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Selling Services: Marketing the Intangible
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Economics and Management (Div.) (closed (20130101).
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Economics and Management (Div.) (closed (20130101).
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The feature of service intangibility is one of the most prominent, albeit controversial, problems in service marketing. Service providing firms have been trying to find ways to ‘tangibilize’ their service offerings in order to assist the potential customers to better understand the benefits and qualities of their services. A review of past literature revealed that most of the studies have been carried out on a theoretical level, but with an insufficient empirical back-up. The authors propose that Marketing based tangibilization (MBT), which has largely remained outside the focus of empirical research for the last four decades, offers a solution to the issue of intangibility on a marketing front.

In order to address this issue, the authors of this report have designed a study whose purpose is to explore the effects of intangibility on the marketing activities of eight different service firms. The authors have derived several implications caused by intangibility through a thorough literature review and with that as a foundation they have interviewed one representative from each of the eight service firms – all of them offering consulting services in different domains – as well as analyzed their marketing materials.

From this, the authors have deduced eight distinct marketing methods – trials, events and references to name a few – currently in use in those service companies in order to overcome intangibility and then evaluated those methods with respect to the aforementioned implications of intangibility on service marketing. The conclusion is that intangibility is a real issue to be dealt within the context of service provision, and that the resources available and the type of service provided will dictate which of the methods can be implemented at a certain service provider. Finally, several recommendations are provided that the companies could further look into in order to overcome the issue of intangibility, such as an increased use of the possibilities created by the Internet (e.g. social media).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 81 p.
Examensarbete INDEK, 2012:138
Keyword [en]
Service marketing; Intangibility; MBT
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-103572OAI: diva2:560569
Subject / course
Industrial Economics and Management
Educational program
Master of Science - Industrial Engineering and Management
2012-09-05, 12:22 (English)
Available from: 2012-10-15 Created: 2012-10-15 Last updated: 2016-09-27Bibliographically approved

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Master Thesis(1635 kB)1023 downloads
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Karim, Mohammed SamirulStrzelecki, Alexander
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