Chapter 16 – Integrated Services Marketing Communications
Major cause of poorly perceived service is the gap between promises and delivery. Expectations are controlled by
the uncontrollable (Word-of-mouth, experiences, needs) and company-controlled factors (Advertising, selling,
promises made by employees).
The Need for Coordination in Marketing Communication
The marketing services triangle emphasizes that customers of services are targeted by two types of
1. External Marketing Communications – Traditional channels such as Advertising, Sales Promotion, and
2. Interactive Marketing Communications – Messages delivered to customers through channels of Personal
Selling, Customer Service, Service Encounter, and Servicescapes.
Companies must ensure that these messages are consistent amongst themselves, and to do that, the third side of
the triangle, Internal Marketing Communications, should be managed so information between Company and
Employees are the same.
Integrated Marketing Communications – Ties together all images and messages. The look and feel of the marketing
strategy is played out amongst all customer touchpoints, be it email, in store, or online.
Key Reasons for Service Communication Challenges
Discrepancies between delivery and external communications in form of exaggerated promises/absence of
information can affect perception of service quality. Factors that contribute to these problems include:
Inadequate management of service promises – When companies fail to manage service promises
(Promises by sales associates, advertising, service personnel). The company lacks integration needed to
make fulfillable promises.
Elevated customer expectations – Appropriate/accurate communication about services. Marketing must
accurately reflect what happens in the actual service encounter, while operations must deliver what is
promised in communications.
Insufficient customer education – When companies don’t educate their customers. If customers are
unclear on aspects of how the company works, they will be disappointed. At this point, they will hold the
Inadequate internal communications – Functions such as Marketing and Operations must be coordinated
to achieve the goal of service provision. If internal communication is poor, service quality is at risk.
Four Categories of Strategies to Match Service Promises with Delivery
Manage Service Promises – In services, sales and marketing departments make promises of what other
employees will fulfill. Because employee actions cannot be standardized, greater coordination and
management of promises are required.
o Create Effective Services Advertising – intangibility makes service advertising different from
product advertising. Before buying services, consumers have difficulty understanding them and
coming up with alternatives. After, consumers have difficulty evaluating their experiences.
Use Narratives to Demonstrate the Service Experience – Use stories to explain the
Present Vivid Information – Evoke emotions in campaigns to produce a st