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Services marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on selling services. They can be tricky to sell, and the marketing approach for them is much different than the approach for products. Some companies offer both products and services and must use a mixture of styles; for example, a store that sells computers also tends to also help people select computers and provide computer repair. Such a store must market both its products and the supporting services it offers to appeal to customers.
When people market services, the goal is not to get customers to buy a product but to get people to do business with a particular company, often in a specific location. For example, a restaurant offers a service: it provides food to customers, both on-site and in to-go form in many cases. When the restaurant markets itself, it must convince people that it is preferable to other restaurants and that its facility is worth the trip.
As with the marketing of products, the marketing of services covers issues like what is being offered, what the price point is, how it compares to similar things, and why people should choose that particular iteration over other options. With services, which are often intangible in nature, consumers must also be convinced through marketing that it is something they need that will have some sort of benefit.
There are different approaches which can be taken in services marketing, depending on how a company wants to position itself and what kind of messages it wants people to take away from the marketing. A company might want to project itself as reliable and trustworthy if it offers a service like security, or fun loving and adventurous for travel planning. In all cases, people must be shown why it is that they would want to pay for what the company offers.
Marketing schools usually discuss various techniques that can be used in services marketing. People may also develop their own techniques as they practice marketing in the real world and learn more about what people look for, how they shop for services, and what makes them appealing. Often, the goal is to establish a personal relationship with customers so that they will return to the company in the future rather than taking their business elsewhere. The loyalty is often to the quality of the service, rather than to a specific brand or image, and this makes selling it somewhat different than product marketing, in which it is the value of the product that is important.