Services Marketing Mix Case Study

The Effect of Elements of Service Marketing Mix on Brand Equity, from the Customers Point of View (Case Study: Branches of Melli Bank in Hamadan)

Fathian S1*, Slambolchi A2and Hamidi K3

1Department of Management and Accounting, College of Humanities, Islamic Azad University of Hamedan Branch, Hamedan, Iran

2Faculty Member of Management, Islamic Azad University of Hamedan Branch, Hamedan, Iran

3Faculty Member of Management and Accounting, Islamic Azad University Hamedan Branch, Hamedan, Iran

Corresponding Author:
Fathian S
Department of Management and Accounting
College of Humanities, Islamic Azad University of Hamedan Branch
Hamedan, Iran
Tel: +98-21-66348856
E-mail: [email protected]

Received September 03, 2015; Accepted October 24, 2015; Published October 31, 2015

Citation:Fathian S, Slambolchi A, Hamidi K (2015) The Effect of Elements of Service Marketing Mix on Brand Equity, from the Customers’ Point of View (Case Study: Branches of Melli Bank in Hamadan). Arabian J Bus Manag Review 5:168. 

Copyright: ©2015 Fathian S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Abstract

This study aimed at examining the impact of elements of service marketing mix on brand equity, from the customers’ point of view (Case study: branches of Melli Bank in Hamadan). And using descriptive-survey research method, and from both forms of data collection, library (the study of literature, articles and sites), and field studies (questionnaire), we addressed the evaluation of the relationship between the independent variable (service marketing mix) and its seven dimensions, including service’s nature, price, and distribution, promotion, personnel, physical evidences, and the banking procedures, with the dependent variable (that is, brand equity from the customers’ point of view). Due to the unlimited nature of the study population, who were the customers of branches of Melli Bank in Hamadan, using Cochran formula and the Morgan table, a sample of 384 people were selected for the study. In this study, a questionnaire was used to collect the data, and in the data analysis section, the simple linear regression analysis test was used to test hypotheses of the study. The results of the research showed that all of the hypotheses of the study have been accepted, and among the seven dimensions of the service marketing mix elements, promotion index, with the value of 0.675, has the highest impact on brand equity from the point of view of customers in the branches of Melli Bank in Hamadan.

Keywords

Elements of the service marketing mix; Nature of services; Price of services; Distribution of services; Promotion; Personnel; Physical evidence; Banking procedures; Brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

Introduction

Within different marketing texts, marketing mix concept has been accepted as a principle. The concept of the marketing mix for the first time was introduced in 1950 by Neil Borden, and was known as 4p [1]. First, the so-called marketing mix, 4p, was introduced, which stands for product, price, promotion and place. But with the advancement of science, 3p was added, that is, personnel, physical assets and procedures (process), and the marketing mix changed to 7p.

To achieve sustainable competitive advantage, especially in the field of service industries such as banking services, one of the issues that the planners of marketing encounter with is, designing and development of an effective marketing mix. This important issue, is even more valuable when investigating the status of the fierce competition between branches of emerging banks and vanguards of the banking industry in the country. Among the problems that, like many other organizations, the bank branches in the country encounter with is that the selection of the constituent elements of the marketing mix is a non-professional, inefficient and random one, including the selection of quality of service, nature of competition, sales forecasting, customer satisfaction level, determining the suitable price and the commission for the services, all of which is due mainly to following the past practices. And hence, today, in order to maintain current market share and market presence, there is a need for reengineering and revising branches seriously. Another variable of the present study is brand equity. Brand share can be achieved through good management, customer relationship and respecting the customer and his needs.

One of the issues that the planners of marketing in organizations, offices, and institutions, including the bank branches in the country encounter with, is the designing an adequate brand and developing and enhancing a desired image of this brand in the customers’ point of view.

The problem which most of the bank branches face with, is the inability to establish and maintain an appropriate level of the bank brand equity. In this research, based on the content presented above, we are to answer this question; whether service marketing mix elements have a positive and significant impact on brand equity, from the point of view of the customers’ of Melli Bank branches in Hamadan city?

Research Literature

Marketing mix elements

Nature of services: Service means any act or thing that one party offers to the other party, and essentially is intangible and does not result in the ownership of something.

Price: Price is the amount of money paid for a product or service, or the value which the customers pay in exchange to the benefits of owning and using the product or service.

Distribution: All activities that make the product or service available to the target customers.

Promotion: A series of activities to inform, persuade and influence the target customers are called advertising or promotion.

Personnel: Personnel are the interface between a company or an organization and the applicants for a service or a product.

Physical evidences: Resources facilitate activities in delivering services. In service field, in addition to the tangible facilities and assets, intangible assets should also be considered.

Procedures: Procedure is the management of the operation, procedure, mechanism and flow of activities through which the services are used. This part is an essential element of the marketing strategy.

Brand equity from the customers’ point of view: from the customers’ point of view, brand of a product is an important component of that commodity, and determining a brand for the product increases its usefulness and value. The brand is a name, term, sign, logo or design or a combination of all that is used for identifying and distinguishing goods or services of one seller or group of sellers, and may be used to differentiate the goods and services of a company from services that are offered by competitors, and it includes six items: 1- Feature 2 - Benefits 3- Culture 4- personality 5- value 6- users.

Dimensions of brand equity

Brand awareness: The ability of the potential buyer to recognize and recall that this brand is a member of a certain product category. Association of the brand with high brand awareness creates a certain image of the brand. This indicator shows the availability of the brand in the memory. This factor depends on the power of client’s mind nodes which is effective in the consumer’s ability of recognizing the brand in different situations. In other words, brand awareness is related to the possibility of easy retrieval of brand name in the consumer’s mind. Brand awareness involves two aspects: recognition and recall.

a. Brand recognition: The ability of consumers to confirm previous appearance of a brand, when he sees the brand as a sign. In other words, brand recognition requires a consumer to distinguish a brand, which he has seen or heard, correctly. Brand recognition can be important when deciding in the store. In low involving decisions, a minimum level of knowledge may be sufficient for product selection.

b. Brand recall: The consumer’s ability to recall the brand, when facing the product category, the requirements which have been met by product category, or any other sign. In other words, brand recall requires the consumers to recall the product correctly. It is important not to measure simply the depth of recall (i.e. the percentage of people who know the brand), but to measure its width (signs leading to the recall of the brand), too. A good start to measure brand width, is thinking about who, when, where, and how buys or uses the brand.

Brand image: The image, reputation and stereotype of a product that businessmen and consumers assign to a particular country. This image is created by factors such as reagent products, national characteristics, and economic, political, historical and traditional backgrounds [2].

This marketing indicator is that of consumer’s mental associations and deep attitudes about the brand. In terms of the brand image, consumers are willing to consume goods which are same as their mental image, and, to judge the quality of the product, they use two sources, internal, such as product unique characteristics, and external, such as price, quality and brand image. Role of the image of the brand (for both experienced and inexperienced consumers) is very important, because by purchasing something that they believe is in great consistency with their image of brand, consumers try to strengthen the image of brand in their mind, and this enables them to a make relation between themselves and the product, and use this relationship to improve their image [3].

Perceived quality: The art of uniqueness and desirability of a brand from the perspective of the target customers. What a brand means to consumers and anything that leads us toward a brand [4]. In short, how consumers think about the brand, rather than their image of how the brand actually operates. Four important intangible dimensions: Type of consumer, brand personality, history and heritage, and experiences.

Judgments: customer’s overall evaluation of the brand: how customers combine functions and image links to shape a variety of beliefs about the brand.

Emotions: customers’ emotional responses and reactions to the brand can be tough or mild, positive or negative, or they can be related to brand’s financial return.

Coordination: the extent to which customers feel they are in harmony with the brand.

The degree or depth of psychological dependence that customers have with the brand.

The level of activity arisen from loyalty.

Brand loyalty: Is a behavioral and attitude aspect that leads a customer to intend to purchase a brand product in his first choice [4]. Brand loyalty, includes the commitment of the customer: Loyalty is a deep commitment to purchase a preferred product or service of a brand in the future, that is, buying of a brand product again, despite the environmental impacts and marketing activities of competitors to change the behavior.

Conceptual model

Conceptual model and framework of variable of this research has been derived from an article with the title of “examining the impact of marketing mix elements on brand equity from the customers’ point of view (Case study: Jordanian mobile market)” by Hani Al-Dmour et al. [5], which has described the dimensions and indexes of dependent and independent variables as follows (Figure 1).

Hypotheses

The main hypothesis of this study is as follows:

Marketing mix elements (7P) have a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the point of view of customers in the branches of Melli Bank in Hamadan.

And sub-hypotheses are as follows:

1. Nature of services has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

2. The price of services has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

3. Distribution of services has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

4. Promotion has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

5. Personnel have a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

6. Physical evidences have a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

7. The banking procedures have a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

Research Methodology

Since a questionnaire was used as the tool for gathering data, and also because the researcher didn’t interfere in the results of the study, thus the method of the present study is a descriptive survey one. And regarding the objective of the research, since the results of the study will be offered to the managers of branches of Melli Bank, it is an applied research. The study also is considered as a case study, because it examines the effects of marketing mix elements on brand equity from the point of view of customers in the branches of Melli Bank in Hamadan.

And in terms of gathering data this study is viewed as a field research. The population of the study includes unlimited customers of branches of Melli Bank in Hamadan.

Sampling method was random, which means that all members of the population had an equal chance of being selected, and there were not any taste bias in sampling. Regarding the unlimited size of study population, Cochran formula and the Morgan table were used to calculate and determine the sample size as follows:

A) The method of determining the sample size using Cochran formula (when the population size is unknown):

Where,

n = sample size

Z = value of normal standard unit, which at the level of 95 % confidence is equal to 1.96.

P = value of the attribute available in the community. When it is not available, it can be considered as 0.5. In this case, the variance is in its maximum.

Q = percentage of members of community who lack the attribute (q = 1-p)

d = value of standard error (which in this study is considered 0.05)

According to the formula above, we can see that, when the number of the population is not known, we should study 384 people of this population.

B) Using Morgan table:

When we are aware of neither the variance of the population nor the likelihood of success or failure of the variable, and we cannot use statistical formulas to estimate the sample size, as well, then we use Morgan table. This table gives the maximum number of samples. Similarly, based on Morgan table, if the size of the population studied is very high or unknown, we should study 384 people of this population.

The data collecting tools in this study include: interviews and questionnaires, and questionnaire is the most important one. Questionnaire as one of the most common tools for gathering data on survey research, is a set of targeted questions which utilizes different scales to measure the perspective and insight of a respondent. Content validity was used to determine the validity of the Questionnaire. That is, the developed questionnaire was restored and modified based on the opinions of experts and scholars. To determine the reliability of this study, the questionnaire was distributed among a small sample of respondents, i.e. between 30 respondents, and after collecting the data, its Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were obtained. If the calculated alpha is greater than 0.7, then the questionnaire has an acceptable reliability. The results of the calculated alpha for the questionnaire of this study can be seen in the following Table 1.

VariableRelevant questions Cronbach's alphacoefficient
Nature of services1 to 40.867
The price of services5 to 70.764
Distribution of Services8 to 110.711
Promotion12 to 150.796
Personnel16 to 190.844
Physical evidences20 to 230.809
Banking procedures24 to 270.782
marketing mix elements1 to 270.945
Brand equity28 to 390.907
All the questions of the questionnaire1 to 390.961

Table 1: Values of Cronbach’s alpha of research variables.

Since the alpha values are greater than 0.70, the results indicate the high reliability of the test.

Data Analysis

To test the hypotheses of this study, the author used a simple linear regression technique. Simple linear regression model explains linear relationship between the dependent and independent variables.

But to be able to use the linear regression, the following conditions should be fulfilled:

1. Error mean (expected mathematical mean) is zero. In other words E (ei) = 0.

2. The variance of the error is fixed. In other words, v (ei) = σ2.

Assumptions 1 and 2, mean that distribution of errors should be normal.

3. There is no correlation between errors of the model. In other words COV (ej, ei) = 0.

4. The dependent variable is normally distributed.

5. There is no correlation between the independent variables (they are not linear).

Here we examine the above mentioned conditions in the studied sample:

1. Examining the normality of the distribution of errors

By comparing the distribution histograms of errors and normal distribution curve, we can see that errors have almost been distributed normally, so regression model can be used (Figure 2).

2. Reviewing the independence of errors

In order to evaluate the independence of the errors, Durbin- Watson test was used. Since the value of the Durbin-Watson statistic, d (1.963) is in between 1.5 and 2.5, then the assumption that there is no correlation between the regression errors, is accepted and can be used (Table 2).

Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std .  Error  of     the
Estimate
Durbin-Watson
10.793a 0.6290.6220.426751.963

Table 2: Independence of errors Durbin-Watson test.

Examining the normality of the distribution of the dependent variable.

To examine the normality of the distribution of the dependent variable we used Kolmogorov-Smirnov test.

The hypothesis of this test include:

Variable data distribution of the study is normal: H0

Variable data distribution of the study is not normal: H1

The results of the above hypothesis is as follows:

Based on the Table 3 above, the level of significance of variables “marketing mix elements and brand equity” is more than 0.05, hence, there is no evidence for rejecting the H0 hypothesis, and thus the normality of the distribution of the variables in the sample is accepted. As you can see, the condition of the normality of the distribution of the dependent variable is available.

Variables Test statisticssignificance level (Sig)
marketing mix elements (independent variable)0.0350.076
Brand equity(dependent variable)0.0470.065

Table 3: Test of normality of variables.

Checking the Multi-co-linearity between independent variables:

For the Multicolinearity between dependent variables, we use Multicolinearity test of dependent variables.

Since in the above Table 4, none of the eigenvalues are small (i.e. close to zero), there is no possibility of internal correlation between variables. And also because all indexes of status are smaller than 30, there is no serious problem in the use of regression model.

variableTolerancevariance inflationIndex of statuseigenvalues
Nature of services0.4802.08212.0810.054
The price of services0.4292.33014.6620.036
Distribution of Services0.5071.97218.8490.023
Promotion0.6691.49620.0600.019
Personnel 0.3762.66123.1010.015
Physical evidence0.5641.77225.3720.012
Banking procedures0.5321.88126.3010.011

Table 4: Regression model assumptions.

Hypothesis

The main hypothesis

Marketing mix elements (7P) have a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the point of view of customers in the branches of Melli Bank in Hamadan.

To test the hypotheses of this study, we used a simple linear regression analysis.

The hypothesis in statistical language is as follows:

There is no significant and positive impact H0: β ≤ 0

There is a significant and positive impact H1: β < 0

In this hypothesis, one-step method was used for entering the variables in the regression. The results of this test is shown in the Table 5 below:

Sourcemulti-factor   correlation
coefficient
Determining coefficientadjusted      Determining
coefficient
error of estimate measure
10.7450.5540.5530.46428

Table 5: Summarizes the regression model.

The coefficient of determination of the model is 0.554, that is, about 55% of the variable changes in brand equity from the customers’ point of view can be explained by marketing mix elements. And also the multiple correlation coefficient of the model is 0.745.

The analysis of variance is used to assess the certainty of a linear relationship between the independent variables and the dependent variable. Statistical hypothesis for testing the significance of the regression model is as follows:

H0: There is no linear relationship between the two variables.

H1: There is a linear relationship between the two variables.

As seen in Table 6, since the value of significance of the regression model is lower than 0.05, so the H0 hypothesis is rejected, and H1 hypothesis, that is, the linearity relationship between two variables is confirmed, and thus the regression model is significant.

Level  of significance F-statistic Squares’ Meandegrees of freedom Sum of Squares Source
0.000 475.145102.4211102.421Regression
0.216382 82.343remained
  383 184.764total

Table 6: Analysis of variance of regression model.

According to the above Table 7, and due to the test significance level which is smaller than 0.05, hypothesis H1, i.e. positive impact of service marketing mix elements on brand equity from the consumers’ point of view is confirmed.

significance level t-statisticStandardized coefficientsnot standardized coefficients Variables
Betastandard deviationB
0.0000.1640.7450.1470.024Fixed value
0.000 21.798 0.044 0.959Service     marketing mix elements

Table 7: The coefficients of the regression model.

In this table, the column for standardized beta coefficients indicate that the service marketing mix elements has a positive and direct effect on brand equity from the consumers’ point of view, i.e. for a unit change in the variable, a 0.745 unit change occurs in brand equity from the consumers’ point of view. Based on the above results, it can be said that services marketing mix elements (7P) have a positive and significant impact on the brand equity from the point of view of customers’ in the branches of Melli Bank in Hamadan.

Secondary Research Hypotheses

First sub-hypothesis: Nature of services has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

To test the hypotheses of this study, we used a simple linear regression analysis.

The hypothesis in statistical language is as follows:

There is no significant and positive impact H0: β ≤ 0

There is a significant and positive impact H1: β < 0

In this hypothesis, one-step method was used, for entering the variables in the regression. The results of this test is shown in the Table 8 below:

Sourcemulti-factor  correlation
coefficient
Determining coefficientadjusted    Determining
coefficient
error of estimate measure
10.5240.2740.2720.59251

Table 8: Summarizes the regression model.

The coefficient of determination of the model is 0.274, i.e., about 27% of the variable changes in brand equity from the customers’ point of view can be explained by variable of the nature of services. And also the multiple correlation coefficient of the model is 0.524.

The analysis of variance is used to assess the certainty of a linear relationship between the independent variables and the dependent variable (Table 9). Statistical hypothesis for testing the significance of the regression model is as follows:

Level of significanceF-statisticSquares’ Meandegrees of freedomSum of SquaresSource
  0.000  144.28450.654150.654Regression
0.351382 134.110remained
 383 184.764total

Table 9: Analysis of variance of regression model.

H0: There is no linear relationship between the two variables

H1: There is a linear relationship between the two variables.

Based on these results we can say: Nature of services has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

The second sub-hypothesis: the price of services has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view (Tables 10-12).

  Sourcemulti-factor  correlation
coefficient
  Determining coefficientadjusted    Determining
coefficient
  error of estimate measure
10.5280.2790.2770.59070

Table 10: Summarizes the regression model.

Level of significanceF-statisticSquares’ MeanDegrees of freedomSum of SquaresSource
0.000147.52351.474151.474Regression
 0.349382133.289Remained
  383184.764Total

Table 11: Analysis of variance of regression model.

Significance level t-statisticStandardized coefficientsnot standardized coefficients Variables
Betastandard deviationB
0.00013.2550.5280.1261.665Fixed value
0.00012.1460.0380.462the price of services

Table 12: The coefficients of the regression model.

Based on these results we can say: the price of services has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

The third sub-hypothesis: Distribution of services has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view (Tables 13-15).

Sourcemulti-factor  correlation
coefficient
Determining coefficientAdjusted    Determining
coefficient
Error of estimate measure
10.5180.2680.2660.59502

Table 13: Summarizes the regression model.

Level of significance F-statistic Squares’ Meandegrees of freedom Sum of Squares Source
0.000 139.86649.519149.519Regression
0.354382 135.245remained
  383 184.764total

Table 14: Analysis of variance of regression model.

Significance level t-statisticStandardized coefficientsnot standardized coefficients Variables
Betastandard deviationB
0.0008.1200.5180.1591.295Fixed value
0.00011.8270.0470.554the    distribution    of services

Table 15: The coefficients of the regression model.

Based on these results we can say: the distribution of services has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

Fourth sub-hypothesis: Promotion has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view (Tables 16-18).

Sourcemulti-factor  correlation
coefficient
Determining coefficientAdjusted    Determining
coefficient
Error of estimate measure
10.6570.4320.4300.52420

Table 16: Summarizes the regression model.

Level of significanceF-statistic  Squares’ MeanDegrees of freedomSum of SquaresSource
  0.000  290.40279.797179.797Regression
0.275382 101.967remained
 383 184.764total

Table 17: Analysis of variance of regression model.

  Significance level  t-statisticStandardized coefficientsnot standardized coefficients  Variables
Betastandard deviationB
0.00016.5250.6570.0961.581Fixed value
0.00017.0410.0320.550Promotion

Table 18: The coefficients of the regression model.

Based on these results we can say: Promotion has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

Fifth sub-hypothesis: Personnel has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view (Tables 19-21).

Sourcemulti-factor  correlation
coefficient
Determining coefficientadjusted    Determining
coefficient
error of estimate measure
10.5460.2980.2960.58281

Table 19: Summarizes the regression model.

level    of significanceF-statisticSquares’ Meandegrees            of freedomSum of SquaresSource
0.000161.94955.009155.009Regression
0.340382 129.755remained
 383 184.764total

Table 20: Analysis of variance of regression model.

significance level t-statisticStandardized coefficientsnot standardized coefficients Variables
Betastandard deviationB
0.00010.9450.5460.1351.474Fixed value
0.00012.7260.0370.476Personnel

Table 21: The coefficients of the regression model.

Based on these results we can say: Personnel has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view .

Sixth sub-hypothesis: Physical evidences have a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view (Tables 22-24).

Sourcemulti-factor  correlation
coefficient
Determining coefficientadjusted    Determining
coefficient
error of estimate measure
10.5320.2840.2820.58868

Table 22:Summarizes the regression model.

level  of significance  F-statistic  Squares’ Meandegrees            of freedom  Sum of Squares  Source
  0.000151.16352.384152.384Regression
0.347382 132.379remained
 383 184.764total

Table 23: Analysis of variance of regression model.

s ignificance levelt- statisticStandardized coefficientsno t standardized coefficientsV ar iables
Betastandard deviationB
0.0006.0990.5320.1731.054Fixed value
0.00012.2950.0480.585Physical evidences

Table 24: The coefficients of the regression model.

Based on these results we can say: Physical evidences have a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

Seventh sub-hypothesis: The banking procedures have a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view (Tables 25-27).

Sourcemulti-factor  correlation
coefficient
Determining coefficientadjusted    Determining
coefficient
error of estimate measure
10.6140.3770.3750.54911

Table 25: Summarizes the regression model.

level  of significance F-statistic Squares’ Meandegrees            of freedom Sum of Squares Source
0.000230.76269.581169.581Regression
0.302382 115.183remained
  383 184.764total

Table 26: Analysis of variance of regression model.

significance levelt-statisticStandardized coefficientsnot standardized coefficientsVariables
Betastandard deviationB
0.0004.7410.6140.1600.757Fixed value
0.00015.1910.0480.734The banking procedures

Table 27: The coefficients of the regression model.

Based on these results we can say: The banking procedures have a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view.

Discussion and Conclusion

Conducting this research, the following results were obtained:

Nature of services has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view, and the value of this effect is 0.524.

The price of services has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view, and the value of this effect is 0.528.

Distribution of services has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view, and the value of this effect is 0.518.

Promotion has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view, and the value of this effect is 0.657, which is the highest value among all the 7 dimensions.

Personnel has a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view, and the value of this effect is 0.546, which is the third highest value among all the 7 dimensions.

Physical evidences have a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view, and the value of this effect is 0.532.

The banking procedures have a positive and significant impact on brand equity from the customers’ point of view, and the value of this effect is 0.614, which is the second highest value among all the 7 dimensions.

Some Suggestions based on Research Findings

Melli Bank branch managers should strive to improve the quality level of the provided services, through debugging and resolving the barriers in the provision of better services to customers. Understanding the needs and interests of the customers in terms of service requirements, and planning to provide the services required by the customers in terms of both time and quality, in the long run, will result in the improvement of the level of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Developing strategies for stabilizing and determining fair prices and commissions from customers point of view, for services provided by Melli Bank branches.

Developing and implementing programs to establish more balance between quality of services and the costs and fees for services provided to customers.

Encouraging professionals and businesses to get more involved in branch banking devices.

Presentation of procedures and types of services provided to customers through catalogs, promotional products, magazines and mass media.

Revising the styles and methods of current recruitment and staffing, and using a system which recruits and maintains the best and most talented personnel.

Equipping the environment, tools and new communication and information facilities effectively, to provide the customers of Melli Bank branches with easier and faster services.

The researcher suggests the managers of Melli Bank branches to learn the newest techniques for operation management in the areas of financial services and banking.

Getting involved in both inter-banks and international exchanges to transfer customers’ funds across the world easily.

References

  1. GronroosC(1997) From Marketing Mix to Relationship Marketing: Towards a Paradigm Shift in Marketing.Management Decision 32: 4-10.
  2. Nagashima A (1970) A comparison of Japanese and US attitudes toward foreign products. Journal of Marketing 34: 68-74.
  3. Graham JA, Fisher D, Burton S (1994) Antecedents of private label attitude and national brand promotion attitude: similarities and differences. Journal of Retailing 78: 91-99.
  4. Pappu R (2006) Consumer-based brand and Equity and country of origin relationship. European Journal of Marketing 40: 696-717.
  5. Al-Dmour H, Al-Zu’bi  ZMF, Kakeesh D (2013) The Effect of Services Marketing Mix Elements on Customer-Based Brand Equity: An Empirical Study on Mobile Telecom Service Recipients in Jordan.International Journal of Business and Management8: 11-13.

Figure 1: Dimensions and indexes of dependent and independent variables.

Figure 1: Comparison of the distribution of errors with normal distribution.

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The 7 P’s of Services Marketing

The first four elements in the services marketing mix are the same as those in the traditional marketing mix. However, given the unique nature of services, the implications of these are slightly different in case of services.

  1. Product: In case of services, the ‘product’ is intangible, heterogeneous and perishable. Moreover, its production and consumption are inseparable. Hence, there is scope for customizing the offering as per customer requirements and the actual customer encounter therefore assumes particular significance. However, too much customization would compromise the standard delivery of the service and adversely affect its quality. Hence particular care has to be taken in designing the service offering.
  2. Pricing: Pricing of services is tougher than pricing of goods. While the latter can be priced easily by taking into account the raw material costs, in case of services attendant costs - such as labor and overhead costs - also need to be factored in. Thus a restaurant not only has to charge for the cost of the food served but also has to calculate a price for the ambience provided. The final price for the service is then arrived at by including a mark up for an adequate profit margin.
  3. Place: Since service delivery is concurrent with its production and cannot be stored or transported, the location of the service product assumes importance. Service providers have to give special thought to where the service would be provided. Thus, a fine dine restaurant is better located in a busy, upscale market as against on the outskirts of a city. Similarly, a holiday resort is better situated in the countryside away from the rush and noise of a city.
  4. Promotion: Since a service offering can be easily replicated promotion becomes crucial in differentiating a service offering in the mind of the consumer. Thus, service providers offering identical services such as airlines or banks and insurance companies invest heavily in advertising their services. This is crucial in attracting customers in a segment where the services providers have nearly identical offerings.

We now look at the 3 new elements of the services marketing mix - people, process and physical evidence - which are unique to the marketing of services.

  1. People: People are a defining factor in a service delivery process, since a service is inseparable from the person providing it. Thus, a restaurant is known as much for its food as for the service provided by its staff. The same is true of banks and department stores. Consequently, customer service training for staff has become a top priority for many organizations today.
  2. Process: The process of service delivery is crucial since it ensures that the same standard of service is repeatedly delivered to the customers. Therefore, most companies have a service blue print which provides the details of the service delivery process, often going down to even defining the service script and the greeting phrases to be used by the service staff.
  3. Physical Evidence: Since services are intangible in nature most service providers strive to incorporate certain tangible elements into their offering to enhance customer experience. Thus, there are hair salons that have well designed waiting areas often with magazines and plush sofas for patrons to read and relax while they await their turn. Similarly, restaurants invest heavily in their interior design and decorations to offer a tangible and unique experience to their guests.



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The article is Written By “Prachi Juneja” and Reviewed By Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.

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