Processes – One of the Seven Ps of Marketing

Processes in Marketing

Not to be confused with the over-arching Marketing Process, here we are talking about one of the Seven Ps of the Marketing Mix for service businesses.

We’re all familiar with the famous Four Ps, namely product, place, pricing and promotion. But this list can be expanded out to the Seven Ps for services marketing. Services marketing is relevant to all people-facing businesses, like hairdressers, professional services, restaurants and bars, etc.

In this context, processes in marketing refers to how your business delivers its service at the customer interface : through each step of the customer experience.

Imagine, for example, entering a restaurant and being met by lovely staff who take your order competently and without undue delay, striking the right balance between friendly helpfulness and efficiency. Your food is served in a timely manner and the evening goes off smoothly, with no glitches. This would be an example of excellent processes in marketing.

Now imagine, on the other hand, a restaurant where dishes you didn’t order are served, the wine isn’t delivered without you having to remind the waiting staff, the bill is incorrect and so on. This might be how processes in marketing can go terribly wrong.

Processes
Processes move the customer through their experience

In a very large customer interfacing business, such as a theme park, issues might include :

* How to manage the queuing system

* Alternative ticketing options

* Location of restaurant and toilet facilities around the park

* Pathways and signage – how the customer actually gets around the park

Here’s a real-life example. A person recently booked a room in a hotel for a wheelchair-bound relative. The hotel was specifically asked if they had wheelchair accessible bedrooms. The receptionist was delighted to confirm that they did and the booking was taken. On arrival, it was discovered that neither the bar nor the hotel restaurant were accessible, both having several steps to be negotiated to gain access. This is a classic case of poor processes in marketing. Clearly, the receptionist should have known to point out these obvious hurdles during the booking process (telephone interaction).

We all know the adage that if you have a great experience you’ll tell three people, whereas if you have a bad one, you’ll tell twenty!

Make sure your processes are sound – that your customer experience is as it should be and that your business delivers its service in a correct, timely and uniform manner. But watch out : this is not to say that you shouldn’t deliver your service with personality. Quite the contrary. If you are confident about your processes, this in fact liberates you and your team to be personal and attentive in your delivery. And that’s wonderful for branding and gaining positive testimonials.

Processes in Marketing

Processes are about knowing what to do and how to do it, especially in services marketing. Do you work your customers through their experience of your business in an efficient, logical and friendly manner? Heck, is the coffee machine where I would expect it to be?

Read about Physical Evidence, another of the expanded Seven Ps of Marketing.

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