An analysis of the 5 Cs, i.e. our company, customer, competitor and collaborators as parts of the micro-environment, and the context or the macro-environment, is required to identify the value that we can offer customers. Segmenting the market and targeting the market are processes in identification of the customers that we decide to serve. The positioning statement is a culmination of the identification of the value to be offered to selected customers.
Then we move ahead with designing the service product, i.e. the service outcomes that the customer will be left with at the end of service delivery. We have to design the service process, i.e. a blueprint of how the service is going to be delivered. We may have noted that at this stage we are mainly creating value for the customers.
Next we have to think of delivering the value created in the above steps. We have to develop the people, both service personnel and the customers, who would be involved in producing and consuming the service as both of them are simultaneous activities in the case of services. We have to think about the channels through which we are going to distribute and deliver our services. Who would be our franchisees, retailers, agents, etc. helping to sell our service? Would customers have to come to our servicescape to receive the service or would they receive the service where they desire it to be delivered? Would part or whole of the services be delivered over the telephone or the Internet? These channels of service distribution and delivery are termed as the ‘place’. The ambience of the place, the aesthetics of the equipments, merchandise, art and artefacts contribute to the feeling of satisfaction or delight for the customer. Hence, these physical evidences of the service have to be given special attention for delivering the service value.
Now we have to communicate about the service to prospective customers through the process called promotion so that they are aware of how our service can meet their needs and the benefits that they would receive from the service. This will attract them to our services and help them decide to purchase our services. We would also take measures to brand our service in order to distinguish it from competitive services according to our positioning statement. This part of the marketing process is called communicating the service value.
Till now we have worried about providing value to our customers. It is now time to think about capturing part of the value so that our company makes a profit to sustain and grow in the marketplace. Moreover, the shareholders of our company would expect some dividend from our company. We can earn revenues through the price that customers pay for our services.
The above 7Ps, i.e., product, process, people, place, physical evidence, promotion and price are collectively called the marketing mix for services. The marketing mix has to be designed so that they are consistent with each other and provide an image consistent with the positioning of our service in the minds of the customer.
Once the business starts rolling, we have to plan for sustaining our business for a long period of time. This can be done by developing new services and retaining existing customers.
|1||Identifying value||Context analysis||Customer analysis||Company analysis||Competitor analysis||Collaborator analysis|
|4||Delivering value||People||Place||Physical evidence|
|7||Sustaining value||New Service Development||Customer Retention|
Figure 15-1: Services Marketing Process