Marketing of Communication Services

Marketing of Communication Services

Much have been said and written about the marketing of communication services.  Communication services is very vital in all aspects of life and even in every organization and government set ups. For every organization to achieve its stated goals and objectives, it must have an adequate communication net work.

Bona Chuks Ebua (2000) identified the basic meaning of communication as a process by which people through verbal or non verbal symbols attempt to create an understanding commonness between them.    It is the process of transmitting stimuli to modify the behaviour or predisposition of other individuals. 

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Communication deals with messages designed to influence human behaviour, the media that carry such messages and the market people that responds to such messages.  According to him, communication is a study of who says what to whom, in what settings by which channels with what purposes and what effects.

He went further to say that marketing communication can simply be seen as the efforts geared by individuals, organization and government to design and disseminate information about a particular things or  products existence, features and terms and the benefit to the target audience using different medium.

In the work of Damian Agboeze (2000) he stressed the need for Audio and visual combinations for effective communications.  He said that audio and visual media of communication are preferable to only the written or spoken communication.  He vividly analyse the advantages of the audio-visual media as:

  • clarity: words are tricky they don’t always mean the same things to your audience and he stressed the need for illustration to clear the air before your willing audience
  • Audience Attention

You’ll find your audience much more attentive when you use visual aids become for maintaining attention.

  • Memory: he noted in his write up that visual aids call for a recall memory of events in the mind of the audience.
  • Conveys easily and quickly impressions of overall trends and tendencies. He recalled that television programmes are more of fisual or graphics than audio.  Such visual not only attract attention but also supplement and make clearer the written or spoken words.

Ben Agbo and Nkem Fab-Ukozor (2000) they gave a brief account of the introduction of television services into the marketing of communications services. According to them, the introduction of television in the developing countries of Africal began recently, its coverage usually limited to the urban centres.  They said that the main idea that informed the transfer of T.V technology was the view of educational and social planners who perceived television as a possible panacea for many of the development.  They said that Television in Africa’s purveying a homogenised brand of popular culture, either copied or borrowed from the west.  This may well advance the process of modernization and may also encourage mass production techniques.  But it is certainly destructive of indigenous political an cultural self expression.

Summarizing the points or views of these authors above, one can say that marketing of communication services is practically impossible if there is no adequate standard of means of communication (media)  Television services in Nigeria is gaining grounds in this our modern days because it has helped in so many ways to boost the marketing of goods and services in this modern world.

David K. Berlo (1997) in proposing his own model sought to explain how the attributes of the four basic components (source message, channel and receiver) affect communication.

According to him, the source is the creator of the message, that is a group of persons who for a purpose engage in communication.  The message is the translation of ideas into symbolic code which can be linguistic or para-linguistic codes.  He said in his work that the channel is the medium through which the message is carried and the receiver is the person who is the target of communication.  Berlo also identified some human factors that enhance communication.  These include communication skills, attitudes, knowledge, social system and cultural environment of both the source and receiver.

Busch and Houston (1985) identified two broad categories of services.  Supplemental services according to him are services that accompany the purchase of physical goods (eg Delivery) the physical good is the central source of utility the buyer is seeking while the service elements augments it, Generally, services are supplemental when their purpose is to enhance the marketing of communication services as a target image.  If service according to Busch and Houston is an act performed by an individual or organisation  or the benefit of another individual or organisation.

The second category is the central services represent the dominant and in some case, the only source of utility in communication purchase or presentation.  This category corresponds to the narrow view of services.  They went as far as telling us that this category, because they are of interest to us as the require separate marketing programmes designed for them.

Kotler P. (2000) a famous marketer has observed that “a company’s offer to the market place usually includes some services he notes that service component of a product can be a minor or a major part of the total offer.  The offer can range from pure goods which consists mainly of tangible product on the one hand to a pure service consisting on the other hand.  He went further to identify many categories of offer and for the purpose of this study, we will be concerned with.

  • A tangible good with accompanying service
  • A pure service
  • A major service with accompanying minor goods and services.
  • TELEVISION MARKETING: AN OVERVIEW

Television marketing was introduced into this country as one of the surest and effective means of communication in the early ninties since then, it has been gaining grounds in the world of communication because its unique features of audio and visual presentation of facts and ideas.

In the work of Damian Agboeze (2000) as discussed earlier, he said that audio and visual media of communication are preferable to only the written and spoken communication.  He went further to say that idea or programme demonstrated, displayed, voiced and seen on the screen has arichet impact on the viewers understanding and memory compared to an ordinary aired or voiced words.  In the course of his explanation, he want further to give some benefits of television service which includes.

  • clarity
  • audience attention
  • memory
  • Convey easily land quickly impression of over all trends and tendencies.

From every indication, one can vividly say that television marketing is sinequanon and vital in the life of man.  It is the surest way for effective marketing communication that can reach extensively large variety of audience.

  • PROBLEMS OF THE TELEVISION INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA

In Nigeria, many obstacles confronts the television industries and these factors has hindered it operations.  These limiting factors most times emanates from the government sector.  Government negligence to dilapidating rate of televisions services in the country.  Government negligence could come in the form of poor financing of the industry and absence of motivation as a tool to boost performance in operation.

Also, the privatization of television industry has gone a long way to inflate the cost of its service to the extent of reducing the percentage number of patronage by an ordinary man or firms.

Rural set-up has also posed a major problem to television industry in Nigeria.  Infrastructures like accessible roads has hindered many operations and services of television industries.  Also ignorance and illiteracy among the rural dwellers.

  • PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED BY ADVERTISERS ON TELEVISION AND VIEWERS

Television is a major instrument or media that advertisers can use to reach their target audience at their hidden places Advertisers encounter many problems in the use of television as a medium for their adverts.  Such problems includes:

Cost: Cost in one of the major problems faced by advertisers who tends to use television services as a medium.  Sometime cost in television services may arise as a result of the advertising agency trying to get more hen necessary commission at the detriment of the advertising clients.

Poor timing:  Another problem that advertisers can encounter from the use of television as a medium is poor timing.  Sometimes, many adverts placed on television do not reach the target audience due to poor timing and this makes it inefficient.

Government Regulations:  Sometimes, government regulatiosn may be detrimental to advertisers for example advertising cigarettes on or before 8pm is highl prohibited by Nigeria government.

Coverage: Another manor problem that the advertisers encounters in the use of elevision a a media is the coverage of the television station the advertiser places his adverts.  For example, N.T.A Enugu channel 8 has unlimited coverage and as such can server the entire nation.

  • CHARACTERISTICS OF SERVICE:

According to Dr. Aham Anyanwu (1995) he vividly enumerated the characteristics of services to include the following.

  • Services are intangible in nature because it cannot be seen, felt or touch.
  • Services are inseparable in nature: In service the provider and the buyer’s physical presence is highly needed to play their part, for example in the communication service the provide must be always present
  • Service cannot be standardized: Service can not be standardised in the sense that different groups of people need different message and interpretation at different point in time.
  • The service provides tries to tangibles the intangibility of service by using pictures to tell the client what to provide. One can still manage the evidence by emphasizing on the service benefits instead of providing pictures.
  • MARKETING MIX FOR SERVICES:

Like products there are many marketing mix for services.

They include the following

  • People: Service can not be rendered with out the presence of people to render the service. People is a very vital marketing mix for services because every activity o operation is based on their performance, creativity and experience.
  • Service product: Assortment, brand sizes colours packaging tells about what you are selling or rendering.  There are many areas whereby ordinary product differs from service.
  • Product has patent right but service has no patent right, no exclusive right it is easy to copy.
  • It is easier to brand a physical product than service.
  • Price: In product the monetary value attached to it is called price.  But in services, price can come in the form of rent, wages commission, bonus etc.
    • Promotion of service: communicating your service or product to buyers to educate them about your service or product.  It takes much more to promote service than physical product because it cannot be displayed.
    • Physical Evidence: what can be seen with eyes, care should be taken in trying to present services to the customers or consumer they see that it is an intangible product. Soft music, beautification etc.  Could be used to back service provision.
    • Place: service cannot be sold in the market or warehouse. It is consumed where it is being provided.  So it must be made comfortable
    • Process: how is the service delivered?  Is it on time, who delivers iit?  How is it delivered All these have to e pattern into special consideration in talking about the process the marketing mix for services.
  • IMPROVING SERVICES QUALITY

Quality can be said to be the service that people has access it.  That is people can be accessible to the service on matter where it is sited.  Services must have the following qualities before it can be consumed by any body.

  • Access: It must be reachable for consumption and use.
  • Competence: services must be effective and efficient.
  • Understandable: An understandable language have to be used in rendering the service.
  • Reliability of service: The service must be consistent in nature and must be able to meet the consumers needs
  • Credibility: it must be trust monthly by putting the consumers into your consideration. That is assuming yourself to be in the shoe of the customers.
  • Responsiveness: Ability to reach the need of the customer in terms of security adequate food earns one a responsive services.  The service must be free of risk.

 

  • IMPROVING SERVICE PRODUCTIVITY

Marketing and interest in service quality is obvious when one thinks about it.  The poor quality places firm at a competitive if customers perceive quality as unsatisfactory.  They may be quite to take their businesses else where.  From a marketing standpoint, a key issue is whether customers notice differences in quality between the competing suppliers.  Improving quality in the eyes of the customer is what pays off and improving productivity  of service is to marketers for several reasons.  It helps to keep costs down.  Lower costs either mean higher profits or the ability to keep price down, the company with the lowest in an industry has he option to position itself as the lower price leader, usually a significant marketing advantage or to spend more on advertising sales, customer service and promotional activities or investment in development of new service and innovative features.

  • BRANDING OF SERVICES

A brand is a name, a term, sign, symbol or designer a combination of them, the purpose of which is the identification of goods and services of a particular company land their differentiation from their competitors.

(Dibb 1997) it is unique set of tangible and intangible added values that are perceived and valued by the customer.  In addition a brand is said to have personality, an emotional bond to the customer that frowns out of the perceived characteristics.

A brand grow out of a complex set of added values that comprise of history and tradition, additional services, marketing quality, popularity of the product amongst a certain group of users (status) and  others these basis of a brand can not be established over night the development of a brand takes and good marketing skills such as.

  1. Insight into customer needs.
  2. Ability to offer products or services that meet those needs.
  • Creativity to produce exiting and compelling advertising.
  1. Ability to communicate differentiation in a way that customers understand and that motivates them (Court 1997) without this process you do not have a brand but only la name and a sign for a product.

Benefits of a brand for sellers and customers.

  1. identifies the companies products makes repeat purchases easier.
  2. Helps to reduce perceived risk in buying and provides assurance of quality, reliability etc.
  • Communicate directly with the customer reach over the shoulder of the retailer.
  1. May offer psychological reward (status symbol)
  2. More leverage with middlemen
  3. Saves customer time. Dibb (1997), Bie (1990).  This potential, a brand can offer an important competitive advantage for a seller who has decided for a differentiation strategy.  Similar products or services a brand can provide, some sort of uniqueness to a certain product, depending from the strength of a brand the branded product thus can be positioned towards a more monopolistic situation.

The structure of branding in the service sector:

Kelly (1998) see three obstacles to develop a strong global corporate brand for the large accounting firms.

  1. National partnerships value their individuality over “corporate” discipline
  2. National regulations and cultures make it difficult to work smoothly under one global set of values.
  • The diversity of services offered makes specific branding impossible.
  • POSITIONING OF SERVICES

Positioning is the process of establishing and maintaining a distinctive place in the market for an organization and or its individual product offerings.

As competition intensifies in the service sector.  Its becoming progressively more impotents for service organisation to differentiate  their products in meaningful ways.  To design appropriate competitive strategies,  Managers need insigate into how the various components or  (attributes) of a service are valued by current and prospective customer.  What level of quality and performance is required on each attribute, and whether they are significant differences between segments in the importance attached to different attributes.

In positioning of services the most successful service firms separate them selves from the peak to achieve a distinctive position in relation to their competition.  They differentiate themselves by altering typical characteristics of their respective industries to their competitive advantage.

Understanding the concept product positioning is key to developing and effective competitive positive.  This concept is certainly not limited to service firms but indeed it had its origin in packaged marketing but it offers invaluable insights by forcing no service managers to provide specific answers to questions as follows.

  1. What is your service concept
  2. How does it met the needs of customers in different market segments.
  • How does it differ from competition offering.

—-This article is not complete———–This article is not complete————

This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic

MARKETING OF COMMUNICATION SERVICES

(A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIA TELEVISION AUTHORITY CHANNEL 8 ENUGU).

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