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THE IMPACT OF MARKETING MIX IN THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF ORGANIZATION OBJECTIVE (A CASE STUDY OF UNILEVER BROTHERS NIGERIA PLC)
1.1 GENERAL BACKGROUND TO THE SUBJECT MATTER
This study practically involves the investigation of marketing mix (product, price, promotion, place) in the accomplishment of organisational objectives. There are numerous definitions of marketing written by various marketing fanatics and practitioners around the globe. As a result, student’s lectures, and marketing practitioners believe so much on whatever tool or monographs they could lay their hands on that relates to marketing.
Marketing administration itself takes a managerial approach to marketing problems. Hence, marketing is an instinct discipline. Practitioners consequently rely on principles; researches, ideas, concept and techniques including a problem solving approach to enable them (practitioners and scholars) handle global challenges. In general, a well-organized marketing economy creates numerous opportunities for viable investment and it gives rise to high level of business activities. But, when marketing activities are overlooked diminishing returns on investment and total failure of business initiative is likely to be encountered.
Looking at marketing from a marketing managers facet, one can envisage that he is concerned with the direction of specific functions and activities which must lead to specific result.
Having conceived this notion or idea logy, we may say that; Marketing is the performance of business activities that direct the flow of goods and services from producer to consumers in order to satisfy customers and accomplish the firms objectives from this stand point, we can define marketing as; the performance of activities that direct the flow of goods and services from source (producer) to the customer (consumer) or users.
Marketing as a managerial practice rest on the economic functions of, production, distribution and consumption. Based on the discussion so far, we should try to establish a link between marketing and marketing mix.
The marketing mix is a major concept in modern marketing. It is the term used to describe the combination of the four variables which constitutes the core of a company’s marketing system, viz the product, price, the distribution system and promotional activities. The application of these variables determines to a large extent the success in the marketing environment.
A firms marketing mix has been defined as the particular blend of controllable marketing variables that the firm uses to achieve its objectives I the target market:- P. Kotler. It can also be defined as a combination of those controllable internal marketing variables- comprising the four ps (product, place, price and promotion) which the firm uses to operate successfully within the marketing environment.
The marketing mix is further sub. Classified showing the possible mix for each marketing mix. In this study, each element of the marketing mix will be analyzed with a view to understanding the essential facts of the marketing mix. These facts will be illustrated in a diagram below.
Quality List price Advertising Channels
Features Discounts Personal Coverage
Options Allowances Sales promotion locations
Brand-name Payment period Direct marketing Inventory
Packaging Credit sales Publicity Transport
Sizes Credit terms
Product: According to cotter and Gay (1995), a product is anything that can satisfy need or want. Consequently, the word “product” is not limited to physical objects (anything capable of satisfying need) for example; the importance of tangible goods lie in possessing them as in the benefits they provide.
Managing the product variables embraces planning and developing the right goods and for services to be marketed by the company. Decisions need to be taken on product quality, features, options, styles, brand-names, packaging, sizes, services, warrants and returns.
Price: The first thing that comes to mind after the emergence of a product is “price”. How much does a certain good cost? This is a question usually asked by executives or top management who owe the responsibility of pricing the product or services they are marketing.
Price itself as defined by William J. Staton (1983) is an offer or an experiment to test the purse of the market. If prices are embraced by consumers, that means the offer is accepted or acceptable but, where prices are rejected, products may be withdrawn from the market to enable executives to adjust or reconsider the pricing option. It is also worth noting that the marketing price of a product influences wages, rent interest and profit. That is, the factors of production (Land, Labour, Capital and Enterpreneur).
Price is a basic regulator of the economic system because it affects the allocation of factors of production and is considered by top executive to be a key activity within the capitalist system of free enterprise. Moreover pricing has helped in accomplishing organisational objectives in the sense that it;
- Maintains market shares.
- Increase market share.
Executives also set up policies on discounts, allowances payment periods, freight payment, credit terms and many other price- related situations, which ultimately affects the list price.
Promotion: This the component used by organization to inform, educate and persuade the market regarding the company’s offerings. Advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, publicity and public relations are the major variables of promotion.
Place: It can also be termed distribution. Before a product is ready, it is the responsibility of management to select and mange the trade channels through which the products will reach the right market, at the right time, in the right quantity and quality and at right price.
Management or top physically handling and transporting the product through these channels. Decisions also has to be mad on Warehousing, Storage locations, and levels of stocks inventory management.
1.2 PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS STUDY.
Recent trends show that marketing organizations have through a good combinations of the element of the marketing mix achieved success for goods and services, set market and marketing objectives in socio-economic environment.
Though producers and end users (customers) have posed considerable obstacles in the combination of these key marketing mix or elements.
The problems associated with the subject matter is that the elements (product, price, promotion, place) of these marketing mix have all been affected by the up-thrust of the prevalent socio-economic environmental practice of marketing. It has therefore become very difficult to champion the effectiveness of the marketing mix in the total marketing plan for any given product.
Product: Product is one of the marketing mix. It forms the basis of all other consideration. It is the core around on which all other elements are consolidated to achieve maximum set objectives.
Overtime, sustaining or building a viable product to attract patronage has become costly due to the cost of input. A lot of manufacturers had to reduce quality of products due to increase in cost. On the other hand profit maximization on investment cannot be left out in a capitalistic situation. On a global scale, measure of product as an element in the marketing mix is predetermined;
a) Without reconcile to the other elements in the mix
b) The consideration for the quality (measure) of the product element in the mix to be employed in the case is determined by profitability.
Price: Price is the rate at which buyer and seller agree for an exchange of goods and services. The price at which the buyer is ready to buy is a judgment of the value of the goods of services in question, while, the price at which the seller could part with his goods of service is that level of profitability that will ensure its continuity and justenance.
The above understates the importance of price as an element in the marketing mix. This is however also determined by factors peculiar to the seller from the facet of profitability. There have also been situations where mid-way into the introductory life of a brand presence in the market, prices of goods/services have to be te-considered or reviewed-downwards or upward.
Basically, this is determined by the acceptability of the set price by the “buyer”. Whatever price is fixed or adjusted is determined by selfish considerations as determined by the prevalent socio-economic indicators as against ideal consideration in the market.
Promotion: Promotion as a marketing tool is worse hit by environmental charges that have caused ripples in all known practice. Since promotion is an element which contributes to a brand is often miscalculated, mostly due to cost Vs investment.
Today, manufactures are guide to rationalize advertising spend. Advertising agencies, have since the beginning of the economic growth down-turn been expecting drought in both the clientele base and advertising spend. Due to the harsh economic environment, clients now seek unconventional method of “making known” what they have to sell to the customer. Promotion, as an element of the marketing mix has been reduced to what is now termed “Direct consumer contact”.
Place: Place (distribution) as an element in the marketing mix means the pattern of distribution that is employed for the distribution of any good of service (to get the goods for service from manufacturer to consumer). Even though we realize that distribution intermediaries are generally uncontrollable, environmental factors, management still has considerable latitude in working with them.
In normal situation, the nature of the product becomes the first consideration in determining the pattern of distribution to be employed. The following are some of things to consider before determining the pattern of distribution to use;
- Nature of goods/service:- Whether the goods or service in question is a consumer or industrial good.
- Size of the population
- Cost per unit
- Consumer profile of the target market.
Some known pattern of distribution are one step distribution pattern. However, considering the problem associated with this study, we have noticed in recent times, when innovative distribution system have evolved, in a bid for manufacturers to address the charges consequences on the market and the individual consumer.
For instance, companies like “lever brother have in addition to the established multi-steps distribution pattern (consumer > dealer, wholesaler > retailer) to now employ hawkers- for- the distribution of some of their household products. This is in a bid to more aggressive in reaching target audience, an attempt to get to the individual household before the competitor, and to fashion a more appropriate approach borne out of his/her reaction to changing socio-economic environment. We can observe that, from the decisions on distribution system, the normal distributive system in marketing is not adhered to. But by exigencies, which again gives meaning to the fact that marketing is a dynamic discipline.
1.3 PROBLEMS THAT THIS STUDY WILL BE CONCERNED WITH.
This study will investigate the impact of the elements of marketing mix (product, price, promotion, place) in the accomplishment of organisational objectives. The purpose of this is to investigate the usefulness of the marketing mix. And, it will also look at the various ways the elements in the marketing mix have helped in accomplishing organisational objectives.
In this study, we are going to look at the constants (problems) of the marketing mix and proffer solutions to it.
1.4 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
Below are terms used in this work;
a. Marketing mix: According to Kotler, Philip (principles of marketing, 1980) marketing mix can be defined as the particular blend of controllable marketing variables that the firm employs to achieve its objective in the target market.
b. Accomplishment: Weoster dictionary defines accomplishment as bringing to completion.
c. Organisational objective: This is a carefully defined aim or goals of an organization.
d. Practitioner: According to oxford advanced learners dictionary, a practitioner is a person who regularly does a particular activity, especially one that requires skill.
e. Organization: According to J.C Okeke (hand book on business organization) organization is defined as a description of group activities, or an important aspect of management factors which designs. The utilization of production factors on an institution itself.
Below are the means and writer names of the different textbooks used for the completion of chapter on of this research.
Adirika E. O. Ebue, B.C. and (Mrs) Nnolim D. (1996)
Principles and Practice of Marketing, 2nd Edition Enugu, Jamoe Enterprises.
Kotler and Gary Armstrong (1995) Priciples of
marketing, 6th Edition Prentice Hall of India, Private Limited New-Delni
William J. Staron (1985) Fundamental of marketing,
6th Edition London Mcgraw Hill, Inc Book Company.
Webster Encycloepedic (1983) Dictionary of English
Language, Deluve Edition U.S.A.