In the past thirty years, service companies have grown to such an extent that they now dominate the U.S. economy. I would guess that the service companies employ over 70% of our work force. This rapid growth has resulted in a complex and competitive environment.
We have gone from marketing manufactured products to having to develop different marketing strategies including differentiation, innovation and the overall challenge of marketing intangible services. We can’t continue to market services as we did products; if we do, the market will perceive that we are all the same and will buy based on price.
This morning I had a meeting with such a service company. I asked the questions, “What makes you different?” I asked that there be no “motherhood and apple pie” in the answer. I received what the business owner thought were good answers. Unfortunately, it was not the differentiation and innovation I was looking for.
There are several words that come into play. The most important is the benefits that your company provides which are not available elsewhere. The goal is to deliver an experience that customers are willing to either pay more or switch providers for.
In my opinion, doing things a different way is a powerful marketing tool. Developing and implementing new marketing strategies is the best way to win. Of course, the delivery of the quality service with great benefits has to be the end result.
As I look at the service industry today I see customer indifference. An insurance agent is an insurance agent, a CPA is a CPA, etc. thus the hiring process becomes one of who you know, or who has the best price, instead of who can provide the greatest benefits.
Your unique story, and benefits, has to be communicated in a different manner than those of your competitors.
Peter Drucker stated in his book, The Practice of Management “Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest of a business’s activities are costs.” . In order to be successful, service companies need to be different; to find a leadership position in the market and then to lead.
What is important is ideas. If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life. Harvey Firestone
Nick J. Petra CFP you will find a lot of great ideas when you subscribe to www.onebizcentral.com