The Similarities and Differences Between Marketing a Product vs. Marketing a Service

Not all marketing strategies are created equally, and your marketing strategy should vary depending on if you are marketing a physical product or a service. Consumers often have an instant-gratification mentality, especially with constant advertisements and social media posts filling up their desktops and newsfeeds. Therefore, it may be more complex to market services, which require more context, over physical products. 

However, service marketing in the digital field is gaining momentum, and companies are learning how to develop relationships through authentic business-to-consumer interaction. Here, the digital marketing gurus at Zest discuss the differences between product and service marketing and how to alter your strategy for the best results. 

Define Your Selling Point

One of the most significant differences between marketing a product and marketing a service is the main selling point. Products have an intrinsic tangible value that the customer has the ability to examine when going through the buying process. Services, on the other hand, are multifaceted and can be more complicated to present to consumers. Therefore, marketing services requires a strong focus on relationship building, in addition to developing and gaining the trust of your target market to help them feel confident in their buying decision. This pivotal difference, therefore, increases the complexity of marketing your services to customers. 

For example, if you own and manage a local coffee shop, it is important to be interacting with your community of consumers and developing your brand voice. However, the taste of your coffee and the quality of your food is also selling your product—your customers can literally see and taste your product and develop their individual opinions about it. If you are a family attorney, however, you are instead marketing the value of your legal services. This means you may have to put some extra elbow-grease into fostering strong connections with your prospective clients through relationship-building. You can do this by marketing your previous successes to your clients and communicating what makes your service stand out from the rest, among many other key strategies.  

Differentiate Ownership 

Ownership of products and services is a key difference that can potentially be forgotten but should surely be considered, in your company’s marketing strategy. When marketing a product, you should have the understanding that it can be re-sold to another party. Services, on the other hand, cannot be re-sold once the customer has made a purchase. A product can be separated from the company that is producing it, whereas a service is always tied to the company providing it. When marketing a service, you are essentially marketing yourself, and the factors that differentiate your services from that of competitors. The voice of your brand should be one that represents your mission, vision and values, as this is what sets your company and services apart from others who provide the same services.

Leverage Customization 

Something to remember when you’re marketing a service is that you have the advantage of customization. Products can be customized to an extent, but typically not for individual customers. If you are marketing a service, on the other hand, you have the ability to customize your service offerings directly to your client. Individualization and customization are highly valued, so be sure to leverage this in your company’s marketing strategy to put you on a trajectory of success. Having the ability to customize services to your clients helps to foster trust and increase the likelihood of a long-term contract or relationship. 

Learn More from our Zesty Marketers Today 

Understanding the difference between marketing a product and a service can be difficult, but Zest is here to help! The digital marketers here at Zest are dedicated to helping you define and streamline your marketing strategy for your product or service—we understand how overwhelming it can be! If you need help giving your company some zest, contact us today to find the best marketing strategy for your business.