Service Promotion Meaning, Features and Objectives

Service Promotion Meaning

Service promotion refers to the strategic activities undertaken to raise awareness, generate interest, and ultimately drive the adoption of a particular service offering. A well-executed service promotion campaign can greatly enhance brand visibility, attract new customers, and foster customer loyalty. Service promotion aims to effectively communicate the values, benefits and unique features of services to the target audience. It holds significant importance in the international business environment.

Many times people equate marketing promotion’ with marketing. The widespread promotion garners excessive attention from management. Marketers employ various promotional tools like advertising, public relations, sales promotion activities, and personal selling to inform potential buyers about what they have to offer and persuade them to respond favourably.

The term “promotion” originates from the Latin word ‘promovere,’ which signifies ‘an endeavour to redirect people’s focus from one extreme (disinterest) to the other (interest).’ Service marketers leverage this marketing tool to strategically position their services, making them more tangible and valuable.

In communicating the services to the customers, the promotion element of the service product marketing mix plays a vital role. This also helps in communicating benefits to other key relationship markets. Promotion is a descriptive term for the mix of communication activities that service organisations carry out to influence the public on whom their sales depend.

According to Stanton, “Promotion includes advertising, personal selling, sales promotion and other selling tools”.

According to Philip Kotler, “Promotion compasses all the tools in the marketing mix whose major role is persuasive communications”

Features of Service Promotion

Features of service promotion are as follows;

1) Persuades Customer for Purchase: The company uses persuasion to win customers over and secure service sales.

2) Facilitates Service Information: The company notifies customers about its services when introducing a new one or modifying an existing one.

3) Assists in Service Reminders: Replacing the same advertisement serves as the company’s method for keeping customers informed about its services.

4) Helps in Identifying Customer Needs and Preferences: The manufacturer carries out promotional activities. The producer holds the responsibility for acquiring consumer and prospective consumer information to meet their demands.

5) Promotion Techniques: Promotion includes, advertising, personal selling and other sales promotion techniques.

Features of Service Promotion

Objectives of Service Promotion

1) General Objectives

i) Differentiate the service offer and the service organisation from competitors.

ii) Build awareness and interest in the service product and the service organisation.

iii) Maintain the overall image and reputation of the service organization.

iv) Communicate the benefits of the services available.

2) Objectives Targeted at Customers

i) Encourage the trial of a service.

ii) Increase awareness of a new or existing service.

iii) Reinforce advertising for the service and draw the audience’s attention to it.

iv) Encourage non-users to attend a demonstration of the service.

v) Persuade existing customers to continue the service and not terminate the use of the service or switch to a competing alternative.

3) Objectives Targeted at Intermediaries

i) Persuade existing intermediaries to provide an additional push for the service including point-of-sale merchandising.

ii) Convince intermediaries to produce a new or re-launched service.

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Types of Service Promotion

Service organisations can attract new customers, retain existing customers, build a business, increase brand awareness, reduce their perceived risk and finally, gain the trust of their customers through promotional campaigns. Service companies should first understand the importance of communication in an organisation with its internal and external customers. To enhance its effectiveness, companies should also learn the various tools used for internal and external communication and employ them effectively. Further, an organisation should have an idea about the likely issues that might arise during its communication with both internal and external customers. These issues may arise from various factors such as budgetary constraints, technology limitations, content quality and delivery methods. Service communications or promotions can be of two types:

  1. Internal communication
  2. External communication

Internal Communication

A company’s internal customers include its frontline personnel, its employees in different functions a departments and the management. Internal communication helps a company to enhance understanding and cooperation among the employees of a department and between employees of different departments. An open communication channel gives them the feeling that they are a part of the team and this helps the organisation retain and motivate them in the long run. It also increases transparency between the management and employees. What type of information should a company communicate to its employees? A company should communicate with:

1) Its employees about the ongoing projects and their contribution to organisational objectives.

2) It teaches employees about the importance of internal and external communication and how to communicate effectively.

3) Its employees about the organisational vision and corporate objectives.

4) Its employees learn how to solve problems and resolve issues that arise while operating on a project.

5) Its management about the progress on these projects.

6) Its employees through various communication methods like meetings, awards, newsletters, and formal and informal discussions to motivate them.

7) Employees instruct their colleagues on methods to enhance efficiency.

External Communication

A company’s external customers include its suppliers, business and individual customers, shareholders, foreign clients (if any), government and various regulatory boards, depending on the nature of the service business. An effective external communication channel helps a company to communicate with its external customers regularly. The main aim of external communication is to increase the awareness of a company’s wide range of services, company performance, and environmental policies to all the stakeholders. Further, if a company is working in collaboration with another organisation, then it needs to communicate regularly with the other organisation. For example, earlier Wipro and GE have come together to form Wipro-GE Medicals and offer healthcare services in India. These types of collaborations call for clarity in communication between the two companies on various aspects like the fundamental objectives of the company, financial policies, customer service standards, etc.

A company that communicates effectively with its external customers can reap the fruits of improved relationships with its customers. It creates a good image of the company in their minds and gives them an idea of the employee’s professionalism in the company. An organisation can adopt various types of communication to communicate with its internal and external customers. For this purpose, it can use various communication tools such as facsimile machines, writing, the internet, telephones and mobile phones, PDAs, laptops, etc.

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