In the ever-changing world of marketing, businesses are always on the lookout for new, and innovative ways to sell their products to a broader audience. At times, service-centric companies find themselves overlooked in a sea filled with organizations advertising products.
Well, simply put, marketing a service is no easy feat. The most obvious problem being the lack of physical evidence – how do you promote something that isn’t tangible? How do you convince an individual to invest their time and money in an object that they can’t see or feel? The grey area that lies between selling the invisible is precisely where the great conundrum of the marketing world lies.
However, to make the process of advertising promising and ideas a tad bit easier, we’ve compiled five excellent tips that’ll catapult any service-selling business onto the thrones of success. However, before we get into that, let’s talk about why you need to market a services business differently than your standard run-of-the-mill product business.
Why should you market a services business differently?
Perhaps the most critical mistake service vendors can make is to utilize the same techniques used to advertise businesses with products. If you’re trying to convince a customer to buy your service, the golden word you need to keep in your mind is ‘trust.’
When it comes to marketing a service, consumers need to be assured of the fact that they can rely on you, since a service can’t be returned if it turns out to be faulty. If things go awry, the initial investment that the customer made goes stale, and any chances of fostering a healthy customer-supplier relationship go to waste.
To prevent angry customers from ruining any glimmer for your organization to make it in the services industry, try to instill in your mind the fact that service-based businesses require different marketing strategies.
Moreover, aside from the regular 4P’s of marketing (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion), service-based businesses require 3 additional components, which are People, Physical Evidence, and Process. Keeping in mind the vitality that these principles bear, we’ve compiled five brilliant ways to market a services business, starting off with sending a clear message.
#1. Send a clear marketing message
While coming up with ideas to market a services business, try to be as clear as possible with the message that you’d like to convey. When it comes to selling services, many business owners and marketers find themselves surrounded by an arsenal of ideas and perspectives, which leads them to fail to commit to one.
The most important advice a service-vendor could get is to choose a simple yet clear message to send through a marketing campaign. An essential aspect of your marketing campaign should be to create a vivid experience for any potential consumer.
To indulge an individual in experiencing the service you offer, try creating adverts that highlight how your service works to alleviate pain points, and offer comfort. The primary challenge for you as the service vendor lies in creating a convincing experience that captures the attention of any prospects immediately. Once the message is decided on most service-vendors utilize a variety of marketing techniques to promote their content, which focuses on turning prospects into customers.
The most frequently encountered problems faced by companies range from generating organic traffic to securing the best executive sponsors, as shown below:
The ads you send out aren’t the only thing that bears witness to your marketing message. From the way you interact with clients to something as subliminal as the color palette of your website – all of them are key contributors in getting your marketing message across.
#2. Find a way to make your business stand out
To demonstrate what it means to make your service-centric business stand out, let’s consider an example. Imagine a man named X, who’s in dire need of marketing services to promote his content. However, after going through countless websites and testimonials, X proceeds to do the job himself, since nothing he came across had grabbed his attention.
Unfortunately, most customers share the same plight as X, with too many services being marketed in the same boring and predictable way. With that being said, most service-vendors find it challenging to distinguish themselves from their competition, which is when a thorough self-analysis comes in handy.
Service-based businesses should compare themselves with their competitors’ marketing strategies and devise a list of differences that make them stand out the most. Later on, a service-centric organization should base their primary marketing message around what sets them apart from the competition. Using the medium of video can also set you apart, while increasing revenue since many consumers prefer quick videos, instead of reading a brochure.
#3. Focus on increasing value for your customers
If you’re a service-vendor, get one thing straight. Your job is to sell value, not price! Unlike product marketers, who compete primarily on price, to market a services business is heavily reliant on value.
While brainstorming for marketing strategies and ideas, try to focus on increasing value for your customers, rather than mindlessly decreasing the price of the service you offer. Moreover, any organization that provides a service cheaper than its competitors is usually considered to be the black sheep of the bunch.
An easy and effective method of increasing value for customers is to bundle two or more services together, which serves as the next best alternative to lowering your price. Most service-centric organizations combine an arsenal of useful features and amp up the value for consumers and treat consumers like actual people instead of a number.
The fun thing about increasing value for customers is how creative you can be with it. Furthermore, the way you add value can also help distinguish your organization from the competition. Alternative ways to add value to services include:
- Increasing delivery speed.
- Providing customers with expert opinion/advice.
- Improving the customer care you offer.
#4. Continuously revise your marketing strategy
This point may seem a bit redundant, but analyzing and updating each aspect of a company’s marketing strategy is the first stepping stone to success.
An effective marketing strategy doesn’t revolve around how you’re going to market your service; it delves deep into every nook and cranny of the process. Simply put, a marketing strategy amalgamates the goals you have for your company with the actions you take to achieve them.
Several newly-found businesses make the error of etching their marketing strategy on to stone. As the marketing world around you evolves, your marketing strategy should evolve with it. Try to revise your marketing strategy as much as you can, keeping in mind that the goals you set to achieve are SMART:
#5. Work on improving existing client relationships
Perhaps the most crucial aspect of marketing service-based businesses is that the sale isn’t complete at the cash counter. Unlike companies selling products, when marketing services, you’ve got to be there for the long run, which includes delivery and customer support.
A simple tip to keep under your sleeve is to consistently improve existing customer relationships. As a general rule of thumb, consumers that are kept happy over a period of time are the driving force behind a company’s success.
Furthermore, catering to existing clients encourages an organization to expand the services they offer and come up with new programs to entertain them. Improving current consumer relationships also yields more revenue than marketing to new prospects.
So, where do you go from here?
I hope we’ve acquainted you with some stellar marketing tips for your services business.
With that being said, now’s the time to get working on promoting your service, with these brilliant tips making the path to success a little easier!