Professional Services Marketing

Commerce & Business Administration
Course Code
MARK 4470
Semester Length
14 Weeks X 4 Hours per Week = 56 Hours
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
Marketing in the professional services sector has experienced significant growth and change in recent years. Historically professional services firms were limited in their marketing activities and often success was determined by personal relationships and industry contacts. There is now more latitude and urgency for marketing in this sector, and each firm is challenged to differentiate itself from its competitors. In some sectors there is seasonality which can have an impact on the price of services and the perceived value by the client. There is the constant threat of ‘commoditization’ which means that the marketing function has to be consistently working on articulating the value proposition of the firm. Relationship marketing, attracting and retaining clients, marketing tools and techniques as well as strategic planning are explored as key components of professional services marketing.
Course Content
  1. The concept of services marketing as it applies to professional services firms
  2. Understanding and valuing the various sectors or ‘verticals’ that represent the customer base for professional services
  3. Designing marketing and sales programs tailored to the target customers in the various ‘verticals’
  4. Integrating advertising, sales promotions, public relations, direct marketing and personal selling for effective marketing of professional services
  5. Understanding regulations, ethics and social responsibilities of the professional services sector
  6. Managing, defining and measuring customer satisfaction
  7. Understanding the various tools and resources available to comprehend, evaluate, and manage customer relations
  8. The process of delivering professional services effectively and efficiently
  9. Managing the professional service firm’s physical presence and brand image
  10. The importance of an informative website
  11. People issues:  managing the professional firms'  marketing and sales staff, as well as the partnerships
  12. Service issues and remedial strategies
  13. Customer acquisition and retention strategies:  exceeding customer expectations
  14. Professional services marketing planning:  putting all of the elements together for seamless service
Learning Activities

The course will involve a blend of lectures, discussions, videos, cases, on-line activities, guest speakers and seminars.  Presentations by students are an integral part of the course.

Means of Assessment
Group Project  30%
Cases & presentations (2-4)          20%
Final examination  20%
Tests (2 x 10%)  20%
Cours participation  10%
Total 100%


Students may conduct research as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans, which can require obtaining Informed Consent from participants and getting the approval of the Douglas College Research Ethics Board prior to conducting the research.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, the successful student should be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts and the nature of professional services marketing
  2. explain the importance and  the challenges involved when marketing professional services
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the business environment of professional services firms
  4. design marketing research, customer analysis, loyalty, acquisition and retention, and promotion initiatives for the professional services sector
  5. develop strategies and tactics for effective marketing in the professional services industry
  6. create a set of relevant metrics for measuring the marketing progress and success in organizations
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students


Maister, David H.; Managing the Professional Service Firm Latest Edition The Free Press (or equivalent materials)



MARK 1120 (Introductory Marketing) and MARK 2150 (Personal Selling) or permission of instructor

OR MARK 1120 AND currently active in Post-Degree Diploma in Hospitality Marketing


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for MARK 4470
Athabasca University (AU) AU MKTG 3XX (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU MRKT 2XXX (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG MARK 2XXX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU BUS 2XX (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW MRKT 3XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV COMM 2nd (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC COMM 2XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV BUS 423 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC COM 3XX (1.5)

Course Offerings

Fall 2022