The Effective Management Of Marketing Mix Variables As A Means Of Achieving Increase Sales Volume In A Competitive Industry (A Study Of Pz Cussons Nig. Plc Lagos)
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I dedicate this project to the almighty God who gives me strength and courage, the author of wisdom, knowledge and skill. Also to my beloved parents Mr. & Mrs. Egwuom Okehie.
The accomplishment of this project would have not been possible without the help of the almighty God. I wish to express my profound gratitude to him for the wisdom and knowledge he gave to me which prompted this organized project.
I express my gratitude to my project supervisor, Mr. Onyike I.S for being meticulous and careful in correcting and editing this work.
I appreciate my HOD Mr. E.U. Njemanze for his fatherly care and encouragement; I will not forget my beloved parents for their prayers and advice. Also to my beloved and cherished brother and sisters, my sincere thanks goes to my friends for their moral support and encouragement.
My final greeting goes to all occupants of Saniss logde, Ihiagwa road, Nekede (2014/2015) set, may God bless you all.
This study sought to appraise how effective management of marketing mix variables can serve as means of increasing sales volume with special reference to PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC, Lagos. A sample size of 20 top management staff and 333 customers were selected for the findings.
Questionnaires were distributed to both customers and management. The research used both descriptive and inferential statistics to analyze the data. The finding showed positive relationship between the marketing mix variables of product, place, price and promotion on increasing sales volume of PZ Cussons Nig. Plc.
Recommendation were also made on how the firm can sustain it competitive advantage using the marketing mix variables.
Table Of Contents
- Title page i
- Approval page ii
- Dedication iii
- Acknowledgement iv
- Abstract v
- Table of contents vi
- 1.0 Introduction 1
- 1.1 Background of the study 1
- 1.2 Statement of the problem 7
- 1.3 Purpose of the study 7
- 1.4 Research questions 8
- 1.5 Research hypothesis 9
- 1.6 Significance of the study 9
- 1.7 Scope of the study 10
- 1.8 Limitation of the study 11
- 1.9 Definition of terms 11
- 2.0 Review of related literature 15
- 2.1 Introduction 15
- 2.2 Marketing mix variables 16
- 2.3 Product 19
- 2.4 Price 20
- 2.5 Place 22
- 2.6 Promotion 24
- References 39
- 3.0 Research methodology 40
- 3.1 Introduction 40
- 3.2 Research design 40
- 3.3 Sources of data 41
- 3.4 Population of the study 42
- 3.5 Sampling techniques 43
- 3.7 Method of questionnaire distribution 47
- 3.8 Validity and reliability of measuring instrument validity 48
- 3.9 Method of data analysis 48
- 4.0 Presentation and interpretation of data 50
- 4.2 Data presentation 50
- 5.1 Summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations 76
- 5.1 Summary of findings 76
- 5.2 Conclusion 77
- 5.3 Recommendations 78
- References 81
- Appendix 82
- Questionnaires 83
1.1 Background Of The Study
Marketing variables/mix is defined as the right or appropriate combination of the 4P’s of marketing. It can also be seen as a mixture of the basic elements of marketing in any given marketing plan, and they are:(Product, Place, Price and Promotion). The essence of this mixture is to blend the elements in such a way as to attain the greatest effect at the minimum cost in order to satisfy consumer’s needs and firm’s objectives.
Okafor (2002) is of the view that marketing variables is the use of right combinations of 4p’s of marketing at any point in time (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) in order to accomplish the firm’s objective and also to achieve the satisfaction of customers.
Kotler (2000), defined it as the set of controllable variables that the firm can use to influence the buyers responses. It has to exist in a balanced equilibrium. The wrong mix or failure to time the variables in relation to the environment will lead to low sales volume.
For the purpose of this work, PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC with its head office on town planning way, llueju, Lagos is serving as a study. It is imperative to know whether PZ is integrating marketing variables into her business operation, is to say, whether she is producing products that would meet/satisfy the needs of customers at affordable price, informing them of the existence of those products as well as making them available at the right place and time.
Admittedly, it is vital to know how PZ manages these entire variable most effectively and efficiently in order to increase their sales volume, and it is often said that most profitable business only come when the consumers have been satisfied. The marketing mix elements or an ingredient includes.
This involves decisions about product features, quality, packaging, branding, design, colour, size, service, guarantees, assortments and also when to modify the product.
This entails the determination of the appropriate exchange value for product, least price, credit term, discount allowance, flexibility, how high, moderate price for different location and market.
This deal with persuasively communication to the target market about the availability of the firm’s product it also involves the decision of the market to consider which of the marketing promotional avenue to utilize either by advertising media, copy, timing, personal selling, selection and trailing in order to covey the massage to the target market.
Place (Physical Distribution):
This is concerned with marking the product available to the target market, decision on type of channel to use, middle men, whole sales, retailers or direct method of distribution, location, storage, transportation and logistics, services levels.
The environment of marketing continually affects customers taste and the way in which customers needs and wants can be met. Marketing companies like PZ Cussons as a result of effective management of marketing variables operates not only in Nigeria but also in African countries, Asia and Europe with its strategy built on four core principles and this was as a result of good board of directors among which are, Anthony green, Davis Chris, graham Calder, Alex Kanellis, Brandon high and John Panteliers. All these directors work hand in hand for the betterment of their organization.
Apart from that in (1879) George Paterson and George Zochonis set up a trading post in sierra Leone. After which, Paterson Zochonis (PZ) in(1879) manufacturing base is established in Ghana, a part from that in 1973 PZ entered the detergent and refrigerator market simultaneously in Nigeria, then in 1975 PZ acquired Cussons Group, in 1976 soap manufacturing started up in Melbourne, Australia. in 1988, PZ Cussons Indonesia is established, in 1993 PZ by the state owned pollen Wroclaw in Poland followed by 1995 Pollena Uroda. In 2002, Paterson Zochonis plc is renamed PZ Cussons PLC enters into a joint venture (Natricima) with Glanbia PLC to supply evaporated milk and milk powder in Nigeria between 2004-2008, they acquire Charle Worthing to hair care business and the sanctuary spa and sanctuary product business both in mature and emerging market.
PZ Cussons strives to appeal to its customers with a better packaging that is better than its competitors. Since product is the life wire of an organization and as well maintains longer profit and growth objectives, PZ has a lot of product with high standard quality among which are Venus relaxer, premiere soap, elephant detergent, breeze soap and imperial leather etc. so based on their high standard product quality and reduction in price, it is increasing its distribution channels which extend to wider coverage. Although none of these variables can work in isolation of the others, that is why they embark on marketing research to know the pressing need also where adjustment is needed for it work towards it as well as maintain its position in the market.
Because of the dynamic nature of the environment, it has been encountering mange problems with regards to meeting its customers’ needs both hesitant, timid, skeptical and reticent customers which is not always easy. But blending all these variables with help it to cope.
It is imperative to know also that the current issue of PZ is their financial performance which has a positive impact in all territories in which it operates, particularly in the developing world. During 2009 revenue publishment, operation profit before exceptional items adjusted basic earnings per share for PZ Cussons rose by 27%, 19% and 15% respectively generating benefits for their shareholders, employees and wider stakeholders.
Marketing variables is the bedrock of any organization that wants to meet the test of time PZ Cussons should put more effort in the way they sell their services in order to increase their sales volumes. Their product should be in high quality and at a reduce price, at the right channel and right place.
1.2 Statement Of Problem
Nigerian economy is becoming increasingly sophisticated. The activities of marketing mix variables are not been performed as it is supposed, due to the stage of the economy.
Constant regulation of these variables in the area of distribution, pricing, promotion, packaging, marketing research is also a problem.
Furthermore, in most situations, the marketing jobs are performed by people that are not specially trained for it, and as a result these people will not be able to coordinate the marketing variable. The question is how far Nigerian entrepreneurs have been performing these functions in running their firms.
To this end, it is vital to establish the impact of marketing variables on patronage of consumer goods.
1.3 Objective Of The Study
The major objective of the study is to appraise the impact of effective management of the marketing mix variables on achieving increased sales volume in a competitive industry with particular reference to PZ Cussons Nig. Plc, Lagos.
Specifically the objectives of the study are:
- To determine the effect of product strategies on achieving increased sales volume by the firm in the industry.
- To assess the effect of pricing strategies on achieving increased sales volume by the firm in the industry.
- To evaluate the effect of promotional strategies on achieving increased sales volume by firm in the industry.
- To determine the impact of distribution strategies on achieving increased sales volume by the firm in the industry.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions guided the study:
- What is the effect of product strategies on achieving increased sales volume by the firm in the industry?
- What is the effect of pricing strategies on achieving increased sales volume by firm in the industry?
- What is the effect of promotional strategies on achieving increased sales volume by the firm in the industry?
- What is the impact of distribution strategies on achieving increased sales volume by the firm in the industry?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The following research hypothesis guided this study:
- Ho1: There is no relationship between product strategies and increased sales volume.
- Ho2: There is no relationship between pricing strategies and increased sales volume.
1.6 Significance Of The Study
This study will be useful to the research, business organization, the management, the society, the government that interacts with one another in an attempt to satisfy their individual and consumer needs.
The study is aimed at studying the general cause of non application of marketing variables, as many previous researchers have contributed in their personal capacities.
It also explains the in depth analysis of the benefit that would occur to firms, if the firm apply their marketing mix properly and adjust it in order to suit the environment they operate.
This study been marketing oriented, will serve as an addition to the series which other researchers can emulate in the future.
1.7 Scope Of The Study
The study was restricted to finding out the extent at which marketing mix elements (variables) affect consumer patronage.
The study was restricted to those areas alone, because of some barriers, other patronizers of PZ’s products like the government are not reached, as a result no attempt was made progress beyond consumers.
1.8 Limitations Of The Study
The researcher encountered problems like reluctance of some respondents in releasing information because they did not believe that the information collected were purely for academic purpose.
Apart from that, there is another constraint because the researcher had other class work like assignments and attending of lectures, so utilization of this to meet with the adequate information vital to this is a barrier.
The study was originally meant to cover patronizers of PZ Cussons products, but as a result of insufficient funds, most of these prospects are not reached.
1.9 Definition Of Terms
Some of the terminologies used in this chapter is been defined below:
A brand is a name, term, design or other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product from those of others. It can also be referred to as a set of physical attributes of a product or services together with the beliefs and expectations surrounding it, a unique combination which the name or logo of the product or services should invoke in the mind of the prospects.
This refers to the path through which goods and services travel from the vendor to the consumer or payments for those products travel from the consumer to the vendor. A distribution channel can be as short as a direct transaction from the vendor to the consumer, or may include several interconnected intermediaries along the way such as wholesalers, distributors, agents and retailers. It can also be referred to as the sequence of organization through which product or services move from the point of production to the point of consumption.
This can be seen as a planned mix of the controllable elements of a product’s marketing plan commonly termed as 4P’s; Product, price, Pace and Promotion. These four elements are adjusted until the right combination is found that serves the needs of the product’s customers, while generating optimum income.
In a simple term, target market refers to a particular group of consumers at which a product or service is aimed. It is a group of customers a business has decided to aim its marketing efforts and ultimately its merchandise towards. It can also be seen as group of individuals who collectively are intended recipients of an advertiser’s message.
This is a method or plan chosen to bring about a desired feature, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem. It is the key decision or plan of actions required to reach an objective or set of objectives.
This is the element of the marketing mix that represents the basic offering being made to consumers; it is the everything – the life wire of every organization. It is the item offered for sale. It can be service or an item. It can be physical or virtual or in cyber form.
These are products that are purchased for consumption by the average consumer. Alternatively called final goods, consumer goods are the end result of production and manufacturing and are what a consumer will see on the store shelf. Clothing, foods, automobiles and jewelry are all examples of consumer goods. Basic materials such as copper are not considered consumer goods because they must be transformed into usage products.
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How to nail it on the head during your project / seminar defence
You are through with writing that project / seminar. Now what?
You have found yourself at that point where you have to defend what you have written. Of course you have to stand in front of your supervisor and other literary personalities to prove that you know what you wrote in your project paper. Unfortunately, the more you think about it, the more it looks like you are about to face a legion. It is not a war. But the emotion of dread welling up inside of you makes it look like one. So now you are asking yourself questions.
- How am I going to start?
- I hope I will do well enough to get an A.
You really want to nail it, but you need to come to terms with exactly how to get everything in perfect control. Especially your emotions of fear that seem to make a wreck of you every time you think about public speaking.
So here is the deal. I want to help you avoid that feeling that would ruin your precious moment if you dare to let it. And we are going to do it together.
I am going to highlight some very important tips to help you get in control for you to be comfortable enough to move from that feeling of DREAD to CONFIDENT; and making an awesome Impression for that great rating your supervisors should be giving to you so freely.
Consider these tips as you prepare for your defence. We will be taking them one after the other so here we go.
Watch Your Body Language And Keep It Confident:
Can you tell that a person is falling apart if they look confident? … If I can second guess you rightly, am sure you answered no to that question. Remind yourself that you need to come out that way. Now this might seem like a huge big deal when you are dealing with the foreboding. Maintaining a poise of confidence is very important. So find your most comfortable position, sitting or standing and draw up your body. You must exude confidence. It is something you need to do for yourself. People can only see what you allow your body language to show. So you must endeavour to put that out. Remember the story of David and Goliath? … At the end of your defence day, you want to be David.
Dress In Your Most Comfortable And Impressive:
Am sure this one is a no brainer. However I must highlight that you choose comfortable pieces. You don’t want to look so good and yet look like you were forced to wear something that does not belong to you. It’s great to ensure that as impressive as your clothes are on you, that they are also very comfortable.
Speak With Authority:
Going hand to hand with that aura of confidence is your most powerful asset:your words. If you look that confident, your words must not come out like whimpers. To be able to pull this off, you definitely need to speak as deliberately as possible in expressing yourself. Let them also hear what they see.
Use, Your Gestures:
I have often found this to come to my rescue in dealing with shyness and conveying my confidence. Usually it gives you an edge to also drive home your point. You must, however, ensure that you do not over use it. It doesn’t mean that your hands should be flying all over the place. That would be absolutely unnecessary. If you do this well, after a while you will realize that you are not as self-conscious as you used to be at the very start. For most situations, it would have completely disappeared altogether; leaving a really confident you talking.
Have A Good Opening And Closing Line:
Make sure you have perfected a good opening line. You should also be armed with a good closing line too. Try and rehearse it to a friend. If for the first time you presented it, your friend does not say “wow, that’s beautiful” or something like that; just know you need to keep refining it until you get the perfect line. Both opening and closing lines will go a long way in how impressed your panel gets to rate you high.
Make Sure You Know Your Work:
Certainly you should understand how important it is to know your own work from start to finish. Not having in-depth knowledge of your own work is tantamount to a suicide mission. Why should you kill yourself?
When all is said and done, this is what you came to defend in the first place. You should know your work from A to Z.
Prepare For The Questions:
Now this part is truly essential. You must be sure you do not floor all the good work you did on your presentation by not answering correctly. You must pay attention to the questions you are asked to be sure you will give the right answer. Many people get it wrong at this stage and spoil their good presentation. When you do not understand any question do endeavour to ask the person to expatiate what they mean before you answer.
These tips are by no means exhaustive, but applying these tips will give you some necessary advantage you need for a great outcome. Of course that outcome would mean that you eventually earn all your points on this project.
The structure of a good project work
Undergraduate projects in Nigeria is a prerequisite for graduation amongst Nigerian tertiary students who will which to obtain bachelors degree in their respective courses of study such as accounting, banking and finance, business administration and a host of others. Writing an undergraduate project in Nigeria for final year students entails a lot both financially and otherwise. Being able to develop any final year project depends on getting a researchable topic whether it is Accounting Undergraduate project topics, Banking and Finance research topics or banking and finance project topics and materials and it all requires diligent hard work of students who are willing to develop best undergraduate projects in Nigeria and graduate in flying colors.
A typical Undergraduate project in Nigerian tertiary institutions can be said to be divided into five or six chapters depending on the format of the school and course of study which are
The introduction of an undergraduate project states the main research problem and research argument. What precisely the study is all about and why it is important. It looks at the originality of the research work and how it will fill the gap in other studies. Justification for a research undergraduate topic should not be lengthy before it has been explicitly stated.
Below are the contents in chapter one of an undergraduate research project which includes;
- Background of the study,
- Statement of the problem,
- Objectives or aims of the study,
- The research questions,
- Research hypothesis,
- Significance of the study,
- Scope of the study,
- Limitations of the study and
- Operational definition of terms.
2. Literature review
Literature review of any undergraduate research work, be it business administration project topics or Economics project topics just to mention a few is very critical to securing a high grade in one’s project work. The literature review of a research process uncovers what other writers have written about the student’s topic. A student’s undergraduate research work should include a discussion or review of what is known about the subject and how that knowledge was acquired. The review could conclude with a brief summary of the literature and its implications. The contents of the literature review are the theoretical review, conceptual framework, empirical review and summary of literature review.
3. Research Methodology
This section includes a description of the research methods used in the undergraduate research work such as the sample size, data collection methods, measurement instruments, research data analysis procedures and the population from which the sample was selected. This section also describes the method used in selecting the sample or samples, validation and reliability of the instruments used in the research work. There are different research statistical techniques used in undergraduate research work such as SPSS, e-views etc.
4. Results & Discussion
This section presents and discusses the data analysis results used in an undergraduate research work, the results of each analysis is being summarized, tabulated, and then discussed for each research question. Then for each research hypothesis, the statistical test of significance selected and applied to the data is briefly described, followed by a statement indicating whether the hypothesis was supported or not supported. In presenting the result analyses/summary in an undergraduate project tables and figures and or graph are used to add clarity to the presentation.
5. Summary, Conclusions And Recommendations
This section summarizes the findings of the study in an easy to understand manner. It also explains the practical implications of those findings, and points to recommended directions for future research in that area.
This is where every source cited in the undergraduate research work is being included. Every undergraduate research work must be properly referenced for its authenticity.
Choosing A Good Project / Research Topic
Students in Nigerian universities these days wish to choose a very simple project topic/material. There is no issue choosing a simple project topic; the only problem is your ability to choose a good project or research topic that your supervisor will easily approve for you.
Most project supervisors really want to see how good his or her project student understands his or her surrounding through the kind of topic he or she chooses for their project work.
There are some project topic that are not reject-able; for instance in Nigeria of today; what do you think is the major issue on ground now?
If a project student can choose or craft a topic on the effect of dollar increment on the economy of Nigeria. Such project topic will be very interesting to write on.
Now what are the qualities of a good project topic?
- The materials for the project topic must be easily assessable.
- The project topic itself must be meaningful.
- The variables must be able to give a clear aim of the project topic.
What do I mean by variable?
Well I am deriving my point from the area of ; the variables here are those main words in the project topic.
Like the above project topic; the effect of dollar increment on the economy of Nigeria. You can see the main variables that really define this project topic are:dollar, increment and economy.
Before you present your topic to your project supervisor, first of all understand your project topic, and then secondly try to do some research for your topic to see if at least you can get up to 60% of what you need to write the complete project.
I said that above because you might have a very nice topic that the materials are not available online and there are no books as regard the topic; in this case the project topic becomes difficult for you even though the topic is catchy.
What do I mean by your topic being assessable?
Well what I mean is very simple and easy to understand. Simply pick your project topic, type it on google and see if you will have at least a good background for the topic you are writing on.
If you can have a good background for your project topic and you can understand the problem associated with the project topic, then I believe the aim of the project is not far-fetched.
Structure of a Seminar Paper
I feel like there is a lot of stress out there among grad students about writing seminar papers, especially when we’re told that our goal should be to make an original contribution to the field. That idea can be quite intimidating when we’re just starting out. It feels like you’ve asked us to jump off the deep end of the pool and we don’t know how to swim.
I think part of the problem is that we’re still working out how to structure seminar papers.** Each paper we write is another step closer to a successful, effective, and effective paper; however, we’re still flailing our arms (and other miscellaneous body parts) around because we’re uncertain of exactly how to go about it. I realize, of course, that there is no one right answer. However, below is my suggestion at sticking your toes in the water.
Section #1 — Introduction
Provide a little bit (or a lot) of motivation for the reader to read your entire paper. Failing that, your reader should know what the paper is going to be about by reading your introduction.
Paragraph #1 — Get some attention.
- Provide a context by citing a recent text in the field — the point that is cited may or may not be the main point of the text — it is what jumped out at you.
- Set-up broader context of what you’re going to do
Paragraph #2-?? — Define issue and the gap.
- Define issue and any key terms
- Limit scope as necessary
- Establish significance of issue
- State problem by defining the gap
- Explain how present research attempts to fill the gap
- Outline contributions (readers will see lit review for more detail.)
- End with thesis and preview organization of the rest of the paper
Section #2 — Literature Review
Give some credit where credit is due.
- Indicate the current state of the issue/problem/topic
- Define or qualify terms
- Engage sources in conversation with each other (don’t just copy in annotated bib)
Section #3 — Argument / Discussion
As stated in the Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing:wallow in those complexities!!
- Examine issue
- Argue how issue can be mitigated, mediated, or mashed
- Provide evidence and support
- Make some lively commentary along the way
Section #4 — Conclusion
We’re almost done. Don’t quit now.
- Summarize research question
- Qualify argument/discussion if you need to
- Explain where we go now
- End well
Section #5 — Works Cited
Is everything listed on the works cited?
Tips: it’s ok to use sub-headings to keep yourself organized.
Tips On How To Know What Your Supervisor Is Looking Out For In Your Project
Apparently all schools/colleges ask their undergraduates especially the final students to write their final year project before they are certified to be graduates. These projects are mostly discovery activities geared towards problems solving or basically to make new discoveries or better still have a better understanding of a problem with the aim of proffering better solutions.
With this assigned task an undergraduate will need an advisor, a counselor or a supervisor to guide and direct this activity for a desired result and a successful ending and of course, in return the supervisor have factors to look out for in a student project, so that the aim of the project writing will not be defeated.
As a final year student planning to write your final year project, there are some factors you need to consider when trying to have a good working relationship with your supervisor and you must have the below tips at your fingertips to know what your supervisor look at for in your project.
Selecting the right topic or title:
The supervisor would want to know how knowledgeable one is, in a chosen topic and how far one can go with the topic by asking one diverse questions which could be simple or a bit tough. So one thing is to choose a right topic and another thing is to be knowledgeable about the said topic.
The relevancy of the project topic to the degree course:
This is one of the important things a supervisor looks out for in a project. A final year project must have a purpose and objectives and most importantly be problem solving and must be related to the course of study. So a project topic should be relevant and interesting.
The realistic plan for the project:
A project supervisor will always look at how realistic a project topic is. Will the project aims be achieved and at the specified time. If it will outlived the specified time such topic might be dropped and a new topic adopted to run the set time and fulfill its purpose.
Quality of research materials available:
Another factor a supervisor will consider in project writing by a student is the quality of the materials available for research on the chosen project topic, can materials and information be readily available and are those materials of high standard and convincing not just bogus and fictitious analysis but materials that research has be carried out by scholars related to course of study. So a source of materials used for a project is very important and most supervisors look out for this.
The funding channels:
Almost all project writing needs a good amount of funding to achieved the desired aim, A supervisor would always want to find out how the project will be funded, so as not to have hitches when the project is on. So to have a smooth working relationship with ones project supervisor, the funding of the project must be considered and revisited from time to time. Because a supervisor will look out for this aspect too.