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1.1   Background of the Study

In everyday common language, marketing means buying and selling. That is the purchasing and disposal of items of value between two or more people or institutions is regarded as marketing. Doyle (1987) defines a market as the set of actual and potential buyers of a product.

According to him “In to day, rapidly changing environment product and markets have a limited life expectancy. According to Nwokoye (1981), marketing is a crucial human invention. It embraces the activities we engaged into satisfy economic needs and wants. He defined marketing as the set of activities that facilitates exchange of transactions involving economic goods and services for the ultimate purpose of satisfying human wants.

The American marketing association in 1960 developed a list of definition, first on the list was marketing, which was defined as the performance of business activities that direct the flow of goods and services from producer to consumer. Boone and Kurtz (1977) defined marketing as the development and efficient distribution of goods and services for chosen consumer needs. Thus, the marketing system reflects consumer and societal needs.

Kotler (1994) defined marketing as social and managerial process by which individual and groups obtained what they need dual and sent through creating, offering and exchanging products of value with others.

Since every marketing organization has a purpose of selling its goods and services so as to achieve a set goals and is to think consumers and to guide companies and non profit organizations in the developing offers that are meaningful and effective to tangent customers. To do this, it must then it is faced with certain weaknesses and threats are several competitions from other firms, sharp rise in exchange and interest rate government regulations, customer’s choice criteria among things. It therefore becomes necessary for the introduction of the marketing mix strategy for proper development of market segment for profitable exploitation and philosophical angle requiring all marketing activities to be geared towards the needs and wants of the customers.

Marketing mix is the set of marketing tools that the firm uses to pursue its marketing objective on the target market (Kotler 1994). According to Pride and Ferre 1983), the marketing mix consists of four major components;

1.     Product

2.     Place (Distribution)

3.     Promotion

4.     Price

These components are called marketing decision variables because a marketing decision can vary the type and amount of each element one primary goal is to create and maintain a marketing mix that satisfies consumers needs for a general product type. By making decisions and managing activities to relate to each marketing mix variables, a marketing manager can create a satisfying and thus successful mix.

The starting place for the effective marketing is with consumers. Once a particular customer group has been identified and analyzed, the marketing manager can divert his or her activities of profitably satisfying this segment. Although thousands of variables are involved, marketing decision making can be conveniently classified into four strategy elements according to Booner and Kurtz (1977) these are;

-       Product

-       Distribution strategy

-       Promotional strategy

-       Pricing strategy

Product planning includes decision about package designs, branding, trade marks, warranties, guarantees, product like cycles and new product development. The market or concept of product strategy involves more than the physical procedure in terms of satisfying all consumer needs in relation to good or service.

Distribution strategy involves the physical distribution go goods and the selection of marketing channels. Marketing channels refers to the steps of good service follows form producer to final consumer. Channel decision making involves establishing and maintaining the institution structure in marketing channels, this includes retailers, wholesalers and other middlemen.

Promotional strategy involves personal selling, advertising and sales promotion tools. The various aspects of promotional strategy must be blended together so as to communicate effectively with the market place.

Pricing strategy is one of the most difficult parts of marketing decision making goals with method of setting profitable and justified price. It is closely regulated and is subjected to considerable public scrutiny.

According to Boone and Kurtz (1997), the total package from the marketing mix the blending of the four strategy elements of marketing decision making to satisfy chosen consumer segments. Each of the strategy is variables in the mix. While the foretold classification may be useful for the purpose of the study and analysis. It is the total package of mix that determines the degree of marketing success.

The focus of this study is to examine how Nigerian Bottling Company combines these four classifications as well as the importance of the total package or mix in determining the success achieved by Nigerian bottling company in the soft drinks market.

1.2   Statement of Problem

The purpose of the study is to examine the role played by Nigeria Bottling Company Plc marketing mix in fulfilling the objectives of the company.

The study would also examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the elements of the marketing mix presently adopted by Nigeria Bottling Company Plc.

The study would also determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the elements of the marketing mix presently adopted.

The study would also be aimed at educating the criteria used by the Nigeria Bottling Company Plc in the application of the element of the marketing mix.

1.3   Objective of the Study

In carrying out this study, the problems that intends to examined:

To determined whether the marketing mix as developed by the Nigeria Bottling Company Plc fulfils its objectives.

To determined efficiency and effectiveness of marketing mix in business organization in Nigeria Bottling Company Plc.

To determine the criteria used by the Nigeria Bottling Company plc in the application of the elements of the marketing mix.

1.4   Significance of the Study

A proper blending to the marketing mix element help in the making of marketing decision to satisfy chosen consumer segment and to a large extent determines the degree of marketing success achieved by an organization.

A company marketing mix when properly adopted and blended helps to create market for new product and to be introduced into the market, explore areas for the sale of existing products aimed at creating awareness of the organization products to enable consumer drive them, enable organization concerned produced goods and services of competitive qualities and as well as help to distribute the goods evenly and at the point where they are wanted.

Thus the findings would be of immense benefits to the following;

(a) The Nigeria Bottling Company Plc

(b) Soft drink marketers

(c) Investors

(d) Financial and economic analysis

(e) The academic environment

(f) Public at large

(g) Any interested person(s) who may wish to undertake a further research work in this area.

1.5   Delimitation of the Study

Though the application of the marketing mix is a world wide strategy in business organizations. The application of marketing mix as it concerns Nigeria Bottling Company plc will be the delimitation of the study.

1.6   Limitations of the Study

The study will make use of secondary data extracted from the company’s annual report and other published materials by organization. Thus the study will be limited by the reliability of such data. The study will also be limited by the unwillingness of the Nigeria Bottling Company plc officials in releasing the data information needed for the study as well as the reliability of data so released.

1.7   Research Question

(a)    The quality of NBC company products influence consumers needs?

(b)    Does the price of commodities influence consumer behaviour?

(c)     Does the advertisement of products promote consumers goods and services in the market?

(d)    Does the depot of products in the marketing mix influence consumers patronage.

1.8   Research Hypothesis

The following hypotheses are to be tested in the course of carryout this study.

(a)    There is no significant difference between the quality of NBC company products, and consumer’s needs.

(b)    There is no significant relationship between the price of commodities and consumers behaviour

(c)     There is no significant difference between the advertisement of products, and the quality of products in the market.

(d)    There is no significant relationship between the closer depot of product in the marketing mix.

(e)     There is no significant difference between the distribution network of goods and services in the marketing mix, and consumers buying habit.

1.9   Definition of Terms

Marketing: The American Marketing Association in 1960 defines marketing as the performance of Business activities that direct the flow of goods and services from producers to consumers.

Market: Doyle (1987) defines a market as the set of actual and potentials buyers of a product.

Product: In my own opinion a product is that which a consumer is willing to exchange his or her money for that is, something of value.

Place: This is the means of channeling a product from the producer to consumers. It may take the format below.

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