The special nature of services marketing especially those intangibility elements lead special marketing problems. Some people might argue that there is no such thing as service marketing, but only marketing in which the service element is greater than the product element. It is true that there both a product and services component in the sale of most, if not all, goods. However, many services organizations therefore insurance, Barbara, consultant s etc,do not think of them self as producer or sellers of good,bur rather as providers of service.  In theory, product and service marketing are the same.  In each case, a marketing program is built around the parts of the marketing mix therefore the products, service, the price structure, the distribution system, and the promotional program.  Moreover, there are often sustantial similarities in practices.  At the same time however ,significant marketing practices exist between product and service marketing. Therefore, strategies and practice used in conventional prosucts marketing often times at inappropriate for service marketing.  Therefore is no general agreement as to what service marketing involve.  But her is a working definition service what we shall adopt for use in the course; "services are those separately identifiable activities that provide want satisfaction, and that are not necessarily tied it the sale of product or another services. To produce a services may or may not require the use of tangible products . However, when such use is required, there is no transfer of the title (permanent ownership)to this tangible products "  now let us elaborate a little bit on this definition, and reduce any possible confusion;  
1. We include from this definition such activities as medical care, entertainment, and repair services (but not the medicine or repair parts used) 
2. We exclude delivery, and other service that exist when there's the scale of a product or another services. 
3. The consumer of a service can take only temporary possession or make only temporary use of any goods required in the production of the service, for example a hotel room, and a rental car. (an exception here would include such tangible goods as insurance policies ,legal papers filled in for defence, or consultant reports that supplements but do not comprises the service).  Therefore, service organizations are those that do not have as their principal aim the production of tangible products that buyers will posses permanently. We are concerned primarily with the service marketed by business or professional firms with profit making motives, commercial services in contrast to those of non business organisations such as churches, mosques, public schools, and government in general.

Characteristics of services marketing 

The special nature of services create special challenges in the marketing and opportunities and often results in marketing programs that are substantially different from those in product marketing.
1Intangibility of services deals with impossibilities service before they maybe bouth.
2Inseparability of services deals with fact that services cannot often be separated from the person of the seller.  More over, some service are created and distribute almost all their services at the same time. From a marketing perspective, inseparability frequently means that direct sale is the only possible channel of distribution, and a sellers services cannot be sold in many markets 
3. Heterogeneity of services does mean that it is impossible for a service industry, or and individuals seller of services to standardize output.  In other words, in almost all cases each unit of the services is some what different from other units of the same service on each trip. An added complication is the fact that it is often difficult to judge the quality of a service. A person may pay to watch a football game without knowing whether it will be an exciting one,worth the price of admission or dull performance 
4. Perish ability and fluctuating demand of service establishes the fact that services are highly perishable and cannot be store.  For instance, unused electric power, empty seats in a stadium, and idle mechanics in a garage all represent business that is lost forever.  The combination of perish ability and fluctuating offers several service planning, pricing, and promotion challenges to managers. These features or characteristics of services place some difficulty on a service marketing organisation.  For this reason, sales and advertising department 
5. Usually concentrate their marketing efforts on benefits to be derived from services rather than emphasizing on the services itself. 

Marketing concept as applied to service marketing 

The growth in service has not generally been due to the marketing development in the service industries but rather to the mature status of our economy and our rising standard if living. Traditionally managers in service companies have not been marketing oriented and so have lagged behind sellers of products in accepting the marketing concept.  They have been slow in adapting or adopting promotional methods,product strategies and other marketing technique.  Some of the reason we may advance for this lack of marketing orientation include ;
1. The difficulty the intangibility of services created for sellers 
2. In many services industries, particularly in the professional service, sellers usually think of themselve as producers or creators and not as marketers of the services.  They are proud of their ability to repair a car, diagnose an illness, or give a good haircut, and therefore, they do not think of themselves as business people.
3. But the main reason however, is the fact that top management of these services organizations do not yet understand what marketing is or it importance to a company's success.  These managers seem to understand marketing as selling and they fail to consider other parts of the marketing system.  They also do not effectively coordinate their marketing activities. In general, many services firm lack mangers whose sole responsibility is marketing. There are not able exception to this general negative notion or generalization we are making here. The banking industry provide that exception with an interesting example of a service industry that in the past has not been market oriented but has change it us changing fast to make transition to modern times or to take on marketing orientation to business approach. For years commercial banks made customer feel as if they should be honoured to have their money in checking account with no interest (a situation that is still true in many if not all developing economics)with a service charge. And savings accounts earned very low interest rates.  Bank tellers were faceless people behind protective bar.  However, most banks have made and are continuing to make concerted efforts to change those images because the market situation for them has changed appreciably.  Competition from both within and outside the industry has intensified.  To meet competitive environment, many banks have started to practice a little of marketing.  In fact, some banks have more aggressively to shorten this transition period.  Some banks are now establishing marketing department, conducting sales training programs and engaging in marketing research.  They are running services advertisement, they are expanding their services mix and they are sending their employee to bank marketing development programmes.

A program in marketing services

Because of intangibility, inseparability, characteristic of service marketing, the task of developing a total marketing program una service industry is often uniquely challenging.  For example ;
1. Market analysis is however, the same whether a firm is selling a product or service.  Therefore , marketers of services should understand the components of the population and income as they affect the market for their services. In addition, they must carefully analyze why their customer want their service, and determined whether the several market segment have the same or different buying motive. small business service marketers should also determine whether the several market segment have the same or different buying motives. service marketers should also determine the buying patterns for their services as to when, where and how customers buy, and who makes the decision and does the buying, and so on. 
2. Pricing of service require a greater skill and managerial creativity than may be in products ,marketing. Earlier on we noted that services are extremely perishable, and sometimes they cannot be stored, and the demand for them is often fluctuate considerable.  All features carry or have significantly pricing implicating.  Further, customers may postpone purchase of services, or even perform some services themselves. Further, the heavy capital investment required to purchase some services : for example transportation, communication ,medical care,  often limits the freedom of entry considerably.  In spite of all this, the basic method of price determination now-used for services are generally the same as those for product.  Cost plus prising is used for regulated services where the main ingredients is directed labour and the customer is charged on hourly basis. For many other services marketing for example rentals, entertainment, legal counseling, management counseling,  price are determined primarily by market demand and competition.
3. Channels of distribution for service do not employ the use of middle men especially when the service cannot be separated from the sellers or when the service is created and marketed both at the same time.  For example, medical care, and repair services are typically sold without middlemen.  Not using middlemen does limits the geographic market that service sellers can reach.  But it also enable the seller to personalise their services and to get quick, detailed customer feedback.  In recent years, some firms have realise that the service characteristic of inseparability is not really a limitation to seller distribution system.  This is because with a little imagination, a services marketing Can broaden it distribution considerably. 

Service marketing is the promotion of services to potential customers. It is a process that helps organizations to create, deliver, and communicate value to their customers. Service marketing is a critical element of any business, as it helps to increase revenue and grow the customer base.

Service marketing is important for several reasons. First, it helps businesses to identify and target new customers. Second, service marketing can help businesses to differentiate their products and services from those of their competitors. Third, service marketing can help businesses to build relationships with their customers. Finally, service marketing can help businesses to increase their profitability.

Service marketing is a process that helps businesses to create, deliver, and communicate value to their customers. Service marketing is a critical element of any business, as it helps to increase revenue and grow the customer base. Service marketing is important for several reasons. First, it helps businesses to identify and target new customers. Second, service marketing can help businesses to differentiate their products and services from those of their competitors.

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