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THE ROLE OF MARKETING STRATEGY IN DETERMINING CONSUMER PURCHASING BEHAVIOUR (A CASE STUDY OF GUINESS NIGERIA PLC)
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Of all business activities or functions, none is as interested in the consumer and his purchasing behaviour as marketing. Marketing is invariably connected with the research into consumers purchasing behaviour, namely what the consumer want, need, prefer and value, who are the prospective consumers and where they live, their income and mode of spending, how and why they make purchase decision and so on. Infact the influencing of the buyer behaviour is the primary task of the marketing department in any organisation.
Equally, marketing tries to define the right type of products in terms of the company’s objective and attempts to make it available at the right place and at the right price, with the right promotions. This the performance of marketing functions involves basically marrying consumer wants and with the appropriate products and services. It is the duty of the firm to adopt appropriate marketing strategy to attract customers to its products. This is important because in a free market economy, the ultimate judge of the firm performance is the consumer.
Consumer purchasing behaviour will determine the fate of the enterprise, this behaviour can best be described by a marketing manager who can also tell how he will be influenced by market variables such as price, promotion, product (variation and distribution) and place.
Marketing strategy depicts the overall company program for selecting a particular market segment and then satisfying it’s consumers through careful use of elements of the marketing mix-product, price place (distribution) and promotion. Effective marketing requires decisions that successfully integrate a forms marketing program towards satisfying the consumer whose act in obtaining and using goods and services, including his decision process that precede and determine those acts are highly affected by the strategy adopted by the marketing manager in marketing the firm’s products.
Since the performance of marketing functions involves basically marrying consumer needs and wants with the appropriate products and services and since it is generally believed that marketing begins and ends with the consumer, this project therefore attempt to examine how the use of marketing strategies have generated sales for Guinness Nigeria Plc following it’s impact on consumer purchasing behaviours. Efforts are therefore made to show the relationship between sales turnover and amount spent on marketing activities and it’s resultant impact on consumer purchasing behaviour. We shall also concentrate on establishing how consumer purchasing behaviour is influenced by a forms strategy for accomplishing marketing objectives and plans. We shall pay special attention to Guinness Nigeria Plc.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This is considered as the first major step and of great importance in carrying out research. Here the researcher attempts to define or describe the research problem.
The primary objective of most business enterprises is to make profit. This is because profit ensures growth, survival and continuity in business. Many companies like Guinness Nig. Plc recognizes this fact but many enterprise still fail to realize that the achievement of this goal depends on their ability to satisfy the needs of marketing strategies, besides a primary task of marketing is to influence the buyers.
This study will therefore examine the following problems.
a) The marketing strategies used by Guinness Nig. Plc.
b) The extent these strategies are used in this company in generating sales.
c) Essentially, the impact of these strategies on the consumers will be assessed by finding out how they are propelled into buying the company’s products.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective of this study is to investigate and identify the marketing strategies employed by Guinness Nigeria Plc,Benin City. We shall look at the various elements of marketing strategy and determine how this company uses them to identify and retain customers and how this firm uses them to find out how to compete favourably in the industry and make profit.
This research will also try to determine the marketing strategy used Guinness Nigeria Plc Benin City in its operations, the attainment of corporate/marketing goals and move emphatically consumers of Guinness products.
Further we shall try to identify the major problems associated with the implementation and use of the marketing strategy in this company. We shall suggest possible solutions, which might help eliminate or reduce these problems.
This study is also aimed at bridging the gap between classroom theory and the realities of industrial practice, particularly in the area of marketing and consumer purchasing behaviour. In this vain it is hoped that this little effort will stimulate the interest of other students, profession managers and marketing policy makers to pay attention to research in the relationship between marketing strategies and consumer purchasing behaviour. It will in no doubt leave the consumer and producers interest harmonized.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This research work tend to provide answer to the following research questions.
i) What are the strategies used by Guinness Nigeria Plc to influence consumers buying behaviour?
ii) How does this company identify the factors influencing consumers buying behaviour?
iii) What are the problems associated with the implementation and use of these strategies in this company.
1.5 HYPOTHESIS FORMULATION
This study focuses on how a firm marketing strategy affects consumer-purchasing behaviour towards its products, in this context Guinness Nig. Plc, and to identify how this purchasing behaviour influenced by marketing strategy had affected sales on the part of the company.
The research therefore seek to test the following hypothesis.
H0: There is no significant correlation between sales turnover and the amount of money an enterprises expend on marketing activities.
H1: There is a significant correlation between sales turnover and the amount of money an enterprises expend on marketing activities.
We shall consider the companies sales for five consecutive years. We shall do further analysis based on a random sample from the population of interest and use the information from the sample to pass comment on the above stated hypothesis.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The fact that implementation of effective marketing strategies creates satisfaction for both the procedures and consumers, it can be stated that inNigeriatoday there is the need to improve on market orientation among oganisations. Companies should realize the importance of strategic planning in the provision of goods and services to ensure guaranteed profits.
Good strategies means lower cost and so lower prices and consumers are induced to repeat purchase. This way the producers realize their aims and objectives and consumer gets needed goods and services at affordable prices. It is therefore towards this state of affairs that this research work is oriented.
This research work is also undertaken in the hope that it’s finding will enable marketing people to understanding, adapt and apply knowledge of consumers purchasing behaviour in tackling their marketing problems.
Again it is hoped that the study and the recommendation that will be made, will be of benefit to the Guinness marketing department in particular and the entire industry as a whole. It will contribute to determining the strategic requirements for effective marketing and would enable firms serve their customers more effectively and efficiently. If the research achieves this, it will be a worthwhile contribution to the integration of functional specialism (marketing) that is essential in the business world today.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Realizing the financial and time constraint that are involved in this type of study, it becomes necessary to limit the scope of the study to one hundred and fifty consumers within Benin City, and to one company.
Using one company will limit and reduce the necessity for comparative analysis. The elements in a marketing strategy are common to all the firms hence we shall place emphasis on the marketing mix, i.e. product, price, promotion and place. This will help us see how they relate to each other and combine to influence the buyers of Guinness products.
Equally, the concept of consumers purchasing behaviour shall be analysed based on the data collected from consumers of Guinness products withinBenin Cityto see its place in the market.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Certain factors constitute limitations to this study, paramount among them are time and financial constraints.
Due to the short academic session the researcher didn’t have enough time to cover all possible and existing literatures pertaining to the research. And the economy of the nation did not help matters, since the researcher didn’t have enough money to cover the research.
Another limitation to the study was the reluctance of the company to give certain information because they believe it will expose them to their competitors. In addition some of the respondents were unco-operative and unwilling to take the questionnaire or accept interview appointments from the researcher. These was also the problem of some respondents not returning their questionnaires, having lost them or misplaced them.
1.9 DEFINITION OF RELEVANT TERMS
There are probably as many definition of marketing terms as there are textbooks and it is very difficult in real life to come up with a comprehensive definition of any term particularly in the social sciences that can withstand a total universal acceptance, it is therefore plausible to establish operation or functional definition for the key concepts or terms used in this study.
1.9.1 MARKETING DEFINED
Kotler defined marketing as a human activities directed at satisfying needs and wants through an exchange process.
Stanton defined marketing as a total system of business activities designed to plan, price, promote and distribute want satisfying goods and services to consumers.
Kotler further saw marketing as looking at business through the consumers eyes and satisfying his needs at a profit.
Marketing can also be seen as the process in a society by which the demand structure for economic goods and services is anticipated, or enlarged and satisfied through the conception, promotion, exchange and physical distribution of such goods and services.
This term borrowed from the military refers to the systematic approach a commanding officer charged with a military action wishes to employ in discharging his responsibility.
Osaze defined strategy as the means, schemes and methods designed by an organization for operationalising policies and pursuing its objectives.
Appleby also saw strategy as the behaviour of management in trying to achieve success for a company’s goal in environment.
1.9.3 MARKETING STRATEGY
Kotler defined marketing strategy as the broad principle by which the business unit expects to achieve it’s marketing objectives in a target market.
Cunfiff et al (1973) observed that a company’s marketing strategy is basically it’s completive positive in the market place.
Marketing strategy can also be defined as the general terms used to describe the overall company programme for selecting a particular market segment and then satisfying it’s consumers through careful use of the elements of the marketing mix.
i) The Marketing mix: Is that combination of product features, accompanying services, price decisions, promotional tools and place for the distribution of these products in reaching, serving and appealing to the target market.
ii) The Target Market: This is that group of consumers which the company wishes to sell it’s products.
1.9.4 CONSUMER PURCHASING BEHAVIOUR
This is defined as the acts of individuals in obtaining and using goods and services, including the decision process that precede and determine these acts.
A product can be defined as anything that can be offered to someone to satisfy a need or want.
Product for the purpose of this study refers to anything Guinness Nigeria Plc, has to offer for want or need satisfaction, which include Guinness Stout, Harp, etc.
Philip Kotler: Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning,Implementation and Control. Prentice/Hall Inc. New Jersey, 1984.
Esoba .B. Osaze: Nigerian Corporate Policy and Strategic Management: Textand Cases.
Cundiff. E.W. et al: Fundamental of Modern Marketing. Prentice/HallInc. New Jersey1973.
William J. Stanton: Fundamentals of Marketing 6th Edition, McGraw-Hill International Student Edition.