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Services Marketing Strategies

The service marketing companies develop a market strategy to
design a differentiation and positioning strategy.
The South West airlines known as the low cost airlines
providing good and timely flight to various destinations
McDonalds are known for quality, speed and efficient services
These companies have therefore differentiated their services well
enough for their customers to view them as different and distinct
from their competitors and held a unique place into the minds of
their customers
They have learnt to position themselves after sufficient research to
learn their customers expectations and perceptions
They have adopted effective competitor strategies to attract
They have also identified specific attributes that give them a
competitive advantage
Services Marketing Strategies
The positioning strategy therefore deals with how a company
wants its customers to perceive its services in relation to those of its

It is a process of establishing and maintaining distinctive place in the
market for an organisation or its products / service
It involves occupying or creating a place in the minds of the
It also tells the target customers its important attributes as compared
to the competitors
The marketer therefore should have not only thorough knowledge
about the attributes of their own services, but also of the competitors
Services Marketing Strategies
Role of Positioning the positioning of the services is more difficult
than products being intangibles in nature
The organisation therefore try to market the services with help of
some tangible evidences
In the case of tourism for example, the tangible aspects may be
Lakes and boats/boathouses
Old heritage buildings and other places of visit
In Rajasthan may be a camel ride
Special food of the region
Special shopping facilities and special products of the region
Hotels in some places (in Agra with Taj view, in Rajasthan some
old palaces converted into hotels
These are some of the examples of tangible evidences to enforce
the positioning in the minds of the customers
Services Marketing Strategies
Positioning Strategies
Though the broad positioning strategies are;
1. Product differentiator
2. Low cost leader
3. As a nicher
The firms should concentrate on one strategy rather than in all,
since they will lose in competition with others who specialise in
one by concentration on one strategy
Some of the specific strategies are;
Attribute Positioning is based on attribute or feature
e.g. Aaj Tak News channel Sabse Aage (Infront of everybody),
State Bank positioning its as the bank with the largest number of
branches in the country and the cheapest home loan compared
to other banks
Benefit Positioning when a bank positions for the additional
e.g. ATM and Credit/Debit card free of charge to account holders,
6% interest by Kotak Bank against 4% by other banks

Application Positioning when some provider is best in one
particular application e.g. SBI positioning as the best in the
business of educational loans

User Positioning when the provider positions itself for specific
target group of users of the facility. E.g. Kerala as a destination
for natural therapy or the best beaches

Competitor Positioning when a provider positions against
competitors offerings. E.g. IIPM against IIMs (dare to think
beyond IIMs)
Services Marketing Strategies
Quality / Price Positioning when some provider tries to position on
the basis of quality or price e.g. Oberoi hotel always talk about quality

At one time when Oberoi hotel started executive lunch in Delhi, some
other hotels also started in competition, and Mr.M.S.Oberoi, the then
Chairman of the hotel asked the management to increase the number
of items (spread of dishes) and other services as also increase the
price of lunch to differentiate and not compete on pricing but the
Similarly the hotel rates are increased as soon as some other hotel
reach their tariffs
However the companies must keep themselves updated on the
customers and competitors so that proper positioning may be
Services Marketing Strategies
The Positioning Strategy is developed after detailed study of the
target market, the competitors playing in the market and the
current position enjoyed in the market
However for a new entrant it is necessary to analyse own
services viz. a viz. competitors and the offerings and benefits
planned for the customer, so that those attributes can be offered
and positioned in the customers mind through the media or the
sales force
Following are the steps for developing a Positioning Strategy
Determining Levels of Positioning the company needs to
decide the level which they would like to position themselves
LIC positions itself (at service level) offering whole life
policies with different options of;
Whole life with profits
Limited payment whole life and
Single premium whole life
Services Marketing Strategies
Further LIC (at corporate level) as a trustworthy and
reliable company with highest number of policies and
continuously making profits
It also positions (at Category level) company offering
various options of investment against other categories i.e.
similar investments as offered by banks/other financial
Identification of Attributes some of the attributes are;
Unique features by class (ITC, TAJ, OBEROI hotels try to
create a class apart from others (example of executive
Specific use investments serving as tax saving options
Price plays an important role in comparison to the perceived
delivered value
Services Marketing Strategies
A service provider must differentiate the advantage to be ahead of the
competitors and increase their margins of profit.
A service is perceived to be different by the users when the provider
positions itself for specific target group of users of the facility. E.g.
Kerala Tourism-as a destination for natural therapy or the best
beaches, hotels offering airport pickup or drop facilities and also
considering check out 24 hours instead of 12
The service is differentiated when the customers perceive the
advantage over the services provided by other players
Differentiating attributes must meet the following criteria;
Importance the customers must feel the importance or give
value to the service attributes provided by the provider
Superior the attribute must be superior to others if they are
also offering the same service
Preemptive the attribute offered should easily be not copied by
Services Marketing Strategies
Affordable the attribute should be affordable by the customers,
if charged for
Economically Viable the attribute should be economically
viable and should not impact the profitability of the provider
Distinctive the attribute should be distinct from competitors
Communicable should be communicable and easily
understood by the customers
Services Marketing Strategies