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Consultancy Services : Marketing Strategies for Intangible Services

by Olsson, Emilie

Abstract (Summary)
The traditional marketing with its marketing mix have for long been the dominating marketing strategy, where focus have been on placing the product at the best place with the best possible price. When it comes to services, the possibilities are not the same; the firms must adapt new marketing methods in order to sell and market their services effectively. If the services are “invisible” as well, the consultant must create a promise and the client must feel secure. Mutual relations then become important, and focus is instead put on the client’s needs rather than the firm’s own interests.The purpose of this thesis was to examine how management consultants most effectively sell and market their services. Further the purpose was to discover how big consultancy firms differ from small. Theories within the traditional - respectively relationship-based marketing were used in order to get a deeper insight in the subject. By way of introduction four consultants were interviewed to facilitate the construct of a questionnaire, which was later sent out to 25 different consultancy firms. The results were analyzed with the objectives of finding out which marketing methods that were most often used and which factors affected the choice of method. In addition, similarities and dissimilarities between big and small firms were studied.The state of the art within this subject is not very broad, and the thought was therefore to test the emerging theories and thereby support or oppose them. The results from the study showed to support the theories to a high extent. The conclusions are that the less productified the services are, the bigger effort is needed on relationship-based marketing. Those firms who only sell solution-based consulting tend to put much time on involving the client in the project process. These firms considered recommendations and references to be the most effective ways of reaching new clients and continue with existing ones. Traditional marketing activities were used to a much smaller extent, and were considered to be time-demanding and ineffective. The differences between big and small firms were less than the similarities. An answer to this might be that within the consultancy business the effectiveness is not made through the market share or the numbers of clients, i.e. how big the firm is; instead it is the special expertise and unique knowledge that every consultant keeps that makes them compete equally on the market no matter the firm size.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Växjö universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:marketing strategies services consultancy

ISBN:

Date of Publication:03/18/2008

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