Services marketing | How to think about it

Most b2b marketers know that to sell a customer on a service they have to make the service experience real in some way.

Despite this knowledge, a lot of services marketing falls apart on the execution. We’ll tackle ways to overcome this in posts to come. For now, let’s talk a moment about the very beginning of the opportunity (or problem, if that’s more motivating).

For many businesses, a service is simply thought of in terms of an intangible experience the customer has that depends on “our people” and “relationship” and “chemistry” and so on. Thought of in this way, it can be difficult to see what to do next.

That’s one reason I keep coming back to the great definition of a service put forth by Lovelock & Gummesson at Yale and Stockholm Universities: “A service entitles a buyer to access a physical resource for some period of time.” That resource could be a car (Hertz), a consultant (McKinsey), a platform (Black Rock Solution’s Aladdin), etc. This focuses your thought on the resource on offer.

Now, all you have to do is  ask yourself: Why is the resource valuable? How is it unique? How can we make it more valuable and more unique?

This is a quick way to shift your thinking to what’s real about your service experience.

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