Marketing Goods or Services Essay

Total Length: 1041 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

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Differentiating Between Services and Goods


For marketers, it is important to differentiate between a good and a service. The two are treated differently in marketing because certain key differences influence the timing of marketing efforts, the messaging, the need to build relationships with customers, and demand forecasting.

Key Differences between Goods and Services

There are significant differences between goods and services, and these differences result in many differences in terms of production, marketing, pricing – all aspects of business, really. The first difference is that a service is not physical, where a good is. There might be supplies used in the service, but the service is inherently based on performance. Thus, services are intangible, there is no property to transfer from one party to another, there are no inventories, and time is very important (Bhasin, 2018). Furthermore, a customer must be involved with a service – a good can exist with no customer but a service without a customer is a service that is not even performed (, 2018).

The time factor is one of the most important of the distinguishing attributes between goods and services. One of the reasons for this is that time means a service is perishable. At any point, if the service is not being performed, that is a lost revenue opportunity. Think of it this way – if a plane flies the costs are incurred.
Any seats that are unsold and empty, that is revenue that cannot be earned later because once the flight takes off, that's it, no more opportunity to earn money on that particular service. This is not true with a good. Most goods have low perishability. A can of beans can go unsold today, and simply be sold tomorrow. Some goods have limited perishability, like fresh produce and meat. Those goods should be sold within a particular time frame but even they are not as perishable as a service.

There are instances where something is both a good and a service, and it is important to be able to distinguish between the two components. A restaurant meal is such a product. The good is the food. While food is perishable, most food will not spoil if it isn't sold today. But the service component – the opportunity to seat people at a table – that is a service because it is perishable. You can fill that table tomorrow, but if you're open today and not filling a table, that is a revenue opportunity that will be permanently lost because of the principle of perishability.

Perishability is a critical concept in services marketing. Perishability means that demand forecasting is critical, but so is the ability to market perpetually. The business must be designed in such a way that as much of the service capacity as possible is used up each and every.....

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Bhasin, H. (2018) Differences between goods and services. Marketing 91. Retrieved June 9, 2018 from

Bhasin, H. (2018). Perishability in services marketing. Marketing91. Retrieved June 9, 2018 from

Kerin, R. A., & Hartley, S. W. (2016). Marketing: The core (6th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Quickonomics (2018). Differences between goods and services. Quickionomics. Retrieved June 9, 2018 from

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