Differences Between Marketing Services and Products


You may never thought about it but there are some key differences that exist between these two services. Advertising/Marketing Services and Marketing.

Marketing a physical product (e.g shampoo, computers) is a very different challenge than marketing a service (like telephone communication, Google Ads management etc). Understanding the two different challenges used in product and service marketing can help you establish the right approach.

Products are tangible

They are physical, you can touch, see, feel and smell them. Services are intangible. Part of the challenge of marketing services is creating tangible elements that connect the consumer to the service brand.

Need vs Relationship

Products tend to fill a need or want for the customer. Marketing services is more often about building relationships and trust. For example, when you buy a car you leave with the car and continue to see it and use it. However, visiting your doctor, you might not have anything to take away from the transaction.

One vs Many

Products come in many formulations. For example, clothes come in many sizes, colors, styles. However, services do not offer multiple formulations. If you visit your doctor it is just this, for whatever reason. In this example, you may use different service providers but the basic element will be the same.

Comparing Quality

It is much harder for consumers to evaluate the quality of the service that they will receive than the quality of a product purchase. If you buy anti-dandruff shampoo and you have less dandruff, then you can see that this works. But if let’s say you want use a lawyer for a divorce, did he draw up good divorce for you? This you will not know until you get the down road or court!

It is much easier to return a product that a service

Service is consumed as it is offered. It can be done and is much harder for the consumer to get a refund as he could for the product.

Service that is not consumed is lost

If you don’t sell a hotel room tonight, you can never sell it, it is gone. Products can have a longer life. If you put a box of cookies on the shelf and don’t sell it today, you can still sell it for some period of time beyond today.

Understanding the basic nature of what you are selling could lead to interesting and valuable insights for marketers. In general, services and products require vastly different marketing approaches.