Marketing Strategy in Determining Consumer Purchasing Behaviour

Marketing Strategy in Determining Consumer Purchasing Behaviour

Marketing Strategy – The impact of the literature review runs through the entire course of the research process. Literature provides necessary theoretical framework for the investigation. In undertaking this literature review, it must be stated that an organization on incorporate has a set mission and pre-determined goals which it wants to achieve. Towards this the management of the organisation decides it’s objectives and then goes on to formulate strategies and tactics that will be used in attaining the stated goals and mission.

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  • MARKETING OBJECTIVES, MARKETING STRATEGIES AND MARKETING PROGRAMS

From operating performance standpoint marketing objectives can be said to be:

1)      Increasing or at least monitoring sales volume. The marketing department must appraise consumer desires and the marketing effort required to move adequate and sufficient volume of products and services at adequate prices in order to meet the profit objectives that has been set. The requisite volume projections must therefore be set and met in marketing.

2)      Maintaining an effective, or appreciable presence in the market place through the market share which provides management with a measure of the organisation’s competitive position in the market place, which in turn is an indication of strength or weakness.

3)      Realizing and maintaining an effective profit contribution in the organization.

On the other hand strategies are the general term used to describe the overall company program for selecting a particular market segment and then satisfying it’s customers through careful use of the elements of the marketing mix. Effective marketing requires strategic decisions that successfully integrate the firms marketing program. Marketing strategies are plans and schemes which management hopes to gets it’s products or services to consumers.

Important considerations in marketing strategies are marketing mix and target market. The marketing mix consists of the product, price, promotion and place (distribution). These virtually cover the whole process of production from product design to sale of the product.

Once the marketing objectives and strategies have been set they are incorporated in a formal document called a marketing program. As a co-ordinating device the marketing program documents for the organisation the timetable, the assignment of responsibilities, the nature and rationale of the marketing objectives and strategies.

On approval of the marketing program by management the task becomes that of implementation and control. Finally there is need for evaluation of the program, management manipulates the strategy factors, product, price, place and promotion. These factors are called the controllable factors.

MARKETING STRATEGY

The primary role of the marketing strategy is to contribute to the achievement of the organizational goals by developing satisfactory exchange transactions with customers.

Faced with the choice of alternative marketing strategies the marketing manager must choose the one best suited to the attainment of his firm objectives.

Kotla (1966) has suggested that six factors be considered viz:-

  1. a) Size of Market: If the market for the product is small than segmentation strategy becomes infeasible. In such a situation the firm should pursue a product differentiation strategy.
  2. b) Consumer Sensitivity: A target market that appear very sensitive to product differences would be better exploited by a strategy of product differentiation.
  3. c) Product Type: Products that are subject to great variation e.g. automobiles are automobiles are suited to differentiation which those that are homogeneous e.g. super or gasolines are more suited to undifferentiated marketing.
  4. d) Product Stage in Life Cycle:- If a product is being introduced into a market place where similar types of product are existing, segmentation strategy would be advisable in order to gain competitive advantage in a particular segment.
  5. e) Number of Competitors: The large the number of competitor selling the same product the more difficult it is to differentiate a firms products from that of its competitors. For each firm a segmentation strategy aimed at those customers that are likely prospects for it’s products are preferable. On the other hand a few competitor would mean that a product differentiation strategy may prove less costly and more effective.
  6. f) Competitors Marketing Strategies:- If a firm is practicing active segmentation strategy a form can hardly compete through undifferentiated marketing. Alternatively when competitors are practicing undifferentiated marketing a firm may gain by practicing segmentation if other factors favour it.

On the whole, the marketing manager in selecting a marketing strategy should bear in the following in mind: the purpose of the product or service, performance and position of customers being soughed, pricing and value relationship, brand character or image etc.

  • PRODUCT

A product can be defined as anything that can be offered for want or need satisfaction, i.e. the term include an object, activity, person, place organization or idea.

In developing a product strategy the meaning of a product to the consumer must be borne in mind, the product should be seen as a bundle of satisfaction and not just a physical thing. Products must provide some benefits, which will prompt the purchase. These benefits through psychological in outlook creates a new phase in competition.

Covey opined that a “product” is what the product does, it is the total package of benefit the customer receives when he buys it. This includes the utility of the goods, the product service that the manufacturer provides, the technical assistance he may give his customers and the assurance that the product will be delivered when and where it is needed and in the desired quantities.

He stressed that a product should not be concerned narrowly in terms of it’s primary functions, even if it is not differentiable, the seller may differentiate it from competitive offerings through special services, distribution or band mage.

Levitt .T. (1969) added that the new competition is not between what companies produce in their factories but between what they add in their factory output in form of packaging, services, advertising, customers advice, financing, delivery arrangements, warehousing and other things that people value.

  • PRICING

Pricing is one of the most visible aspects of a company’s marketing program. This is because of the role prices play in the determination of buyer’s choice on one hand and the determination of revenue, market share, and profitability of companies on the other hand.

A product which is well developed, well packaged with good distributive channels and efficient advertising but no fair price will not succeed in the market. The price which the market can take is what is referred to as a fair price.

Oxenfeldt (1973) said that in the field pricing have remained largely in the domain of economic theorist who discuss price primarily in relation to specific market structure.

He traced the pricing literature trend from those dealing with tactics and stratagem for particular firm to those drawing heavily on the behavioural sciences, quantitative tools and detailed empirical research.

The present day theorist employs simulation techniques and other computer application. All these effort shows t hat pricing receives more attention from market specialist today than in the past.

Stanton identified the many objectives pricing is supposed to achieve. Among these are to achieve target return on investment, to stabilize prices, to maintain or improve share in the market, to meet prevent competition and to maximize profit.

Cundiff et al in their work on the pricing strategy for a new product concluded that two pricing strategies i.e. price skimming and price penetration can be employed. The price skimming strategy uses high introductory price to skim the cream of demand while the price penetration strategy uses how introductory price to speed up the products widespread and market acceptance.

Kotler looked at the different pricing strategies a company may adopt from the viewpoint of the prevailing environment. These environments he grouped into period of shortage inflation and recession and he concluded that whichever strategy the company decides to employ be it price rise, aggressive pricing, reduction of allied services and discounts offerings or rebates etc. the long term interest of the firm must be the retention of consumer goodwill, avoidance of clash with government agencies and up-grading of product quality.

The corporate pricing function within the decision making structure is therefore a very complex process, many components must be integrated and managed as a unit of the firm is to capitalize on it’s pricing opportunities.

  • PLACE (DISTRIBUTION)

Stanton defined distribution of a product as the route taken by the product as it moves from the producer to the ultimate consumer. The distribution responsibilities of marketing encompasses the management of both physical distribution and marketing channel activities. Performed together these two activities link producers with consumers and industrial user in the economic system.

Marketing managers must establish an operating relationship with their resellers. A marketing channel consist of independent individuals and institution that carry out the activities needed to being about the exchange of products in the market place. The individuals or organizations that make up marketing channels engage in activities associated with the:-

  • Physical storage and movement of goods
  • Transfer of title of goods
  • Communication among the various individuals or organization in the system.
  • Negotiation and ordering activities associated with exchange.
  • Payment for products exchanged through the channel.

Therefore the management of marketing channels consist of designing channel structures, assigning functional responsibilities to all the channel members and co-ordinating and controlling the operation of the members to ensure that individuals, organizational and total channel goals are achieved. This is not an easy task. The manufacturer has to make decision on what channel of distribution to use given the constraint of what is available. He has to design a channel system by first of all establishing the channel objectives and constraints in terms of customer, products, middlemen, competition, company and environmental characteristics. After this the major channel alternative has to be evaluated using cost – benefit and adaptive criteria and most appropriate channel chosen.

Manufactures must endeavour to evaluate their middlemen performance by setting certain standards such as sales quota, average inventory level, customers delivery time, treatment of damaged or lost goods, cooperation in company promotional and training programs.

  • PROMOTION MIX

Promotion mix encompasses a broad range of activities designed to communicate with individuals groups or organizations in order to influence members or a selected audience to accept the promoting forms goods, services or ideas. The promotion mix facilitates exchange.

Kotter defined each of the promotion mix components thus:-

  1. Advertising: This is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor. There are various media for advertising and these include magazines, newspapers, electronic media-radio and television, billboard, direct mail, cards, catalogues and directories.
  2. Sales promotion: These are short-term incentives displays, shows or exhibitions to encourage purchase or sales of a product or service. The numerous contest and competitions sponsored by several companies in Nigeria falls within this group.
  3. Publicity: This is a non-personal type of stimulation of demand for a product or service. Although it is not deliberately paid for, organizations do not leave publicity to chance because of the goodwill and benefits derivable from a favourable presentations of the organization good in the print or electronic media.
  4. Personal selling: This is an oral presentation of conversation with one or more prospective purchases for the purpose of making sales. It involves a direct contact between the salesmen or agents and the consumers.

All these components of the promotional mix need to be properly planned, organized, executed and monitored to achieve the organizations set objectives.

However the major problem confronting organizations is determining the optimal promotional mix, which will cope with the environment at particular point in time.

2.4     OBJECTIVES OF GUINNESS BREWERY NIG PLC

Guinness Nigeria Plc became a public company in 1965 and was one of the first companies to be quoted in the Lagos (now Nigerian) stock exchange. Today Nigerians hold more than 60% of the total equity shares of the company. In 1990 the public limited company act replaced the companies act of 1968.

The company has the following objectives

  1. To provide employment opportunities for the indigenes of Nigeria.
  2. To provide good quality product.
  3. To ensure that those products are adequately distributed to wherever they are needed.
  4. To make sure that Nigerians participated fully in the running of the company thereby uplifting the economic development of the country.
  5. To contribute to the general welfare of the community by supporting worthy cause and engaging in activities that are beneficial to the society.

2.5     RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MARKETING STRATEGIES AND CONSUMER PURCHASING BEHAVIOUR FOR GUINNESS PRODUCT

Whenever a firm communicates with la market place implicitly or explicitly, it constructs a model of behaviour within that market and the way in which it’s communication will affect it.

Within any market the four (4) Ps of product, price, promotion and place all have to be manipulate to bring together a product or service which will be acceptable to the target market to which the firm is appealing. A useful approach to the difficult task of achieving an appropriate marketing mix is in the first place to concentrate on identifying who the customers are and on what basis they are prepared to consider purchase of what the firm have to offer.

Given that people have many motivations in taking purchasing decision the firm need to appreciate influences which are exerted on their choice behaviour and to identify what it is they are looking for when they purchase. By and large the only way of identifying what it is the customer want or requires is to check with the customer by using some sort of research.

In drawing our conclusion, Guinness Nig. Plc (as our case study) quickly comes to mind. The immense popularity of Guinness Malt in the beer market is no doubt the result of join efforts of both the technical and commercial arm of the company. Particularly is the immense contributions of the company’s sales force which has systematically developed Nigeria wholesalers and retailers to enviable positions they now occupy in the country’s economy.

By a well articulated and sustained marketing strategy the sales force has humbled all it’s competitors, and the practice of selling small quantities at regular intervals and appointing distributors in every works and crannies of the country has over the years transferred economic power and higher standard of living from foreign companies to Nigerian citizens who now overwhelmingly dominate the beer trade.

Guinness products are targeted at having all the premium quality, characteristics of the international beer and malt brand, be very acceptable to Nigerian consumers and secure a significant share of the beer and malt drinks market in Nigeria. To ensure this Guinness made use of very high quality raw materials, technically sound production procedures, hard work and with the full support of the research facilities. The products quality specifications has been formulate4d to give the consumer the blend of drinking pleasure, nourishment and satisfaction most other brands in the market cannot readily match.

On the production aspect, the packaging of Guinness products e.g the Malta Guinness has been fashioned to be highly functional, appealing, of high merchandising value and also reflective of the premium market positioning of the brand. It comprises a fibre board carton designed to contain twenty four bottles of the 30cl size. The bottle is amber coloured and uniquely scoped. The initial launch of Malta Guinness into the Lagos market was heralded with heavy media advertising and publicity support. This tempo of support has been maintained ever since and similarly extended to areas outside Lagos where it has also been launched Malta Guinness has been enjoying a light of degree since it’s entry into the Malta drink market in Nigeria. This has been evidenced from the observed positive consumer response by way of demand and consequently repeat orders from the consumers of the product.

Guinness brand has therefore continued to wax stronger with time on account of the high level of media support, aggressive salesman ship, trade involvement, product quality and consumer-oriented sales promotion. It goes to show that Guinness Nigeria Plc, marketing strategy has impact on the consumers purchasing behaviour seeing the popularity of the product. Further proof is the positive consumer response by way of demand via acceptance of prices, placement of orders, approval of goods and continued orders.

This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic

THE ROLE OF MARKETING STRATEGY IN DETERMINING CONSUMER PURCHASING BEHAVIOUR

(A CASE STUDY OF GUINESS NIGERIA PLC).

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