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Service marketing – the bigger challenge

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Service marketing – the bigger challenge

Marketing is the key word in today’s age. And when it came to marketing, the word ‘services’ to a particular sector or a category was almost synonymous, said Arvind Sharma, Chairman, Leo Burnett India, while stressing how service marketing could make a difference to a brand.

Speaking about what service meant in the financial sector, Suresh Mahalingam, MD & CEO, Tata AIG, pointed out, “In this particular sector, services are dependent on just one term and that is called ‘trust’.” He further said that the financial sector was hit the most during the recent slowdown, and according a study done by Accenture, the ‘trust’ factor had diminished among their customers. “Thus, the service here becomes the most critical and challenging task to be provided in marketing,” he pointed out.

For Suresh Kumar, CEO, Fortune Park Hotels Ltd, service was a process and there were intangible and heterogeneous needs of customers. Ashish Bhatia, Regional Director, Fortis Healthcare, noted that the healthcare sector was one of the sectors where marketing was the biggest challenge. However, this sector had not seen much of advertising due to some of the guidelines, morals and ethics that it needed to follow. Bhatia further said that while they were concerned about the health of patients, they also needed to keep an eye on bottomlines, since they were the business too and must look into factors like profits and cost.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO, UTV Motion Pictures, who comes from the content producing sector, felt that every job and product had different categories, with different guidelines to be followed, thus there were different sources of service.

It was concluded that every service was dependent on the promise that was deliverable, and if compared to international markets, an Indian customer had a unique mentality as compared to any developed market customer. And also that the West scored more on the service front, which might be due to the communication that a brand had created for itself in that respective market.

The speakers were at the 11th CII Annual Marketing Summit, hosted in Mumbai on April 1, 2011, which was the second day of the Summit. This edition was chaired by Essar’s Shivnath Thukral.


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