, and distinctive brands are established with considerable efforts.
There is an argument that in future the customers will increasingly respond to a company brand and that the
customer’s choice will depend upon their assessment of the company and the people behind it rather than on
evaluation of the functional benefits of a product or services.

By adding value to the basic generic service product a brand achieves differentiation. But the consumer’s perception
of service quality depends more on reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. This means that service
marketers should give increased attention to how they can differentiate the product surround and enlarge it. The
larger the product surround the greater the probable differentiation of a company’s brand offering from those of its

Berry and Parasuramen have suggested some key questions service managers should address with respect to their
company’s branding;

    1. Are we proactive in presenting a strong company brand to our customers (and other stakeholders)?

    2. How does our company name rate on the tests of distinctiveness, relevance, memorability and flexibility?

    3. Do we use to full advantage branding elements other than the company name?

    4. Is our presented brand cohesive?

    5. Do we apply our brand consistently across all media?

    6. Do we use all possible media to present our media?
    7. Do we recognize the influence of the service offering on brand meaning?

    8. Do we base our branding decisions on research?

    9. Are we respectful of what exists when we change own brand or add new brands?

    10. Do we internalize our branding?

Addressing these questions should help avoid the specialty to commodity slide. They also provide a platform for
elements of physical evidence to be added which reinforce the brand and product surround.

Service Product Decisions

Many service organizations like to offer a range of services. Decisions on this have to be considered with a view on
the company’s positioning strategy and the competitors services offerings. Any new service that might be offered
should be within the competency of the company to deliver it. When considering service product decisions many
strategic growth options are available to a service company. For this, there is an useful framework, proposed by Igor
Ansoff. The framework is called a product / market expansion grid or Ansoff matrix. Ansoff matrix is used to consider
four strategies which are fundamental to the service provider i.e. to review whether more market share should be
gained for he existing service products in their current market; to consider whether it can find or develop new market
opportunities for its existing products; to consider whether new products can be developed with potential interest to its
current markets and then to review opportunities for diversification by developing new services products for new
product. An outline of the Ansoff matrix is given below:

                                      Ansoff’s product/Market expansion grid

                                        Existing product            New Products

             Existing Markets           Market penetration          Product (service) development

             New Markets                Market development          Diversification

Market Penetration

It was proposed by Igor Ansoff whereby a company seeks increased sales for its present products in its present
markets thorough more aggressive promotion and distribution. There are three major approaches.

       Encouraging the current customers to buy more of the product,

       Attracting the customers of the competitors to switch to its brand, and

       Convincing non users of the service to start using it.

Market penetration is achieved by more focused segmentation and a more clearly defined positioning strategy and
better application of the marketing mix elements. It is aimed at greater productivity and building market share at the
expense of competitors.

Market Development

Ansoff’s second basic strategy under which the company seeks increased sales by taking its present products into
new markets. The following approaches may be adopted:

       Identification of potential user groups in the current sales areas whose interest in the product services might
        be stimulated.

       Seeking additional distribution channels in its present locations, and

       To consider marketing in new locations domestically or abroad.

This strategy requires in depth market research to ensure that the needs of the customers are understood and met
competitively and hence it involves a higher risk than other strategies. Further, in these circumstance the different
needs of different customers are often not given sufficient consideration. So there is a view that market extension can
be more safely adopted if the service if to be used by existing customers in the different market.

Product or Service Development

The next strategy is to consider new product possibilities. New product development is a comparatively new for
researches. Service products with new feature and different quality levels or an alternative service itself could be

Christopher Lovelock has suggested six categories of service innovation, including the following:

    1. Major innovations: these innovations represent major new markets. Examples: Cellular telephones and Open
       University (Distance educations). The risk and reward profile of such major innovations are typically large.

    2. Startup business: these are new and innovative ways of addressing the current needs of customers and
       increasing the range of choices available to them. Examples: Video Cassette hire. Some innovations could fir
       either of the above two categories.

    3. New products for the market currently served: this allows the service provider to sue the customer base to the
       best advantage and cross-sell other products. For example, the Automobile Association established a core
       range of products related to car breakdown services. The customer base is now offered a range of other car-
       related services, including car insurance, travel insurance and map books.

        The technological change has increased the range of opportunities for innovation and creativity, and is also
        responsible for creating a market for products and services which consumers may not have considered that
        they require. For example, automated teller machines, electronic mail and desk-top publishing have each
        resulted from technological development and created consumer demands which previously did not exits.

    4. Product line extensions: These offer customers greater variety of choice within existing service lines. This is
       typical of a business in maturity, which already has a core market segment which the service provider seeks
       to maintain.

    5. Product improvements: this usually consists of altering or improving the features of existing service products.

    6. Style changes: These involve cosmetic alternations or enhancement of tangible elements of the service
       product. The development of a new corporate image, or the introduction of uniforms for bank counter staff are
       examples of style changes.


It is the fourth basic strategy proposed by Igor Ansoff. It is more riskier and is typically adopted by mature service
industries as their growth cannot be achieved in any other way. The process involves introduction of new products,
which may or may not be related to the company’s present products, into existing or new markets. Diversification may
be the result of a deliberate attempt by management to hedge against the company’s future being tied too closely to a
small number of product or markets. It may be accomplished by new investment or through mergers and acquisitions.

Gronroos outlines four steps that the services marketer needs to manage in providing a service offer:

       Developing the service concept – the basic concept or intention of the service provider.

       Developing a basic service package – the core service, facilitating services and goods and supporting
        services and goods.

       Developing an augmented service offering – the service process and interactions between the service
        provider and customers, including the service delivery process. It includes between the service prodice and
        the customer, and the degree of customer participation.

       Managing image and communication- so that they support and enhance the augmented service offer. This is
        the interface between the promotion and product marketing mix elements.

A consideration of these steps makes clear some of the linkages with other elements of the marketing mix. Once the
basic service offer has been established, attention can then be directed at development of pricing, promotion,
distribution and other ingredients of the marketing mix.

Service Price

Pricing plays an important role in the marketing of services. Pricing decisions have a significant role in the
determination of the value for the customer and in building the image for the service. Thus price influences he
perception of the quality. It also has an impact on all parts of the marketing channels. Suppliers, sales people,
distributors, competitors and customers all are affected by the pricing system.

Special pricing considerations apply to services for various reasons. Some of them are:

       Immediate delivery,

       Importance of availability, according to higher and lower demand, i.e. the demand fluctuation,

       Intangible nature of the product as the buyer often perceives a strong price – quality association.

       Services categories which cannot be standardized,

       Prevailing economic and political conditions,

       Location (for example, different States have varied tax structures), and

       Status of the user.

Branding allows homogeneous services to be differentiated and allows adopting premium pricing strategy. The
decision on the pricing of a new service must take into account many relevant features. The most important of these
is that the pricing decision must be consistent with the overall marketing strategy. The charging of different prices in
different markets may also need to be considered. In addition, the specific price to be charged depends on the type of
customer to whom the service is sold. Value is not determined by price but by the benefits the buyer perceives the
new service and the price of alternative services which are competing with it.

A service company will very often sell a range of services. It may decide to offer bundles of these services at special
prices. Package holidays – which offer travel, hotel, transportation, sports, facilities and equipment, entertainment and
insurance are examples of this. In these areas pricing needs to be carefully considered in order to obtain the
maximum potential profit and revenue from each customer.

Pricing strategies

Until recently, two broad strategic approaches to prices were in vogue. They are (i) Skimming and (ii) Penetration.
Skimming strategy is based on the perceived need of the users which tend to affect their sensitivity to the prices.
When they are insensitive to the prices it could be exploited by setting a very high price to skim the cream off the
market. Whereas, a penetration strategy assumes that by producing a product similar to that of a competitor and then
under pricing it and thereby some or all of its market share can be taken away. The recent trend is an alternative
value-based strategy based on the belief that the appropriate concept is the perceived value held by the customer.

Pricing Objectives

The pricing methods being adopted should consider the pricing objective of the service forms. The most typical
pricing objectives that a company could have are:

       Pricing to achieve a desired return on investment;

       Stabilization of pricing margin to ensure maximum profit;

       Pricing to realize the target market share; and

       Pricing to meet and prevent competition for survival.

These represent some of the more common, pricing objectives.

The decision on pricing will be dependent on a range of factors including:

       Corporate objectives

       Positioning of the service

       The nature of competition

       Lifecycle of the service(s)

       Elasticity of demand

       Cost structures

       Share resources

       Prevailing economic conditions

       Service capacity

Pricing Methods

 After considering the demand, cost, competitors and all the other relevant factors in the light of the pricing objectives,
the service marketer should consider the method by which the prices are fixed. There are different methods and some
of them are:

    1. Cost-plus pricing: It includes all methods of setting prices with exclusive reference to cost. By adding an
       amount of money to an estimated product cost a selling price is arrived at. This money which is added is
       considered as the profit expectation if the sale if made on the basis of adding this anticipated profit to total or
       full costs.

    2. Competition pricing: Pricing based on market conditions where firms compete with one another by
       undercutting others prices, rather than other forms of competition such as product quality, product
       differentiation and advertising.

    3. Competitive parity pricing: Pricing is done on the basis of those that are followed by the competitor or market

    4. Loss leading pricing: the price of a product or service is deliberately cut to a point below its cost aiming to
       attract additional customers willing to buy profitable items. It is usually applied on a short-term basis to
       establish position in the market.

    5. Rate of return pricing: it is also referred to as target return pricing. The prices are set to achieve a given rate
       of return on investments and assets.

    6. Value based pricing: It is market driven and reinforces the positioning of the service and the benefits the
       customer receives from the service. In value based pricing, prices are based on the services perceived value
       to a given consumer segment.

    7. Relationship pricing: The future potential profit streams over the lifetime of customers, forms the basis for
       relationship pricing. It is considered that the relationship pricing is the appropriate form of pricing where there
       is an ongoing contact between the customer and the service provider. It is said that the relationship pricing
       follows closely the market oriented approach of value base pricing but takes the lifetime value of the customer
       into account.

    8. Prestige pricing: The pricing at above the going market price on the basis that many buyers regard price as
       an indicator of quality and so will perceive enhanced quality to products with higher than usual prices. In such
       cases sellers will be able to ask prestige prices for products which have distinctive brand names and

To gain competitive advantage, service firms have to use pricing more strategically. But it is also a fact that pricing
has received less attention in service firms. Pricing decisions are not approached in a sophisticated manner in service
marketing. Only a few marketers utilize pricing as a purposive marketing tool.

Place: Service Location and Channels

The location and channels used to supply services to target customers are two key decision areas. Location and
channel decisions are essential to consider how and at which place the services can be delivered to the customer.
They become more relevant to services as they cannot be stored and mostly are produced and consumed at the
same point. The environment in which the delivery of service takes place and the manner of its delivery is important
attributes of the service when its value is perceived.

Service marketers are expected to seek and develop appropriate delivery approaches. Location and channels are
considered to be two important issues in developing such delivery approaches.


Service location is an important consideration in place strategy. A service firm should decide where its operations and
staff are situated because if they are not conveniently located the customers may turn to rival service provider who, in
their perception, are conveniently placed. The type and degree of interaction is an important factor involved in the
location of services. Depending upon the nature of the service,

       The customer may go to the service firm, or

       The service form may go to the customer or

       The service provider and the customer may transact business at arm’s length.

In the first type of interaction mentioned above, where a customer goes to the service provider, location selection
becomes very important. For a service business such as a restaurant, location may be one of the main reasons for
patronage. In this type of interaction, service providers seeking growth can consider offering their services at more
than one location.

The optimum location of services for a multi-site operator becomes a critical decision in businesses such as car
rental, restaurants, motels, banks and retailers. Such organisatoins take great care in selecting appropriate sites on
the basis of potential customers in the catchment area and location of competitor’s sites. A number of sophisticated
computer models have been developed which can be used to assess the desirability of various site alternatives.

In the second type of interaction, where the service provider can go to the customers, site location becomes much
less important provided it is sufficiently close to the customer for good quality service to be received. In some
circumstances the service provider has no discretion in going to the customer as certain services must be provided at
the customers’ premises. This is the case with a wide range of maintenance services such as life repair, pest control
and cleaning services. In other cases services providers have discretion in whether they decide to offer their services
at the customer’s or their own premises. Some garages not offer car tune up and servicing at the customer’s home or
office, as do hairdressers and TV repair firms. Some dry cleaning and laundry firms have built up highly profitable
businesses by dispensing with the need for expensive multiple high street locations and locating their operations in a
low-cost area and providing a pick-up and delivery service.

However, when the customer and service organisatoin transact at arm’s length, location may be largely irrelevant.
The customers are not concerned with the physical locations of suppliers of services such as electricity, telephone or
insurance, provided efficient mail or electronic communications are in place.

Some of the important considerations faced by a service marketer in location are regarding the requirement by the
market, the trends relating to the competition within the sector of service activity being operated and the flexibility of
the service. Complimentary services, innovations and the obligations faced by the service provider are also important.
In location selection, the choice of appropriate country, regions within it and the community within the region, state or
city are important consideration. Likewise, it site selection the specific property on which the service is proposed to be
established has to be considered.

Some of the critical factors affecting the location decision are:

       Convenience perceived by the customers,

       Operating cost,

       Comparative proximity with that of the competitors,

       Complementary and supporting systems,

       Geographic and environmental factors,

       Business climate in the particular location,

       Availability of communication networks, and

       Transport facilities.


A channel, according to the American Marketing Association, is the structure of intra company organization units and
extra company agents and dealers wholesale and retail, through which a commodity, product or service is marketed.
It includes all the stages and organizations through which a product passes between its points of production and
consumption. In the process, three participants, viz., the service provider, intermediaries and customers are involved.
The principal function of a distribution channel is to provide a link between the production and consumption by filling
away the gaps / discontinuities existing between them.

The discontinuities mentioned above may arise from a number of causes. Some of them are:

       Geographical separation,

       Time (in services fluctuations in supply and demand are generally unlikely and so this factor may not have
        much relevance),

       Information,

       Ownership (this also has little importance in services as transfer of legal title to ownership rarely occurs),

       Sorting.

A channel may be simple when there is a single, direct transaction between producers and consumers. This form of
distribution is common in some service sectors (e.g. professional services).

When there is a concentrated production and the consumers are widely diffused, different channels develop and
coexist with a variety of intermediaries such as advertising agencies which act as brokers for a number of related
services including media buying, print and production. Travel agents act as middlemen for airlines, hotels and leisure
services. A recruitment agency provides a service as intermediary between employer and employee.

The broad channel options for services are outlined in the following figure and include:

       Direct sales, e.g. accounting and management consulting services.

       Agent or broker, i.e. insurance broker, estate agent and travel agent.

       Seller’s and buyers’ agents or brokers, e.g. stockbrokers and affinity groups,

       Franchises and contracted service deliverers, e.g. fast food, car services and dry cleaning.

                                                  Service Provider

                                                      Seller’ agent

                  Agent or Broker

                                                                                  Franchised or
                                                                                 service delivered

                                                      Buyer’s agent


                                   Fig. 7.1 Channel options for service companies
This illustrates that although many services are intangible and inseparable and direct sales may be the appropriate
channel, services can be distributed by a considerable number of other channel options. In financial services sector a
range of distribution options are being used. These include the following:

       Direct face-to-face sales

       Use of tied or untied sales representatives

       Direct mail

       Telemarketing

       Computer networked distribution

       Professional service firms, e.g. estate agents and consultants.

       Cable TV.

One approach to considered the channels is how they compare with those of the competitors is suggested by Light.
His framework has these main sectors:

       The channel participants and their relationships.

       The various functions that participants perform using material and technological supports.

       The service they create.

Location and Channel Choice

The choice of both distribution and channels for services largely depends on the particular requirements of the market
and the nature of the service itself. Technology has, in some instances, changed the advantage to be gained by
proximity of a service to the customer market. For example, electronic banking has removed some of the need for
banks to be located on high streets and also the requirements for long opening purs to deliver their services. Many
banking transactions can now be performed easily without personal contact. Technology has allowed changes in the
location decision in many service industries, but the decision on where and how to distribute service is often still
dependent on the needs of the customer.

Service delivery channels are often the service providers. This highlights the importance of the selection of the
appropriate delivery channel.

Promotion of Services

Promotion is a set of activities designed to increase purchases by consumers and is the means through which the
service provider communicates with his target markets. The promotion of services cover a number of areas or
promotional tools which form the communications mix or promotions mix. These include:

       Advertising

       Personal selling

       Sales promotion

       Public relations

       Word of mouth, and

       Direct mail.

The use of promotional tools in service sector is a comparatively recent aspect. Now, the fiercely competitive
environment has made the service marketers use promotional tools activity. But promotional exercise as it is done in
consumer goods companies will not the same for services industry. A communication programme for a service
organization may consist a wide variety of alternative communications and promotion tools. To communicate the
target markets, the various elements of the communication mix must be integrated within the promotion and
communication programme. This process involves many tasks among which the following are considered important.

       Identification of target audience,

       Determination of promotion objectives

       Selection of communication mix

The choice of the communications mix for services involves decisions on such issues as whether to advertise, use
personal selling or generate publicity through greater public awareness by such means as through editorials,
publications and press activity. The choice of medium is determined by decisions on how to create the most
favourable awareness amongst the target audience.


Advertising is one of the main forms of impersonal communication used by service firms. The role of advertising in
services marketing is to build awareness of the service, to add to the customer’s knowledge of the service, to help
persuade the customer to buy, and to differentiate the service from other service offerings. Relevant and consistent
advertising is therefore of great importance to the success of the marketing of the service.

Advertising has a major role in helping deliver the desired positioning for the service. Because the core product is
intangible it is difficult to promote, service marketers therefore frequently choose tangible elements within the product
is intangible it is difficult to promote, service marketers therefore frequently choose tangible elements within the
product surround for promotion. Thus airlines promote the quality of their cuisine, the width and pitch of their seats,
and the quality of their in-flight service.

There are several important issues in advertising. The most important are selection of media, determination of
advertising goals and methods of determining the advertising budget.

Media includes radio, television, cinema, newspapers and periodicals, direct mail and outdoor advertising. In selecting
the media, the characteristics of the medium atmosphere of the medium, coverage of the medium and the
comparative cost are important factors.

Selection of appropriate media and determining the balance between them is essential to obtain the most effective
return on advertising expenditure. A consideration of the specific advertising goals to be accomplished will facilitate
this process.

Advertising goals are important to all advertising campaigns. They should be sound and complete and a
measurement of effectiveness of an advertisement or advertising campaign is impossible unless satisfactory
objectives have first been specified. The advertising objectives as they are generally referred to, should be explicit,
commonly agreed, unequivocal, true, calibrated and testable.

Advertising budget or the advertising appropriation, as it is sometimes referred to, has many approaches. These
include the ‘affordable’ method (how much can the organization afford); the ‘percentage of turnover’ method (a given
proportion of the overall budget is set aside for advertising): the ‘competition parity’ method (an amount designed to
effectively compete in a given competitive area); and the ‘objective and task’ method.

The objective and task method suggests that advertisers should decide on their budget by firstly defining their
advertising objectives and, secondly by determining the advertising task, and its cost, to achieve those objectives. It is
suggested this is the most appropriate method to use, and it is one which has strong appeal amongst more
sophisticated advertisers. However, it is necessary to evaluate the trade off between the benefits in achieving the
objectives and the cost of their achievement.

Advertising activities generally should be integrated with other elements of the communications mix. They should
create a positive image to support the activities of the service company’s sales personnel so as to increase their
prospects for sales to the customers.

Personal Selling

Personal selling has a vital role in service, because of the large number of service businesses which involve, personal
interaction between the service provider and the customer; the service being provided by a person not a machine and
‘people’ becoming part of the service product.

Many customers of service firms have a close and on-going relationship with the service providers. Under these
circumstances selling has a pivotal role in the communications mix. In certain services selling is the preeminent
element in the communication mix.

Selling of services include target prospect identification, sales call planning, preparation of presentations, handling
objections and closing a sale.

George, Kelly and Marshall suggest seven guidelines for selling services. They are:

       Orchestration of the service purchase encounter.

       Facilitation of a quality assessment by the customer,

       Making the service tangible

       Emphasis on organisatoins images,

       Use of references from external sources,

       Recognition of importance of customer contact personnel, and

       Recognition of customer involvement during the service design process.

Lack of training and resistance to selling are two commonly faced problems in many services business. A sales
management structure supported by a programme of sales training, will help improve the capacity of the sales
personnel. Market orientation development programmes are helpful to overcome to problem of resistance to selling.

Seles Promotion Sales promotion includes any marketing activity designed to sell a product or service. It involves
many marketing tactics like price, bonus offers, additional services and gifts.

Traditionally, sales promotion was used mainly in consumers goods market. Now many service firms also adopt sales
promotion programmes to a large extent.

Sales promotion tools can be aimed at three groups:

    1. Customers – free offers, sample, demonstrations, coupons, cash refunds, prizes, contests and warranties.

    2. Intermediaries-free goods, discounts, advertising allowances, cooperative advertising, distribution contests,

    3. Sales force – bonuses, awards, contests and prizes for best performer.

Sales promotions are not always well coordinated with marketing objectives and other components of the
communications mix. To help develop, implement and test a promotions programme the following steps should be

    1. Decide the objectives of sales promotion and how they will support other communications and marketing mix

    2. Determine the balance of promotions activity between customer, intermediaries and sales force.

    3. Decide the sales promotion tools to be used.

    4. For each element of sales promotions programme:

            a. Determine the amount of the incentive;

            b. Establish conditions for involvements;

            c.   Decide on the length of the promotion;

            d. Choose the distribution method for promotion; and

            e. Schedule the promotion timetable

    5. Agree the sales promotion budget

    6. Pre-test the sales promotion budget.

    7. Launch the sales promotion programme

    8. Evaluate the sales promotion programme.

Public relations

The Institute of Public Relations of England defines public relations practice as “The planned and sustained effort to
establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics”. Publics include
all the groups of people and organizations which have an interest in the service company. So the employees also can
be included. As publics are more diverse, public relations is essential to communicate with them.

Public relations is concerned with many marketing takes like-

       Building and maintaining image,

       Handling problems and issues smoothly,

       Reinforcing positioning,

       Influencing the public to a position favourable to the marketer and

       Preparing the public favourably while launching new services.

A service organization’s ‘image’ is made up of the collective experiences, views, attitudes and beliefs held about it.
Public relations can sue a range of communications approaches to improve or maintain the image of a service
organisation. Overall the objectives with image is to ensure that an organization is viewed more favourably, and is
more familiar, than competitors in the market segments its serves.

A wide range of tools can be used in the design of a public relation programme. These include:

       Publications, including press releases, annual reports, broachures, posters, articles and employee reports.

       Events, including press conferences, seminars, speeches, conferences.

       Investor relations aimed at gaining support of investors and analysis.

       Stories which create media coverage

       Exhibitions including exhibits, displays.

       Sponsorship of charitable causes and community projects.

Word of mouth

One of the most distinctive features of promotion in service businesses in the greater importance of referral and word
of mouth communications. It highlights the importance of the people factor in services promotion. Customers utilizing
a service, talks to other potential customers abut their experience. Such an endorsement has more reliability and
impact than an advertisement or other mass or personal communications mix elements.

The multiplier effect from word of mount is not uniform to all products. It varies from industry to industry and situation
to situation. But a service marketer should be careful about negative referrals as they tend to have a greater impact
than positive experiences. Dissatisfied customers are likely to talk about their experiences to more people and this
can significantly reduce the effectiveness of advertising and other elements of the communications mix.

Direct marketing

Direct marketing is recognized as a low cost and effective method for communicating which corporate customers due
to increasing cost in direct sales force. Developments in electronic media, telecommunications, internet etc. provide
great opportunities for developing integrated programmes for direct marketing activities. Consequently, many service
firms have begun to take advantage of the benefits of a coordinated direct marketing programme.

People in Services

The success of marketing a service is tied closely to the selection, training, motivation and management of people.
There are many examples of services failing or succeeding as a consequence of the ineffective or effective
management of people.

All the people participating in the delivery of service provide cues to the customer regarding the nature of the service
itself. How these people are dressed, their personal appearance and their attitudes and behaviours all influence the
customer’s perceptions of the services.

Kotler says that, “if the service personnel are cold or rude, they can undermine all the marketing work done to attract
customers. If they are friendly and warm, they increase customer satisfaction and loyalty”. Hence, the importance of
people within the marketing of services has gained much interest in internal marketing.

One of the best known and most dramatic examples is the turn-around of British Airways during the 1980’s. Faced
with declining profits, greater customer complaints, employee dissatisfaction and increased competition, British
Airways launched a series of programmes to refocus on the people within the organisatoin Employees were involved
in the process of turning the company around through the development of increased awareness of he critical
importance of the customer. Employees were trained to develop new attitudes towards customers by emphasizing
that the airline was in business to satisfy their needs.

In turn, the company made employees feel wanted and cared for, building on the principle that those who are looked
after will pass on this caring attitude. The success of this new direction for the airline brought increased profits

matched by greater customer and employee satisfaction. The high level of profitability achieved by British Airways in
1992, in the midst of a major recession, highlights the effectiveness of their strategy. Thus by recognizing the
contribution people make to acquiring and keeping customers, within the overall marketing mix, the service
company’s competitive performance will be substantially enhanced.

Process in Services

The process by which the services is created and delivered to the customer is critical to the service operations as
customers often perceive the service delivery system as part of the service itself. Process means all work activities.
Process involve the procedures, tasks schedules, mechanisms, activities and routines by which a product or service
is delivered to the customer. It involves policy decision about customer involvement and employee discretion.
Identification of process managemen as a separate activity is a must for service quality improvement. Its importance
is service business is evident because of the inseparability of production and consumption. The customers is evident
because of the inseparability of production and consumption. The customers not only think about the service product
alone, they attach importance to the manner in which it is delivered. Under these circumstances, a poorly designed
service process leads to poor service quality. Banks provide a good example of this. By reconfiguring the way they
deliver service through the introduction of automatic teller machines (ATMs) banks have been able to free staff to
handle more complex customer needs by diverting cash only customers to the ATMs.

Processes are seen as structural elements that can be engineered to help deliver a desired strategic positioning.
They can be analyzed according to their complexity and divergence. Processes can be changed to reinforce the
positioning or establish a new positioning. A clear understanding of the configuration processes in terms of this
complexity and divergence, on a balance of marketing and operations activities are important factors for improving
services systems. Processes are thus a marketing mix element which can have a substantial role in reinforcing
positioning and in product development.

Physical Evidence in Service

The environment in which the service is delivered and where the firm and customer interact, any tangible components
that facilitate performance or communication of the service is known as physical evidence in service. The physical
evidence of service includes all of the tangible representations of the service such as brochures, letterhead, business
cards, report formats, signage, and equipment. In some cases it includes the physical facility. Physical evidence cues
provide excellent opportunities for the firm to send consistent and strong messages regarding the organization’s
purpose, the intended market segments, and the nature of the services.

Developing a marketing mix strategy

These seven elements of the services marketing mix interact with each other. They should be developed in a mutually
supportive manner to obtain the best possible match between the internal and external environments of the
organisation. In developing a marketing mix strategy service marketers need to consider the relationships between
the elements of the mix.

It has been pointed out that there are three degree of interaction between the marketing mix elements:

       Consistency, where there is a logical and useful fit between two or more elements of the marketing mix.

       Integration, which involves an active harmonious interaction between the elements of the mix.

       Leverage, which involves a more sophisticated approach and is concerned with using each element to best
        advantage in support of the total marketing mix.

Thus effective relationship marketing is based on the choice and design of marketing mix elements that are mutually
supportive and leveraged together so that synergy is achieved. This implies that people, processes and customer
service should be seen as crucial additional elements of services marketing mix.

At the same time each marketing mix elements has an impact on the market segments selected ensuring that there is
a fit between the marketing mix and each target segment; a fit between the marketing mix and the company’s
strategic capabilities, emphasizing its strengths and minimizing the impact of its weaknesses; and a recognition of
competitor’s capabilities, which involves evading their strengths and capitalizing on their weaknesses. Hence an
effective marketing plan outlining the marketing mix strategy has to be developed and implemented.

                                                        Lesson 8

                                             Marketing Plans for Services

There has been growing emphasis on, and acceptance of, marketing planning over the years. A number of authors
have developed approaches to marketing planning; some are highly academic and are based on marketing theory,
whilst others have attempted to identify demonstrated best practices in a wide range of companies, linking these to
the theoretical concepts that have been developed in both strategic and marketing planning.

One approach that has proved robust in both industrial, consumer and services markets is the marketing framework
developed by Malcolm McDonald. This framework is used widely in both service and industrial firms. Basing on this
framework, the following four phases are evolved which in turn has been broken down into ten major steps. The major
phases are:

    1. Strategic context

    2. Situation review

    3. Marketing strategy formulation

    4. Resource allocation and monitoring

These four phases together with the associated steps are shown in the following figures. Although the process is
shown as individual steps, many of the steps are interrelated and the process is interactive. Also the degree to which
each step should be emphasized in a given service firm will depend on the size and nature of the organisation.

Phase-I: Strategic Context

The first phase of marketing planning has two steps: defining the mission and identifying corporate objectives. These
are derived directly from the strategic planning process. It is necessary to identify the strategic context of the
marketing plan to ensure that specific marketing objectives and strategies are directed towards the overall corporate
goals of the company.


The purpose of he mission statement is to give the various stakeholders of the service business a clear sense of
purpose and direction. The mission statement is an important device for coordinating activities in a service
organisatoin. It provides a framework to enable staff operating in diverse parts of the organisatoin to work together in
a coordinated manner towards the achievement of the overall objectives and philosophy of the enterprise.

Whilst determination of the mission usually occurs at the corporate planning level, it is essential that this is considered
in the marketing plan so that the subsequent steps of the marketing plan are focused towards achieving the
organization’s overall purpose.

           1. Mission

                                                                            Phase-1: Strategic context

                 2. Corporate objectives

                       3. Marketing audit

                             4. SWOT analysis                                Phase-2: Situation Review

                                   5. Key assumptions

                                            6. Marketing objectives and strategies

                                                 7. Estimate expected results                  Phase-3: Marketing
                                                                                               Strategy Formulation

                                                       8. Identify alternative mixes

                                                            9. Marketing programmes           Phase-4: Resource
                                                                                              Allocation and

                                                                  10. Monitoring, control and review

                                           Fig. 8.1 The marketing planning process
Corporate objectives

Once a mission statement has been developed corporate objectives need to be addressed. The purpose of the
corporate objectives is for he stakeholders to measure the success of the mission. Peter Drucker has identified a
number of key areas in which objectives need to be set. These include the following:

   1. Market Standing:

           a. Sales and market shares by product and market segment;

           b. Customer service levels; and

           c.   Availability of services

   2. Innovation – new products and services required to achieve market objectives.

   3. Productivity – of employees and capital.

   4. Physical and financial resources:
               a. Buildings, equipment, processes and technology;

               b. Capital; and

               c.    Raw material and components.

    5. Profitability:

               a. To replace assets;

               b. For innovation and expansion; and

               c.    To reward risk taking and attract new capital.

    6. Manager performance and development

    7. Worker performance and attitude

    8. Public responsibility

Service companies need to consider in which specific areas objectives should be set for their organisation.

Service companies approach the setting of objectives in different ways. British Airways corporate objectives are
shown in the following table. In the early 1980s, British Ariways regarded itself as an airline with the primary function
of flying plans. It was led by objectives which stressed technical efficiency, ignoring the objective of trying to satisfy
passengers needs in the best possible way. A major turnaround in profitability was brought around, in part, by
modifying the objectives of the company to recognize that instead of being in the business of flying airplanes, British
Airways was in fact in the business of satisfying passenger requirements.

                                       Table 10.1 British airway’s corporate objectives

          1.        To provide the highest levels of service to all customers, passengers, shippers, travel agents and
                    freight agents.

          2.        To preserve high professional and technical standards in order to achieve the highest levels of

          3.        To provide a uniform image worldwide and to maintain a specific set of standards for each clearly
                    defined market segment

          4.        To respond quickly and sensitively to changing needs of our present and potential customers

          5.        To maintain and, where opportunity occurs, expand our present route structure.

          6.        To manage, operate and market the airline in the most efficient manner.

          7.        To create a service and people oriented work environment, assuring all employees of fair pay
                    and working conditions and continuing concern for their careers.

Objectives may be qualitative (as in the case of British Airways’ objectives) quantitative or a combination of both. For
example, one financial services company expressed corporate objectives which included:

       Profit – doubling group earnings by 2006

       Growth – trebling group revenues by 2007

       Innovation – launching at least one major new product or service every two years which will represent at least
        10% of total sales revenue within two years of launch.

       Corporate Image – achieving unprompted awareness improvement, as measured by external research, from
        30% to 50% by 2005

       Services – increasing consultancy and value added services from 15% to 25% of total revenues by 2005

       Staff – containing staff turnover to less than 60% of industry average for the sector.

The setting of corporate objectives alongside the mission statement provides an opportunity to test the
appropriateness of both the corporate objectives and the mission statement. The corporate objectives, in addition to
comprehensively covering the areas identified, should also enable evaluation of whether the corporate mission is
being achieved. Thus the mission statement and corporate objectives are tightly interlinked. Each key element of the
mission statement should be covered by a corporate objective. In most cases these will be quantified so that the
extent to which they are accomplished can be objectively assessed.

The marketing planning process starts with these two steps derived from the strategic planning process. Service
companies with relatively homogeneous services operating in a local market need to develop only one marketing plan
at the corporate level, whilst those companies with considerable diversity of service and markets need to develop
divisional or subunit marketing plans, which are then integrated into an overall marketing plan. Clear objectives, both
corporate and marketing, are key elements of the marketing plan. The basic purpose of the marketing plan is to
provide an integrated framework for implementing the marketing strategy and sub-programs, in order to achieve these
specified objectives.

Phase – II : Situation Review

The situation review phase consists of three steps: the marketing audit, situation analysis and the identification of key
assumptions in the marketing plan.

Marketing audit

The purpose of the marketing audit is to gather all the data necessary to determine how the business can succeed in
each marketing segment in which it chooses to compete. The data collected are usually split between the external
appraisal of the environment in which the company operates, and an internal assessment. Both sets of data need to
be related to the current situation and the likely future trends. The categories of analysis for a marketing audit are
shown in the following figures. This includes:

   1. Environmental Analysis
   2. Competitive Analysis
   3. Market Analysis
   4. Company Analysis
The marketing audit involves a comprehensive and systematic examination and analysis of the above four categories.

There are many analytical tools and techniques which can be used to look at both services and customers in a
logical, structured manner. Several of the most important of these are the following:

       The product / service lifecycle.
       The Boston Consulting Group matrix
       The multiple factor portfolio matrix

                          Environmental                                  Competitive Analysis
                                                                            Major competitors
                             Political                                     Their goals and
                             Economic                                       objectives
                             Social                                        Market place
                             Technological                                  behaviour
                             Financial                                     Market share
                             Legal                                         Growth
                             Regulatory                                    Service quality
                             Religious                                     Positioning
                             global                                        Operations and
                                                                            Marketing mix and


                         Market Analysis                                 Company Analysis

                             Size                                          Our goals and
                             Growth                                         objectives
                             Customer segments                             Market share
                             Customer needs                                Growth
                             Buyer behaviour                               Service quality
                             Intermediaries                                Positioning
                                                                            Operations and
                                                                            Marketing mix

Swot analysis

Once all the data from the marketing audit have been amassed it is necessary to evaluate the company’s internal
position in relationship to its particular strengths and weaknesses, compared with the opportunities and threats
presented by the external environment.

This analysis is well known SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis and provides a
familiar, easily understood, and structured device for developing ideas for the future. The purpose of the SWOT
analysis is to separate out the meaningful data in the marketing audit and to discover what management must do to
best satisfy its customers in each market segment in which it chooses to complete.

The fundamental objectives of SWOT analysis is to identify those trends, forces and conditions which have a potential
impact on the formulation and implementation of the company’s marketing strategies. This is almost important step for
two reasons. Firstly, any change in the external environment can have a profound impact on a company’s markets.
By anticipating and taking action the company will be better placed to take advantage of these changes. Secondly, it
provides and opportunity to establish which are the most important aspects to evaluate. The total amount of
environmental information that could be collected in the marketing audit is enormous, and clearly the company must
identify those aspects which are of the greatest significance and make a decision as to how much detail and accuracy
is required. This stage lays the foundations for identifying the key marketing objectives and strategies.

When all four areas of the SWOT have been identified there must be a decision about what they mean, and what
actions are needed to enhance or deal with the particular aspects.

Key assumptions

The last step in the situation review stage is the identification of key assumptions. The purpose of key assumptions is
to identify, from the situation review, those factors that will be critical to the success or failure of the marketing

Key assumptions are an estimate of the future operating conditions for the marketing plan. They may influence both
its formulation and implementation. Key assumption might include the following:

       Changes in gross national product

       Interest rates

       Inflation rates

       Status of economy

       Anticipated demand levels

       Regulatory changes

When key assumptions are identified, it is suggested that they should be presented in two columns. The first column
lists the key assumptions under appropriator headings. The second column lists ‘implications for marketing plan’. This
forces the marketing planner to consider what key assumptions mean for the plan. Key assumptions that are critical,
and which could change, may need to form the subject of contingency plans.

Phase –III: Marketing Strategy Formulation

The next phase of the marketing plan is marketing strategy formulation. This is perhaps the most important aspect of
the whole process. The first step of this phase is setting the marketing objectives and strategies. It is necessary to set
realistic and achievable objectives for the company’s major services in each of its markets. This is followed by
development of marketing strategies, estimating expected results and identifying alternative marketing mixes.

Marketing objectives and strategies

The purpose of setting marketing objectives and marketing strategies is to target the profit, revenue and market share
necessary to satisfy the mission, and how an integrated marketing mix is to be devised to achieve the target for each
segment. A marketing objective is a precise statement, which outlines what is to be accomplished by the service
company’s marketing activities; marketing strategies are the means by which marketing objectives are achieved.

The process of setting objectives consists of the following three levels:

    1. Level – 1: Setting broad marketing objectives. The broad marketing objectives would be concerned with long-
       term profitability, and be related to the organizational objectives.

    2. Level – 2: Setting objectives for key result areas. Here the objectives are defined more precisely and
       specifically relating to different functions.

    3. Level – 3: Setting subobjectives to support the broad objectives. These objectives would be based on sales
       volume goals, geographic expansion, and service offering extension.

Marketing objectives help determine where the organisation want to go and also provide yardsticks by which it can
measure its performance. A marketing objective should meet several criteria, and should be:

       Relevant – the marketing objective should be relevant in relation to the corporate mission and objectives.

       Specific – it should focus on clear and identifiable goals.

       Measureable – the objective should be quantified

       Time bound – it should have an achievement date attached to it.

       Challenging – objectives should be reliable, but should stretch people in achieving them.

       Focused – marketing objectives should focus on issues relating to both the markets products and services,
        which the company wishes to address.

Market objectives and strategies to achieve the target include:

    1. Increased productivity:

            a. Sales force effectiveness;

            b. More efficient distribution;

            c.   Pricing strategies; and

            d. Improved customer service.

    2. Increased revenues from:

            a. Market penetration;

            b. Service development;

            c.   Market development; and

            d. Diversification.

    3. Decrease expenses:

            a. Scale related; and

            b. Non-scale related

Each of these elements needs to be systematically investigated to determine its potential impact on reducing the
identified gap.

Estimated expected results

The purpose of examining the expected results from the marketing strategies is to ensure that marketing strategies
will actually deliver the desired marketing objectives. Once the strategies have been determined and decisions made
about the marketing mix to be developed in each market segment, the financial implications of the strategies need to
be evaluated. Estimating expected results involves the detailed review of sales revenues, cost of sales, marketing
costs, operating expenses and overhead expenses. The financial analysis should show that the strategy will produce
anticipated results. It is does not, the marketing strategies need to be examined further to see how they can be
redeveloped to achieve the desired results. This, like all steps in the marketing plan, may be an interactive process.

Identify alternative mixes

The purpose of considering alternative mixes is to discover if more effective marketing strategy is available before the
plan is implemented. A marketing manager may evaluate a number of mixes, using both analysis and trial and error,
to find the best use of available resources before selecting the final marketing mix to be implemented as marketing

If the proposed marketing strategy is not likely to achieve the desired level of expected results other marketing
strategies will need to be considered. However, even if the proposed marketing strategies will deliver the desired
results, alternative marketing mixes should also be investigated to determine if they can deliver improved results.
Thus several further sets of marketing strategies should be developed and evaluated.

At this point the development of contingency plans should be considered. Although it is not possible to establish a
contingency plan for every eventuality, the impact of different sets of assumptions should be assessed and, where
appropriate, broad contingency plans that will need to be considered if certain situations arise. In spite of best
intentions, changed situations can force marketing strategies to be altered.

It is especially important that responsibility for determining why variances have occurred, and for taking appropriate
corrective action, is delegated to specific managers to ensure that plan objectives can be met by marshalling the
necessary resources and by taking positive and timely action.

Phase – IV : Resource Allocation and Monitoring

The last phase in the marketing planning process is resource allocation and monitoring. This involves two final steps:
marketing programmes; and monitoring, control and review.

Marketing programmes

The purpose of marketing programmes is to ensure that all firm’s staff know what actions they are responsible for,
and to determine how to allocate the physical and financial resources available to secure success in each market

Each element of the marketing mix will have its own specific programme, which in turn will be linked to specific
marketing objectives. Marketing programmes are similar to marketing objectives and strategies in that they should do
the following:

       Have an established timetable and be able to be carried out within a defined period of time.

       Identify the resources needed to carry them out.

       Provide for monitoring and control of performance.

Programmes should clearly describe the resources needed to accomplish marketing strategies and the time horizon
in which to achieve them. Programmes provide the opportunity for all members of the marketing team to work
together in an integrated manner.

Programmes involve the development of a practical, fact-based, results-oriented approach which act as a road map
for management to implement marketing activities. A detailed marketing budget needs to be prepared at this point to
ensure that the necessary budget allocations, reflecting projected costs, are available to carry out the programmes.

A further task within programmes is the development and prioritization of important marketing activities, subactivities
and tactics. This involves the preparation of marketing programme timetables to help ensure that key tasks are
accomplished on schedule.

Marketing programmes need to be closely linked with the final stage of monitoring, control and review to ensure

Monitoring, control and review

The purpose of monitoring, controlling and reviewing the programmes and strategies is to ensure that the short-term
strategies are working to bring the business consistently towards achieving its long-term objectives and mission.
Some service companies are very weak at setting and control their achievement. By contrast other service firms are
extremely rigorous in their monitoring and control procedures. One diversified service firm requires all business units
to report detailed weekly results into an electronic mailbox so that performance and profitability is calculated on a
weekly basis. Some retailers have similar performance details available at the close of each day. Clearly the level of
detail and frequency of reporting will be determined by the type of Service Company and the sector in which it
operates. Some service firms will want weekly or even daily performance figures, whilst others can control operations
adequately with monthly or quarterly reports.

As the marketing plan is implemented, performance criteria for measuring the performance of marketing efforts will
need to be determined. Typical performance measures to be monitored and controlled include the following:

       Revenues

       Market share

       Marketing costs

       Overhead costs

       Profits

       Return on investments

       Consumer attitudes

       Sales force productivity

       Advertising effectiveness

       Complaints

       Customer retention

Information systems and reporting procedures need to be established to ensure that the right information is issued to
the right person at the right time and it a useful format. The essential element of monitoring and control is to ensure
the development of information systems that meet the need of the marketing management charged with taking
corrective action.

The ten-step marketing planning framework represents a practical and proven approach for developing and refining a
services marketing plan.

                                                        Lesson 9

                                              Customer-focused Services

Customer Service

A major differentiating factor for service companies is the quality of customer service. Customers are becoming more
sophisticated in their requirements and are increasingly demanding higher standards of service. Hence customer
service is now considered as a broader and separate element of the marketing mix. These include the following:

    1. Changing customer expectations

    2. The increased importance of customer service

    3. The need for a relationship strategy

Companies often have different perspectives on customer service. These include:

       All the activities required to accept, process, deliver and fulfill customer orders and to follow up on any activity
        that has gone wrong.

       Timeliness and reliability of delivering products and services to customers in accordance with their

       A complex of activities involving all areas of the business which combine to deliver the company’s products
        and services in a fashion that is perceived as satisfactory by the customer and which advances the
        company’s objectives.

       Total order entry and all communications with customers, all invoicing and total control of defects.

       Timely and accurate delivery of products and services ordered by customers with accurate follow up and
        enquiry response including timely delivery of invoice.

These alternative views illustrate the extent to which the meaning of customer service varies considerably from one
company to another.

The more pragmatic view of customer service is that it is broader than any of these definitions and that it is concerned
with the building of bonds with customers and other markets or groups to ensure long-term relationships of mutual
advantage which reinforce the other marketing mix elements. Customer service can thus be seen as an activity which
provides time and place utilities for the customer and which also involves pre-transaction and post-transaction
considerations relating to the exchange process with the customer.

Christopher has outlined four key steps in creating a customer service strategy:

    1. Identifying a service mission: A service company should articulate its service commitment and value either
       within its corporate mission and/ or in a separate customer service mission statement which reflects the
       company’s philosophy and commitment to customer service.

    2. Setting customer service objectives: In considering levels of performance in setting these objectives, service
       companies need to consider the importance of service quality variables such as reliability, responsiveness,
       assurance, empathy and tangibles. Customer service objectives need to be considered in the context of pre-
       transaction, transaction and post-transaction activities. This involves understanding what customers value,
       and their cost base, and developing a value proposition superior to that of competitors.

    3. Customer service strategy: Chistopher’s approach to developing a service-based strategy consists of four

            a. Identify service segments;

            b. Identify most important products and customers;

            c.   Prioritize service targets; and
            d. Develop the service package

        Market research can be used to identify the key components of customers service and their relative
        importance, and develop service segments.

    4. Implementation: once the most effective service package has been developed for each segment the company
       wishes to pursue it should then become part of an integrated marketing mix. For service-sensitive sectors
       such as airlines the service attributes can be used as part of the promotional campaign.

A service company should focus especially on customer service and keep customer satisfaction levels under constant
review. Usually there is a need for a complaint system which allows unhappy customers to be identified and
corrective actions taken. Above all else, a service company needs to stay in touch with the changing needs of the
customers in terms of customer service.

Service Quality

Quality can be viewed from two perspectives – internal and external. Internal quality is based on conformance to
specifications. External quality is based on relative customer-perceived quality. It is essential that quality is measured
from the customer’s perspective, not form what managers within a company thing their customers’ views are!

A model has been developed by Parasuraman and his colleagues which helps identify the gaps between the perceive
service quality that customers receive and what they ect. The model identifies five gaps:

    1. Consumer expectation – management perception gap.

    2. Management perception – service quality expectation gap.

    3. Service quality specifications – service delivery gap.

    4. Service delivery – external communications to consumers gap.

    5. Expected service – perceived service gap.

Gap-5 is the service quality shortfall as seen by the customers, and gaps 1-4 are shortfalls within the service
organisatoin. Thus gaps 1-4 contribute to gap-5. These gaps are shown in the following figures:


                     Word of Mouth                   Personal Needs
                    Communicationsr                                                      Past Experience

                                                     Expected Service
The first gap is the difference between consumer expectations and management perceptions of consumer
expectations. Research shows that financial service organisatoins often treat issues of privacy and confidentiality as
relatively unimportant, whilst consumers considered them very import.

 The second gap is the difference between the management perceptions of consumer expectations and service
quality specifications. Managers will set specifications for service quality based on what they believe the consumer
requires. However, this is not necessarily accurate. Hence many service companies have put much emphasis on
technical quality, when in fact the quality issues associated with service delivery are perceived by clients as more

The third gap is the difference between service quality specification and the service actually delivered. This is of great
importance to services where the delivery system relies heavily on people. It is extremely hard to ensure that quality
specifications are met when a service involves immediate performance and delivery in the presence of the client. This
is the case in many service industries: for example, a medical practice is dependent on all he administrative, clerical
and medical staff performing their tasks according to certain standards.

The fourth gap is the difference between service delivery intention and what is communicated about the service to
customers. This establishes an expectations within the customer which may not be met. Often this is a result of
inadequate communication by the service provider.

The fifth gap represents the difference between the actual performance and the customers’ perceptions of the
service. Subjective judgment of service quality will be affected by many factors. Thus a guest in a hotel may receive
excellent service throughout his stay, apart from poor checking out facilities. But this last experience may damage his
entire perception of the service, changing his overall estimation of the quality of the total service provided from good
to poor.

The gap model outlined above provides a framework for developing a deeper understanding of he causes of service
quality problems, identifying shortfalls in service quality and determining the appropriate means to close the gaps.

Service quality is concerned with the ability of an organisatoin to meet or exceed customer expectations. The
measure of performance is perceived service quality. It has been argued that the quality of a service has two
important components:

       Technical Quality – the outcome dimension of the service operations process.

       Functional quality – the process dimension in terms of the interaction between the customer and the service

These two dimensions of service quality highlight the subjective nature of quality assessments. Generally clients of
professional service firms such as accounting and law firms have difficulty in distinguishing between good and
outstanding technical quality of the service; thus judgments are often made on the subjective basis of how the client
was treated.

Image also has a role to play here. Several writers suggest that technical and functional quality determine much of the
corporate image which, in turn, can influence the customer’s perceived service quality. In recent years research has
been undertaken in an effort to understand the factors which influence service quality. Work by Berry and his
colleagues has identified five key areas as follows:

       Tangibles – the physical facilities, equipment, appearance of personnel.

       Reliability – the ability to perform the desired service dependably, accurately and consistently.

       Responsiveness – willingness to provide prompt service and help customers.

       Empathy – caring, individualized attention to customers.

These dimensions represent how consumers organize information about service quality in their minds. On the basis
of exploratory and quantitative research, these five dimensions were found relevant for banking, insurance, appliance
repair and maintenance, securities brokerage, long-distance telephone service, automobiles repair service, and
others. The dimensions are also applicable to retail and business services, and logic suggests they would be relevant
for internal services as well. Sometimes customers will use all of the dimensions to determine service quality
perceptions, at other times not.

Reliability: Delivering on promises

Reliability is defined as the ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately. In its broadest sense,
reliability means that the company delivers on its promises – promises about delivery, service provision, problem
resolution and pricing. Customers want to do business with companies that keep their promises, particularly their
promises about the core service attributes.

Responsiveness: Being willing to help

Responsiveness is the willingness to help customers and to provide prompt service. This dimension emphasizes
attentiveness and promptness in dealing with customer requests, questions, complaints and problems.

To excel on the dimension of responsiveness, a company must be certain to view the process of services delivery
and the handling of requests from the customer’s point of view rather than from the company’s point of view.

Assurance: inspiring trust and confidence

Assurance is defined as employees’ knowledge and courtesy and the ability of the firm and its employees to inspire
trust and confidence. This dimension is likely to be particularly important for services that the customer perceives as
involving high risk and/ or about which they feel uncertain about their ability to evaluate outcomes, for example,
banking, insurance, brokerage, medical and legal service.

Trust and confidence may be embodied in the person who links the customer to the company, for example securities
brokers, insurance agents, lawyers, counselors. In such service contexts the company seeks to build trust and loyalty
between key contact people and individual customer.

Empathy: Treating customers as individuals

Empathy is defined as the caring, individualized attention the firm provides its customers. The essence of empathy is
conveying, through personalized or customized service, that customers are unique and special. Customers want to
feel understood by and important to firms that provide service to them. Personnel at small service firms often know
customers by name and build relationships that reflect their personal knowledge of customer requirements and
preferences. When such a small firm competes with larger firms, the ability to the empathetic may give the small firm
a clear advantage.

Tangibles: Representing the service responsibility

Tangibles are defined as the appearance of physical facilities, equipments, personnel and communication materials.
All of these provide physical representations or images of he service that customers, particularly new customers will
use to evaluate quality. Service industries that emphasize tangibles in their strategies include hospitality services
where the customer visits the establishment to receive the service, such as restaurants and hotels, retail stores, and
entertainment companies.

The most relevant approach in defining and measuring service is the user-based approach. The idea that quality is
subjective and will be strongly linked to the individual’s needs and expectations recognizes that consumers have
different criteria for judging service quality. This user-based approach equates quality with maximum levels of

In measuring quality in this way, however, a distinction needs to be drawn between quality of service delivery and the
service output, or benefit. The customer may be involved in the service production, thus impacting on the quality of
the service delivery process. The actual output of he service may be judged by the customer in terms of their
expectations of the outcome or benefit.

The customer’s overall judgment of service quality can be an evaluation of both the process and the outcome,
compared with the customer’s own expectations and desired benefits. This leads to an important idea in assessing
quality from a services marketing perspective: perceived service quality.

Perceived service quality represents the customer’s judgement of an organization’s service based on their overall
experience of the service encounter. Understanding how customers arrive at this judgement—that is to say, how they
decide whether or not they are satisfied with a particular service—is very important for services marketing

A number of techniques can be sued to help improve service quality. Some of these have been used in
manufacturing, whilst others have been developed or refined in the context of the service sector. Two important
techniques are discussed below:


In order to evaluate service quality it is important to establish a firm’s performance relative to its competitors.
Benchmarking involves looking for the best ways to achieve competitive advantage. The company’s products, service
and practices are continually compared with the standards of the best competitors and identified industry leaders in
other sectors. By observing and measuring the best within and outside the industry it is possible to improve the
performance of the company.

An early firm to adopt benchmarking was Xerox Corporation who use it as a major tool in gaining competitive
advantage. Xerox first started benchmarking in their manufacturing activities and focused on product quality and
feature improvements. By examining competitors’ processed step by and operation by operation, Xerox were able to
identify the best methods and practices in use by their competitors. Benchmarking has now come to be recognized as
appropriate for any area of a company’s operations.

The task of creating competitive advantage involves outperforming, rather than matching the efforts of competitors.
This, together with the obvious difficulties in gaining all the information required on competitors, and their internal
systems and processes, led to the adoption of a broader perspective on benchmarking. Thus benchmarking was
expanded from a focus solely on competitors to a wider, but selective, focus on the products and services to top
performing companies regardless of their industry sector.

This broader perspective on benchmarking has been used as a major element in increasing both quality and

Service blueprinting/ process analysis

Service companies who wish to provide high levels of service quality and customer satisfaction need to understand all
the factors which may influence customer perception. ‘Blueprinting’ or service process analysis is a concept which
breaks down the basic systems and structure of an organisation in order to develop a greater understanding of the
points of contact between the customer and the service provider.

Several approaches to carrying out a blueprinting exercise have been suggested:

    1. Blueprinting/ Cycle of service analysis: The concept suggests that each contact with the customer is a
       ‘moment of truth’, each being an opportunity to either increase of decrease customer satisfaction. The
       customer’s perception is a continuous stream of experiences which together determine the service quality.
       The company will very often not perceive the service in this way as their employees are constrained in their
       view by the particular part of he overall service with which they are involved. The blueprinting/ cycle of service
       approach enables a service company to shift its employees’ perception so that they have a better
       understanding of the customer’s experience.

    2. Value chain analysis: it involves breaking down each of activities of a firm into its various activities, and
       showing where value is added for its customers. Each activity can be analysed to determine its contribution to
       customer satisfaction and service quality.

    3. Storyboarding: this concept was developed by the Walt Disney organisation in designing its theme parks in
       order to engineer the customer experience and ensure the greatest customer satisfaction. When a film is
       made, each scene is outlined in advance, using a series of sketches arranged in a sequence known as a
       storyboard. Similarly, sketches of each contact a customer has with the service provider can be used to
       identify points for improvement in customer service. Scenes can be rearranged to improve the quality of the
       customer experience.

 The best known methodology is the blueprinting approach suggested by Shostak. The blueprint is a valuable tool in
helping visualize the service process, understanding what can go wrong and setting performance standards for
improvement in service quality. This helps nto just with solving potential problems but also in designing ways to deal
with service recovery. Many service companies are now becoming interested in using blueprinting methods to
improve their service quality.

Customer retention

Many service companies place too much emphasis on winning new customers and too little on retaining existing
customers. Companies are now starting to develop specific programmes in order to increase customer loyalty.

There are many reasons why retaining customers is so profitable. These include the following:

      Retained business.
      Sales, marketing and set up costs are amortized over a longer customer life-time.
      Increased expenditure over time.
      Repeat customers often cost less to service.
      Satisfied customers provide referrals
      Satisfied customers may be willing to pay a price premium.
All these reasons may not apply for a particular service business, but overall they represent a significant profit
improvement opportunity for most service sector companies.

The most important issues for companies to remember is that a customer who is lost through dissatisfaction with a
service provider will be gained by a competitor. Keeping customers in therefore a key strategic issue for service
companies to address. Customer retention helps predict the profitability of the company, and therefore provides an
excellent management tool for considering the success of quality and customer service programmes. Retaining a

customer allows a company to develop the relationship and encourages both repeated, and increasingly frequent,
buying activity.

An additional benefit of effective retention programmes is employee satisfaction. The quantified results of retaining
customers can act as a great motivator to staff and increase their willingness to perform excellent customer service. A
total quality management approach which strives to attain a service free of defects should be considered an essential
part of a retention programme.

Relationship a Marketing Programme

Relationship marketing (or relationship management) is a philosophy of doing business, a strategic orientation, that
focuses on keeping and improving current customers, rather than on acquiring new customers. This philosophy
assumes that consumers prefer to have an ongoing relationship with one organization than to switch continually
among providers in their search for value. building on this assumption and the fact that it is usually much cheaper to
keep a current customer than to attract a new one, successful marketers are working on effective strategies for
retaining customers.

Given the many benefits of long-term customer relationships, it would seem that a company would not want to refuse
or terminate a relationship with any customer. In some cases it may be preferable for the firm and the customer not to
continue their relationship.

Developing Marketing Orientation

The process of changing to a market orientation demands genuine and on-going commitment, especially at top
management levels, if real change is to happen. A programme to increase marketing orientation involves the

       An identification of the existing types of orientation that already exists within the organisation – some of these,
        outlined shortly, may be a long way from the marketing ideal.

       An assessment of the present levels of marketing effectiveness within the business.

       The formulation and implementation of an action plan to improve the marketing orientation.

Identification of orientations

The full potential of marketing is not realized in many service sector firms because of their conflicting orientations.
Hence the top management should put their heads together to identify the varying orientations and their associated
attitudes. After a discussion of their implications, members of the senior management can identify the extent to which
they believe these views are held in their company. The results are then summarized and contrasted with the desired
marketing orientation.

These orientations once identified, can form a usual background for a discussion of the mission of the organisatoin
and the shared values that must be developed by top management if a marketing orientation is to be developed.

Identifying Marketing Effectiveness

Kotler identified five attributes that can be used to audit the marketing effectiveness of the business organisatoin:

    1. Customer philosophy

    2. Integrated marketing organisation

    3. Adequate marketing information

    4. Strategic orientation

    5. Operational efficiency

The audit rates the firm on each of these five attributes.

Planning a marketing orientation
The audit reveals a need for improvements in the marketing area and the next stage is formulating a plan to realize
them. The plan must involve the following steps:

       Understanding the organizational and cultural dimensions of change.

       Identifying a champion for marketing.

       Conducting a need analysis

       Designing a training and development programme

       Organizing key support activities.

The organizational dimension

To help identify the organizational and cultural dimensions of the problem, McKinsey & Company’s ‘7S’ framework
can be used to consider key elements required by an effective marketing-oriented services organisation.

This suggests that a strategy to develop a marketing orientation must be supported by a set of shared value, systems,
management style, and organizational structure and of skills and staff. This framework provides a means of viewing
organizations as packages of key sills, or skill gaps. Hence, it can be used as a tool for analyzing organizational
deficiencies, building on position skills and identifying new skills needed.

Recognition of each of these cultural, organisatoin and skill requirements is an essential task in installing a marketing
orientation. Management must also be prepared to change parts of the organisation to meet these requirements.

A champion for marketing

The attitude of the chief executive can be the determining factor in the success or failure of the plan to change to a
marketing orientation. The development of a fully marketing-oriented organisation requires intense effort to shift
existing attitudes and requires a leader with imagination, energy and persistence. Without this person, the programme
can fail or degenerate into a token management-training exercise. Of particular importance is this champion’s

Conducting a needs analysis

A management development needs analysis is the third step. Management development can be defined as an
‘attempt to improve current or future managerial performance by imparting information, conditioning attitudes or
increasing skills.” The needs analysis is a thorough examination of the competitive and marketing environment in
which the company is placed and will identify the knowledge, skills and attitudes that need to be developed.

The management development programme

The need analysis can form the basis for a management development programme aimed at improving marketing
effectiveness. While several option exist, one effective method is to design and run a series of courses involving
marketing staff and executives from all other functions within the organisation. While the content will vary according to
the company’s situation, in general it will cover the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to develop a marketing-
driven organisation.

Key support activities

The following ten key activities are considered as support activities of the marketing plan:

       Establish a marketing task force

       Establish appropriate organizational structure to support marketing

       Acquire marketing talent

       Use external consultants

      Promote market-oriented executives

      Maximize the impact of management development

      Develop a marketing information system

      Install an effective marketing-planning system.

      Recognize the long-term nature of the task.

      Ensure commitment

Once the management development programme has been initiated, the above tasks must be completed to ensure the
successful installation of a marketing orientation.

                                                       Lesson 10

                                            Tourism and Travel Marketing

Tourism is a major industry throughout the world today. It embraces activities ranging form the smallest sea-side
hotel, for example, to airlines, multinational hotel chains and major international tour operators.

The concept of tourism marketing comprises of:

       Identifying and anticipating consumer demand (and desire) for tourism products and services

       Developing a means of providing products and services to fulfill these needs

       Communicating this to the consumer, thereby motivating sales, consequently satisfying both the consumer,
        and the organization’s objectives.

Krippendorf says, “Marketing in tourism is to be understood as the systematic and coordinated execution of business
policy by tourist undertakings whether private or state, owned at local, regional, national and international levels to
achieve the optional satisfaction of the needs of identifiable consumer groups and in doing so achieves an
appropriate return”.

Burkart and Medlick opine, “Tourism marketing activities are systematic and coordinated efforts extended by National
Tourism Organisation and / or tourist enterprises at international, national and local levels to optimize the satisfaction
of tourist groups and individuals in view of sustained tourism growth.”

In view of the above, the following points emerge regarding tourism marketing:

       Tourism marketing is a process of creating a product or providing a service.

       Tourism marketing comprises fact finding, data gathering, analyzing (marketing research), communication to
        inform and promote (Promotion), ensuring and facilitating sales, selection of marketing planning (distribution),
        coordination, control and evaluation (marketing planning and auditing), developing professionally sound
        personnel (people).

       Tourism marketing is an integral effort to satisfy tourism and more so, it is a device to transform the potential
        tourism into the actual tourism.

       Tourism marketing is the safest way to generate demand, expand market and increase the market share.

       Tourism marketing is a managerial process to promote business.

Through market planning, segmentation and marking research, a tourism marketing mix can be developed to achieve
the tourism organization’s goals through strategic marketing.

Market segmentation

In tourism marketing segments may be categorized according to age, frequency of travel, education, occupation or
income. Other bases for segmentation of tourism and travel markets include –

       Purpose (of trips – business, vacation, convention, social/family);

       Psychographic (where behavioral aspects of motivation are used); and

       Benefits (where the benefits being sought by the consumer are the key variable).

The tourism marketing mix

The marketing mix refers to the blend of ideas, concepts and features which marketing management put together to
best appeal to their target market segments. Each target segment will have a separate marketing mix, tailored to
meet the specific needs of consumers in the individual segment.

Product Mix

The tourism product is a non-material intangible thing. The following service are included in the product mix for the
tourism industry:

       Attraction

       Accommodation: one star to Five star, Cottages.

       Transportation: Airways, Railways, Roads, Sea-ways

       Recreation: Theatre, Club, Park, Music

       Restaurant: Western, Chinese, Indian, Others.

       Shopping: Artistic, Handicrafts, Handloom, Books, Garments, Jewellery.

Branding plays a very important role in tourism marketing. Car rental firms, hotel chains and airlines, in particular
employ tremendous efforts to ensure that their name is widely recognized and synonymous with quality, value or
some other characteristic. Travel agents and tour operators depend on reputation to a large extent, and so it is
imperative that they have a strong, recognizable identity. The main reason to build brand loyalty is to encourage
repeat business.

Price Mix

In the tourism industry, the pricing decisions are found critical and challenging since it is a multi-segment industry.
When a tourist proposes to visit a particular place, the total cost on his/her travelling includes the expenses incurred
on transportation, accommodation, communication or so.

In the pricing decisions, the product or the service mist of the tourist organizations is found important. This makes it
essential that the tourist organizations set prices in line with the quality of services to be made available to the

Pricing policy decisions will be directed by strategic objectives. If the objective is market penetration then prices must
be set very competitively to appeal to the largest possible number of potential consumers. If, on the other hand, a firm
is pursuing a niche strategy, catering for the luxury market in high value, exclusive tourism services, then prices
should reflect this promotion and advertising can be used to differentiate the product on an exclusively basis and
premium prices may be charged.

The tourist professionals while making the pricing decisions are required to think in favour of discounting price. The
different forms of discount, such as discounting for cash payment, price reduction for quality, trade discounts, trade
allowances, seasonal discount, distressed stock and similar discount tactics are the options.

Place Mix

Distribution management is concerned with two things – availability and accessibility. If tourism marketing
management is to be certain that their products and services are both available and accessible to the target market,
they must design a channel strategy that will be effective.

Some tourist organizations deal directly with the consumers; some other organizations utilize more than one method
of distribution. The middlemen are the four operators and the transport operators who buy services like hotel rooms,
seats in the aircrafts, railways, arrange chartered flights and sell the same either to the travel agents or even directly
to the tourists. Airlines, for example, sell tickets through travel agents, and sell seats on flights to tour operators, whilst
also operating direct marketing by offering travellers the opportunity to make reservations through their own banking

Promotional Mix

The tourist organizations take up the responsibility of informing, sensing and persuading the potential tourists. The
marketers need to use the various components of promotin to increase the number of users.

The advertisement helps in providing important information to the actual and potential tourists. Its coverage is so
wide. It essentially follows the AIDA principle of attracting the attention, arouse interest, create desire, and stimulate
actions. Advertising is aimed to create the awareness of the travel offers available on a resort and its attractions to
influence their business decisions.

Another dimension of the promotion mix is publicity which focuses attention on strengthening the public relations by
developing a rapport with the media people and getting their personalized support in publicizing the business.

Sales promotion through brochures, point of sale displays and even video cassettes plays a very important role as
advertising. In a tourism industry a travel company offers to their clients compliments such as flight bags, wallets for
tickets and foreign exchange and covers and passport. The hotels offer a number of facilities like shoe shine clothes,
first aid sewing kits and shampoo. Further, the clients also get fruits and flowers in their rooms. There is not doubt that
almost all the promotional measures generate goodwill and add values to the product.

Personal selling: The travel and hotel business depend considerably on the personal selling. The development of
travel and tourism has been possible due to well educated and trained sales personal.

People: The tourism industry depends substantially on the management of human resources. The travel agents and
travel guides play an important role and therefore the management of people helps in developing their credentials to
deliver goods to the tourist organizations.

                                                         Lesson 11

                                                     Hotel Marketing

Marketing hotel services include in its purview everything and almost all the dimensions directly or indirectly helping in
promoting the business. This necessitates formulation of a sound marketing mix, such as an aggregation of different
sub-mixes such as product, promotion, pricing, place, people and process.

Market Segmentation for Hotel

The hotel professionals segment the market in such a way to identify the changing needs and requirements of
different segments to make the marketing decisions effective.

The main bases for hotel segments are geographic, psychographic and socio-economic. The geographic bases
include hotel companies located at different places and psychographic bases include life cycle, buying motives and
knowledge of prospects regarding the services. The social-economic bases include women segment, weak-end
segment and instant market segment. To be more specific, the life-style segment is found to be more important.

Marketing Mix for Hotel Industry

The term marketing mix is the combination of what market offers and identifying the actual point where marketing
actions can be taken to improve the acceptability of hotel product and stimulate demand. The combination of core and
peripheral services, the creative promotional decisions, the pricing strategies helping hotels in maintaining the
commercial viability, the efficient hotel personnel are important decision making areas which gravitate attention on the
formulation of a sound mix for the hotel industry. It is against this background, the different sub-mixes of the
marketing mix are discussed.

Product Mix

The product mix for the hotel services include catering management, restaurant and cafeteria management,
management of bedrooms, management of convention halls etc. The boarding services are considered to be an
important part of product mix. In addition, the lodging services also become significant.

Product Mix of Hotel Services

Here it is essential that facilities like light, water, electricity, ventilation, entertainment, sanitation arrangement of bed
etc. are also equally important. While formulating the product mix, the hotel organisations are required to make
possible a fair mix of all the above services.

Promotion Mix

It is not only sufficient to provide quality services, but it is equally important to promote the business in such a way
that the prospects come to know about the quality to be offered to them. There are number of components for
promoting the business such as, advertisement, publicity, sales promotion, personal selling and word of mouth.

                          Reception                     Welcome Enquiry

                                                      Catering, Restaurant

                           Lodging                       Bed, room, light,
                                                         water, ventilation

                        Entertainment                   TV, Dance, Music

  Product                                                                                 Core &
    mix                   Shopping                     Shopping Arcade,                  Peripheral
                                                        Fair, Exhibition
                                                     Beauty Parlour, hair                                                 64
                                                       cutting, laundry
                       Personal Care

                    Communication and                   Newspapers,
                       Transport                         Magazines,
                                                       Reservation, Car

                          Medical                     First aid/ Ambulance

                                          Fig. 11.1


The hotel professionals make productive use of print media, broadcast media and telecast media for advertisement.
There are significant developments in the print media and due to sophistication in the printing technologies, it is
possible to attract the attention of prospectus by displaying attractive scenes, events, comforts etc. While selecting
the media, it should be kept in mind the magazines and newspapers preferred by target audience. The professionals
have to select a suitable time for transmission in broadcast media, when a majority of the target audience are
supposed to be close to the radio set. Similarly, in telecast media, while advertising due weightage to be given in
selecting sensitive hours, when a majority of viewers are found before their T.V. sets. The scenes of hotel location,
the swimming pool, the shopping complex, the personal car centres, the arranged bed rooms, the restaurants and
convention hall, the aesthetic management are required to be telecast in such a way that attracts the target users.


In the hotel industry, public relations activities play an important role in informating the clients regarding the merits of
different services offered. The specialties of hotel are presented in such a way that the prospects are motivated to
avail of the facilities offered by a particular hotel.

In the hotel business, there are number of events which should be transmitted to the local press, such as menus for
certain functions held at hotel, particulars or certain important conferences or exhibitions to be held, menus for special
days of the year, photographs of staff dressed up for special days and well-known people staying in the hotel.
Sponsored fashion-designing events, entertainment programmes, beauty contest etc. can also be effective publicity

Sales Promotion

Like other organizations, the hotels also offer incentives to the users vis-à-vis to the personnel and organizations
evencing interest in promoting the business.

Tools of sales promotion

       Directed at Hotel Staff: Travel, concessional accommodation for close relations, use of wedding halls for staff,
        contests, gift.

       Directed at Tour Operators and Travel Agents: Compliments (Pen, ashtrays, diaries, calendars, brochure,
        trade exhibition, lunch, direct mail – letters, circulars) concessional accommodation, contest.

       Directed at Guests: Off-reason discount, point of sale, sales, literature, compliments (Pen, ashtrays, diaries,
        calendars, gifts, contest, joint promotion with travel companies, direct mail).

Word of mouth

The word of mouth promotion is very much instrumental in sensitizing the prospects. In the hotel industry it is much
more significant. The word of mouth promoters are those who are satisfied with the service of hotels, who inturn
motivate the prospects. The hotel professionals bear the responsibility of identifying opinion leaders who can
successfully act as a publicist. Persons with high communicative ability, having a reputation in the society are found
suitable for publicizing the services of hotels.

Personal selling

The hotel business is substantially influenced by personal selling. The sales personnel are required to be friendly in
dealings and expression. They are required to be helpful and patient and work towards generating more satisfaction
to customers. For selling successfully, it is essential that sales forces are professionally sound. A fair combination of
personal and social skill is found essential for the sales force to be engaged.

Price mix

Pricing decisions are found critical and challenging. The hotel professionals need to be intelligent while fixing the hotel
traffics since the service are of perishable in nature. In addition, the seasonal fluctuation in demand and increasing
intensity of competition also complicate the task. So they need intelligence while making strategical and tactical
pricing decisions.

Tactical pricing is found instrumental in promoting the hotel business. There are number of ways for practicing this

        Seasonal Discounts: To charge lower prices, especially during off-season.

        Trade Discounts: This is offered to tour operators and travel agents

        Special Discounts: Special function room rates for overnight conventions.

Place Mix

In the hotel industry the distribution of services is mainly related to the transmission of information by the related
persons to the ultimate users. As and when the bookings are made of a bed-room or a function room or of a
restaurant, the confirmation is found essential. A number of factors are found influencing the distribution process,
such as location, point of sale, the cost of distribution, effectiveness of marketing resources, image of hotels, tactical
strategy and the motivational schemes.

The choice of location is the most important business decision, specially for proprietor owned restaurants, guest
houses and small tourist attractions. With the introduction of computers and increasing user of information
technologies, a radical change has come in the distribution system.

The middleman are wholesalers buying hotel rooms in bulk and then selling the same to the retailers, known as the
travel agents. The tour operators are called the producers of services. The travel agents buy the services at the
request of their clients and provide a convenient network of sales outlets which caters to the needs of the catchment

The strategic choice between internal and external selling, domestic and international selling, direct and indirect
selling occupy a place of significance. The hotel professionals are supposed to make the decision sound, so that the
process of distribution is made cost effective.


The people working in the organisation are quite important for the success of the business. In hotel industry, the
receptionists, the porters, the house-keepers, the waiters and waitresses play an incremental role in promoting the
business. The marketing managers take up the responsibility of managing the frontline personnel in such a way that
the promised services reach to the ultimate users. If the hotel personnel in such a way that the promised services
reach to the ultimate users. If the hotel personnel prove to be high performers, personally committed, professionally
sound, value oriented, aware of the behavioral management, familiar with the aesthetic management, they can satisfy
the users.

                                                       Lesson 12
                                               Consultancy Marketing

The Institute of Management Consultancy UK consider consultancy services as the services provided by an
independent and qualified person or persons in identifying the investigating the problems concerned with policy,
organisatoin, procedures and methods; recommending appropriate action and helping to implement these

The aforesaid views make it clear that in the consultancy services, an expert of the related field or discipline or group
of experts identify and investigate the problems and on the basis of their expertise, make available suitable
suggestions and also help in the implementation of recommendations. As for example, person or persons having and
outstanding excellence in the concerned areas like legal, medical, management, technical or so make available
specialized services to a person or persons in the shape or knowledge and information. They make an indepth study
of the problems and offer to them appropriate suggestions to combat the problem. For the services rendered, they
may or may not charge fee or commission.

The application of marketing concept in the consultancy services is a recent phenomenon. A number of consultants
have been found engaged in the process and they have been found selling their views or expertise. This made ways
for conceptualizing marketing in the consultancy services. The growing significance of innovative ideas, expertise
mainly to excel competition paved avenues or practicing marketing. An individual or an institution started the process
of marketing the consultancy services on national and international levels for making profits which made the business
conditions competitive. Since then, the marketing concept has gained importance. Thus by consultancy marketing.
The emphasis is one marketing of expertise by an individual or an institution where they formulate the marketing mix
and keep on moving the process of innovating the decisions to establish their edge on the competitors.

Market segmentation

Clients possess some uniqueness which complicate the task of a marketer, while assessing their needs and
identifying the level of their expectations. In the consultancy services, there are a number of factors influencing the
needs and requirements of the prospects. In the consultancy services and organisation needs to segment the market
on the basis of region, sector and geographical conditions.

Market segmented on the basis of zones helps the consultancy organisatoins in studying the needs and requirements
of different zones and the development of marketing resources are thus made optimal to the users representing a
particular zone. Segmentation on the basis of sector helps the consultants and the consultancy organisatoins in
understanding the expectations of different categories of users in a different way.

Marketing mix for the consultancy organisatoins

The formulation of marketing mix is an important decision making area which requires professional excellence. An
individual or a group of individuals engaged in the consultancy services is required to formulate a sound marketing
mix that makes possible an optimal development of marketing resources. It is the quality and quantity of different
submixes that play a significant role in determining the quality of marketing decisions. This makes it essential that the
marketers while formulating product mix, place mix, promotion mix, price mix and people keep in their mind the
intensity of competition in addition to the level of expectations of clients.

Product mix

In the consultancy services, the important products are technical services, legal services, medical services and the
managerial services. The providers and the clients may be an individual or even an institution.

The formulation of product mix requires a number of care and precautions. The innovative ideas, sophisticated
technologies, intensive research need due care while formulating the product mix.

The formulation of a sound product mix makes it essential that the consultancy organizations make efforts to design a
sound product portfolio in which different types of services are included. The medical consultants need to be aware of
the latest devices of treatment and to offer the patients the best medical aids. The technical consultants also need to
innovate their product mix in the face of technological sophistication from the product mix. The legal consultants need
to be aware of the latest developments, such as amendments in laws, rules and regulations and to formulate the
service mix accordingly. Thus the elimination and inclusion processes need to be adopted even in consultancy
services. These facts make it clear that like other organizations, the consultancy organizations also need to make
possible innovating in the face of multi-dimensional developments in the business.
The formulation of sound package is also found important in the product mix of the consultancy organisatoins. Here
the emphasis is on the blending of different types of services keeping in view the needs and requirements of different
segments availing the services. The packages become a point of attraction if the marketers show their professional
excellence in the blending process.

In view of the above, it is right to mention that the formulation of a sound product mix is considered essential and the
marketing professional serving the consultancy organisatoins need to make it possible. This is easier when they are
well aware of the changing needs and requirements and the increasing level of expectations of the clients /

Promotion mix

Like other services, the consultancy services are also required to be promoted. With the help of sound mix of
promotion which is a fair blending of the different constituents, such as advertising, publicity, sales promotion, word-
of-mouth promotion and personal selling, the consultancy services can be effectively promoted.


While advertising, the consultancy organisatoins need to draw their attention to some of the important problems
mentioned below:

     Composing slogans having creativity.
     Selecting suitable vehicles for traveling the messages
     Injecting sensitivity to the messages, themes and appeals.
     Making the advertisements measures cost effective.
     Increasing the life-span of advertisement slogans
     Testing the advertising slogans before their final launching
     Testing the advertising effectiveness.
With the increasing sophistication in print technology, the print media is an effective instrument in informing, sensing
and persuading the clients. The newspapers, magazines, posters, brouchers, leaflets are effective print media.

Now, the telecast media has established its edge over the print and broadcast media. This is due to the fact that
televisions have the outstanding merit of audio-visual exposure. The marketing and advertising professionals bear the
responsibility of making the advertisement slogans creative provide adequate budget to make advertisement effective
and purposeful.


Like other organisatoins even the consultancy organisatoin are required to use this component of promotion. The
ultimate object of publicity is to transmit the news and information to the masses. In the consultancy services, the
publicity measures are required to be innovative. This requires support of academics and professionals in the field of
creative literature and getting them published in the important newspapers, magazines and journals preferred by the
target clients. The services to be offered by a consultancy organisation would be published in a reputed media having
wider circulation. The technical, medical, legal’s management journal, and the important newspapers and magazines
preferred by the prospects require due attention of marketing professionals.

The marketing professionals serving the consultancy organisatoin need to develop rapport with the media people to
publish the developments. Organizing press conferences, displaying and visualizing positive contributions, quality of
services, benefits to the users are some of the important aspects requiring due attention of marketing professionals in
general and the public relations officers in particular.

Sales promotion

This component of promotion bears the efficacy of touching the target with the help of incentives offered to the
middlemen and the clients. It is a temporary incentive instrumental in promoting the consultancy business.

The consultancy organizations are required to influence the personnel supposed to offer the services to the clients by
small gifts. In addition, the sales promotion measures are also offered for the users or clients. This may be in different

forms, such as concessional services for a particular period, offering of small gifts to the customers, organisatoin of
sales contests for the clients and users, package benefits to the customers for a particular period. While offering
incentives, the consultancy organizations also need to turn their eyes on the strategies adopted by the competitors so
that they are in a position to offer the innovative measures.

Personal selling

Sales people are supposed to perceive power, value and decision making system in the client’s organisatoins. It is
also essential that they develop personal relationship with clients. The success of personal selling substantially
depends on the personality and excellence of an individual. Physical attractions are assigned due weightage in the
very context. If they behave well, act well, move well, communicate well and receive well; the task of consultancy
organizations becomes simple.

Personal promotion helps the consultancy organizations in creating impulse buying. A consultant salesman is
required to device new ways to move market into action so that impulse buying is generated in a right direction. The
excellence of a consultative salesman occupies a place of outstanding significance. If the clients remain satisfied with
the communicative ability of the consulting sales people, the task of consultants and the consultancy organizations is
simplified considerably. It is pertinent to mention that it is not only the consultants who generate the business but
virtually it is the result of a joint endevour of the consultative sales people and the consultants that simplify the
process of promoting the business. The consultative sales people are required to create awareness and interest,
reinforce to overcome cognitive dissonance, facilitate and cause the purchase to take place and ensure that the
clients are satisfied with the service of consultants. It is against this background that personal selling occupies a place
of outstanding significance in the promotion of consultancy services.

Word-of-mouth promotion

By word-of-mouth communication the emphasis is on promoting the services by the hidden sales force. It is pertinent
to mention that the satisfied group of customers communicate to their close friends and relatives the outstanding
properties of he services availed by them. For instance, if you are satisfied with the services of a medical consultant
you talk to your friends and relatives regarding the same. In fact, you act as a hidden sales force. In future your
friends and relatives prefer to use the services of the same doctor. Like this, if a legal consultant helps you in
protecting the property, you talk to you friends and relatives the same. They prefer to user the services of the same
legal consultants as and when they need. These facts are a mute testimony to this proposition that quality goods or
services are promoted even by the satisfied group of customers or users. It is in the context the we talk about the
instrumentality of word-of-mouth promotion in promoting the consultancy services.

It is important that in this context the marketing professionals also need to sue the services of opinion leaders or vocal
persons. They identify such persons, offer to them concessional services in addition to small gifts and expect from
them a strong advocacy in favour of their services.

Price mix

In the consultancy services the price mix refers to fee or commission charged by the consultants or the consultancy
organisatoins for making the services available to the clients. The pricing objectives may be either price-competitor or
non-price-competitor. In the price-competitor objective, the consultancy organizations offer lower price since the
pricing decisions are required to be motivational. In the non-price-competitor objective, stable pricing is followed. The
other objectives are profit-generating, market stability, market share etc.

It is important that the consultants and the consultancy organizations explore possibilities for a rational pricing policy
which helps in maintaining the commercial viability besides serving the social interests.

Place Mix

An individual consultant offers the services directly to the ultimate users. But the consultancy organisatoins offer the
services to the clients with the help of branch offices. To be more specific when the head office located for off, it is
essential that the consultancy organizations make suitable arrangements for the offering of service at different places
through its branches. The opening of branch offices simplify the task of head office which also helps in improving the
quality of services.

People Mix

In almost all the consultancy organizations, the instrumentality of people in implementing the policies and
programmes in an effective way. The consultancy organizations also need the services of quality people serving as
consultants, consultant sales people, working in the branch offices. A fair synchronization of sophisticated
technologies and quality employees makes the ways for quality upgradition. If the employees serving the branch
offices are satisfied with the incentives offered to them, the promised services reach to the clients or the ultimate
users. This makes it essential that the consultancy organisatoins make possible employee-orientation by offering to
the employees incentives in different forms. Thus while managing people, the marketing professionals need due
weightage to the incentive plans for employees which would pave avenues for performance – orientation.

                                                      Lesson 13

                                                   Courier Services

With the increasing pressure of work and decreasing efficiency, the Department of Posts failed in managing the
mailing services which made it essential that an alternative system emerges to cater to the changing needs of trade
as well as the domestic sectors. The courier services thus came into existence. A number of formal and informal
organisatoins started offering the services at regional, national and international levels. The different categories of
users have no option but to depend on the private sector who, of course offer quality but of expensive nature. It is
against this background that we talk about the marketing of courier services.

Courier Marketing – A Conceptual Framework

Marketing the courier services focuses our attention on the application of modern marketing principles in the business
process. Courier marketing is a managerial process that make possible a planed development of services. It is an
organized efforts to make the services commercially viable to the courier organizations vis-à-vis affordable to the
users who make use of their multi-dimensional services. The marketing concept makes it essential that the
organizations formulate a sound service mix in which we find a fair synchronization of different types of services. The
courier marketing practices thus make possible formulation of different submixes of the marketing mix, such as the
product mix, the promotion mix, the price mix, the place mix and the people mix. In addition, the development of
sound marketing inputs becomes a focal point which makes the ways for the development of quality outputs.

Conceptualizing courier marketing makes the ways for satisfying the users which happens to be the most important
thing for increasing the market share and the level of profits. The courier organizations thus can maintain commercial
viability. By formulating and innovating the marketing mix, the courier organisations can be successful in developing
and perceiving a new perception of quality which makes possible qualitative improvements in the process. Generation
of profits and satisfaction to the users are the two important dimensions which pave avenues for multi-dimensional
quantitative-cum-qualitative improvements in the process. The organizations by making the services competitive can
be successful in excelling competition. Since the marketing focuses on professional excellence, the courier
organizations can also be successful in projecting a fair image. These facts make it clear that the application of
marketing principles is to benefit the courier organizations in many ways. It is against this background that the leading
courier organisatoins are found practicing innovative marketing.

Marketing Mix for Courier Organizations

The courier organizations are required to formulate a sound marketing mix for improving the quality of services. The
courier services are required to be made competitive and this makes it essential that the courier organizations
conceptualize marketing in such a way that the processes of qualitative-cum-quantitative transformation are activated
in the face of emerging business conditions. It is against this background that the marketing professionals are
supposed to make creative marketing decisions. This focuses our attention on the formulation of different submixes.

Product Mix

Mounting intensity of competition makes it essential that the courier organizations formulate a sound product mix. By
formulating a sound product mix, they would be in a position to understand the changing needs and requirements of
different segments of users on prospects and the service profile would be made user-friendly.

Inclusion of innovative services in the service mix would enrich the service profile and would also be instrumental in
sensitizing the prospects. The stimulation of demand makes it essential that the customer get the services which are
not to be made available by the Department of Posts. This draws our attention on the formulation of a sound product
mix for the courier organizations. The professionals are supposed to wok with the service motive. They need to make
it sure that the promised services reach to the users without making any distortion in the process.

                                                Dispatching Letters,
                                                 Packets (Inland)

                                                Dispatching Letters,
                                                 Packets (Foreign)

                         Courier                Dispatching valuable               Product
                         Services               documents, papers                    Mix

                                                 Dispatching Boxes

                                                 Dispatching Boxes

                                                     Fig. 13.1

While formulating the product mix, they are required to make it sure that the service portfolio includes both the high-
profit-generating services as well as the low-profit-generating services.

Promotion Mix


The first constituent of promotion, i.e. advertising plays an effective role in promoting the business. To be more
specific in the present age of sophisticated technologies, we find advertisement instrumental in promoting the
business of courier organizations. In this context, they need to advertise through print media, broadcast media and
the telecast media. The courier organizations find print media ore effective because the sophistication in the
development of print technology has opened doors for creativity. The availability of quality materials is found injecting
additional attractions while advertising through the print media. The advertising professionals need to select the
media preferred by the target prospects. The newspapers, magazines in big circulation may be effective since the
services are used by almost all the segments of the market. In addition, the courier organizations also get an
opportunity of making descriptive advertisements to courier organizations also get an opportunity of making
descriptive advertisements to inform in detail the target prospects. Further we have been found more effective. The
marketing professionals and to be more specific the advertising professionals bear the responsibility of composing
creative slogans so that messages, themes and appeals are found instrumental in sensitizing the prospects. There is
no doubt that due to audio-visual exposure we find telecast media very much effective in stimulating the demand. The
large-sized courier organizations are found using all the three media.


Being an unpaid form of persuasive communication, the publicity makes it essential that the professional attempt to
develop a rapport with the media people and organize a get-together and offer to them lunch, dinner and the small
gifts to influence them to write articles and news items in favour. If the media people are found satisfied with the
quality of services offered by them, they may give suitable coverage as a news item which would considerably be
instrumental in sensitizing the prospects. The publicity measures are found more effective since the prospects at
large feel that the media people are presenting right things regarding the services of courier organisatoins. Thus the
courier organisatoins may also use this component of the promotion mix.

Personal selling

It is right to mention that for promoting the business of courier organisation, we find personal selling very much
effective. The courier organisatoins may be successful in promoting the business in a right fashion, if the sales people
have high communication ability. To be more specific the large sized courier organizations may engage agents, trade
representatives for developing contract with the target prospects. If the sales personnel have high communicative
ability, attractive personality and commitment to profession, the dialogues can be transformed into a deal. We can’t
deny the fact that the courier organisatoins need to recruit and train quality sales people for that very purpose. The
instrumentalities of messengers acting as courier have been accepted by all. If the courier, agents, representative
narrate to the prospects right things in a right fashion, we find enough scope for stimulation.

Word-of-mouth promotion

If the courier organizations offer world class services to the prospects or users; it is natural that they remain satisfied
and communicate to their friends and relatives the plus and negative points. They in a true sense act as a hidden
salesforce. If we come to know about the outstanding quality of courier services from our friends and relatives, we
prefer to use the services of that very organisation as and when the circumstances necessitate so. The courier
organizations may also take the support of opinion leaders for this purposes.

Sales promotion

Sales promotion happens to be an important component of the promotion mix. The courier organisatoin need to think
about the innovative promotional tools for the sales personnel, marketing personnel and more so for the users of the
services. in these context, they need to offer gifts, offer an attractive package, concessional services to the habitual
users or so. The main thing in the process is to make the tools innovative because almost all the courier organizations
are found offering small or big gifts.

Price Mix

The pricing decisions of courier services become critical because the organizations are supposed to make rational
decision which on the one hand maintain their commercial viability while on the other also subserve the interests of
those segments of the society who find it difficult to pay the high tariff. Like other organizations, the courier
organisatoins are also required to keep into consideration the fact that even the weaker sections of the society find it
convenient to user their services. It is against this background that we go through the price mix of the courier

The courier organizations buy the supporting services from the different categories of organisatoins which
substantially influence their tariff structure. It is right to mention that whatever they charge as tariff from the users
remains the only source of financing the business and therefore it is difficult for them to subserve the social interests
by offering concessional or subsidized services. However the courier organization need to explore avenues for the

The courier organizations are required to make the pricing decisions more scientific and progressive. This draws our
attention on charging high structure from the users dispatching valuable documents and papers, charging low
structure from the habitual users, charging very low structure from the habitual large-sized users. The motive is to
increase the market share and therefore in no case the tariff structure should cross the structure charged by the
Department of Posts. If they improve the quality of services and make the structure competitive, the market share
would automatically be increased.

Place Mix

The place mix draws attention on the two important issues, first the services are processed in a right way in order that
the gap between the services-promised and service-offered is bridged over and second the courier organization and
their branch officers are located at a sensitive point so that the users as well as the personnel working there don’t feel
any trouble.

The first dimension of the place makes it essential that the professionals manage their head and branch offices
properly. The personnel working there are efficient and the technologies used in the process of offering the services
are sophisticated.

The second dimension of the place mix drawn attention on the location points for the branch and head offices. We
can’t deny that the places selected for the offices of the courier organizations should smoothly be accessible. The
required infrastructural facilities should be available at the centers and the offices should be managed in a right way.
The interior decoration needs due attention of the professionals because this is the provision found instrumental in
adding attractions to the services. In this context, it is also significant that proper furnishing is made possible and
sophisticated communication services are available at the centers. To be more specific, we find safety and protection

provisions requiring due attention of the professionals responsible for managing the branch offices as well as the
head office. The availability of power and transportation facilities can’t be under estimated.

The management of place for the courier organizations need due attention of the policy planners failing which the new
perception of quality can’t be developed. Thus it is right to mention that the courier organizations need to manage
place mix with the help of efficient personnel and with the support of sophisticated technologies.

People Mix

In addition to other components of the marketing mix, we also need to gravitate our attention one the people mix. It is
against this background that the professionals make a strong advocacy in favour of managing the people mix. This
draws attention on the different categories of employees serving the courier organizations at head or branch offices.

By performance-orientation, our emphasis is on improving the efficiency of employees involved in the process. This
makes it essential that the marketing professionals assign due weightage to the management of employees serving
the courier organizations. The employees working at the head and branch offices are required to be efficient, well
aware of the operation and maintenance of technologies used in the process, sincere and punctual to the
management of time and familiar with the behavioral profile of prospects or users. By showing commitment to the
profession, they can prove themselves to be high performs.

We talk about performance-orientation but don’t find it essential to assign due weightage to employee-orientation. By
the employee-orientation, our focus is on motivating the employees suitably by offering to them efficiency-based
incentive plans. The professionals need to realize that unless they offer to the employees suitable incentives, the
process of efficiency-generation would hardly be accelerated. This makes it essential that the courier organizations
assign an overriding priority to the incentive plans for the employees which would make ways for performance –

In view of the above, it is right to mention that the professionals bearing the responsibility of formulating a sound
marketing mix also consider the instrumentality of people mix and they need to blend the different submixes in such a
way that the marketing decisions are found proactive.

                                                     Lesson 14

                                                   Bank Marketing

The new concept of bank marketing assigned due weightage to customer satisfaction. It is aimed at having a full view
of customers needs fulfilling them in the best possible way by required services, identification of potential customers
and conducting the activities on the basis of market segmentation. It is said that marketing of banking service is
concerned with product, promotion, pricing and place. In addition, an number of experts also advocate in favour of
people, process and physical evidence.

Market Segmentation

The bank professionals have to segments the market in such a way that the expectations of all the potential
customers are studied in the right perspective and the marketing resources are developed to fulfil the same.

The policy of segmentation helps the professionals in formulating and innovating the policies and at the same time
simplifies their task, while formulating and innovating the strategic decisions.

An important criteria for market segmentation is the economic system is which agricultural sector, industrial sector,
services sector, household sector, institutional sector and rural sector require due weightage.

Marketing Mix for the Banking Services

The formulation of the marketing mix for the banking services is the prime respnonsible-to the product portfolio, which
means, the different types of services/ schemes formulated by the banks.

Product Portfolio for Banks

    a. Deposits

                       i. Time deposit

                       ii. Demand deposit

    b. International Banking

                       i. Letters of credit

                       ii. Foreign currency

    c.   Consultancy

                       i. Tax

                       ii. Merchant banking

                    iii. Project counselling

                    iv. Investment counselling

    d. Loans and Advances

                       i. Agricultural loan

                       ii. Vehicle loan

                    iii. Educational loan

                    iv. Jewel loan

                       v. Business loan

    e. Miscellaneous
                     i. Safe-custody

                    ii. Credit cards

                    iii. Travellers’ Cheque

                    iv. Collections

                    v. Gift Cheque

Promotion Mix

In the formulating of marketing mix, the bank professionals see also supposed to blend the promotion mix in which
different components of promotion, such as advertising, publicity, sales promotion, word of mouth promotion, personal
selling and telemarketing are given due weightage.


While developing advertising he bank has to prepare appeals, slogans and messages and select a suitable media for
travelling the messages. There are a number of devices to advertise, such a broadcast media, telecast media and the
print media. For promoting the banking business, the print media is found economic as well as effective. The telecast
media very much effective, but it is found very expensive. The messages, appeals can be presented in a very
effective way.

They have to provide sufficient budget and test the effectiveness of advertisements. Banks need to develop and
strengthen the public relation activities to promote their business.

Personal selling

The personal selling is found instrumental in promoting the banking business. It is just another name for persuasion.
The banking organizations need to make use of this dimension with the help and cooperation of efficient and
personally committed sales people. If the sales people have in-depth knowledge of the sales, dialogue, sales
technique behavioral profile of the customers, the task of transforming the dialogue into a business is found easier.
This requires an intensive training programme. The personal selling is based on the personal skill of sales people. If
they know in detail about the prospects to be interviewed, the questions to be asked by the prospects/ representative
of business houses, it is possible for them to convince.

Sales Promotion

The banking organizations also think in favour of promotional incentives both to the bankers as well as the customers.
The gift, contests, fairs and shows, discount and commission, entertainment and travelling plans for bankers,
additional allowances, low interest financing and retaliatory are to mention a few found instrumental in promoting the
banking business.

Word of mouth

The social reformists, popular cine artists, TV artists, opinion leaders, vocal persons may act as word of mouth
promoters. A satisfied group of customers is considered to be the most successful hidden promoters. They will
commend to others the excellent services of a particular bank or the outstand properties of a particular scheme.
Hence it is clear that the word of mouth promotion is an important component of promotion mix, but its instrumentality
is influenced by the quality of service offered.

Price Mix

The pricing decisions related to interest and fee or commission charged by banks are found instrumental in motivating
the target market. The pricing policy is considered important for raising the number of customers vis-à-vis the
accretion of deposits. Of course, there are a number of factors of influence the process, but the key role is placed by
the Reserve Bank of India.

Place Mix

A selection of suitable place for the establishment of a branch is significant with the view pint of making the place
accessible and in addition, the safety and securing provision are also important. The management of office is also
found significant with the view point of making the services attractive. The furnishing, civic amenities and parking
facilities cannot be overlooked. Of late, aesthetic management getting due place in the foreign branches. This draws
our attention on beautifying the office and premises and making the place environment friendly. Thus these
consideration need due weightage while managing the branches of a bank.


Generation of efficiency is substantially influenced by the quality of human resources. The commercial banks need to
assign a priority to the development of quality people for the development of an organisation. Hence the first task
before the banks is to overhaul the recruitment process. While fixing criteria for selection, they need assign due
weightge to the ethical values. Further, the education and training facilities are required to be innovated. Above all
due weightge to be given for the development of Human, Humane, Humanism, these three terms if found in the
human resources, help developing productive people.

It is high time that the commercial banks conceptualize innovative marketing to satisfy the customers’ expectations
and to meet the global competition.

                                                      Lesson 15

                                                Insurance Marketing

The term insurance marketing refers to the marketing of insurance service with the motto of customer-orientation and
profit-generation. The insurance marketing focuses on the formulation of an ideal mix for the insurance business so
that the insurance organizations survive and thrive in a right perspective. They quality of services can be improved by
formulating a fair mix of the core and peripheral services.

The marketing concept in the insurance business is concerned with the expansion of insurance business in the best
interest of society vis-à-vis the insurance organisatoins. The insurance companies lag behind most manufacturers in-
recognizing the marketing concept in their organizations. Insurance companies tend towards a strong sales
orientation, since the services they sell, although certainly necessary ones, rarely sell themselves. Potential policy
holders are reluctant to think about the disaster and death. So they postpone planning for these possibilities unless
they are contacted and influenced by insurance agents. Thus the insurance company’s mutual orientation is toward
sales, not marketing. But in the modern business world, the marketing concept insists on fixing of accountability for
overall marketing performance.

The selection of risks (product planning), policy writing (customer service), rating of actuarial (pricing) and agency
management (distribution) – all marketing activities make up an integrated marketing strategy. Particularly in the
developing countries like ours, the organizational objectives advocate spreading of insurance services much more
widely and in particular to the rural areas and specially to the economically backward classes with a view to reaching
all insurable persons. This naturally necessitates an integral marketing strategy. In other words, market-orientation in
place of sales orientation is need of the hour. Hence the marketing concept in the insurance business foeuses on the
formulation of marketing mix or a control over the whole group of marketing activities that make up an integrated
marketing strategy.

Market Segmentation

In the insurance organizations, the task of formulating the overall marketing strategies cannot be performed efficiently
unless the market is segmented. It was against this background that marketing studies engineered a sound
foundation for segmenting the markets of insurance business. The market for the insurance business is found vast,
the potential policyholders are in very good number and their needs and requirements are not identical. The
segmentation helps the insurance organisatoins in dividing and sub-dividing the market into small segments in which
the needs and requirements are found by the large identical.

If the market segmentation is done in a right fashion, the marketers find it convenient to identify the level of
expectation of users. The main purpose of market segmentation is to know the market. Unless the insurance
companies know the needs and requirements and identify the level of expectations of the policy holders, it is difficult
to formulate a sound marketing strategy.

Where a large number of users living in the rural areas, the emergence of a strong rural sector cannot be negated.
The region-wise segmentation simplifies the task of having a microscopic study of culture, language, likes and
dislikes. This helps in making the marketing decisions creative. It is essential that the insurance organisatoins
capitalize on the available opportunities in the market. They need to increase their market share. This makes it
essential that they succeed in informing, sensing and persuading the different segments where the potential users are
available. It is not productive to concentrate on only one segment. The insurance professionals need to business in all
the segments, such as rural and urban, men and women, agricultural and industrial or so. The need of the hour is to
spread the insurance business even to the agricultural sector of the economy.

The segmentation would help insurance professionals in making the promotional measures creative which would be
very much instrumental in sensitizing he prospects. The advertisement professionals would make advertisement
appeals, messages, campaigns proactive to the receiving capacity of the target audience. The sales promotion
measures can also be innovated to get a positive response. The personal selling may be effective since the sales
personnel/ agents are supposed to be aware of the needs and requirements of customers/ users. Thus the
segmentation would help marketers in many ways. The pricing/ fee decision can also be rationalized and the weaker
sections of the society would get substantial benefits. The main thing in segmentation is receiving the expectations of
users/ prospects in a right fashion and accordingly developing a suitable marketing strategy.

Marketing Mix for Insurance

The insurance organizations in general and the public sector insurance organisatoins in particular need to assign due
weightage to the formulation of marketing mix for the insurance business. The emerging trends indicate that if the
insurance organizations delay the process of formulating a sound marketing mix for their business, there would be a
sharp fall in their market share in the future, which would bring down the rate of profitability. It is against this
background that we go through the problem of marketing mix for the insurance services. This makes it essential to
study the different submixes of marketing such as the product mix, the promotion mix, the price mix, the place mix,
the people, the process and the physical evidence, in relation to the marketing of insurance.

Insurance Product

The insurance organizations produce or generate services in different forms. A product is both what a seller has to
sell and what a buyer has to buy. thus any enterprise that has something to sell, tangible goods or not is selling
products. In the insurance business, the insurance organisatoins are found selling services and therefore, services
are their product. Thus a product is also called a bundle of utilities consisting of various product features and
accompanying services. When an individual or a company buys a policy from the insurance organizations, not only
the policies are bought but the agents’s assistance and advice, the prestige of the insurance organizations, the
facilities of claims and compensations are also bought.

In the context of formulating the product mix, it is essential that the insurance organisatoins promote innovation and in
the product portfolio include even those services and schemes which are likely to get a positive response in the
future. In addition, they need to formulate a sound package that proves to be more motivational. While formulating a
package, the insurance professionals need to assign due weightage to the interests of rural India. The private sector
insurance organisatoins have been found making their service mix internationally competitive. This makes a strong
advocacy in favour of innovative product strategy for the public sector insurance organizations.

In view of the above, the following aspects need due attention of policy makers:

    1. The formulation of product mix should be in the face of innovative product strategy. The strategies adopted by
       the foreign and private insurance companies should be taken into consideration while initiating the innovation

    2. The Data Processing Department is supposed to collect necessary information related to the changing level
       of expectations of prospects so that the senior executives make the product portfolio productive to the users
       and profitable to the insurance organizations.

    3. It is also significant that the insurance organizations initiate the process of elimination of the services,
       schemes not profitable to them. This necessitates a study of the product life cycle.

    4. The formulation of product strategy should assign due weightage to the rural segment emerging as a big
       profitable segment.

    5. The insurance organisatoins include in the product portfolio even those policies and schemes which become
       instrumental in safeguarding the interests of the weaker sections of the society.

    6. The formulation of a package is also found important. We find the foreign insurance companies designing a
       package on the basis of the needs and requirements of the concerned segment. This would make the product
       mix competitive.

    7. There are some of the profitable areas which till not are found either partially tapped or even totally untapped.
       The agents, rural career agents, the branch managers bear the responsibility of identifying the profitable
       segments of future and helping the senior executive in tapping the potential optimally.

    8. A sound product portfolio is the need of the hour and therefore the regulatory barriers or constraints in
       activating the innovation process should be minimized.

Promotion Mix

In the formulation of marketing mix, the promotion mix occupies a significant place. In the promotion mix, a number of
submixes, such as the advertising, public relations, sales promotion, word-of-mouth promotion, personal selling are


Advertising a paid form of persuasive communications is found important to promote the insurance business. The
advertising professionals bear the responsibility of making the advertisement slogans, appeals, campaigns creative
so that the process of sensitizing the prospects is found proactive. The insurance companies advertise through
telecast media, broadcast media and the print media. Among these, telecast media is found to be more effective in
sensitizing process. With the help of audio-visual exposure, the rate of acceptability of the messages can be
increased sizeably. If the advertising professionals are well aware of the messages creative. The broadcast media
can also be used for that very purpose. Through the available big transmission network and a well developed system,
the insurance organisatoins are supposed to use even the broadcast media. Another benefit of this media is to reach
the messages even to the remotest parts of the country. The print media can also be used for promoting the
insurance business. Being economic in nature and impressive in expression, the print media of late, has been found
gaining popularity. The sophistication in the print technologies has made the media more attractive. It is against this
background that now almost all the organizations assign due weightage to this. The insurance organizations need to
promote the print media since this would simplify their task of making the appeals effective by using regional


In addition to advertisement, the insurance/ professionals also need to think in favour of publicity since this
component of promotion if used in a right fashion makes our promotional efforts proactive. The advertisements may
be insensitive, but we find publicity effective since the messages, views, opinions, facts, figures are publicized by
media or the vocal leaders. It is a device to promote business without making any payment and therefore it is called
as an unpaid form of persuasive communication bearing high rate of sensitivity. Strengthening the public relations
activities is another dimension requiring due attention and the public relations officers shall beat the responsibility of
projecting a positive image of the organisatoin. The PRO is considered to be professional having the world class
excellence in influencing the prospects, users, others. He/She bears an important responsibility of informing, sensing
and persuading. He/she is found responsible for managing the sales dialogues. This makes it essential that we find
selection of suitable persons for the said purpose and in addition also intensify training programmes, refresher
courses, capsule courses to educate and train them in tune with the changing business conditions. The receptionists,
secretaries, front-line-staff publicize the business with their gesture and posture. They are supposed to know-how to
talk, how to initiate, how to impress and how to conclude. They should look smart and attractive and should also have
quality communicative ability. It is an art which is found based on certain properties. It is essential to educate and train
them properly so that they, with the help of their dialogues and body communications succeed in impressing upon the
prospects/ users. If they are well aware of the changing level of expectations of customers, the task is made easier.

Sales promotion

Sales promotion is a temporary device which is adopted only for a particular period. In the insurance business, the
incentives to the policy holders users or to the agents, rural career agents or even to the insurance personnel for
promoting the business are the sales promotion tools. Incentives to the end users for taking a policy play an
incremental role in promoting the insurance business. The offering of small gifts during a particular period, the rebate,
discount, bonus can be instrumental in increasing the business of insurance organizations. It is right to mention that
such incentive to the policy holders/ prospects would be successful in increasing the business. It is the responsibility
of the insurance professionals that they keep on activating the process of innovation so that the foreign insurance
companies find it difficult to compete with the public sector insurance organizations.

This makes it clear that incentives to the user/ policyholders as well as to the agents and the rural career agents
would be instrumental in promoting the insurance business, provided the insurance professionals innovate the same,
much earlier than their competitors.

Personal selling

The personal selling occupies a place of outstanding significance. This is due to the fact that the insurance business
is substantially influenced by the instrumentality of agents and the rural career agents. It they are aware of the art of
informing, sensing and persuading the potential policyholders, the task of insurance organisations is simplified

Personal selling is based on the excellence of an individual. This focuses our attention on the ability of an individual to
influence the impulse by activating the persuasion process. This makes it significant that the agents as well as the
rural career agents have certain outstanding properties or attributes, such as patience, communicative ability,
attractive personality and commitment to the profession. Hence the insurance organizations are supposed to assign
due weightage to the excellence in an individual who is assigned this responsibility. The need to provide due incentive
to the agents so that they work satisfactorily and keep on moving the process of informing and persuading the
policyholders/ prospects. While recruiting agents, the insurance professionals need to be careful so that persons with
high communicative ability, an attractive physique and everlasting patience are assigned the responsibility of acting
as an agent. The branch managers bear the responsibility of managing and developing the agents by monitoring their
contributions to the process of increasing the insurance business. They are supposed to organize refresher courses
to develop the agents so that the emerging trends in the investment potentials of a command area vis-à-vis the
changing level of expectations of the policyholders/ prospects are transmitted to them in a right fashion and on time.
The personal selling thus requires an intensive care. It is high time that the Career Agents Schemes and the Rural
Career Agents’ Schemes are promoted.

Word-of-mouth promotion

The word-of-mouth communications result into wider publicity which substantially sensitive the process of influencing
the impulse of users/ prospects of the insurance services. The satisfied group of customers, the opinion leaders, the
social reformists, the popular personalities acts as word-of-mouth communicators. The insurance organizations need
to assign due weightage to the quality of service made available to the users. The insurance professionals are also
supposed to seek the cooperation of opinion leaders, vocal persons for promoting the business and for that the
offering of small gifts to them is required essential.

Another dimension of this component of the promotion mix is to seek the cooperation of users who are satisfied with
the services. They are habitual users and therefore it is natural that they talk to their friends and relatives about your
positive contributions. The advertisements slogans may be insensitive, even the sales promotion measures may be
ineffective but the positive feelings of your friends and relations communicated to you can’t be ineffective. This makes
it clear that the most important thing in the promotion of any business is the quality of services that you offer to your
users/ customers.

Price Mix

In the insurance business, the pricing decisions are concerned with the premium charged against the policies interest
charged for defaulting the payment of premium and credit facilities, commission charged for underwriting and
consultancy services. The formulating of pricing strategies becomes significant with the viewpoint of influencing the
target market or prospects. It is pertinent that the insurance organisatoins in general and public sector insurance
organizations in particular adopt such a strategy for pricing that makes it a motivational tool and paves the ways for
increasing the insurance business. This necessitates a new vision for setting premium structure and paying the bonus
and charging the interest.

The insurance organizations prefer to make a mix of high a low pricing strategy. To be more specific, in the public
sector insurance organisatoins which are instrumental in offering policies, schemes for the weaker sections, it is
pertinent that the pricing strategy is rationalized to cater to the low paying capacity of the concerned segment.
However the insurance organisatoins would be required to think in favour of a high pricing strategy for the affluent
section of the society. The motive is to make the premium structure commercially viable so that the insurance
organizations succeed in having a sound product portfolio besides fuelling development orientation.

The pricing decisions make it essential that the insurers keep in their minds the nature of policy vis-à-vis the segment
to which the prospects belong. The insurance executives bear the responsibility of managing the pricing decisions in
such a way that a rational premium structure is possible. There are number of factors influencing the rate of premium,
such as the positive developments in the socio-economic environment, growing healthcare facilities, rising standard of

living of the masses, increasing discretionary income, increasing rate of literacy, attitudinal change in investors or so.
The investment decisions of insurance organisatoin are also found instrumental in influencing the costs.

Price Mix

Another component of the marketing mix is related to the place decisions. While locating branches, the branch
managers need to consider a number of factors, such as smooth accessibility, availability of infrastructural facilities
and the management of branch offices and premises. In addition, it is also significant that the branch managers
assign due weightage to the safety provision. The places found of vulnerable nature should not be selected for the
location of branch offices and the users’ safety vis-à-vis the safety of insurance personnel and cash need due
attention. The management of offices makes it significant that the branch managers are particular to the office
furnishing, civic amenities and facilities, parking facilities and interior office decoration. The foreign insurance
companies are found serious to this component of place management which helps them in attracting the users.
Besides, the management of premises is also an important component since of late the management experts make a
strong advocacy in favour of aesthetic management for generating the work culture and motivating the users. The
plantation, gardening, dustbin, drains, sign posts are some of the important facets which makes your premises
attractive and healthy.

In view of the above, it is right to opine that the place management of insurance branch offices needs a new vision, a
distinct approach and an innovative strategy. This is essential to make the work place conducive, attractive, proactive
to the generation of efficiency or so. The motives are to offer the promised services to the end users without any
distortion and making the branch offices a point of attraction. The branch managers need professional excellence to
make place decision productive.


The management scientists make a strong advocacy in favour of managing the insurance personnel since they
identify people as an important component of the marketing mix. This focuses our attention on the development of
insurance professionals. The use of computers, micro-computers, fax machines, sophisticated telephonic services, e-
mailing, internet and intranet services have a big impact on the perception of quality of services. This makes it
essential that the insurance organisatoin also think in favour of developing personnel in line with the development and
use of information technologies.This gravitates attention on the education and training facilities to the insurance
personnel. The front-line-staff as well as the branch manages are required to be given the training facilities so that
they are in a position to make possible an effective use of the technologies. The insurance organisatoins bear the
responsibility of developing the credentials of their employees. the senior executives while recruiting, training and
developing the insurance personnel make it sure that employees serving the organisation have a high behavioral
profile in which empathy has been given due place.

The marketing management of an organisation plays a contributory role in fuelling the processes of qualitative-cum-
quantitative improvements. The different mixes are required to be innovated to cater to the changing needs and
requirements of the different categories of users. The product mix necessitates a fair synchronization of core and
peripheral services, the product portfolio is required to be made optimal, the packages need due attention in the
formulation process, the new services are required to be incorporate, the unprofitable services or schemes are
required to be eliminated and the effective fulfillment of development needs require world class insurance
professionals who by making their decision innovative are found successful in having a sound product mix. In
addition, the promotion decisions also need a new vision, a distinct approach mix. In addition, the promotion decision
also need a new vision, a distinct approach and an new strategy. The sophistication in the process of advertising, the
creativity in advertisement messages and slogans, the well managed public relation activities, the innovative tools of
sale promotion, the word-of-mouth communications, the personal selling, and the telemarketing need due attention of
marketing executives. The premium, bonus, commission policies need to be made rational and the place decision
require due weightage. The management of insurance personnel requires an overriding priority and the physical
attractions of insurance professionals are to be given due weightage.

In view of the above, it is right to opine that the marketing practices need a new look, an innovative approach and the
conceptualization of the holistic concept of management. The defined principles of social or societal marketing if
practiced in a right fashion would pave avenues for the blending of three important considerations, such as profit-
generation, customer-satisfaction and social-orientation. It is in this context that the public sector insurance
organizations need to realize gravity of the situation and to assign an overriding priority to the management of
marketing activities.

                                                        Lesson 16

                                                   Hospital Marketing

Hospital is a social institution for delivering healthcare, offering considerable advantages to both patient and society. It
is considered to be a place for the diagnosis and treatment of human ills and restoration of health and well-being of
those temporarily deprived of. Above all, it is a social institution responsible for protecting the social interests and a
non-profit organisation.

We have failed in improving the medicate facilities keeping pace with the growing requirements but have been
successful in making the environment unhealthy which is found raising the pressure on both the government as well
as the private hospitals. In view of the prevailing condition, we expect much more from hospitals government of
private. By marketing medicate services, the hospitals would not only serve masses but would also be efficacious in
inculcating mass awareness to prevent ailments and to decrease the number of prospects.

Marketing of medicare services means, making available the medicare services to the users in such a way that they
get quality services at a reasonable cost. The social marketing principles focus on making available the services even
to those segments of the society who are not in a position to pay for the prices. It is in this context that a managerial
approach to formulate a sound service mix is required.

Marketing Mix for Hospital Services

The components of marketing mix namely, product, price, place and promotion could be applied for effective
marketing of hospital services.

Product mix

The service programming for hospitals include different types of services required to protect the public interests. The
services have been classified as line services, supportive services and auxiliary services.

The first one, line services include emergency services, outdoor and indoor services, intensive care unit and
operations theatre. This is also called core services.

The supporting services in a true sense determine the quality of services made available by medical and para-
medical personnel.

The auxiliary services consists of registration and indoor case records, stores management, transportation
management, mortuary arrangement, dietary services, engineering and maintenance services For effectives
marketing these services are to be managed in an effective way.

Promotion Mix

In the medicare services innovating the promotional measures and inculcating mass awareness are important for
promotion of hospital services. For making available right services to the right users at the right time, it is essential to
instumentalise the personal promotion. In this context, both the core and para-medical personnel play an important
role. To be more specific, the frontline personnel have been found playing an outstanding role. If nurses neglect
patients, if receptionist miscommunicate users, prospects, if doctors do not show human approach, the medicare
services even after the availability of most sophisticated equipment and technologies, most efficient doctors and
nurses, most comfortable buildings and infrastructural facilities would fails in delivering the goods to the society.
Ultimately, the personnel determine the magnet of success and not the supporting forces.

Advertisement and publicity measures are important to promote medical services. While advertising, the hospitals
and health care centres should make possible creativity in their campaigns, messages and slogans for the prospects
to avail the services.

Service promotion is an important dimension of promotion, which is found instrumental in the generation of efficiency,
formation of a team spirit, establishment of a work culture and more so a personal touch in service. This requires a
team work and involvement of all the medical and para-medical personnel.

The word of mouth communication also plays an outstanding role. The satisfied users act an agent in spreading the
message to their friends, relatives and others, who are found motivated and prefer to user the services of that
hospital as and when the circumstances necessitates so.

Price Mix

Now the hospitals need to invest a lot on the sophisticated equipment and technologies to improve the quality of
medical aid. Increasing cost on inputs in found aggravating the setting the task of fee structure which makes possible
a fair synchronization of users’ and hospitals interests’. The fees strategy for hospitals should be in proportion to the
income of the users which would engineer a sound foundation for qualitative or quantitative improvements. For a
social institution like hospital, a discriminatory fee structure is suitable, since it provides even weaker sections of the
society an opportunity to avail the quality medical services.

Place Mix

For effective distribution of medicare services it is essential that the hospitals should be able to provide basic medical
services at different parts of residential areas and also to rural areas in particular. Further, wherever there is
concentration of users’ like industrial establishments, educational institutions, the hospitals must be able to take their
services to those places.

To conclude for marketing of hospital services innovation is a must. The aim should be to serve the society; to
improve quality; to make services cost effective; to minimize the medicare needs and in due course to minimize the
pressure on hospitals.

                                                      Lesson 17

                                           Telecommunication Marketing

Telecommunication services play an incremental role in the multi-dimensional development activities. A well
functioning telecommunications network is an essential component of economic infrastructure. The application of
modern marketing principles in the telecommunication services would make ways for the generation of profits and at
the same time would also make the services affordable to the users at large. The telecommunications organizations
are supposed to market the services in such a way that a high level of efficiency generates a high level of profit. With
the growing sophistication in the process of telecommunication technologies, multi-faceted services are being offered
by the telecommunication organisation which is managed and controlled as a government department by the Ministry
of Communications. Telecommunications marketing focuses on marketing the services professionally and this makes
it a managerial process. The marketing professionals bear the responsibility of managing the services which enrich
the service profile of telecom in order that the world class services are made nationally and internationally

Marketing Mix for Telecommunication Organizations

The formulation of a sound marketing mix is found essential to make possible an optimal development of marketing
resources. The marketing professionals bear the responsibility of developing optimal marketing inputs so that the
world class services reach to the different segments of users in a right way. It is in this context the formulation of
marketing mix for telecommunication is considered. It goes through the different submixes such as the product mix
covering he designing of a quality services profile, the promotion mix having more creativity and sensitivity, the tariff
policy making possible designing of a sound tariff structure, the place mix containing the problem of processing the
services with the motto of bridging over the gap between services – promised and services – offered and the people
mix for striking a balance between performance-orientation and employee-orientation.

Product Mix

The telecommunication organizations offer multi-dimensional services to the different categories of domestic and
institutional users. telecommunication include a number of services such as the telephonic service including cell
services, telegraphic services, e-mailing services, fax services, internet services and so on. On one hand the telecom
organisatoins feel that the services are quite satisfactory, while on the other hand there are increasing cases of
dissatisfaction among the users. This makes it essential that sincere efforts to be made to improve the quality of

In the category of services mix, the telephonic services occupy a place of outstanding significance because of
majority of the users of almost all the categories are found using the same. With the development of cordless and
cellular phones, we find a change in the nature of services. In this context, it is the prime responsibility of the
telecommunication organisatoins to make it sure that users get quality services, such as services with ha dismal
breakdown, noise and interruption, quality audio-delivery or so. The cases of one-way are to be checked. The
technical personnel are required to make it sure that the users are made available quality instruments and the
replacement is made possible as the when the circumstance necessitate so.

The marketing professionals bear the responsibility of making it sure that a sound services profile is designed in
which both the categories of services, such as core and peripheral are optimally blended. The innovation in the
formulation of a services portfolio needs to be given due weightage. The main think in the process is to formulate a
service mix that makes the ways for profit-generation vis-à-vis user-satisfaction.

In view of the above, it is right to mention that like other organizations, the telecommunication organisation also need
to formulate a sound product mix that focuses our attention on offering of the world class services so that the level of
efficiency is increased and the task of marketing professionals is made easier.

Promotion Mix

This submix of the marketing mix focuses on creative promotional measures helping the telecom organisatoins in
informing, sensing and persuading the users. In this context, different constituents of promotion, such as advertising,
publicity, sales promotion, personal selling, word-of-mouth promotion are discussed.


Like other organizations, the telecommunication organisatoins may also advertise with the help of media. All the three
media, such as the print media, broadcast media and telecast media can be used for that very purpose. While
advertsing, the marketing professionals in general and the advertising professionals in particular are supposed to
make the slogans, themes and appeals more creative so that the target prospects are sensitized in a right way. The
print media may be more effective since while advertising through this media, an organization gets adequate space to
inform and sense the users.

In addition, they can also advertise through the broadcast media. Telecast media emerging as the most effective
media found very much instrumental in sensitizing the prospects. With the help of audio-visual exposures, it is
possible to inform and sense the users and the prospects. The advertising professionals having world class
excellence are to be engaged for that purpose who would design advertisement layout, compose slogans and
messages bearing more creativity. If they are professionally sound, the advertising budget would also be made


Another component of promotion focuses on publicizing the business with the support of media personnel and opinion
leaders. The telecom organizations may use this constituent with he motto of informing the prospects the salient
features of innovative services offered or to be included in the services mix. The marketing professionals or the public
relation officers need to accept the responsibility of developing rapport with the media people, to arrange for them
lunch or dinner and to offer to them some small gifts to write news items or articles related to the services and to
place them at the eye catching locations. It is in this context that we talk about the instrumentality of public relations
activities in promoting the telecom business.

Sales promotion

It is essential that the telecommunication organisatoin makes use of sales promotion measures for promoting the
innovative services, specially used by the large-sized customers. If he prospects are offered some small gifts, the
motivation process would be switched on. In addition, they also need to offer innovative tools of sales promotion to
some of the high performers in the group of employees who instrumentalise the process of getting the profitable
business. This would considerably be helpful in tapping the market potentials which would activate the process of
profit generation.

Personal selling

The instrumentality of personal selling is involved in the essence of promoting the business with the support and
cooperation of sales people. The telecommunication organisatoins are required to promote its business to tap the
sales potentials or the market potentials which remain untapped or partially tapped due to a communications gap. The
role of personal selling becomes important in the context of privatization of telecom services and due to emergence of
buyers’ market.

Word-of-mouth promotion

This constituent of the promotion mix is found based on the quality of services offered by the service generating
organisatoins. In the telecommunication organisatoins, we find this component instrumental because the satisfied
group of users would narrate to their friends, relatives, well wishers regarding the outstanding services they
experienced as a customer. The individuals trust on their relatives and friends and therefore use the services as and
when the circumstances necessitate so. It is in this context that we make a strong advocacy in favour of improving the
quality of services by the telecommunications organisatoin. The support and cooperation of opinion leaders or vocal
persons would also be effective in the process.

The aforesaid components of promotion are found helpful to the telecommunication organizations in promotion the
business. The main thing in the promotion is to inform, sense and persuade the prospects or users in such a way that
they are transformed into the habitual users. The instrumentality of a particular constituent would depend upon the
prevailing conditions.

Price Mix

Almost all the organizations either producing goods or generating services find pricing decisions significant to the
development process. In the context of telecommunication organisatoin the different categories of users buy the
services and therefore the telecommunication organisatoin is required to be more careful in setting the tariff structure.
The main thing is the designing of a rational tariff structure which on the one hand makes the ways for profit-
generation while on the other hand also make the services affordable to the users.

The telecommunication organisation adopts a discriminatory policy of pricing. The special categories of users are
given subsidized or concessional services, such as the rurual users, new or budding entrepreneurs, new institutions
promoting welfare or so. I this context, it is important to mentioni that the telecommunication organisatoin charges
different slabl of tariff for different operational hours. There is also provision for special concession on selected days
and festivals. Thus diversified pricing strategy is adopted by the telecommunication organisation to generate revenue.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority plays an significant role in making the pricing decisions in the Indian context

The pricing decisions and the tariff structure also depend upon the nature and types of services offered by the
telecommunications organisatoin. For the data/fax services, facsimile services, internet services, there is a different
slab and base. The pricing decisions are of sensitive in nature. The governmental interference in the process of
making the pricing decision is to be checked to be extent it is found legitimate. The revision in tariff structure, licensing
fee have a close relation with the costs of services.

The aforesaid facts makes it clear that the telecommunication organisatoins need freedom while setting the tariff-
structure. The marketing professionals serving the telecommunications organisatoins are supposed to be aware of
the business as well as the social responsibilities. For promoting business, they need to generate more revenue and
for enriching the social profile, they need to strike a balance between the organizational strength and the social

Place Mix

In the place mix, we need to gravitate our attention on two important issues, first the promised services reach to the
ultimate users in a decent way and second the location points for the telecommunication services.

The first problem is related to the processing of services in which the marketing professionals are supposed to be
sure that whatever the services have been promised are delivered to the ultimate users in decent way.

In addition to the aforesaid problem, we also find cases of unplanned and inconvenient location. The administrative
offices in particular are required to be accessible. The users and personnel working there should not face difficulties
while visiting the offices. Thus the place decisions becomes important to the telecommunication organisations.


In the formulations of marketing mix, we also need to manage the human resources in an effective way. The
Department of Telecommunications has been facing the problem of inadequacy of quality people resulting into low
level of efficiency, deceleration in productivity and profitability or so. The increasing domination of trade uniorns in the
day-do-day activities makes it difficult for the management to bring things on the rail. The trade unions also feel that
poor level of efficiency is substantially on account of inefficient employees but very often they don’t find it essential to
regulate them.

In view of the above, the marketing professionals are required to assign due weightage to the people mix. The
telecommunication organisatoin is also supposed to assign an overriding priority to the Total Quality Management
that focuses innovative schemes attention on quality technologies, quality employees, quality environmental
conditions at the workplace, reasonable tariff structure, and above all, personalized services to the consumers.

                                                       Lesson 18

                                                 Education Marketing

An important question may be raised here that why do we user the term marketing for literacy. Since we have been
investing huge amount of money and deploying a good number of personnel and sophisticated technologies to literate
the masses, it is judicious to know about the results, if we4 invest more for removing illiteracy (inputs) but the literacy
(output) is not increasing proportionately, the policy would be deemed to be unproductive since it is cost-ineffective.
The very essence of marketing is to make our policies and programmes cost-effective so that we cross the target or
atleast even touch the target without crossing the financial and time limits. The marketing particles bear the efficacy of
improving the input-output ratio since we frame a service mix keeping in view the sensitivity of target prospects,
attempt to promote the same by suing modern sophisticated devices, frame a fee-structure in the face of holistic
concept of management and channelize the services with the support of efficient and personally committed personnel
acting and behaving professionally.

In view of the aforesaid facts, we use the term marketing for literacy, education and development of knowledge. Here,
it is also to be clarified that by using the term marketing we are not bound to generate profits. Since most of the not-
for-profit making organizations are now found liberal to the generation of profits, it is also significant to mention that
whatever they generate as surplus should essentially be re-invested or ploughed back for the development and
expansion of world class services. The simple logic in using the term marketing is to make available to the prospects
the quality services either free of cost or for the free- structure they are supposed to pay. The marketing practices
would simplify the processes of qualitative-cum-quantitative transformation in the process of efficiency generation.

The universities, colleges, institutes, studies and research centers are found engaged in the process of offering higher
education. Scientific inventions and innovations, techno9logical advances, professional excellence, managerial
proficiency are some of the important dimensions playing a decisive role in shaping the destiny of a nation. The
system of higher education is found efficacious in making available to the society a dedicated, committed, devoted
and professionally – sound team of human resources who decide the future of a nation. Against this background, the
crying need of the hour is to manage the system of higher education in such a way that sets a right direction for the
developejmnt of human resources in the national and international perspectives.

The universities, colleges, institutes, research centers are found in depleted condition. The financial crunch is a major
problem which has been disallowing these centers to importance the time honoured changes in their curriculum even
if they are found dying. Except a very few almost all the centers are engaged in producing substandard outputs
resulting into unemployment, poverty and backwardness. It is in this context that we talk in favour of marketing higher
education which according to the holistic marketing principles attempts to enrich the efficiency of these centers vis-à-
vis offer quality services even to the poor persons having an outstanding educational background. This is based on
the principles of societal marketing in which the educational institutions are not supposed to make profits. Thus, the
marketing practices pave ways for the development of human resources in the face of international specifications.
Here, the qualitative transformation establishes an edge over the quantitative transfiguration.

Marketing of Distance Education

The distance education system has come into stay as an accepted form of education and has been gaining wide-
spread popularity in recent years. This is evident from the fact that more than 70 countries are offering educational
programmes though distance education all over the world today. The distance education has made in possible for
those in inaccessible areas; the drop-outs, who want re-entry into education and the economically weaker sections to
avail of educational opportunities. It can be a particular boon for women, since parents are unwilling to send them
beyond their immediate locale for education after the completion of school education.

At present there are 10 open universities in India. Further, among 229 conventional Universities, 62 are dual mode
Universities offering education both under regular and distance education modes. Distance education now caters over
7 lacs of students. It is expected that this growth would outnumber the formal system itself in the near future. Thus
there is potential market for distance education.As many as 72 Universities are vying each other to attract higher
enrolment of their distance education programs. It is partly due to the fact that almost all the Universities greatly
depend on distance education programmes for generating their own financial resources. Hence, unless these
Distance Education Institutes adopts systematic and effective marketing, it would be very difficult for them to survive
in the long-run. This paper makes an attempt to explain the strategies to be adopted for successful marketing of
distance education programmes by the Distance Education Institutes.

Market Segmentation

The distance education learners belong to different segments. The major segments of distance education learners
are – rural and urban, drop-outs, elder persons who did not have the opportunity to learn through regular stream in
their early age and those who want to update knowledge and acquire special skill. Besides these, other specific
segments are women, socially backward and physically handicapped. Appropriate marketing strategies need to be
evolved for reaching these unreached group through distance and open learning.


The learner oriented marketing approach is concerned with identifying the specific educational needs of the target
market and tailoring and delivery of those educational programmes to the satisfaction of learners. It involves
identifying the right type of product mix of educational programmes, offered at right price, through effective delivery
mechanisms and with appropriate promotional tools. In other words, all activities and strategies of DEIs ultimately aim
at satisfying the learners.

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix concept is a well established tool used as a structure by marketers. It consists of the various
elements of a marketing programme which need to be considered in order to successfully implement the marketing
strategy for any service business. The major elements are Products, Price, Place, Promotion, Physical Evidence,
People and Process. The underlying concept in developing each of these elements is to user them to support each
other, to reinforce the positioning of the product and to deliver appropriate service quality to achieve competitive

Product mix

Distance Education is a service product and has a complex set of value satisfactions. People attach value to distance
education in proportion to the perceived ability of the service to do this. Value is assigned by the buyers in relation to
the benefits they receive. Augmentation of the expected product represents a means of creating product
differentiation and thus added value from the customer perspective. In Distance Education service, the academic
programmes offered are core products. The expected product consists of the generic product together with the
minimal support facilities which need to be met. The augmented product is the area which enables one product to be
differentiate from another. They differentiate by ‘adding value’ to the core product in terms of reliability and
responsiveness. Thus, in Distance Education, the academic programmes offered are core product; the quality
learning materials and effective contact programmes are expected products and specialized programmes are
augmented products.

Service Product Decisions

DEIs offer a range of academic programmes. Decisions on the range of services to be offered need to be considered
in the context of the DEIs positioning strategy and the competitors’ service offerings. New courses to be offered
should also be consistent with the competence of the DEI to deliver them.

Market Penetration

Market penetration by DEIs is concerned with how to exploit the current position in the market place better. This can
be achieved by more focused segmentation, a more clearly defined positioning strategy or through better application
of the marketing mix elements. Essentially it is concerned with gaining greater productivity from the marketing mix
elements and building market share for its distance education programme.

Market Development

An alternative strategy to service development is to undertake market extension, which seeks new groups of buyers
with a firm’s current service offerings. For instance, many DEIs have opened their Study Centres in overseas to
attract foreign clients.

The Distance Education Institutes (DEIs) should have a right type of product mix to suit the requirements of different
segments of distance education learners. Different educational programmes should be designed in such a way that it
suits to different segments. A particular segment which would like to acquire a higher qualification for the sake of
higher qualification looks for a course which would like to acquire a higher qualification for the sake of higher

qualification looks for a course which they would like to acquire without much effort and a specific need. The Distance
Education Institutions are also able to get a good enrolment for such type general academic programme. A degree in
history is a good example that suits for mass marketing. Another segment of learners which belong to class marketing
is a specific group which require specialized knowledge and skill in their chosen area of interest. The Distance
Education Institutes have to identify such type of specialized academic programmes suited to specific segment of
learners. For instance, the Distance Education Institutes of the Alagappa University offer specialized courses on bank
management, sports management, corporate secretary ship, women’s studies, child care, marketing, digital
instrumentation and waste water treatment.

The important aspect of Distance Education Institutes is that they have to constantly study the requirements of
intending learners and must develop need based new educational programmes. Such programmes are to be
developed for different levels such as certificate, diploma, under-graduate and post-graduate depending on the
learner’s need.

Because of increased sophistication, each individual must be a multidisciplinarian. He may be an expert in one field
but necessary requires considerable knowledge in related fields also. For example, even a physician need to have
basic engineering knowledge due to advanced medical equipments he has to deal with. Though Computer
Engineering is a specialized field, the knowledge of computer operations has become a basic need to every individual
working in any field. For instance, course on E-Commerce, Medical Transcriptions, Information Technology Enabled
Services are in great demand now. Hence, there is a great potential for information Technology education with the
DEIs can effectively explore by developing appropriate programme suited to different segments.

Similarly, the curriculum and the course materials of the existing course need to be revised/ modified periodically,
depending on the requirement. For instance, the curriculum on computer education, economic legislations, and tax
laws require frequent revision and up-gradation.

Physical Evidence

This is the service firm’s physical environment where the service is created and where the service provider and
customer interact, plus nay tangible elements that are used to communicate or support the role of the service. In a
service business, the marketer should seek to compensate for the intangibility dimension by providing physical clues
to support the positioning and image and enhance the product surround.

Physical evidence can be divided into two types – essential and peripheral. Essential physical evidence in distance
education represents the key decisions made by the DEIs about the design of the learning resources such as, print
materials and pre-recorded audio-video cassettes.

It is the fact that the success and effectiveness of distance education systems largely depend on the study materials,
because the learners have less contact with the institution / teachers. Hence, they have to be supplied with specially
prepared teaching materials prepared under Self-Instructional Pattern. The course materials are presented in such a
way that a learner can learn from the materials independently and the materials themselves have to perform the
functions of a teacher such as expounding, explaining, guiding, motivating, reminding, evaluating etc. this is a the
essential part of physical evidence. It is worth mentioning the role played by Distance Education Council (DEC),
common wealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMA) and Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance
Education (STRIDE) and Educational Media Research Centres (EMRC) in conducting training, research and
guidance in the area of preparation of self-instructional materials, multi-media, staff development, computerization
and networking.

The logical arrangement of contents, the lucid style, conversational language, use of personal pronouns and division
of content into small manageable learning steps shall increase the effectiveness of learning. Beside these, even the
quality of paper used, printing and the size of letters also count in stimulating the learners to user the course
materials. This forms the peripheral physical evidence of the product and adds tangibility to the value of the service
provided to the learner segment to which it is directed.


The distance education system is criticized for the lack of quality. It is argued that for the sake of quantity, quality is
very often sacrificed. The DEIs should ensure that quality is maintained along with the increase in enrolment. Hence,
what is required is some sort of ‘ISI Mark’ for the Distance Education institutes to ensure quality. The Distance
Education Council in consultation with the National Assessment and Accreditation Council is in the process of
developing some sort of Quality Assessment and Accreditation that will be relevant to the Distance and Open
Education system.

Public relations

Public relations is defined by the British Institute of Public Relations as, “the planned and sustained effort to establish
and maintain goodwill between an organisation and its publics”. These ‘publics’ are all the groups of people and
organisatoins which have an interests in the distance education programme. An example of the main publics of
distance education is shown in the following figure:

                                           Present                 Prospective
                                           Students                 Students


            Employers                                                                                     Central and
                                                      Distance Educational
           and Industry                                                                                   Local Govt.


                                     teachers                                       Administrative
                                                            Professional            and Academic
                                                            organization                Staff

Public relations is concerned with a number of marketing tasks. These include the following :

       Building or maintaining image

       Supporting the other communication activities

       Handling problems and issues

       Reinforcing positioning

       Influencing specific publics

       Assisting the launch of new services

A service organization’s ‘image’ is made up of the collective experience, views attitudes and beliefs held about it.
Public relations can sue a range of communication approaches to improve or maintain the image of a DEI. Overall
the objective with image is to ensure that a particular DEI is viewed more favorably than competitors in the market
segment it serves.

A wide range of tools can be used in the design of a Public Relation programme. These could include-

       Publications including press releases, annual reports, brochures, posters etc.

       Press conferences, seminars and conferences

       Exhibitions and trade fairs

As with other elements of the communications mix, a Public Relation programme should follows a process, which
consists of the specification of objectives, determining the mix of Public Relations activities to be undertaken.
Implementing an integrated programme and evaluating the results.

Word-of-mouth promotion

Research points to personal recommendations through word of mouth being one of the most important information
sources. One of the most distinctive features of promotion in Distance Education marketing is the greater importance
of referral and word of mouth communications. Thus highlights the importance of the people factor in services
promotion. Learners are often closely involved in the delivery of a service and they talk to other potential customers
about their experiences. They are glad to offer advice on a specific DEI. Thus, word of mouth can have an important
impact that other mass or personal communication mix elements in distance educations.

Gronroos has outlined a communication pattern that illustrates the role of word of mouth and referrals have to play.

       Expectations / purchases

       Interactions

       Experiences

       Word of mouth / referrals

An existing or a new distance education learners has certain expectations. Once the decision to join distance
education has been made, the candidate begins interacting with the DEI and discovers the technical and functional
quality of the service being supplied. As a result of the experiences, that follow from these interactions and the
judgments made about service quality, the candidate may or may not return. Positive or negative word of mouth
communication will then influence the extent to which others use the service. It is said that the ‘satisfied consumer is a
better sales force’.

When the programmes are offered with better issues materials, effective delivery system, proper organizations of
Personal Contact Programmes, effective student support services, proper conduct of examinations and timely
announcement of results – the satisfied learner will be acting as an effective ambassador for Distance Education

The multiplier effect from word of mouth varies from situations to situation. However, negative experiences tend to
have a greater impact than positive experiences. Learners who are dissatisfied tend to tell more than twice as many
people of their bitter experiences. Thus, negative word of mouth can significantly reduce the effectiveness of
advertising and other elements of the communications mix and positive word of mouth can result in less expensive
formal communications programmes being needed.

Direct Marketing

In recent years more sophisticated approaches to direct marketing have been adopted. Developments in electronic
media, telecommunications and computers are now presenting greater opportunities for developing an integrated
programme of direct marketing activities. These can be used in conjunction with each other to reinforce the personal
selling, advertising and other promotional elements. Many DEIs are taking the advantage of the benefits of a
coordinated, direct marketing programme. Contacting the potential feeding centres, wherever there are cluster of
prospective learners, could be another effective tool. For example contacting Banking / Insurance institutions could
help promoting courses on banking, insurance etc. it is only the effective teaching that creates a lasting impression on
the minds of the learners and help create goodwill on DEI.


The success of marketing of distance education programmes is tied closely to the selection, training, motivating and
management of people. There are many examples of distance education programmes failing or succeeding as a
consequences of the ineffective or effective management of people.

The importance of people within the marketing of services has led to great interest in internal marketing. Internal
marketing aims to encourage effective behaviour by staff. Which will attract customers to the firm. This means that,
the Distance Education Institutions should ensure that their employees should have the desirable behavour that will
attract learners to the institute. While the expression ‘our employees are our greatest asset’ is increasingly being
heard among organisatoins. It is clear that this statement is often a platitude. By recognizing the contribution, people
make to acquiring and keeping customers, within the overall marketing mix, the service company’s competitive
performance will be substantially enhances.

The idea behind internal marketing is to ensure that all members of the staff in the DEI provide the best possible
contribution to the marketing of education programmes and successfully complete all telephone, mail electronic and
personal interactions with the learners in manner that adds value to the service encounter.

Internal marketing in all its forms was recognized as an important activity in contributing to the people element of
marketing mix and in developing a customer focused organisation. In practice, internal marketing is concerned with
communications, with developing responsiveness, responsibility and unity of purpose. The fundamental aims of
internal marketing are to develop internal and external customer awareness and remove functional barriers to
organisation effectiveness.


The processes by which services are created and delivered to the customer is a major factor within the services
marketing mix. All work activity is process. Processes involve the procedures, tasks schedules, mechanisms,
activities and routines by which a product or service is delivered to the customer. It involves policy decisions about
customer involvement and employee discretion. Identification of process management as a separate activity is a
prerequisite of service quality improvement. The importance of this element is especially highlighted in service

If the DEI functions effectively with a well established administered systems and procedures, it shall have a clear
advantage over less efficient competitors. For example, a DEI which ensures proper recording of ‘change of address’
of a particular learner, will be seen as being efficient. If there is any confusion in recording of changes in address of
the learners, is likely to be more critical of others services offered by the DEI.

Thus, the successful marketing of distance education requires identifying and devolping right type of educational
programmes, pricing theme within the reach of the learners, making the programmes available at the places
convenient to the learners and promoting them with suitable pormotioanl tools. Further, the success of marketing of
distance education is tied closely to be behaviour of the members of he staff working in the DEIs. The well
established procedures and systems in the functioning of the Institute is an added advantage. Above all, in the case
of duel mode universities, the Distance Education Institute is a major sub-system and requires administrative,
academic and financial support and freedom to make the marketing of distance education effective and efficient.

                                             MODEL QUESTION PAPER
                                      PAPER 4.13 MARKETING OF SERVICES
Time: 3 Hours                                                        Maximum Marks: 100
                                         Section – A                                  (5 x 8 = 40)
Answer any FIVE Questions
Note : All questions carry equal marks
    1. What do you mean by services? What are the salient features of services which complicate the task of
       marketing services effectively?
    2. Discuss the concept of market segmentation with reference to hospital services.
    3. We find 5 P i.e. “People” more effective in managing the services. Comment on this statements.
    4. What do you understand by service mission statements? What are its components?
    5. Explain the concept of customer focused service.
    6. The service generating organisatoins need to make their fee structure judicious, specially in the Indian
       perspective. Do you agree with this view? Justify your answer.
    7. Bring out the importance of personal selling and world – of – mouth promotion in the service generating
    8. The banks primarily deal in services and therefore the formulation of the product mix is to be processed in the
       face of changing socio-economic conditions of the users’. Comment on this statement and focus on the
       product mix for the banking services.
                                         Section – B                                       (4 x 15 = 60)
Answer any FOUR Questions
Question No. 15 is compulsory.

    9. What do you mean by tourism marketing? Focus on the behavioral profile of users of the tourism services.
    10. Examine the application of marketing mix elements in distance education.
    11. What do you mean by the marketing mix? State and explain in brief the different components of marketing
        mix for marketing the insurance services.
    12. Explain relationship marketing
    13. Bring out the importance of positioning of services. Explain the process of positioning.
    14. Explain the steps involved in marketing planning process.
    15. Explain the marketing strategies adopted by ICICI Bank in marketing their services.


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