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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The concept of marketing orientation was developed in the 1960s and early 1970s at HavardUniversity and at a handful of forward thinking companies. It replaced the previous sales orientation that was prevalent between themid 1950s and the early 1970s, and the production orientation that predominated prior to the mid 1950 since the concept was first introduced in the late 1960s. It has been modified, repackaged and renamed as “customer focus , the marketing philosophy” “a market driven”, “customer intimacy” and “the marketing concept”.
Successful organization are those that most efficiently lies within the domain of marketing and the development of appropriate marketing strategies. The area of marketing strategy has received considerable attention in the last two decades both in the marketing literature and in the business world. The reasons of this growing interest in this area are varies, but mostly due to the drastic changes in the several business environment (Bakar, Hart, Black and AbuletMohson, 1986).
In conjunction with this phenomenon there has been a movement towards thinking marketing less as a function but more a set of values and processes that all functions within organization participate in implementing it. In such a condition marketing becomes everyone’s responsibility (GREYSER 1997). This is reflected in the strategic orientation of the organization which becomes more market orientated.
Empirical studies indicate that the market orientation of the organization enhance their financial performance and new product development (Cadogan and Diamanipoulos 1995, Diamantoparlos and Hart, 1993 Moorman, 1995, Narvar and Slater, 1990).
Moreover, Hooly, Lynch and Tobber (1992) provide further empirical evidence concerning the relationship between marketing strategy and corporate attitudes they reveal that positive attitudes towards marketing role in marketing corporate affairs lead to superior performance. Marketing strategy has a central role I the business strategy dialogue (Skiter and Olsan, 2001)
Top management should not consider decisions regarding marketing strategy because marketing strategy is uniquely able to assess consumer used and the potential of the organization for gaining competitively may guide the corporate or business mission (Wind and Robertson, 1983). Market strategy provides a business with the overall direction in its various marketplaces. This is a broad area and it is probably the most difficult, but the most important for the managers to get to the grips with. One set of key issues is mission analysis, market definition, market segmentation, competitive differentiation and positioning, and matching marketing assets with customer needs (Piercy 1992) these are the most fundamental marketing questions the ones where typically concrete structure for planning and decision are least apparent. The fact that these issues are difficult to work within practice does not mean that they do not matter quite the reverse is the case. This is almost inevitably the area the managers have to start to develop any real movement towards market-led strategic change.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Although many studies have investigated the impact of SAP on the economies of developing countries (Blackson and Appah-Adu 1998), little research exist on individual firm adoption of the market orientation strategies in coping with the challenges of a SAP induced business environment.
Nigeria, the six largest oil producing nation, like many developing countries of sub-saharianAfrica, adopted the international monetary fund’s (IMF) structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986. while many notable Nigerian companies particularly Frigoglass company Nigeria Ltd experienced economic operational difficulties during the SAP era, Nigerian Breweries Plc experienced remarkably marketing growth expansion and profitability. Introduction of SAP in Nigeria however ushered in various environmental challenges in the domestic marketplace. These conditions and other moderating externalities threatened market growth at the Frigoglass company Nigeria Ltd. The company’s and competitiveness in these times required effective operational portion of market orientation and practices. The extent to which these challenges and other externalities have on company performance will be considered in this study.
1.3 PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad aim of this study is to analyse the market orientation on company performance. To achieve this, the following are the specific objectives
i. To study and understand market orientation strategy.
ii. To study how company performance can be achieve from effective and efficient market orientation strategy.
iii. To study the market orientation strategy of the company in question.
iv. To understand the conceptual meaning of market orientation and company performance.
v. To study how market orientation have contributed to company performance.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The primary objectives of this study is to further explore the existing concept of marketing strategy and performance relationship, specifically in the context of Frigoglass company Nigeria Ltd. The fundamental questions guiding this study area
i. Is there a best way of improving company performance?
ii. Will poor market orientation lead to company poor performance?
iii. Can company performance be improved through effective and efficient market orientation strategies .
iv. Should market orientation strategies be used casually or constantly?
v. What are the marketing strategies that determine the attainment of superior performance?
1.5 BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Some critics have emphasized that performance is often to much related to sales person productivity because service retaining and marketing functions are laboured intensive activities (Stern and Ansary 1992) even when investment in capital is of great importance in marketing (Denttu and Yoo 1998). On the other hand (Bush, Ortinau and Hair 1900)emphasize that performance is more focused on micro level units than the strategic allocation of resources on a company level.
It is pertinent therefore to seek the relationship between market orientation and company performance this brings to find out the overall effect of market orientation on productivity, customer satisfaction and company performance.
1.6 LIMMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study will be based on orientation company performance with a particular reference to Frigoglass Nigeria Ltd.
This study will Also be based on the managers (both senior and Junior managers) particularly the marketing and the sales managers and other employees.
1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Business Environment:Is a set of political, economic, social and technological (PEST) forces that are target outside the control and influence of a positive and a negative impact on the business.
Corporate Attitude:This is a positive attitude towards marketing roles.
Market Orientation: This implies organization wide adoption and operationalization of the marketing concept.
Market Segmentation: This is the identification of portions of the market that are different from one another.
Marketing Externalities: This refers to several reasonable challenges coming from outside organization.
Marketing: is one of the sailent and important organic functions which help service organization to meet their business challenges and achieve set goals and objectives
Marketing Concepts: These are organic tasks involve in selecting a target market in which to operate and developing an efficient and effective marketing ingredient combination.
Marketing Strategy: is defined by ( Ulrich and Barnet 1984) as the process of determining what an organization intends to accomplish and how its will direct the organization and its resources towards attaining the goals set over the coming months and years.
Appiah – Adu, K (1998) Market Orientation and performance Journal of Euro-Marketing
Bush, R P. Bush, A.J Orinau, D.J and Hair, Jr J.F (1998), “Developing a behaviour based seal to Assess Retail Sales Person” Journal of retailing
Cadogan J.W &Dianantopairlous, A. (1995) Naver and Skiter, Knowl and Jawork and the Market Orientation Construct integration and internationalization. Journal of Strategic Marketing
Douthu N and Yoo, B (1998) “Retail Productivity Assessment using Data Envelopment analysis” Journal of Retailing
Hookey Gr T Lynch and J. Shepherd (1992) the Marketing putting Theory into Practice European Journal of Marketing
Madagrassy A. (1990) Private Investment Rebound in Developing Countries
Panantopoulous A and Harts, (1993) Linking Market Orientation and Company
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