An Evaluation Of Marketing Strategies Of Mobile Phone Operators
This project is focused on the “Evaluation of marketing strategies of mobile phones in MTN Nigeria, Kaduna branch. The main objective is to identify the strategy pursued by the company in respect to product, price promotion and placement. The methodology of the research was gotten through the questionnaire issued. Findings was made and recommendation were forwarded.
1.1 Background of the Study
Telecommunication industry in Nigeria from inception has been the absolute monopoly of the federal government. At the initial stage of its development, it was meant to provide effective means of communication for the colonial administration. However after independence it became so obvious that telecommunication services be developed just after the colonial masters and the foreign trading companies thereafter however, it stated to be viewed as a social service necessary to augment government development effort by providing faster and efficient means of communication to areas faraway from the centre of administration, commerce and industry.
Nowadays, communication does not only enhance mutual understanding and social integration of disperse communities but also foster harmonious relationship which contributed immensely to the overall socio-economic, political as well as cultural development of human society. MTN industry in Nig
eria is currently undergoing transformation due to the deregulation of policy that has been implemented since the advert of Obasanjo administration. At the moment, there are numerous telephone service providers in Nigeria that are competitor with “NITEL” this consists of MTN Nigeria, Zain (celtel) wireless, Globacom, Reltel, Visafone, Etisalat etc. they provide effective mobile phone service for local and international calls. MTN has bean regarded as the most known network in the market today after consulting some consumers of other network.
Consequently this new trend give rise to service commitment of huge financial resources into the marketing activities of service provider generated in Nigeria. A good marketing programme will enable the company to achieve its operating objective faster.
In this study the researcher makes an attempt to evaluate the marketing strategies in the company’s marketing activities in the area covered by this study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The marketing strategies being used by (MTN Nigeria) is been challenged by myriads of problems which includes poor network services, drop calls, loading of vouchers and checking of balance problems in the billing system, resulting to the increase in customer complaints, challenges posed by competitors and the general down turn in the economy.
Consequently, evaluating the marketing strategies of (MTN Nigeria) in which information was sourced from the (marketing manager) of MTN Nigeria (David Ibgun), it is denoted that MTN has their problems just as other networks have their problems, so far they have been trying
to see how possible it is to eradicate this problems, but being that communication is a large business to run it might be very difficult to eradicate but rather they can minimize this problems.
1.3 Objective of the Study
- To identify the strategy pursued by the company in respect to product, price, promotion, and placement.
- To determine whether the marketing strategies are effective in the face of high competition.
- To outline the problems/challenges encountered in the marketing of their services.
- To provide solution to problems identified by this study.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The finding of this study will provide an insight in handling challenges and opportunities that exist in MTN Nigeria and how to build and initiate effective and efficient programme needed to turn around the business already in existence to a greater height
In addition, the study will serve as reference material for those who may have the need for information on the marketing activities of Telecommunication, its challenge and effectiveness of its business administration programme.
1.5 Research Questions
- What are the strategies faced by the company in respect to product, price, promotion and placement?
- Are your marketing strategies effective in the facing of high competitors?
- What are the problems and challenges encountered in the marketing of your service?
- What are the possible solution to the problem identified?
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study centers on the evaluation of the marketing strategies of MTN Nigeria services with special reference to Kaduna metropolis. Thus this study examines the marketing strategies and the effectiveness coping with current challenges posed by their competitors and either invading threats.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
The time required for this research work was inadequate as the research had to consume writing the research with other academic tasks. As well meeting the deadline for the submission of the project work.
Uncooperative Attitude of Respondents:
The behaviour of some respondents can be described as hostile and unfriendly. Some of them were not willing to give vital information needed for the study as they termed these information as confidential.
Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations
5.1 Summary of Findings
The main problems experienced by the customers are:-
- Poor quality of service by MTN
- There is acute shortage of resources on the part of MTN management to maintain an efficient and fault free services.
- The receipt of service bills in arrears by MTN customers is another major problem facing subscribers in the course of usage of these services. The receipts of service bills in arrears make it very difficult for subscribers to settle bills as at when due. This is because the accumulation of bills for several months makes it expenditure and absolutely difficult for subscribers to settle regularly, thus, leading to disputed bills and subsequent disconnection.
- Shortage of qualified manpower is also a major factor that was observed militating against smooth and efficient provision of telecommunication services.
- The researcher, also, observed that, majority of MTN employees are pessimistic about the future of MTN within the telecommunications industry in view of the impending competition as a result of the deregulation of the industry. The staffs were pessimistic as to whether MTN with her current form would be able to stand the spate of competition the industry would face. The management should therefore rise up to the challenges posed by the impending threat from the competition.
In line with the above findings, the researcher concludes that the quality of services, which MTN provides, is purely dependent on the following factors:-
- Availability of materials and resources
- The billing method used by Nigerian Telecommunications Limited, in spite of the above stated factors, which have hampered the efficiency of MTN services, the company has done a lot to improve on the service offering over the years. From the early 1990 to the present year MTN has been able to install the most current facilities in its installations and adopt the latest technology such as the digital facilities in order to improve service and operational efficiency.
The thrust of every commercial enterprise is customer satisfaction. The MTN Telecommunications Network as a commercial entity is no exception to this fundamentals business principle. In line with this principle, MTN has taken a number of measures in the past aimed at improving customer satisfaction. Some of the measures taken along this line include the reduction of delayed dial tone in the case of the telephone services. In many exchange within the network, the introduction of the pay card phone, the massive network upgrading and expansion.
All these are aimed at ensuring that subscribers enjoy improved service and derive value for money spent on MTN services.
Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following recommendations:-
- MTN management should adopt a marketing oriented approach in its service offerings and apply the marketing concept in all its dealing with customers or subscribers so as to ensure customer satisfaction. Customers‟ satisfaction should be the marketing objective of MTN as a corporate entity.
- MTN management should organize adequate and regular training and development programme for personnel (both operating and functional) in marketing activities and other relevant areas so as to optimize the use of resources and ensure provision of quality services.
- MTN management should commit adequate funds in product information and communication through advertising and other media sources such as trade exhibition, public relations, sales promotions etc, through these media source, relevant information regarding MTN services and their importance would be passed to potential customers. The need for awareness creation cannot be over emphasized, thus, the above mentioned media are invaluable sources to ensure this.
- Management is advised to ensure that maintenance installation materials such as cables, cable materials exchange spare, general engineering materials necessary logistics and facilities are procured and made available on regular basis. This will ensure that the routine maintenance are carried on regular basis and when required without interruptions. Moreover, this will arrest the acts of technicians asking subscribers to provide installation materials themselves.
- MTN management should further expand its network and take advantage of the modern technologies in order to enjoy economics of scale of operation.
- MTN management should be cautious about decision on retrenchment of her work force so as to remove the fear from staff of possible loss of job. Assurance of job security by management will help boost morale.
- Service faults should be promptly attended to and maintenance team should be on regular patrol to customer‟s premises to enquire about the performance of their services rather than waiting for customers to come and report faults.
- The idea of settling customers bills with designated bank is very much appreciated, but, management is in addition requested to reduce the number of collection banks, a situation where about 58 banks are collecting for only one territory is too many, and in most cases, some end up collecting N10,000 for a week. Also the issue of late and wrong billing should be properly looked into and adequate device put in place to send out correct bills promptly without arrears to subscribers.
- The management is advised to ensure that reasonable time is allowed to customers who owe and are on Temporary Out of Service (TOS) before final recovery of lines. Customers should also be educated from time to time on the need to settle bills as at when due or over the need to pay in advance and remain on credit as this will help immensely in improving customers‟ debt positions.
- Management should also consider introduction of pre payment in most of their services especially telephone services, this will remove or reduce the problem of disputed calls and inability on the part of customers to settle accumulated bills.
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