In marketing, intangibility most often is used to describe services with no tangible product that the customer can purchase.  The inability to touch or see this product leaves the customer unable to assess the value using any tangible evidence.

According to Economic Discussions:

Service intangibility is the fundamental reason that their marketing assumes different dimensions from physical products. Bateson considers it as a very critical distinguishing feature. Intangibility can have two aspects—palpable intangibility that implies lack of touch ability and mental intangibility that means difficult to grasp something mentally.

In this sense, it’s useful to think about marketing subsets as quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative Marketing

Quantitative marketing can be described in numbers. Much of the analytical digital advertising world has seen a huge increase in efficiency through measurable feedback and adjustments to the campaign tactics.

Example:

The number of your Facebook followers is also a measurable indicator, even though it’s not a measurement of direct monetary benefit.

Another example is constantly testing your ad copy or landing page design, for example. Through analytics software, you can clearly see how people react and which choice is better for your campaign.

Qualitative Marketing

On the other hand, qualitative marketing involves intangible efforts that can’t be measured either way, but are essential for long-term business goals:

  • Awareness
  • Branding
  • Credibility & Trust (Company Image)

For some products, these intangible aspects are crucial to bottom-line market performance.

“In general there is a growing realization that, in many product classes, where there are few “meaningful” differences between brands and more so-called “parity” products, image and other intangibles become more important (Business Week, 1983).

Awareness

Awareness campaigns exist to raise awareness of how much benefit can be derived by using a certain product. The goal is to inform the public that the product you’re offering exists in the first place, and then offer a way to get it.

Branding

Branding refers to the practice of using multiple different channels and tactics to enforce a brand in line with company policies. Logo design, website design, and brand ambassadors should work in tandem to reflect the industry and product philosophy of your brand.

Example:

Apple is primarily a tech company, and even though their brand name is “apple” it would go against all of their branding efforts if they were to change the company color scheme to green or red.

Their products are considered high-quality, sleek, and futuristic. The interior design of their stores, as well as product showcases, are in line with the overall company style and aesthetic. These elements work in tandem to convey a message to their target audience.

Credibility & Trust

Credibility & Trust or Company Image speaks to how the company and its products are perceived by potential and actual customers. Their opinions about product quality, value, and position, compared to competing products, all amount to what is known as “image.”

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