The Influence Of Marketing Communication On Patronage Among Consumers Of Catering Services

Project and Seminar Material for Marketing

The Influence Of Marketing Communication On Patronage Among Consumers Of Catering Services


This study was informed by the necessity of research to examine the influence of marketing communication on patronage among consumers of catering services in Courdeau Catering Services, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The theory that was used during this research is the learning theory which postulates that exposure of certain models or message to a particular audience which was applied to this study. It was also observed that the audiences of Courdeau Catering Services were able to imitate or act in accordance to the message in which they are exposed to Courdeau Catering Services. Survey method was used in this study. Three hundred and ninety nine questionnaires were also administered to respondents during this research. The data collected were analyzed using the chi-square analysis. Findings reveal that marketing communication is an effective tool for brand building even during brand transition. The respondents from the sample population size were randomly selected audience in which it has created a platform for recommendations to be made. Based on the findings in this research, the researcher recommends that marketing communication messages should be carefully put together, in terms of central theme, media planning and usage. Also, recommended that an integrated marketing communications should be applied in brand building, a combination of Advertising, Public relation, direct marketing, event sponsorship, sales promotion and personal selling is required in consumer patronage of catering services.


Table of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Question
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisation of the Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Concept of Marketing Communication
  • 2.3 The Impact of Advertising on Consumer Purchase of Goods
  • 2.4 The Impact of Advertising Media Channels on Purchase of Goods
  • 2.5 The Impact of Sales Promotions on Consumer Purchase of Goods
  • 2.6 Theoretical Review
  • 2.6.1 Communication Theory
  • 2.6.2 Herzberg’s Theory
  • 2.6.3 Hierarchy of Needs Theory (Maslow’s Theory)
  • 2.6.4 Psychoanalytic Theory (Freud’s Theory)
  • 2.6.5 Theory of Symbolic Interactionism

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population
  • 3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Instrument for Data Collection
  • 3.5 Validity of the Instrument
  • 3.6 Reliability of the Instrument
  • 3.7 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.8 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Result
  • 4.2 Discussion

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The American Marketing Association (AMA), define marketing as the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. Further, Kotler (2011) defines marketing as “the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.
Communication is a vital tool in any business organization as well as other types of organizations. It is a factor that can sustain the existence of any organization. Communication also helps in understanding the concepts and variables that come across the thinking of informed person or group. Communication can be viewed as the process by which information is exchanged and understood mutually by two or more people usually with the intent to motivate or influence behaviour.

Marketing communication has therefore been defined as a process for planning, executing and monitoring the brand messages that create customer relationships (Duncan, 2005). Marketing communication has also been defined as the coordination and integration of all marketing communication tools, avenues and sources within a company into a seamless program that maximizes the impact on consumers and other end users at a minimal cost (Clow&Baack, 2007). Marketing communication therefore represents the voice of a brand and the means by which companies can establish a dialogue with consumers concerning their product offerings. It allows marketers to inform, persuade, incite, and remind consumers. It can provide detailed product information or ignore the product all together to address other issues (Keller, 2001).

Marketing communication activities come in a wide variety of flavors based on audience, media platform and business in today’s evolving and dynamic marketplace. One of the most important changes in today’s marketplace is the increased number and diversity of communication options available to marketers to reach customers (Häuser& Daugherty, 2011). The need for an organization to properly coordinate its marketing communication strategies in order to deliver clear, consistent and competitive messages about itself and its products is therefore highly imperative for every result driven organization (Häuser& Daugherty, 2011). Innovative and creative marketing communications have great impact on a companies’ products/services sales. There are four marketing communication strategies in business. These include advertising, sales promotions, personal selling and social media. This study specifically investigated how advertising and sales promotions, affect the sale of consumer goods.
The marketing communication theory implies that studying the effects of marketing communications on customer’s response require understanding how organizational customers under different circumstances, exposed to different situational factors and to different types of communications respond to these factors. Consumers obviously vary on a host of different characteristics demographic (e.g. age, gender, race, etc.), psychographic (e.g. attitudes towards oneself, others, possessions, etc.), behavioral (e.g. brand choices, usage, loyalty, etc.) that often serve as the basis of market segmentation and the development of distinct marketing programs (Häuser& Daugherty, 2011). But customers may differ in their prior knowledge, especially in terms of what they know moving from the general to the specific. (Barnham, 2012). Hence, consumer purchase behavior is influenced by different factors, like cultural, social, personal and psychological factors. A successful company marketer knows and needs to analyze very well all the factors that affect consumer purchase behavior (Zemack et al., 2012).

Consumer purchase behavior is considered to be an inseparable part of marketing. Marketers’ point of view issues specific aspects of consumer behavior that need to be studied which include: the reasons behind consumers making purchases, specific factors influencing the patterns of consumer purchases, analysis of changing factors within the society and others. Blackwell et al., (2006) informs that consumer purchase behavior is itself is a complex, dynamic issue which cannot be defined easily and commonly. Therefore, the concept of consumer buying behavior has been defined in different ways by different researchers.

Kotler and Keller (2011) state that consumer purchase behavior is the study of the ways of buying and disposing of goods, services, ideas or experiences by the individuals, groups and organizations in order to satisfy their needs and wants. It also investigates behavior which is the earlier process of buying, the process of purchasing and the next purchase after buying (Yakup&Savl, 2011). Buyer behavior has also been defined as a process, which through inputs and their use though process and actions leads to satisfaction of needs and wants. Alternatively, consumer buying behavior “refers to the buying behavior of final consumers, both individuals and households, who buy goods and services for personal consumption” (Kumar, 2010).

A marketer’s communication should influence consumer decision making before, during and after the purchase process. Before the communication to make them consider, during to influence action and after for repeat purchase (Cox et al, 1983).

In light of all these definitions, Kotler and Keller (2011) highlight the importance of understanding consumer buying behavior and the ways how the customers choose their products and services can be extremely important for manufacturers as well as service providers as this provides them with competitive advantage over its competitors in several aspects. For example, they may use the knowledge obtained through studying the consumer buying behavior to set their strategies towards offering the right products and services to the right audience of customers reflecting their needs and wants effectively. Egen (2007) also informs on the importance of understanding the consumer behavior, he says that better awareness of consumer buying behavior is a positive contribution to the country’s economic state. In agreement to Kotler and Egen, this study investigated how marketing communication affects sale of consumer goods.

There are divergent of opinions in the effectiveness of integrated marketing communications in promoting consumers’ patronage of products. Some scholars belief on the traditional approach of using solely any of the promotional mix elements while others have strong belief in the synergy that the integration of the elements would create; (Reid, 2003;Copley, 2004) amongst others. The need for an organization to properly coordinate its marketing communications strategies in order to deliver a clear, consistent, credible and competitive message about itself and its products has become an issue of concern, which every focus driven and result oriented firm wishes to overcome today. Similarly, the marketing environment is becoming more highly competitive, and the once glamorous world of advertising is loosing out to integrated marketing communications (IMC) under which managers can combine approaches and allow brands to speak with a single voice across all media formats.

Swan and William, (2004) argued that a major organizational problem that most companies face is that the various components of the promotional mix are often seen as the responsibility of different departments or agencies. Companies and agencies have different perceptions as to the uses and benefits of integration of marketing communication elements (Nowak & Phelps, 2004; Belch and Belch, 2004). Consequently, many organization executives are craving for ways of minimizing cost of marketing communications with better results. And are not sure of the synergy effects, of the use of IMC. (Picton& Hartley, 1998; Copley, 2004; Raid, 2003; Fill, 2006). One of the trends in recent time according to Pelsmacker, Geuens and Bergh (2004) is the increasing need by companies to build customer relationship in order to sustain brand loyalty.

Many Nigerian companies are using different promotional mixes without due consideration for the cost and appropriateness of the stage of product in its life cycle (Thomas, 2001; Fadipe, 2004), etc. They are often skeptical as to how to properly coordinate the communication mix at different stages of a product life (Thomas, 2001). Many firms have not fully appreciated the fact that communicating effectively with customers and other stakeholders involves not only a mix of the traditional tools but rather an efficient coordination through the adoption of the marketing communication approach. Many Nigerian firms are constantly looking for how to catch and retain the youth especially school children and build strong brand loyalty with these school age children (Achumba 2000; Thomas 2001). Swan 2004 argued that companies face the challenge in identifying what could efficiently promote or hinder marketing communication implementation as various departments are faced with bulk passing of marketing communication responsibilities.

The need for Nigerian firms to fully adopt the marketing communicationapproach is therefore borne out of the fact that there are financial, competitive and effective benefits to be achieved through the synergy afforded by the process of integration (Pickton and Hartley, 1998). Despite the broadening of marketing into many facets of Nigerian economy today, and the sensitive position that marketing promotion occupies in the strategic management of a firm’s marketing communication efforts, no known attempt has been made, locally, to investigate empirically, the impact of the use of Marketing Communications on consumers patronage of goods and services. Moreover, despite the huge amount of fund spent on Advertising and Information System, nobody seemed locally to be interested in evaluating the alternative comparison between traditional method of promotion and the new marketing communication method. This proposed research therefore, intends to fill that intellectual gap by examining the influence of marketing communication on patronage among consumers of catering services in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In a business organization, the major concern of the shareholders and management is how to optimize returns on investment and profit. To be profitable, a company needs to achieve a desirable patronage of its goods and services by the consumers. This desirable patronage is the ability to take the company’s sales to the point where its revenue substantially outweighs expenses. To achieve this is not easy because the company is faced with so many challenges some of which include competition, absence of adequate financing, the consumer’s income, perception and disposition, the quality of the goods and services, absence of basic facilities for doing business etc.

However, in the face of these challenges, a company depends mainly on its marketing activities to be able to scale through these hurdles and improve its profitability. This is because, marketing has the capability to build a good relationship with the consumer, understand what he wants and how he wants it, inform and educate him about the goods and services the company offers and how they can benefit him and delivers the product to him at the place, time and price he wants it.

This research established the effectiveness of marketing communication on consumer purchase behavior of consumer goods. Most firms in the service industry spend a large share of their annual budgets in marketing communication activities which include advertising, sales promotions, direct marketing and personal selling amongst others. The purpose is to achieve profitability by driving sales of their products (Kotler & Keller, 2011). It is therefore imperative to understand the buyer in order to accurately meet their dynamic and evolving needs to achieve this objective. An understanding of the influence of purchase factors such as cultural, social, personal, psychological factors is essential for marketers in order to develop suitable marketing mixes to appeal to the target customer (Kotler et al, 1994).

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to examine the influence of marketing communication on patronage among consumers of catering services in Courdeau Catering Services, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Specifically, the objectives of the study include to;

  1. To explore how much awareness Courdeau Catering Services, Port Harcourt has been able to create due to marketing communication
  2. To examine the public’s perception of the Courdeau Catering Services, Port Harcourt
  3.  To explain how marketing communication has been able to influence consumers patronage of Courdeau Catering Services, Port Harcourt

1.4 Research Question

The following research questions are formulated to guide this research:

  1. How much awareness has Courdeau Catering Services, Port Harcourt been able to create as a result of marketing communication?
  2. What is the public’s perception of Courdeau Catering Services, Port Harcourt?
  3. What is the influence of marketing communication on consumers’ patronage of Courdeau Catering Services, Port Harcourt?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  1. HO1 There is no significant influence of marketing communication on patronage among consumers of catering services in Courdeau Catering Services, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  2. HA1 There is a significant influence of marketing communication on patronage among consumers of catering services in Courdeau Catering Services, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is of importance to management teams in catering service firms, consumers, marketing professionals, academicians and researchers, authorities and regulators.

Courdeau Catering Services, Port Harcourt will benefit from this study because the organization will be able to understand which touchpoints are most relevant to consumers and they will be able to prioritize these touchpoints when allocating budgets and planning the marketing strategies mix in the campaigns. Finance managers and related persons in the catering firms will understand the extent to which marketing communication provides short term and long-term financial benefits to the business as a whole and will see the relevance of allocating adequate budgets to such activities.

This study will be relevant to consumers who are keen on or have interacted with marketing communication such as advertisements, sales promotions, personal selling and social media. The findings will verify to them that we have captured the feedback accurately and the existence of this information can be used to support the demands they create.

This study will be of assistance to the marketing industry at large; as professionals will know where they stand when it comes to the effectiveness of their communication. They will get to know what they are doing right and what they are neglecting, how consumers feel and what needs to change. It will also spur healthy competition among Breweries companies.

This study will be beneficial to scholars and market researchers that specialize in studying consumer behavior because they will appreciate the role that communication plays in influencing the buyer’s behavior. In light of this it will be key factor to study when researching on different consumer categories.

Finally, the study would serve as a source of information for others who may wish to embark on research from a related perspective in this field of study. This work would provide them direction and guideline for their study and indeed serve as an additional reference material for further studies.

1.7 Scope of Study

This research will be restricted to Courdeau Catering Services, Port Harcourt Rivers State, Nigeria. Emphasis is on examining the influence of marketing communication on patronage among consumers of catering services in Courdeau Catering Serices, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

As the researcher carried out this study, there are some vital things which may tend to limit the researcher on the study some of which are:


Time is a factor which limits an individual to do what you want. The researcher has a lot to carry on with little time.


During the course of this study, the researcher tends to spend money more than he bargained for at the end of the day.

Inadequate Information:

At times, the information being disclosed to the researcher is little or not sufficient-enough and the researcher is to strive and source for information from all directions.

1.9 Definition of Terms


Refers to the effect of marketing communication on patronage among consumers of catering services in Courdeau Catering Services, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Marketing Communication:

Is a fundamental and complex part of a company’s marketing efforts. Marketing communication includes advertising, direct marketing, branding, packaging, your online presence, printed materials, PR activities, sales presentations, sponsorships, trade show appearances and more.

Catering Services:

Is the business of providing food service at a remote site or a site such as a hotel, hospital, pub, aircraft, cruise ship, park, filming site or studio, entertainment site, or event venue.


Is a person or a group who intends to order, orders, or uses purchased goods, products, or services primarily for personal, social, family, household and similar needs, not directly related to entrepreneurial or business activities.


The financial support or business provided to a store, hotel, or the like, by customers, clients, or paying guests.

1.10 Organisation of the Study

This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one included the background of the study, research problem, research objectives and questions as well as limitation of the study. Chapter two contains the literature review. Chapter three includes the methodology and study area. Chapter Four contains the results and discussion of key findings of the study. Chapter Five finally looks at the summary, conclusions, and recommendations based on the findings.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

This research is aimed at evaluating the influence of marketing communication on patronage among consumers of catering services in Nigeria. The case study is Courdeau Catering Services, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Findings from this research suggest that marketing communication provides knowledge about products. Majority of the respondents agreed that they knew about Airtel through its various marketing communication programmes to test Courdeau Catering Services brand awareness, respondents never asked questions about the Courdeau Catering Services brand from their various responses, it can be deduced that Courdeau Catering Services has brand awareness.

It is also possible to say that through advertising and other marketing communication tools influences brand perception, consumer’s actual experiences may have greater influences on brand perception, as the researcher’s interaction with respondents revealed that their contract and experience with the service of Airtel helped in influencing their perception of the brand. Hence, the research tends to show that contrary to Kim B. Rotzol et al., (1976) as cited in Belch and Belch (2004) there is great perceptional defense against marketing communication messages, especially now that consumers are getting more informed. Findings tend to show that exposure to marketing communication messages exert an influence on the consumer. Also, marketing communication gives a brand positive image.

Findings show that prospects tend to transfer their likeness for amarketing communication campaign to the products and services offered by a brand. It is possible to say that consumer may be willing to pay less for a good product, than pay high of a bad product. Majority agree that Courdeau Catering Services is less expensive but, when asked which network, they considered better, a reasonable size of the sample population chose Courdeau Catering Services.

On the whole, this research shows that integrated marketing communication has positive influence on prospects and builds brands by creating awareness through its various programmes. Marketing communication tends to influence perception of brand, but this influence is not absolute. However, it should be noted that the ultimate impact on brand can have on prospects will be delivery on promises made.

5.2 Conclusion

It is worthy of note that many companies still rely on one or two marketing communication tools in their attempt to achieve their marketing communication objectives. This practice persists despite growing sophistication of consumers, dynamic nature of the market, growing competition in most industrial sectors and the need for efficient allocation of marketing communication budgets. Yet, the wide range of marketing communication tools, messages and audiences make it imperative for companies to move towards the marketing communication approach in an effort to ensure clarity of messages, consistency, and credible messages and above all, a competitive message across to target audience. Based on the findings reported above, the researcher concludes that marketing communication has an impact in patronage among consumers of catering services.

5.3 Recommendation

Based on the findings of this study, the following are recommended;

  1. In using marketing communication, the client should bear in mind the easiest way to build a brand and to satisfy the customers especially on promises made.
  2. Good marketing communication cannot sell bad product, it can only try, and it is left to the product to “sell itself”.
  3. Although this research shows that a lot of respondents consider direct marketing as ineffective in brand building, but the researcher found that it was due to ignorance from the respondents as they did not understand that tools like e-mail, text messages, post mail etc. are termed as direct marketing when sent as a mass with commercial content.
  4. It is advisable that advertisers in client should roll out an awareness campaign to enlighten their audience about direct marketing.
  5. For marketing communication to be effective, the client should send a strong, viable and consistent message. Most of all, it should be one central idea.
  6. Marketing communication messages should be carefully put together, in terms of central theme, media planning and usage.
  7. A good marketing communication message through the right medium is probably the first step in brand building.
  8. Media selection is very important because IMC in the wrong medium or to the wrong audience could be disastrous; amounting to waste in resources or even profit, decline.
  9. A consistent and planned budget for spending on marketing communication is also required to build brands. Spending erratically or unpredictably may actually destroy the brand.
  10. Finally, it is recommended that an integrated marketing communications should be applied in brand building. In other words, a combination of advertising, public relation, direct marketing, event sponsorship, sales promotion and personal selling is required in brand building.

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