Service Channel Marketing: A Beginners Guide - Gorilla Corporation


Service Channel Marketing: A Beginners Guide

You may have noticed we love channel marketing! big channel marketing, small channel marketing, for Tech Giants to Global logistics we can’t get enough. However, there’s one aspect of channel that can escape even the savviest among us, the elusive Service Channel Marketing. So lets learn more, but first a quick refresher!

What is the meaning of ‘Channel’ in Channel marketing?

A quick google can let us know ‘A marketing channel consists of the people, organizations, and activities necessary to transfer the ownership of goods from the point of production to the point of consumption. It is the way products get to the end-user, the consumer; and is also known as a distribution channel.’

That last part is key, a distribution channel, with all our experience with the IT industry we know the channel is a great way to effectively distribute products, created by manufacturer > moved by vendor > to sales partners > promoted via marketers (thats us) > to end-users. It’s pretty straightforward, but hyper effective when the manufacturer/vendor needs their product to move in lots of different locations.

But what about when your product isn’t quite so tangible, what about when you’re selling a service? Things can often be a lot different when your value is staked in something less physical than metal and plastic. Fortunately Service Channel Marketing is here to help.

So what is service channel marketing?

Thats right, in the Service world as well such channels exist, though the channel will be different for every business, with far more variation than in traditional product marketing. For example, in a restaurant, this particular service channel starts from the raw ingredients being procured and sourced from a suitable provisions vendor. These ingredients are then prepared for cooking by the kitchen staff.

The chef then takes the raw material and gets busy cooking a cornucopia of delicious dishes. Simultaneously, the Maitre-d’  is working out on the restaurant floor to ensure that the ambience and waiting decisioning is correct. The prepared food leaves the kitchen and is served by the waiter under his managers watchful gaze. When the food has been eaten (and hopefully enjoyed!) by the customers, and the checks has been paid, the empty establishment and its contents is cleaned by the after service cleaners . Overall, this closes the restaurants service channel and begins the cycle anew each and every day.

So if we had to plot a service channel for a typical restaurant, it could look as follows

As you can see many of the individual notes of the service channel can be applied directly to the distribution channel, with some slight exceptions in the case of the multitude of staff that are pivotal around the service without direct interaction with the product. Every aspect should be careful considered when creating and enacting a marketing strategy to make the most of limited resources and a lack of physical marketability.
It’s worth noting that if any member of the restaurant channel fails in their role, the quality of service as a whole also fails (e.g – the ingredients are not fresh, or the maitre d’ is not attentive, or the cleaners miss a table). This is also true of the distribution channel but extra care must be taken in the service channel when considering external effects on the end product. The food is after- all the commodity, but without the whole system working in synergy, it may as well be a Kraft dinner!
So when thinking about promotion, marketing, and strengthening the service channel you need to ensure that maximum value is delivered to the end customer, not only in terms of the ‘end-product’ being bought but also in the way it is presented, facilitated and in its associations. The way a service is promoted should reflect the path of it’s channel, highlighting the business’s strengths but endeavouring to make the business appear like the whole package. Good ingredients, a nice clean restaurant, friendly welcoming staff and of course great food. Try applying it to your next marketing endeavour, a real ‘full-service’ approach.
If you need to market your service in a way that highlights the value provided in your service channel get in touch today and see what the experts at Gorilla could do for you.