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Utsav Mahendra : Designing the Communications Mix for Services
Chapter 5 Designing theCommunications Mix for Services
Advertising Implications for Overcoming Intangibility (Fig. 5-1)Problem Advertising Strategy• Generality - objective claims Document physical system capacity Cite past performance statistics - subjective claims Present actual service delivery incident• Nonsearchability Present customer testimonials Cite independently audited performance• Abstractness Display typical customers benefiting• Impalpability Documentary of step-by-step process, Case history of what firm did for customer Narration of customer’s subjective experience Source: Mittal and Baker
Other Communications Challenges in Services Marketing• Facilitate customer involvement in production – prepare customers for service experience and demonstrate roles – teach customers about new technologies, new features• Help customers to evaluate service offerings – provide tangible or statistical clues to service performance – highlight quality of equipment and facilities – emphasize employee qualifications, experience, professionalism• Simulate or dampen demand to match capacity – provide information about timing of peak, off-peak periods – offer promotions to stimulate off-peak demand• Promote contribution of service personnel – help customers understand service encounter – highlight expertise and commitment of backstage personnel
Setting Clear Objectives: Checklist forMarketing Communications Planning (“5 Ws”)• Who is our target audience?• What do we need to communicate and achieve?• How should we communicate this?• Where should we communicate this?• When do communications need to take place?
Common Educational and Promotional Objectives in Service Settings (Table 5-2)• Create memorable images of specific companies and their brands• Build awareness/interest for unfamiliar service/brand• Build preference by communicating brand strengths and benefits• Compare service with competitors’ offerings and counter their claims• Reposition service relative to competition• Stimulate demand in off-peak and discourage during peak
Educational and Promotional Objectives (cont.)• Encourage trial by offering promotional incentives• Reduce uncertainty/perceived risk by providing useful info and advice• Provide reassurance (e.g., promote service guarantees)• Familiarize customers with service processes before use• Teach customers how to use a service to best advantage• Recognize and reward valued customers and employees
Marketing Communications Mix for Services (Fig. 10.4) Personal Publicity & Instructional Corporate Advertising Sales PromotionCommunications Public Relations Materials Design Press Selling Broadcast Sampling Web sites Signage releases/kits Customer Press Interior decor Print Manuals service Coupons conferences Sign-up Special Training Internet Brochures Vehicles rebates events Video- Telemarketing Outdoor Gifts Sponsorship Equipment audiocassettesWord-of-mouth Prize Trade Shows, SoftwareWord of mouth Direct mail(other customers) promotions Exhibitions CD-ROM Stationery Media-initiated Voice mail Uniforms * coverageKey: * Denotes communications originating from outside the organization
Originating Sources of Messages Received by a Target Audience (Fig. 5-5)Messages originatingwithin the organization Front-line staff Service outlets A U Advertising D Sales promotions I Direct marketing Personal selling E Public relations N C Word of mouth EMessages originatingoutside the organization Media editorial
What is Brand Equity and Why Does It Matter? (From Berry, “Cultivating Brand Equity”)Definition: A set of assets and liabilities linked to a brand’s name and symbol that adds to (or subtracts from) the perceived value of the productInsights• Brand equity can be positive or negative• Positive brand equity creates marketing advantage for firm plus value for customer• Perceived value generates preference and loyalty• Management of brand equity involves investment to create and enhance assets, remove liabilities
A Service Branding Model: How Communications + Experience Create Brand EquityMarketer-controlled communications Firm’s Presented Brand (Sales, Awareness of Advertising, PR) Firm’s BrandUncontrolled brand communications Firm’s What Media, Intermediaries, Brand Equity Word-of-Mouth Say re: Firm Customer’s Experience Meaning Attached with Firm To Firm’s Brand Source: Adapted from L. L. Berry ( Fig. 1)
Marketing Communication and the Internet (1)• International in Scope – Accessible from almost anywhere in the world – Simplest form of international market entry• Internet Applications – Promote consumer awareness and interest – Provide information and consultation – Facilitate 2-way communications through e-mail and chat rooms – Stimulate product trial – Enable customers to place orders
Marketing Communications and the Internet (2)• Web Site design considerations – Memorable address that is actively promoted – Relevant, up-to-date content (text, graphics, photos) – Contain information that target users will perceive as useful/interesting – Easy navigation – Fast download• Internet advertising – Banners and buttons on portals and other websites seek to draw online traffic to own site