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Professional Services Marketing

Course Code: MARK 3470
Faculty: Commerce & Business Administration
Department: Marketing
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 14 Weeks X 4 Hours per Week = 56 Hours
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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

Methods of Instruction

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%
Course participation  10%
Total 100%


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

course prerequisites

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

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.