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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Ensuring long term organizational performance is a challenge in our present technology driven and competitive business world. For Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the capability to put in place appropriate marketing practices has long been deemed a key strategic differentiator and means of achieving high and sustained performance and leverage over competitors.
Marketing, a matrix of business activities organized to plan, produce, price, promote, distribute goods, services and ideas for the satisfaction of relevant need is important for the success of any organization whether service or product oriented. It is the pivotal part of any business that provides essential inputs to the firm‘s overall strategies and is central to success in today‘s fast moving competitive markets just as measuring marketing‘s performance is critical to managing it effectively.
It can also be seen as a bridge that all businesses need cross by practicing it appropriately if they must improve their performance, remain relevant and effectively take care of competitions (Masato & Troilo, 2015, Zaefarian, 2014). When the principles of Marketing are consistent, appropriate and feasibly carried out in a sustained period of time, they are referred to as marketing practices.
For Such practices to be effective, they must adopt and utilize philosophies, strategies and activities associated with the marketing concept capable of winning competition and enhancing high performance. They must also represent a broad range of practices based on marketing principles. Ghouri, Khan, Malik and Razzaq, (2011), and Zaefarian, (2014) have suggested that sound and appropriate marketing practices are an important contributor to business performance.
Achieving long term survival and performance in SMEs, however transcend beyond putting in place general marketing practices (Dmitriy & Snyder, 2015). Though the basic principles of marketing are relevant to all kinds of enterprises, SMEs have specific features (including lack of knowledge and skills of basic marketing ingredients – marketing research, market segmentation and marketing planning and control) that differentiate them from large enterprises which also subject their marketing practices to opposing forces since they are not marketing oriented and market-focused.
Nigussie, (2014) confirm that SMEs face several specific marketing challenges that cannot be dealt with by looking at findings from the general marketing field. It is therefore very clear that appropriate marketing practices for SMEs must in addition to the general marketing principles, have the right mix of entrepreneurial mindset, innovation, characteristics and approaches which are attributes of Entrepreneurial Marketing (here after refers to as EM) since the kind of marketing behavior observed on SMEs deviates from what is stereotyped in mainstream marketing (Nabamita & Deepraj, 2015).
EM practices are associated with marketing activities of firms like SMEs which are small and resource constrained, making such firms to rely on creative and often unsophisticated marketing tactics that make heavy use of personal networks (Naelati, & SobrotulImti, 2014). This implies that EM practices are an integrative process designed to innovatively apply the collective knowledge, skills, and resources of the firm to market related needs of the business to enable the business add value to its goods and services and meet competitive demands.
As opined by Itodo, (2015) EM practices must in addition involve a process by which firms derive strategies to enable them anticipate and respond innovatively to the dynamic business environment, adding that such efforts inevitably improve the competitiveness of business firms and eventually their performances. EM practices have been identified as one of the most important key ingredients for superior performance and global competitiveness in SMEs (Junde, 2014).
Firm performance (the strategic outcomes that organizations use to realize its goals) has therefore been established as a focal phenomenon in business studies. SMEs performance is therefore a complex and multidimensional phenomenon that has been established to directly depend on efficient marketing practices. Enhancing business performance through appropriate marketing practices is of increasing interest to all businesses (Kelson, 2014). The success or non performance of SMEs rests in part on the nature and types of marketing practices they put in place for their businesses (Ediri, 2014).
Performance, considered to be a subset of the broader concept of organizational success is a fundamental feature for survival and sustainability as performance factors like appropriate entrepreneurial marketing practices have been found to spur business expansion, sales growth, customer satisfaction and return on investment in all classes of SMEs (Itodo, 2015).
Prior research efforts (Eniola & Entebang, 2015) suggest that sound marketing practices are an important contributor to performance in business. To this end, Taiwo (2010) conclude that marketing practices have a significant impact on performance variables as they interact with different components to facilitate performance. It is therefore clear that there is a strong correlation between marketing practices and SMEs performance.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
SMEs are considered as one of the major contributor to the economy of Nigeria; ranging from manufacturing to employment. However most of the business owners in Nigeria do not know the type of entrepreneurial marketing practices to use and how to apply it to their businesses. Secondly the fear of how the entrepreneurial marketing practices will relate or affect their business. Finally there have been series of studies on entrepreneurial marketing practices but not even a single study has been carried out on the effect of entrepreneurial marketing practices on the performance of small and medium scale enterprises in Asaba as the case study; hence a need for the research.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the study is to determine the effect of entrepreneurial marketing practices on the performance of small and medium scale enterprises. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1. to determine the extent to which entrepreneurial marketing practices affects the performance of small and medium scale enterprises in Asaba, Delta state, Nigeria.
2. to determine the factors affecting entrepreneurial marketing practices and its effect on the performance of small and medium scale enterprises in Asaba, Delta state, Nigeria.
3. to determine the influence of entrepreneurial marketing practices on the performance of small scale enterprises in Asaba, Delta state, Nigeria
4. to proffer possible solutions to the problems.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the extent to which entrepreneurial marketing practices affects the performance of small and medium scale enterprises in Asaba, Delta state, Nigeria?
2. What are the factors affecting entrepreneurial marketing practices and its effect on the performance of small and medium scale enterprises in Asaba, Delta state, Nigeria?
3. What is the influence of entrepreneurial marketing practices on the performance of small scale enterprises in Asaba, Delta state, Nigeria?
4. What are the possible solutions to the problems?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: Entrepreneurial marketing practices has no significant effect on the performance of small and medium scale enterprises
H1: Entrepreneurial marketing practices has a significant effect on the performance of small and medium scale enterprises
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on the effect of entrepreneurial marketing practices on the performance of small and medium scale enterprises will be of immense benefit to the entire small and medium enterprises in the sense that it will expose them knowledge to be gained from the study which will enable SMEs to understand and focus on implementing marketing practices that can lead their businesses to improved performance. Achieving this will contribute to the reduction of the high SME failure rates and increase SMEs long-term performance and survival. The study is also very significant as its outcome will spell out the relevance of marketing and the correct marketing practices on the performance of small and medium enterprises. Finally, the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge and knowledge to this field of study and basis for further research.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on the effect of entrepreneurial marketing practices on the performance of small and medium scale enterprises is limited to Asaba, Delta state, Nigeria.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
EffectA change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.
Entrepreneurial A person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk
MarketingRefers to the activities of a company associated with buying and selling a product or service. It includes advertising, selling and delivering products to people.
PracticeRefers to the activities of a company associated with buying and selling a product or service. It includes advertising, selling and delivering products to people.
Performance The accomplishment of a given task measured against preset known standards of accuracy, completeness, cost, and speed.
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