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Service Marketing in the 21st Century Essay

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Updated: Jun 27th, 2020

Though the concept of service marketing has been defined relatively recently, the idea itself is not new (Lovelock & Wirtz, 2011c). The hospitality industry, which service marketing is traditionally related to, has been around for quite a while; however, it was only with the introduction of the principles of transformative leadership that the hospitality industry leaders finally started getting their priorities straight (Testa 2001).

In their 2011 article, Kunz and Hogreve (2011) overview the progress of service marketing since its very creation to the present days. Embracing the period of 1992–2009, the authors of the study have outlined the milestones of the industry development and defined the key concerns of 21st-century service marketing. According to what the authors have found out, the topics of “managing business-to-business services & service infusion, complaint handling & service recovery, and enhancing and managing the service value chain” (Kunz & Hogreve 2011, p. 231) are the major issues in the modern service marketing realm.

The study carried out by Kunz and Hogreve (2011) is aimed at locating the works and topics in service marketing that are considered the ones of the greatest significance. In other words, the authors of the study attempt at identifying the current issues in the service marketing realm through the analysis of the latest literature on the topic. Also, the authors overview the evolution of the phenomenon over time and predict the “next important topics” (Kunz & Hogreve 2011, p. 232) in the specified field. The definition of future major concerns for service marketing; thus, it can be viewed as the second research question that Kunz and Hogreve (2011) seek to answer.

The authors define the method of their research as “citation-based” (Kunz & Hogreve 2011, p. 231). However, as the authors explain further, the actual approach towards the subject matter incorporates the elements of various methods and, therefore, should be viewed as a composite one. Particularly, the cocitation approach (Kunz & Hogreve 2011, p. 234) and the row-column association model (Kunz & Hogreve 2011, p. 232) must be mentioned as the key to conducting the research.

Kunz and Hogreve (2011) retrieve the data that plays a key role in their research from the articles in “top peer-reviewed marketing journals” (Kunz & Hogreve 2011, p. 235). By conducting a vast literature review, Kunz and Hogreve are capable of gathering data for carrying out an analysis on a disaggregated data level (Kunz & Hogreve 2011, p. 234).

Therefore, the method for data analysis can be described as twofold, as it presupposes the integration of a vast literature review and the application of a computer model for calculating the percentage of the research topics fund and the identification of the current trends in service marketing.

The key findings of the research show that service quality studies remain the top priority in the realm of service marketing (Lovelock & Wirtz, 2011e). Also, the tendencies for the diversification of service marketing can be observed at present (Kunz & Hogreve 2011, p. 236). On a more general level, the introduction of new models for service quality measurement such as SerQual should be noted as a major tendency (Lovelock & Wirtz 2011)

The results of the study by Kunz and Hogreve give a lot of food for thoughts. Some of the conclusions are quite predictable and, therefore, easy to agree with. For instance, the diversification of the marketing services is nothing to be amazed at, as the globalisation process creates the premises for diversity to develop at a very fast pace (Lovelock & Wirtz 2011f).

Some of the research outcomes, though, can be viewed as doubtful. For example, it begs the question of whether marketing decisions can be separated from more general management decisions (Lovelock & Wirtz, 2011d). Hence, it can be suggested that the former should be viewed as a subcategory of the larger latter.

Also, the argument concerning a stronger emphasis on commitment and loyalty in the future seems quite plausible (Lovelock & Wirtz, 2011g). In the realm of extreme competitiveness and high demand (Lovelock & Wirtz 2011a), which global market provides the breeding grounds for, it is especially significant to be able to attract new customers (Kowalkowski, Kindström & Brehmer 2011, p. 182). Hence, putting major stress on customer loyalty and satisfaction (Lovelock & Wirtz 2011b) is an adequate objective for an organisation to pursue.

One might argue, however, that the internal perspective may not be as much of a priority for modern organisations in terms of service marketing. Indeed, the global economy dictates new rules, and the process of merging and integration, which is an obvious tendency among major organisations at present, does not allow for focusing on the internal processes much. Likewise, the lack of emphasis on the service leadership, which is currently the top priority of service managers (Lovelock & Wirtz 2011h), can also be viewed as a disadvantage of the study. The fact that the authors mention the significance of technology, though rather briefly, makes the article rather credible and justifies the focus on the future evolution of service marketing (Wirtz & Klein 2011).

Reference List

Kowalkowski, C, Kindström, D & Brehmer, P-O 2011, ‘Managing industrial service offerings in global business markets,’ Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 181–192.

Kunz, W H & Hogreve, J 2011, ‘Toward a deeper understanding of service marketing: The past, the present, and the future’, International Journal of Research in Marketing, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 231-247.

Wirtz, J & Klein, J 2011, ‘Case 17: the Accellion service guarantee,’ in C Lovelock & J Wirtz, Services marketing people technology strategy, Pearson Education, London, UK, pp. 577–580.

Lovelock, C & Wirtz, J 2011, ‘Appendix 14.1. Measuring service quality using SerQual,’ in C Lovelock & J Wirtz, Services marketing people technology strategy, Pearson Education, London, UK, pp. 407–415.

Lovelock, C & Wirtz, J 2011a, ‘Balancing demand and productive capacity,’ in C Lovelock & J Wirtz, Services marketing people technology strategy, Pearson Education, London, UK, pp. 227–252.

Lovelock, C & Wirtz, J 2011b, ‘Complaint handling and service recovery,’ in C Lovelock & J Wirtz, Services marketing people technology strategy, Pearson Education, London, UK, pp. 349–378.

Lovelock, C & Wirtz, J 2011c, ‘Crafting the service environment,’ in C Lovelock & J Wirtz, Services marketing people technology strategy, Pearson Education, London, UK, pp. 253–277.

Lovelock, C & Wirtz, J 2011d, ‘Designing and managing service processes,’ in C Lovelock & J Wirtz, Services marketing people technology strategy, Pearson Education, London, UK, pp. 196–225.

Lovelock, C & Wirtz, J 2011e, ‘Improving service quality and productivity,’ in C Lovelock & J Wirtz, Services marketing people technology strategy, Pearson Education, London, UK, pp. 379–408.

Lovelock, C & Wirtz, J 2011f, ‘Managing people for service advantage,’ in C Lovelock & J Wirtz, Services marketing people technology strategy, Pearson Education, London, UK, pp. 278–308.

Lovelock, C & Wirtz, J 2011g, ‘Managing relations and building loyalty,’ in C Lovelock & J Wirtz, Services marketing people technology strategy, Pearson Education, London, UK, pp. 314–343.

Lovelock, C & Wirtz, J 2011h, ‘Striving for service leadership,’ in C Lovelock & J Wirtz, Services marketing people technology strategy, Pearson Education, London, UK, pp. 416–442.

Testa, M R 2001, ‘Hospitality leaders: do they know how their employees feel about them?’ Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, vol. 42, no. 6, pp. 80–89.

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