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What you should know about marketing a product versus a service

If you are a business owner you may think that all marketing is the same. However, while there are certain commonalities there are some things that are quite different when it comes to marketing a product versus a service. It is especially important that you know these differences if you offer both products and services to your customers. You want to make sure that whatever money you spend on your marketing plan is spent in the most effective way. This makes knowing how to market a product and a service that much more important. Here is what you should know about marketing a product versus a service-

- Know the difference between tangible and intangible-One of the most obvious factors in marketing a product versus a service is often one of the most overlooked. A product is tangible where a service is not. This can make marketing a service much more difficult. When you are marketing a product you can have your customer hold the product right in their hands and even test it out. When you market a product you can even base some of your marketing on the delivery of the product. However, when you are marketing a service it will have to be much more customized to the needs of your target market. It is important to understand that just like making needed alterations to your product to satisfy your target market you may need to do that as well to the service(s) that you offer. Finally, you should consider your bottom line. Because of the intangible nature of a service you may have an adjustable amount of profit that you will need to take into account when developing your marketing plan.
- Develop a relationship with your customers-There are also some significant differences in the type of relationship you will develop with your customers when you are marketing a product versus a service. No matter what you are marketing you will still need to do a significant amount of market research. You will need to determine who your target market really is. After that the relationship that you have with your customers will be different. Keep in mind that much of your relationship with your customers who buy your product will depend on the quality of the product. However, it can be much more difficult to meet the quality expectations of your customers who are buying a service. You will need to be able to interact with your customers in a much more personal way in order to market your service. The bottom line is that if your customers don't feel comfortable coming to you to purchase the service(s) that you offer they will quickly move on to someone else.
- Have a written marketing budget and marketing plan-One of the most effective tools that you will have to help with your marketing is your marketing budget and your marketing plan. You should not assume that you can simply just "market on the fly". However, it is important to understand that this can also be a major difference between marketing a product and marketing a service. Your marketing budget and marketing plan will be fairly straightforward when it comes to marketing a product. It can be much harder to figure out what you should spend to market a service. You will need to figure in the initial cost of the service and add in any applicable marketing costs. You should also make sure that you research what comparable services are in your area. You want to know what your competition is doing and how they are pricing the service(s) they offer. This will help you to not only figure out what your price should be but also how much you should spend on marketing.

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