Elements of Marketing Mix

The service marketing mix is also referred to as the extended marketing mix and Is an essential part of the blueprint design of the service. Compared to the 4 Ps of a product marketing mix, the service marketing mix consists of 7 Ps. The service marketing mix simply said considers the service as a product itself. However, it adds 3 more P’s needed to deliver the best service.

Product: Kotler and Armstrong (2010) described the product as any tangible or intangible benefit provided to a market for attention and acquisition that fulfills the need of people. Tangible benefits are generally referred to as products, while intangible benefits are also referred to as services. Product and service are used interchangeably in the service sector (Preko2014). Khan and Mahmood (2014) stated that the product is described by quality, styling, characteristics, trademark, product width, and length. Service was described as a bundle of experience and performance capable of meeting customers’ needs higher than competitors (Akroush, 2011). Therefore, this description is limited to only service business, which cannot be applied to product marketing as compared to Kotler and Armstrong (2010), whose description is larger in scope. Ferrell and Hartline (2005) indicated that the product is at the heart of the strategy of the marketing mix because price, promotion, and place are not required without a product. Organizations, however, may vary from the competition by expanding the advantages of their services such as friendly and polite employees. (Khan and Mahmood, 2014).

Price: Price is the monetary value of a product in addition to benefit, for direct and indirect costs (Tan et al, 2009). Pricing can make a business or unmake it. If a price cannot cover the cost of producing the service or product, there will be a loss and inevitably the company will quit. But, if it continues if the price is very high for customers the company is likely to fold up (Tan et al,2009). Kotler (2003) stated that pricing is more an art than a science. He assumed that there is no fixed pricing solution; the best approach depends on the intent of pricing and other influential variables. Peter and Donnelly (2007) reported that prices are variables in their analysis, where consumers rely on more than other qualities in developing countries when making purchasing decisions. He also believed that prices could be adjusted whenever the need arose. Peter and Donnelly (2007) reported that Prices are variables in their analysis, where consumers rely on more than other qualities in developing countries when making purchasing decisions.

Place: The place is the main aspect of the company (Tan et al, 2009). Companies choose the location where they can easily access their customers. In terms of the service industry, convenience of location plays a major role in customer choice. Kotler and Keller (2009) have identified a distribution channel (or place) as the collection of actions of the company involving the delivery of goods or services to the final consumer. Kotler and Armstrong (2010) argue that distribution systems are essentially a series of activities aimed at moving products from suppliers to consumers.

Promotion: Kotler and Armstrong (2010) submitted that promotion is the process of telling consumers to be aware of the product or services, and what they can do to help them. Promotion mix is a combination of advertisement, personal sales, marketing promotion, public relations and techniques for direct marketing (Mahmood et al, 2014). Cannon et al(2008) stated that the aims of promotion are differentiating, reminding, informing, and persuading. Kurt et al(2006) also stated that objectives of promotion are to inform, to persuade and to influence the buying decision of the customer.

People: People are the most critical marketing mix which differentiates the selling of products and services (Ergen, 2011). Ivy and Naude (2004) stated that in the sense of prospective customers, people are not a highly influential variable. But Hollensen (2010), and Brassington (2006) did not agree with the statement of Ivy and Naude (2004). They believed that services rely on the individuals who provide them, as they are directly involved in the service’s customer experience. Bowie et al. (2004) also recommended that making a customer happy requires happy employees. Armando (2005) agreed that customer satisfaction depends largely on the quality of the interaction between service providers. Greeting customers with a smile, kindness, politeness, knowing the problems of customers and others have a positive influence on the choice of the customer. (Mahmood and Khan, 2014). Jones and Dent (1994) also noticed that a smiling face has a positive impact on the choice of customers. Training, encouragement, motivation, confidence, and empowerment are therefore essential tools for creating and maintaining winning workers that can maximize customer satisfaction.

Process: The process has been stated that a relatively short and rapid manner in different kinds of literature given its highly significant effect on buying behavior in the service business (Akroush, 2011; Preko et al, 2014). In the analysis of customer choice, it is also very relevant. Akroush (2011) analyzed the service process as a set of interrelated patterns for the full convenience of efficient service delivery. All of these scientific explanations concentrate on the approach to service delivery which maximizes customer experience. Mahmood et al (2014) stated that to ensure guarantee consistency and quality of service, service plan and training are essential. The importance of the process in the marketing strategy depends on the general concept of the value chain (Preko et al, 2014). The value chain generally emphasizes all the interdependent activities that involve generating value to customers. Today’s technology has changed service delivery significantly (Mahmood et al,2014). They also stated that modern technology has resulted in cost reduction, value creation, and customer differentiated services. Processes of manufactured products may be of little concern to customers (Akroush, 2011); services, however, are of great concern. Brassington, (2006), stated the need for control measures such as Total Quality Management (TQM) to enhance the quality and continuity of service.

Physical evidence: Akroush (2011) believed that all tangible components that provide a friendly atmosphere in the service environment are physical evidence. There is higher uncertainty about the purchasing of service as an outcome of intangibility, but uncertainty can be lowered if there are tangible components to be tangible intangibility (Kotler, 2003). Physical evidence mix involves maintenance of buildings and interior decoration, clean walls and ceilings, floor space and signs, temperature, personal items to improve customer experience. Mahmood and Khan (2014) argued that the physical environment enables to differentiate of a service provider from competitors and influences the choice of the customer. This probably includes all tangible signs that help the delivery of the service. This essentially applies to the physical environment where the perception of service happens.