What Could Professional Services Marketing Learn from Product Marketing?

When marketing a product, people typically talk about FABs (features, advantages, and benefits). This technique is referred to as FAB selling. It’s a widely used and accepted method within sales and typically very effective when the product lives up to the FABs. But what does that have to do with professional services marketing? Well, a lot actually. Just because professional services “product” is an intangible one, doesn’t mean there aren’t still features, advantages, and benefits to showcase. While different approaches, if we take what we know from product marketing and apply it to professional services marketing, we could learn a thing or two.

Here’s what professional services marketing could learn from product marketing:

professional services marketing

No MPGs or RPMs but there are FABs

You already know that professional services marketing and product marketing require two different approaches. There’s no argument there. Marketing professional services isn’t like marketing a car, for example. You can’t just list off the bells and whistles. If you, your team, and your service are the “product,” you’re selling something much different. You’re selling an experience, something that isn’t necessarily tangible. Maybe you’re a law firm or an accounting firm or a surveying company, or {insert whichever professional services industry you’re in}. The point is, you can talk about what services you offer and your capabilities (features), how you’re different from competitors and what problem you solve for your customers (advantages) and ultimately, what’s in it for them and what value do you provide (benefits).

marketing professional services

Product Marketing Insights for Professional Services


When it comes to credibility, products have the advantage of customers being able to physically try it out or use it. These products have been tested and inspected. If someone doesn’t like a product, they can {usually} return it. That’s not the case with services. So what can you do? When someone is searching for professional services, they want to work with a team that knows what they’re talking about. Most people want to work with a company that has experience and success stories to back it up. Without that experience, it can be tough to gain the credibility you need to build that trust with your buyers. Adding case studies and customer testimonials on your website to highlight your expertise and success stories will increase your credibility. If you’ve been in business for a while, be sure to call that out, too.


As mentioned above, you can’t usually return a service. It’s a finite thing. Once you’ve used the service or started the process, you can’t return that time spent. With products, there’s almost always an ability to return if you’re not satisfied with your purchase. Of course, there are caveats to this, but in general, buying a product typically comes with a short window of time to get your money back if product realities fall short of expectations. Since services don’t have that option, make sure you are targeting the right audience, vetting buyers before you commit to working with them, and of course, provide top-notch service to customers. This can reduce or eliminate buyers wanting to “return” your service.

marketing professional services


The tangibles of a professional services company aren’t tangible at all. Those “tangibles” are usually things like experience, expertise, efficiency, and a proven track record of success. Services aren’t like products. You can’t hold them in your hands. You don’t usually get to test drive services. How do you overcome the fact that there are no tangibles? By ensuring your messaging and marketing about your services are effective, standout and that you tell your story and why buyers should choose you. 


When you create a product and perfect that process, you can usually take it and mass-produce it. You’re able to scale the production. This can allow for cost savings and a higher volume of available inventory. As we mentioned above, having a process in place for your service offering is about as close to scalability as you will get. With services, you, your people, and your talents are the “product,” so it can be a little harder to scale these operations. But, it can be done. Especially when you have a tried and true process for doing your work. Scaling professional services slowly and with a calculated approach can ensure every experience can be customized to the client while still representing the company. There’s flexibility in professional services marketing that you don’t necessarily have in product marketing.


When you buy a product, you own it. It’s yours or your company’s. You can usually transfer that ownership. Going back to the car example, someone can buy a car, drive that car for a while and then later sell that car to someone else. You can’t, however, go to a tax professional, have your taxes done, and then later sell that appointment or tax prep to someone else. But just as people need cars to drive, people need professional services. Showcase the value of their purchase and deliver on it. Capitalize on the fact that you’re selling a great experience and make that experience worthwhile for buyers.

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The Professional Services Marketing Mix: 7 P’s 

Finally, when thinking about your professional services marketing, don’t forget about the extra P’s. Marketing 101 tells us that there are 4 P’s when it comes to the marketing mix that relates to products. They are product, price, place, and promotion. In the case of professional services marketing, however, there are three more P’s that are added: people, process, and physical existence. 

People: Services are inseparable from the person or people providing it, which is why this is such a defining factor in the service delivery process. You and your team are key to making your service stand out and delivering on what your buyers want or need.

Process: It’s hard to scale something that isn’t a product, that’s where process comes in. Process is the closest thing to scalability that professional services can offer. Having a service delivery process in place ensures that the same standards of service are repeatedly delivered to customers. You might call it a playbook or a business blueprint. Whatever your company calls it, make sure it exists and that it’s a well-oiled machine.

Physical Evidence: There are rarely tangibles in an intangible professional services business. So how do you take nothing and make it something that customers can see and try to make it more real for them? Think about the marketing materials you send out, the resources you provide on your site and the website itself. Investing in a quality website that showcases who you are and what you’re about, can help customers visualize you. It can lend to credibility, professionalism and much more. 

Related Reading: 5 Enviable B2B Websites and Why We Love Them 

While professional services marketing and product marketing have their differences, there’s an opportunity to learn something from each. They both have their challenges, their pros and cons, and both require skilled professionals to market them successfully. Knowing the differences between the types of marketing and not applying a one-size-fits-all approach can ensure you’re creating the proper strategy out of the gate and positioning yourself strong when it comes to marketing your professional services.