The Problems And Prospects Of Social Marketing In Nigeria Manufacturing Organisation
The aim of this research work is to appraise “problems and prospects of social marketing in Nigeria manufacturing organization. The objectives of this research work include the following; to investigate whether the Nigerian manufacturing sectors have an in-depth knowledge of social marketing practice. To investigate the problems encountered by Nigerian manufacturing sector in their social marketing sector.
For a successful completion of this researcher made use of both primary and secondary methods of data collection for information gathering. Primary data were collected through questionnaire administration, oral interview, and personal observation.
Secondary data were collected through periodicals and journals, textbooks and lecture note, books and internet. The data collected were presented in table and analyzed with simple percentages while the hypotheses stated were tested with chi square. The summary of findings made by the researcher includes the following:- the Nigerian manufacturing sector has an in-depth knowledge of social marketing practice. The marketing programs adopted by Nigerian manufacturing sector in their social marketing practice are effective. The researcher recommends that the Nigerian manufacturing sector should critically study the diverse strategies of social marketing to increase knowledge on the concept. Based on the research work and the findings above, the researcher therefore, concludes that social marketing draws a highly targeted segment of internet users to visit a business or website.
This can be done by using the various parameters elements and tools on social media websites, enabling one to increase visibility of the content on both a local and global level.
1.1 Background of the Study
Social marketing according to Onyeke and Nebo (2003) is the systematic application of marketing, along with other concepts and techniques, to achieve specific behavioural goals. Social marketing can be applied to promote merit goods, or to make a society avoid demerit goods and thus promote society well being as a whole. Examples of social marketing include the use of campaigns to encourage people to use seat belts, follow speed limits, or not to smoke in public.
The primary aim of social marketing is “social good” while in “commercial marketing” the aim is primarily “financial”. This does not mean that commercial marketers cannot contribute to achievement of social good.
Increasingly, social marketing is being described as having two parents- social parent; including social science and social policy approaches, and marketing parent; including commercial and public sector marketing approaches (Kotler and Armstrong, 2003)
Ifezue (2009) noted that social marketing has two defining features.
A drawing concerned with developing robust understanding and insight into the customer and a clear focus on achieving and sustaining specific measurable behaviours associated with promoting a social good.
However, it is increasingly recognized by Onyeke (2008) that social marketing can and should be applied at the policy level for example rather than assuring a mass media campaign required, it is helpful to use marketing which seeks to inform policy formulation and strategy development.
Strategic social marketing seeks to examine all of the potential interventional options and assess them based on what customer insight indicates which would be most beneficial and effective in terms of a programme of action.
Social marketers find that they have somewhat inadequate good secondary data about their consumers, more problems obtaining valid and reliable measures of relevant variables, more difficulty sorting out the relative influence of determinants of consumer behaviour, and more problems getting consumer research funded than marketer in the commercial sector. They tend to have less flexibility in shaping their products and in formulating product concepts. Problems associated with establishing, utilizing and controlling distribution channels comprises another major difference between social and more conventional forms of marketing. Berkowitz, Roger and William (2007) also noted that social marketers also find out that their communication options are somewhat limited as a result of problems associated with the use of paid advertisements. Also, pressures are on them not to use certain types of appeals in their messages, and the need to communicate large amounts of information in their messages. More so, social marketing must function as organizations where marketing activities are poorly understood, underappreciated and inappropriately located. Finally, they face problems trying to define effective measures or estimating the contribution their program has made towards the achievement of certain objectives. These enumerated problems affect the ability of a marketing organization to adequately satisfy its customers which invariably impact on their patronage. It is in view of this that the study is focus on the problems and prospects of social marketing in Nigeria manufacturing organizations.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Ineffective design and implementation of marketing programs aimed at increasing or enhancing the acceptability of a social idea or practice in a target group is a major problem associated with social marketing concept in Nigerian manufacturing sector.
This makes it difficult for them to increase individual and societal well-being. Lack of in-depth understanding of social marketing by its practitioners in the manufacturing sector makes its adoption difficult and it also ends up not achieving its aims in aiding in the marketing of diverse goods and services.
Also the adoption of ineffective tools in the social marketing practice affects its practice by Nigerian manufacturing sector.
- To investigate whether the Nigerian manufacturing sector has an in-depth knowledge of social marketing practice.
- To investigate the problems encountered by Nigerian manufacturing sector in their social marketing practice.
- To examine whether the Nigerian manufacturing sector has effective secondary data on its target market for efficient social marketing practice.
- To investigate the effect of social marketing as practiced by Nigerian manufacturing sector on its patronage.
- To examine the effect of marketing research on the social marketing practice of Nigerian manufacturing sector.
1.3 Research Questions
This study was undertaken to assess the Social marketing Practices of Nigerian manufacturing sector
More specifically, possible solutions are provided to the following basic research questions.
- What is the Nigerian manufacturing sector’s contribution to society’s health and Safety development?
- How does the manufacturing companies’ marketing practice take into consideration societal expectation?
- How manufacturing companies’ marketing practice complies with applicable code of conduct and is coherent with standards of behaviour?
- Whether manufacturing companies in Nigeria have any further future plans to take better role in Social Marketing Practice?
1.4 Objective of the Study
1.4.1 General Objective
Assessment of the Social marketing Practices of Nigerian manufacturing companies; challenges and prospects.
1.4.2 Specific Objectives
Identify Nigerian manufacturing companies’ Social marketing practices in relation:
- To investigate marketing practice’s contribution to Health & Safety Program
- To examine whether Nigerian manufacturing companies’ marketing practice consider Societal Goals
- To investigate whether Nigerian manufacturing companies’ marketing practice complies with applicable code of conduct and standards of behaviour
- To Investigate any future plan to better Social marketing Practice
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research study will be of immense significance to the following groups of people. The management and staff of diverse firms in the Nigerian manufacturing industry. It will go to a great extent in enlightening them on the concepts of social marketing as well as the diverse problems encountered in the practice or use of social marketing. It will also broaden their view on the prospects of this marketing concept. The general populace will as well benefit from this research study in that they will not just be enlightened on the concepts of social marketing but will also be enlightened on the roles it play in the marketing of diverse goods and services. Finally, students and researchers will as well benefit from this study. They will widen their scope from the information contained in this research study.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study on the problems and prospects of social marketing in Nigerian manufacturing organization is focused on Innoson Technical Company, Enugu and Emenite PLC, Enugu which are manufacturing firms in Enugu state.
1.7 Definition of Terms
This is a total system of business activities designed to plan, promote and distribute want satisfying
products to target market to achieve organizational objectives.
This is the systematic application of marketing, along with other concepts and techniques, to achieve specific behavioural goals for a social good.
1.8 Organization of the Study
The research work is divided into five (5) chapters.
- Chapter one concerns itself with the general introduction grouped under the following headings; Background of the study, Statement of the problem, Objectives of the study, Significance of the study, Research questions, Scope and limitation of the study and Organization of the study.
- Chapter two involves the review of various related literatures on the relevant subject under the study.
- Chapter three includes the various methods used for collecting the data for the research work. These methods include administration of questionnaires, interviews and review of documents.
- Chapter four presents discussions and representation of results and provides analysis of the data gathered for the study.
- Finally, the fifth chapter provides summary, conclusions and recommendations.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
This study was conducted Enugu state, with the general objective of Assessing the Social marketing Practice of the company. Questionnaire and interview were the main source of data for this study followed by company newsletter, web site and Journals. The questionnaires were distributed to the front-line staff of the company while the interview was conducted with the sales and marketing managers of manufacturing companies.
Through the methodology and analysis the objectives of the study were addressed briefly. The major results of this study are discussed as follows.
5.1. Summary of Findings
As per the finding from questionnaire responses, all of the front-line staff of the company are aware of the social marketing concept with a 56.4% of the response claiming they actively participate in the company’s strategy. Findings from interview with the Management also indicates the company conducts training called Ambassadorship Program to equip its staff with the concept.
Findings from the questionnaire responses show that of the major Social marketing the company undertakes, the front-line staff are more aware of Health and Safety initiations (51.1%) followed by Community and Charity Works (35.1%).
Findings from the questionnaire responses indicated that it is believed by the employeesthat the main reason for the company’s involvement on SM activities is due to International standards set by International (31.3%). There was an aggregated 52.6% response from the staff that another reason for the activity is because of the company’s pursue to serve the community, gain their support and enhance good public image.
As per the findings from the questionnaire responses, there is an 85.5% response from employees that Innoson Technical Company, Enugu and Emenite PLC, Enugu Social Marketing Practice/ Policy bases on International Standards.
As per the findings from the questionnaire responses, regarding the company’s Social marketing Practice Implementation, there is a positive feedback from the front-line staff with a 65.0% agreement to effective social marketing strategies to 62.0% response of proper execution of the practice. Even though the company hires capable staff for SM execution with an 85.0% positive response from employees, there is a gap in reinforcement of the practice in their daily routine (only 40.0% positive response) and putting in place a proper follow-up/ monitoring strategy to align with set standards (only 25.0% positive response).
According to findings from the questionnaire responses, majority if the front-line staff believe that the current Social Marketing Practice objective of the company is compatible with the existing social environment (80.0%) while most of the staff didn’t voice their opinion if the company can do more considering its size as well as capacity (49.0%).
Findings from the questionnaire responses show that 100.0% of the staff know at least on some level about upcoming SM innovations. From findings of the interview responses, the management of the company conducts formal trainings as well as refreshment trainings on this area.
All the questionnaire respondents pointed that they at least rarely receive complaints on Manufacturing companies’ SM activities with the majority 51.0% claiming they receive complaints often. Most of the complaints according to the team comes from concern about health and safety of consuming the company’s product. However there is lack of motivation from the team as in most cases these employees don’t report the complaints with a 47.3% response of never reporting complaints to management. Of these staff 87.3% agreed that if forwarded the company is open to receiving feedback and taking action to solve the issues.
Findings from the questionnaires shows that most of the employees 70.9% are confident that manufacturing companies’ Social marketing is strong enough to not be influenced by other business factors such as sales or profitability.
According to the questionnaire responses it can be understood that there is low level of awareness about the code of conduct concept among the frontline staff (76.0% of the responses were negative), there is also low level of information on whether the company has initiation on Code of conduct implementation (69.0%) responses don’t know of any initiation).
Findings from the interview indicate that the Company undertakes numerous charity work in sense of giving back to the community. It also does a remarkable job in following through projects and committing to them.
All of the frontline staff of the company are aware of the social marketing concept. This is supported by the Management through a training called Ambassadorship Program to equip its staff with the concept. However there is no solid marketing program that the company uses to communicate external stakeholders about its Social Marketing Programs and currently only relies on its frontline staff to cascade the information down to these stakeholders until the launch of its way forwards marketing strategy which is planned on September 2019.
Of the major Social marketing the company undertakes, the frontline staff are more aware of Health and Safety initiations followed by Community and Charity Works. But the company (as per the comment of the management) also gives great emphasis to social marketing responsibility practices of environmental protection and unethical marketing practices.
Frontline employees believe that the main reason for the company’s involvement on SM activities is due to International standards set by The International and the company’s pursue to serve the community, gain their support and enhance good public image. This is in line with the feedback received from management as for the manufacturer to continue operation the major requirement is to operate under the standards set by The International and operations are audited twice in a yearly basis to confirm compliance. From an internal perspective Innoson Technical Company, Enugu and Emenite PLC, Enugu is committed to serving the public by performing giving back initiations from PET recycling training for women (in aims of supporting independency) to relief programs, donations and supporting the education sector through construction of school.
Frontline employees of Innoson Technical Company, Enugu and Emenite PLC, Enugu agree that Social Marketing Practice/Policy bases on International Standards. This is correct as there is a responsible marketing guideline that multinational companies are expected to comply with. However there are also local/ national initiations mainly in the area of community works and giving back initiations.
Regarding the company’s Social marketing Practice Implementation, there is a positive feedback from the frontline staff to effective social marketing strategies and proper execution of the practice. Even though the company hires capable staff for SM execution, there is a gap in reinforcement of the practice in their daily and putting in place a proper followup/ monitoring strategy to align with set standards. The feedback from employees also indicates there are scenarios the company’s distributors market products to primary schools but because the company doesn’t have a monitoring strategy it has been difficult to tackle the issue.
There is a great innovation communication between employees and the management team in the creation of awareness as all of the staff know at least on some level about upcoming SM innovations and the company conducts formal trainings as well as refreshment trainings.
All the questionnaire respondents pointed that they at least rarely receive complaints on EABSC’s SM activities. Most of the complaints according to the frontline staff comes from concern about health and safety of consuming the company’s product. However there is lack of motivation from the team as in most cases these employees don’t report the complaints to management. These staff agreed that if forwarded, the company is open to receiving feedback and taking action to solve the issues. Even though the company proclaims that it is open for any sort of feedback there seems to be lack of motivation from the frontline staff to come forward with feedbacks from the market.
Most of the employees are confident that companies’ Social marketing is strong enough to not be influenced by other business factors such as sales or profitability. Accordingly, the company shows concern and developed a way forward which is a comprehensive business strategy dealing with issues of health (obesity) and ensuring that the perception of its products and ingredients remains positive amongst consumers and stakeholders. The company has come up with this strategy even though these concerns from the public didn’t directly affect its sales or profitability currently.
There is low level of awareness about the code of conduct concept among the frontline staff, there is also low level of information on whether the company has initiation on Code of conduct implementation. There is a misalignment between the company and its staff because the company suggests it is guided by established standards of corporate governance and ethics. It also claims that there is review of systems (last update was on February 2019) to ensure the company achieves international best practices in terms of transparency and accountability. There is also a page where the staff could report compliance issues or violation which is toll free. But the employees do not seem to be aware of the practices.
The Company does a great job in terms of undertaking numerous charity work in sense of giving back to the community. It also does the same in following through projects and committing to them.
It can be argued from the findings of this study that the company has set a considerable energy in involving in the social marketing practice and engaging in projects and initiations that support the concept (Health & Safety, Ethical Marketing, Environmental Protection and Charity Works). Some gaps however have been noticed by the researcher that could benefit this great initiation of the company go to the next level of sophistication. The researcher after analysing these practices has provided the following recommendations to address the gaps.
The alignment and understanding between the staff and management in areas health & safety and community works related SM activities. But there is an opportunity for the company to widen the already applied ambassadorship training for staffs by incorporating the lesser credited environmental protection as well as unethical marketing practices. This will give frontline staff 360 degree knowhow of the overall picture of the company’s Social marketing practice and help them in executing their tasks according to the company’s expectation.
Develop a solid marketing strategy to notify customers and stakeholders as a whole of the company’s SM initiative. Involve stakeholders in a two‐way communication process, which could be an ongoing iterative sense‐giving and sense‐making process. The company could also craft refined processes that enable it to ground a communication way that involves processes from ‘informing’ and ‘responding’ to ‘involving’ stakeholders in the initiations themselves. The company should also expand the role of stakeholders in SM communication processes to improve its efforts in building legitimacy, a positive reputation and lasting stakeholder relationships.
There is good understanding between the staff and management of what marketing practices they should follow and from the responses it can be drawn that the staff is well aware of application and compliance to these strategies on a daily basis (excluding code of conduct discussion). But, the company despite informing its team on what to implement in the market; should develop a mechanism by which the operations by these staff are evaluated against the set standards. Not only the staff but the company should also monitor the marketing activities of its distribution partners and take proper measure for any discrepancy as there are allegations from the frontline staff that these distributors do not always comply with the SM policy in order to push sales.
There should be a mechanism to motivate employees to come forward with complaints or feedback from the market. Despite the staff believing the company is open to receive comments about its SM operation they lack the motivation of providing this information to the company.
A major area to work on for the company is building awareness of code of conduct as well as ethical standards of behaviour. The employees seem to be lost on the concept as well as application even though the company has a great platform for its employees to exercise on.
This can be done as part of ambassadorship training or as a separate training.
The Company does a great job in terms of controlling its processes waste to avoid environmental impact. It controls water and noise pollution but in terms of air wastage/pollution and proper PET recycling there is only a plan of developing a mechanism. This is a serious issue and the company should make sure there is a fast response in mitigating air pollution and implementation of PET recycling programs.
Lastly the company should strive to implement the way forward business strategy. The researcher believes this will be a game changer for the company. Industrial companies has been a very famous and loved brand but the issue of consuming soda and the preceding effects on diabetes as well as obesity has been a serious issue for the society and it has been that one major issue with the changing times that the company still runs the same product despite the concern of health issues. The new way forward must help the company maintain its good reputation by accommodating to the expectation as well as need of the society.
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