All businesses are selling something. They are either selling a product or a service that meets a need or fixes a problem. It would be logical to assume that because they have a similar or, sometimes, the same result, marketing a product and a service would also be similar or the same.
While there are aspects of marketing products and services that crossover, they’re not the same. The foundation of marketing services and marketing products is different. The two require completely different mentalities for success because products and services are functionally different.
When trying to understand the difference, never forget that products are something that the consumer takes to use themselves. Services require you or your business to physically do something for the consumer, sometimes not leaving the consumer with more than they started with.
Selling a Service is Selling Yourself
It’s easy to forget that you as a business are distinctly separate from your product in a way you aren’t from your service. With a service, you or your property must meet the client to perform a task for them. This service rarely leaves them having something they didn’t have before. Typically, they receive something they already had, only improved or repaired. If this isn’t true, you’re selling a product and service, which requires combining both mentalities.
For example, if you’re a legal firm representation, you are selling your abilities, which is another way of saying you’re selling yourself. Your client is not receiving a physical object, and depending on your practice, success may not even mean they gain anything out of the process.
When you’re marketing, this mindset needs to be well grasped to make social media posts, Google search ads, and physical advertisements that inform the audience of what you do. A product can be shown and immediately, the audience has something to quantify in their heads. If you’re selling a service, it can be difficult to explain what that service provides and when someone might need it in a single image or a few words.
Typically, showing is better than telling, but when it comes to marketing services, you have to do both. You want to be able to tell someone how your service fixes their issue by showing them. Depending on your service, this can be easier said than done.
Selling a Product is Selling Something New
An important distinction between a product and a service is that a product is something the consumer uses and gets to keep. Permanence is an inherent feature that plays an important factor in selling a product. A consumer can hold, test, and see that a product is real. A service is a nebulous thing until it’s been seen.
Some products can explain their whole function to a consumer with their appearance alone, which is something a service cannot do. This leaves a product’s marketing with a lot of legroom with what they can do.
If the product’s use needs to be explained, it’s easier to show a product than a service. A product already presents itself as a center to follow in any advertisement, wherewith a service, everything is potentially a part of what’s being sold. Marketing teams have to find a way to make the consumer understand that the product is the center of the conversation, versus with a product.
Products are Static and Rarely Change
Another battle to overcome is the fact that products are assumed to be static. While not always true, people will assume the product from a good review is the same as the one they’ll receive. With a service, this assumption is not as prevalent. This can be a weakness, but can just as easily serve as a positive if you choose to market with a promise of consistent quality.
It’s natural to believe that a service won’t always have the same quality each time. You, your employees, or your business can mess up or improve, which can make reviews outdated in ways that do and don’t work in your favor.
Good reviews for a service that’s declined can give you the chance to get back on your feet. Bad reviews from before you’ve improved can hamper your ability to get business. With products, reviews reveal little and can lead to good and bad reviews having less impact on your marketing success. This can lead to a product having fewer marketing options or a less effective marketing option when compared to service.
Let ENX2 Marketing Do the Thinking For You
Considering all the differences between marketing products and services can be confusing. You could easily use a tactic perfect for marketing service for your product or vice versa if you don’t have a deep understanding of how consumers respond to marketing. This can be a full-time job, which is a daunting prospect when you have a business to run.
Hire a firm to handle your business’s marketing instead. ENX2 Marketing has the knowledge and experience with handling product marketing and service marketing to get you the revenue you need. Contact us today so we can get started.