The marketing mix for services is different from the marketing mix for products. The product marketing mix consists of 4 essential elements namely product, pricing, place and promotion, which are known as the 4 Ps. The marketing mix for services also consists of these 4 elements; however, there are another 3 elements that are added which include people, process and physical evidence. These 7 elements constitute the 7 Ps of the services marketing mix.
In terms of services, the product cannot be seen and may be different and last for a short period of time. The production and consumption of a service happen at the same time and cannot be separated. The service can be modified in line with the customer requirements and it depends on what happens during the interaction with the customer. Therefore, a lot of emphasis must be laid on the way the service is designed.
It is relatively more difficult to determine the price of services compared to pricing products. The cost of raw materials used in manufacturing a product can easily give an idea of how much it should be priced. Pricing of services must consider different types of costs such as labor and overhead costs and also must keep an ample profit margin before the final price of the service is decided.
In case of services, place refers to the location at which the service is being provided. Before providing a service, it is important to decide what type of location is suitable for the service to be provided.
Compared to products, it is generally easier for competitors to provide identical services. Therefore, it is important to promote a service in a manner that can help it find a distinct place in the mind of the consumer.
The opinion and judgment of customers about a particular service is often based on the people who represent the service providers. The reason for this is that people are one of the few aspects of the service that customers can relate to. Therefore, it is important to recruit and train the right staff in order to gain an upper hand over competitors.
Process is the aspect of the marketing mix that takes into consideration the methods of delivering the service. There must be efficient processes in place to back up the service being delivered in order to maintain its quality.
This element of services marketing aims to provide the customer a good experience that he or she can relate to the service. Examples of this are cleanliness in a hotel room or a comfortable seating arrangement in an airplane.
The 7 Ps of the services marketing mix enable a business to improve the ways in which they serve customers.