Effectiveness Of Trade Exhibition As A Marketing Tool In Small And Medium Scale Entrepreneurship

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Effectiveness Of Trade Exhibition As A Marketing Tool In Small And Medium Scale Entrepreneurship


Abstract


Trade exhibitions could not be underestimated as important marketing tools that were able to reach a huge target market at one go. Over the years organized trade shows had provided an even playing field in which small business and large ones came together to determine the trade show effectiveness. The objective of the study was to how effective are these trade exhibitions to small and medium term enterprises as a marketing tool. The problem statement was that most SMEs were operating in budgetary constraints and therefore the need to ensure that their objectives were met became critical. Majumder (1996) noted that great issues that marketers were faced with were severe recessions, reduced purchasing power, reduced growth rate, increased competition, consumer awareness and pressure on pricing. SMEs were therefore constantly looking for the lowest cost effective methods to promote their products and services and the effectiveness of trade shows as a marketing platform to meet their objectives was not known. The results of this study was useful to: potential exhibitors who might wish to use the trade shows for promotion of their products and services, participants to the show who were in a position to determine whether shows were appropriate to ensure that the exhibitions fitted into their overall strategy and exhibition organizers who used the results to formulate strategies that added value to participating organizations and ensured its continued existence. In the literature review summary, trade shows at their most effective could be important marketing tools for business. They were vital parts of the marketing mix as they combined the mass – reach of advertising, the targeting of direct mail, direct selling and the networking benefits of the internet. Shows created a unique environment in which a wide range of sales and marketing objectives were pursued. The shows brought buyers and sellers together to a central location. According to Reeds Exhibitions in new and emerging markets, shows were direct catalyst for industrial and commercial development. They drove industrial development and technology transfer, boosted regional and national industry by providing a shop window for goods and stimulated foreign investment. The survey was carried out using descriptive study. Stratified random sampling method was used in selecting the sample elements. The qualitative data was analyzed using qualitative analysis while SPSS was used to analyze the quantitative data. Qualitative analysis sought to make general statements on how categories of themes of data were related, Mugenda & Mugenda(2003). The population of the study was drawn from firms which had participated in trade shows. The study used semistructured questionnaires to collect primary data. The instrument was dropped and picked later. The respondents were managers responsible for handling the show activities. The data was presented, analyzed and interpretations given. In findings and conclusions, this study made some contributions to the understanding of the trade shows and exhibitions factors affecting organizational marketing media.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The origin and traditional background of trade fairs can be traced to the time when neither good communication network of security needed for the establishment of pertinent commercial relationship were easily obtain.

The first significant trade fair in Nigeria was held in 1960 to add glamour to Nigeria Independence Celebration, through with less business motives. The first trade fairs with international magnitude was held in 1977 and 60 countries attended.

Over the years companies have come to accept trade exhibition as an effective way of creating awareness and this invariably stimulate the demand for their product. Trade Fair or exhibition can be effectively used regardless of the product lifecycle but it will be better applied at the introduction stage of a product.

This will allow patient consumers to know the product use and its design. It is noteworthy that trade exhibition could be as small as one main exhibition in one room apartment, it can also be general or specialized exhibition, which could be held for commercial and non-commercial exhibition we are however interested in commercial exhibition. In recent time trade exhibition has gained prominence in the manufacturing industries. At present three international trade fair were held annually in Nigeria, Lagos, Kaduna & Enugu international trade fairs. These fairs are organized by the Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce & Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

The reason for organisation participation in trade exhibition as given by Christian Peterson (1972) are as follow:-

  1. It could be used to create positions impression on the mind of the potential buyers or to correct negative impressions.
  2. It could be used to serve as opportunity for a company without a regular sales force to show case their product to the public.
  3. Trade exhibition could be used to test marketing product pending commercialization.
  4. Trade exhibition could be used to test marketing product pending commercialization.
  5. Trade exhibition could be used to show trade prestige i.e. if a company want to be seen among it competitors as a leader.
  6. Trade exhibition is specifically use by small scale business to compete with large firm in already crowded business.

1.2 Statement of Problem

I have been encouraged to write on this topic because of the attitude of some business organisation who falls to realize and appreciate the role of trade exhibition play in the survival of any business organisation. The negative attitude of organisation toward the use of trade exhibition of promote the image of the company’s product has led to an increase level of imitation and life of many consumers are endangered and inadequate information about the organisation and its product.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The research study is directed towards finding out how effective trade exhibition is in marketing of consumer goods.

  1. To know the extent trade exhibition has created awareness for the product of the manufacturer.
  2. To know if trade exhibition can be used to forecast the demand for the company’s product.
  3. To know if trade exhibition achieve the objectives set by the company.
  4. To know or determine trade exhibition contribution to consumer relationship with the company.

1.4 Research Question

This study shall address the following research questions:

  1. How often do you buy at trade exhibition?
  2. Does trade exhibition create awareness for the company product?
  3. Has trade exhibition influence consuer’s decision to buy a product?
  4. Does trade exhibition attract new consumer and increases the usages by existing consumers.
  5. Does trade exhibition increase sales productivity in small and medium scale entrepreneurship

1.5 Justification of the study

Apart from the financial and time constraints that justified the scope of the a trade exhibition this study aims to get information about the effectiveness of trade exhibition in marketing consumer goods in Nigeria with special reference to a fast moving consumer goods like ANTINA beauty Soap. It is possible to know the effectiveness of trade exhibition in marketing of consumer goods, trade exhibition was a major factor that contributed to the increase in sale of a particular product that is engaged in the also creating potential awareness is always rekindie in case of old customer and customer. This marvelous marketing advancement is usually made possible and practicable by the effect of trade exhibition strategy employed by Loyalted Product Limited.

Trade exhibition has really contributed to the sale of company product as well as increasing turnover with the view that the personnel highly believed that trade exhibition has enormously contributed to the company progress.


1.6 Significance of Study

This research intend to throw light on the need for trade exhibition in marketing of consumer goods the finding of the study will therefore be used to:

Throw more light on how consumer react to trade exhibition and its benefit in term of informing them about the product and at the same time enhancing the company’s product image.
The management of the company concerned will be able to know those that may arise as a result of competition.
It help the management of Loyalted Limited to really comprehend the benefit of trade exhibition.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of study is exclusively restricted to the operation department marketing in small & medium scale entrepreneurship. However, it should not be misconceived that the study has no relevance to other organizations in Nigeria they are bound to face such problem considering the globalized nature of organizational environment.

The present study is limited to many aspects. Providing information of effective trade exhibition as a marketing tool in small & medium scale entrepreneurship. It is not possible to take into consideration each and every criterion in this study.

It will be very difficult to carry out the study of this nature virtually every company in Nigeria (both public and private sector) in Nigeria. Hence, the researcher decided {enter her study on effectiveness of trade exhibition as a marketing tool in small & medium scale entrepreneurship. It covers all the various employees in the organization ranging from executive management, middle management, supervisors and the rest of the workers in the organization.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Brand Name:

This is a word letter or number which is bear able or can be realized given by a producer to a particular product to differentiate it from product of other producers.

Competitors:

These are people or organisation that seek to have an edge over their competitor by comparing either with good or services by producing goods of better and high quality and stressing the unique selling proposition of their product.

Products:

This is anything that can be offered to the market for use consumption or acquisition of their product can be tangible or intangible product are those cannot be seen.

Product Range:

This is production range of product that a company produces for consumption or offered to the market for use.

Consumer Goods:

These are goods offered to the market to be bought for direct consumption and not further processing before it can be used.

Exhibition:

A Display of work of art manufactured goods and natural production for which people are expected to place order.

Infringement:

An action which goes against take over the right of other.

Advertising:

This is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas goods ad services by an identified sponsor.

Promotion:

This is the communication to persuade or convince prospective consumers.

Personal Selling:

This is an oral presentation in a conversation with one or more prospective purchases for the purposes of making sales.

Publicity:

This is always in relation to the news about exhibition is part of.

Research:

This is an investigation or a search directed to the discovery of some fact by careful consideration or study of a subset

Sale Promotion:

This is short term incentives to encourage purchases or sale of product or service which trade exhibition is part of.

Target Market:

This is defined as consumer or group to which a form product or services is appealed to.

Precinct:

This is the amount of money (plus) that is charged on a product for an exchange.

Packaging:

This is the material used to wrap or protect goods from Spoilage and it is also used to pack good & product.

Trade:

The business of buying & selling within a country or between countries.

Marketing Objective:

These are aims set to achieve by the management over a period it is usually customer oriented that the top management would want to accomplished.

Marketing:

A total system of interrelated organizational activities designed to plan, develop promote and distribute want satisfying product, services and ideas. It include all business activities necessary to affect transfer of ownership of goods and provide for their physical distribution form. Producer to the final consumer.

Consumers:

A consumer is a person that buy goods or product from another person, consumer can be divided into three (3) type these are:

  1. Existing Consumer:- These are regular buyer
  2. New Consumer:- These are new people buying the product for the first time.
  3. No Consumer:- Those that are not buying the product.

Chapter Five


Conclusions and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

There may be some similarities and differences between micro and small scale businesses on the way they use marketing communication tools. These SMEs have mostly preferred advertisement and internet as their marketing activities. Moreover, advertisements have been the most common communication tool for all businesses, such as using brochures, posters and printed menus as an advertising tool. Also, the manager and owners of these businesses have perceived and used some of the other marketing communication tools which have been categorized separately in this paper for the purpose of advertising. For example, the marketing activities under public relations and sales promotions have been practiced as advertising activities. The second most commonly used marketing communication tool in micro and small sized businesses is trade exhibition.

Marketing investments or innovations to grow are not possible without adequate finance for all companies but particularly for micro and small sized companies. In this research, the findings have indicated the difficulty of allocating finance as one of the main obstructions to develop an effective marketing plan and therefore using wider range of marketing communication tools for the micro and small enterprises. Due to financial barriers, micro and small restaurants have not used marketing communication tools according to their needs. For example, all three restaurants agreed on the importance of using of packaging on branding but they haven’t separated extra budget for it. In addition, public relations have been important part of their marketing, however, small local restaurants cannot use public relations comprehensively. The managers and owner of these three restaurants have always listened to their consumers face-to-face or on the phone. However, they have not able to publicize their activities on newspapers.

This study made some contributions to the understanding of the trade shows and exhibition factors affecting organizational marketing media tool. Overall, this research represented the beginnings to find out the effectiveness of trade shows as an organizational marketing tools. The results of this study were particularly important for encouraging and supporting trade shows marketing managers from a different perspective. This new perspective gave relevance to trade shows success and organizations performance and envisages an organization as a system where all the areas are coordinated towards a final purpose, which is, the enhancing of the organizational performance in their different aspects.


5.2 Recommendations

However, there has not been too much specific investigation about the use of marketing communication and its tools applied by small businesses. The previous researches have been mainly focusing on multinational enterprises which face totally different barriers and concerns on the usage of the marketing tools than micro and small enterprises. Also, the existing relevant previous researches have been usually generalizing the term small business. Small business is a complex business and management discipline and it includes hundreds different sectors

Based on the findings on the study, the researcher gave the following recommendations:

  1. SMEs owners should come up with strategies on how to reorganize its activities to ensure that exhibitors at the show are able to get value for their money. In this regard, there is need to establish permanent management structures that will review the position and recommend a way forward.
  2. SMEs should establish a comprehensive feedback mechanism to determine the needs and requirements of customers with a view to factoring them in their planning process and ensure they remained relevant to the changing environment.
  3. From the study, it was clear from the respondents that trade fair organisers had very good potential as an exhibition organizer and therefore should tap into this potential and provide the conduit for exhibitors to meet new potential customers and provide opportunities to network during receptions, roundtables and other sessions.

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