My study of marketing services in the UK concluded that the best way to improve services and create demand was to offer better or more unique service quality and to create or increase competitive advantage through differentiation. There are five key strategies used in services marketing. They are superior product/service design, premium offerings, personalized service, market share creation, and peer evaluation. This article will discuss the importance of each of these strategies and how they relate to the requirements of the UK market sector. The focus will be on how each strategy can be used to improve quality and create or increase competitive advantage.
Superior product/service design encompasses processes and materials that create a superior product or service that meets or exceeds the requirements of the customer. It is typically based on case studies and client case studies that were previously written assignments. These written assignments describe the customer’s situation and what actions were necessary to be taken as part of a successful service quality improvement program. The assignment descriptions will also identify the current situation and what is anticipated as things continue to change or evolve. Case studies are critical because they provide a detailed look at the actual conditions faced by the company, what their processes are currently and what steps need to be taken to make them more efficient.
In the third strategy for services marketing, premium offerings are offered as a service. The assignment description for one of these premium offerings will describe how the product or service works, what it is capable of doing, what it costs, how it can be delivered, what its various components do, what its interactions are like, what it’s support system consists of, and who else is involved in the delivery process. In a recent assignment posted online at the University of Southern California’s website, a social media manager was asked to define “social media.” According to this definition, this action involves creating and maintaining an online presence through social media such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and other websites, where the client’s audience can “connect” with them and build relationships. The assignment goes on to say that these connections are “key to brand building and to increasing brand awareness.” A key aspect of premium offerings is the ability to connect with the audience on a more personal level, which create a positive response from the audience, as well as increasing the company’s competitive advantage.
In the fourth strategy for services marketing, an organization must maintain its online presence, also called “in person presence.” In this step, an entity is required to do what it takes to “establish itself as a credible online partner.” An example might be an insurance company that has an online presence, as well as an online presence through its website. These entities would need to establish themselves as credible. In the case of online insurance companies, this would mean being able to answer questions that individuals have posted on their websites, responding to concerns, providing updates on specific services, or providing answers to general inquiries.
In the fifth strategy for services marketing, a service maker is required to conduct research on its target market. Doing so helps provide a service maker with a deeper understanding of what the market needs and desires. For example, if the company is in the construction industry, then it will want to know what types of courses are in demand in this industry. Doing so will help a service maker better plan courses for its clients. Doing so also ensures that the company does not spend money unnecessarily, since a study conducted by the service maker will determine what courses are in demand, how much they are in demand, what types of courses people are most interested in taking, and so on.
The final strategy for services marketing is related to the fifth strategy, which is to develop a strong set of quality articles, reviews, case studies, and other written assignments. The fifth strategy for services marketing requires that a service maker develop quality written assignments and articles for its customers. In fact, the service maker must commit itself to writing quality articles and reviews. These articles and reviews may be used in its website, in business presentations, in seminars, in workshops, and in any other venue. In addition, this strategy also requires that the service provider develop discussion boards. In short, discussion boards must be part of the company’s website, its communications, and its published works.
The service provider should work to encourage fellow students to join discussion boards. In this way, a discussion board becomes an effective tool for disseminating information. In addition, as students interact, they can use the information and their discussions to help them prepare for their case studies and future assignments. In essence, students and fellow students can serve as both a research force and a marketing force for the services provider.