Service Marketing: The power of goods and services integrated as one customer-oriented process. This can be similarly called the synergy of the two processes. Before, goods-based manufacturing seems to solve profitability of companies, but as the demands change, so as the strategies that should be applied. Such changes occur when an idea becomes more or less obsolete and in effect does not promote further development. For a company to determine itself as a success, it must first determine what industry they are involved in then take steps in which approach should be use. Determining this will be able to be supported by facts that can create greater opportunities. Levitt (1975) argued, But the truth is, it seems to me, that the industry begins with the needs of customers for products. This involves products as goods, and products as services in order for an industry related company to satisfy them. In any case, service marketing is the more applicable approach and which will be discussed in this article. On the front line of the new economy, service — bold, fast, imaginative, and customized — is the ultimate strategic imperative (Hankoff 1994).
Vargo & Lusch (2004) stated, Service marketing has emerged to address much of this broadened perspective, but it is built on the same goods and manufacturing-based model. The influence of this model is evident in the prototypical characteristics that have been identified as distinguishing services from goods—intangibility, inseparability, heterogeneity, and perishability. Dixon (1990) argued that it is “the dissatisfaction with marketing theory that led to the services marketing literature,” or more generally, the creation of services marketing as a subdiscipline (p. 342). Gummesson (1995, p. 251) argues that “activities render services, things render services.” The argument focused on the question of which is better, goods or services? In reality this two should co-exist, suggestions have risen to distinguish the two from one another but the application can be more complex. Marketing scholars have different ideas, theories and applications and they all have been useful in the understanding of marketing. With arguments created, it is clear that there is something wrong about such topics. Service marketing, claimed to be more flexible than goods-based manufacturing process. Since service and goods should co-exist, Vargo & Lusch (2004) stated that instead of service marketing breaking free from goods marketing, it is all of marketing that needs to break free from the manufacturing-based model of the exchange of output. Vargo & Lusch (2004) added the fact that goods are appliances used in service provision, that is, goods and service have a nested relationship. This supported the theme of this paper, integrating service and marketing and recognizing them as a synergy for development. Focusing on goods-based alone is sufficient to achieve something different; service marketing must aid the process which involves directly with customers as a very important factor for success. Gummerson (1995) stated “Customers do not buy goods or services: they buy offerings which render services which create value. . . . The traditional division between goods and services is long outdated. It is now a matter of redefining services and seeing them from a customer perspective; activities render services, things render services. The shift in focus to services is a shift from the means and the producer perspective to the utilization and the customer perspective.” (p. 250). These customers are the ones who can really make great impact on the market. Vargo & Lusch stated “in using a product, the customer is continuing the marketing, consumption, and value-creation and delivery processes.”
Customers being said to be an important part of the service process, companies must find a way to tend to their needs. They buy goods along with the benefits that can be extracted from them; these goods are then considered as goods integrated with service marketing approach. Kotler (1977, p. 8) notes that the “importance of physical products lies not so much in owning them as in obtaining the services they render.” This statement is pushing the idea of what the consumers want. As for companies, “to continue growing, companies must ascertain and act on their customer’s needs and desires, not bank on the presumptive longevity of their products” (Levitt 1975). Another key to success is the understanding of the company’s goal in which they act as what they are aiming with addition to customer-oriented approach through service-based marketing. The organization must learn to think of itself not as producing goods or services but as buying customers, as doing the things that will make people want to do business with it (Levitt 1975). Same goes to the fact that customers need to be proactive and take part in the production process of what benefits they want to experience. Normann and Ramirez (1993, p. 69) state that “the key to creating value is to coproduce offerings that mobilize customers.” Oliver, Rust, and Varki (1998) echo and extend the idea of coproduction in their suggestion that marketing is headed toward a paradigm of “real-time” marketing, which integrates mass customization and relationship marketing by interactively designing evolving offerings that meet customers’ unique, changing needs. The fact that service-based marketing is directed to consumers, the complex relationship between companies and customers will more likely be made simpler. Consumers will develop relationships with organizations that can provide them with an entire host of related services over an extended period (Rifkin 2000).
The whole idea has emerged not long ago and companies can say that they are having a hard time distinguishing service from goods-based process. The marketing literature rarely mentioned “immaterial products” or “services,” and when it did, it mentioned them only as “aids to the production and marketing of goods” (Converse 1921, p. vi; see Fisk, Brown, and Bitner 1993). But in fulfilling this ideology, companies must also embrace the education for all their employees and everyone who are taking part in this great cause. Customer relationship is somewhat misunderstood as tending with their concerns only but they should be dealt with proper care and attention. The changing nature of customer relationships demands a new breed of service worker, folks who are empathetic, flexible, informed, articulate, inventive, and able to work with minimal levels of supervision (Henkoff 1994). Vargo & Lusch also stated “In a service-centered model, humans both are at the center and are active participants in the exchange process. What precedes and what follows the transaction as the firm engages in a relationship (short- or long-term) with customers is more important than the transaction itself.”
The view that an industry is a customer-satisfying process, not a goods-producing process, is vital for all businesspeople to understand. An industry begins with the customer and his or her needs, not with a patent, a raw material, or a selling skill (Levitt 1975). In addition to that, differentiating selling from marketing is important. Levitt (1975) argued “The difference between marketing and selling is more than semantic. Selling focuses on the needs of the seller, marketing on the needs of the buyer. Selling is preoccupied with the seller’s need to convert the product into cash, marketing with the idea of satisfying the needs of the customer by means of the product and the whole cluster of things associated with creating, delivering, and finally consuming it.” In understanding the whole process, it must start with one’s self worth and knowing what they can do to provide it to customers. Customer-perceived quality is always the driving factor, and the willingness to accept a trade-off between standardization quality and customization quality, usually for a commensurate trade-off in price is actually a form of customization (Vargo & Lusch 2004).
This article aims to make it a point to managers and other professional practitioners that while goods-based manufacturing is important, service-based marketing can fill in the missing connections between companies and customers (Chased & Garvin 1989). Marketing and manufacturing personnel have to work closely together to both understand customers’ expectations and fulfil them (Chase & Garvin 1989). The way a company manages its marketing can become the most powerful form of differentiation. Indeed, they may be how some companies in the same industry differ most from the other (Levitt 1980).
Brand management and product management are marketing tools that have demonstrable advantages over catchall, functions modes of management (Levit 1980).
Economic conditions, business strategies, customer’s wishes, competitive conditions, and much more can determine what sensibly defines the product (Levit 1980).This is a workload for everybody and with proper discipline and application; they will be able to understand the significance of goods and services to the operation of an organization which recognizes the customer’s ability to promote greater success and industrial growth. This article will serve as an information base for future promoters of growth and development.Goods and services must not be distinguished from one another but instead, recognize them as a synergy, having nested relationship and must be customer-oriented. Let us remember the quite written by Levitt (n.d) CREATIVITY is thinking up new things. INNOVATION is doing new things.
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