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1.1    Background of the study

The Nigerian economy for long has been characterized with little wonder, Nigeria is often known as a reseller market. The few manufacturing firm still operating are either muiti-national cooperation or government establishment. This scenario has adversely affected the Nigeria economy to an extend. It has become dumping ground for other countries.

Although a lot of economics reform programms were initiated in Nigeria to make the manufacturing industry vibrant and allow infant industries to grow, such programms were never sustained to the later due to political instability and mismanagement of funds by stakeholders. Nevertheless, the recent programmes of the federal government has given hope to the manufacturing COMPANY or industry as small and medium scale manufacturing firm are gradually emerging everywhere.

However, due to mildness and inexperience of the infant manufacturing firm, there has been a continuous cry of out consumers of low quality products and service. The major reason for this poor performance has been attributed to the lack of marketing research by large cooperation in Nigeria.

Marketing research plays a vital role in the success of every business entity. Expect believe that marketing research is the main pilot of commercialization.

Kotler (2009) defined marketing research as the systematic and objective identification, collection and analysis and dissemination of information for the purpose of assisting management in decision making related to the identification and solution of problems and opportunities in marketing. Armstrong (2004) defined marketing research as the function that links the marketer to the consumer and the public through information. He further said that marketing research is used to define and identify marketing opportunities and problems to generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; to monitor marketing performance and to improve understanding of the marketing process from the above definition of marketing research, it is assumed that marketing research is a discipline approach to problem and prospect of ensuring efficiency and portability in any firm.

1.2    Statement of problem

With the recent proliferation of small and medium scale enterprises in major cities Nigeria is sure to become an industrialized economy in the next decades. If these enterprise are given the necessary support (security, fund, expertise, conducive environment and industry protection) by the government.

Nevertheless, the manufacturing industry just as the financial sector has suffered enough economic crisis and the result is evident in the quality of service provided by COMPANY in this sector. In spite of the presence of  regulatory such as Nigeria standard organization (NSO), National agency for food and drug administration and control (NAFDAC) and consumerist the quality of products and service rendered by manufacturers is on the decline. This decline is on the evidence of the negligence of COMPANY to properly determine and fill in the need and wants of consumers.

This shows that marketing research has not this been properly embraced in this industry or by manufactures despite valuable studies and write up of experts, all shows that the contribution/benefits of marketing research to the success of business organization is immense.

In fact, most managers and elite nurse are of the note that marketing research have no value in developing nation like Nigeria, and that has been one major reason for this negligence.

As a result, this study was embarked upon to investigate the extend of relationship between  marketing research and the service level delivered by small and medium scale manufacturing firm in Imo State.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to examine the importance of marketing research in enhancing the service level of manufacturing companies.

The following are the specific objectives of the study:

1.   Highlighting and emphasizing the importance of marketing research on product development in manufacturing companies.

2.   To examine the effect / extent of marketing research contribution to product development.

3.   Examine circumstances under which marketing research is more likely to be used in the stage of product development.

4.   Identify the factors that influence marketing research on product development.

1.4     Research Questions

1.   What is the importance of marketing research on product development in manufacturing companies?

2.   What is the effect / extent of marketing research contribution to product development?

3.   What are the circumstances under which marketing research is more likely to be used in the stage of product development?

4.   What are the factors that influence marketing research on product development?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The important area focused by the study is the impact of marketing research on product development; it is intended to achieve two aims; to contribute to both theory and practice of marketing in Nigeria.

One of the greatest and surest ways of achieving customer satisfaction is the planning and implementation of proper marketing research programme in any business organization.

Moreover, the new marketing concept emphasizes on customer satisfaction and integration in the organization towards achieving the single purpose. Therefore, to make these possible, marketers must research properly so as to know the changing need of their customers and the activities of their competitors.

Also the need to re-examined other tools which could be used to reduce the high rate of product failure instead of relying heavily on promotional activities with other tools in marketing to establish whether or not new product will be accepted in the market, it will also expose other areas that have inherent characteristics that make marketing research inevitable instrument for product development.

To contribute to the theory, there are several factors that affect product development like promotion, prices, distribution and marketing research but most organization are not interested in research as it is said to be too expensive not only looks outwards to existing and potential markets, the customers (or market place), the competitive environment but also inwards at the ways in which the organization respond to the demands of the market place.

Survival is the key objective of most organization; today’s world is characterized by major changes in market and economic conditions, coupled with rapid advances in technologies.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is analytical in nature to Product development found in production companies; the reason behind this delimitation is because the study intends to assess the impact of marketing research on Product development. This study is restricted to the manufacturing companies in Imo state.

The scope of this study is limited in four respects: the unit of measure for this research, the classification of the firm, the type of technology of the firm and identification of firms for the study.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

Some constraints were encountered, during this project. These limitations do not suggest that it is a unfulfilled activity, it only suggest that the activity  was conducted with proper care and caution which will make the activity meaningful and result oriented;

v    Miscellaneous limitation problem developed due to changing environment.

v    Uncertainty of conclusions consumer is the focal point, buying motives are difficult to judge precisely and accurately which bring some sort of uncertainty.

v    Complexity of the subject it fails to give complete and correct guidance to the management on marketing issues.

v    Also cost expensive and time consuming activity it take longer period for completion and the finding when available may prove to be outdated due to fast changing market environment and cannot study all new marketing product.

1.8 Definition of Terms

The terms used in this study may carry slightly different meaning, we therefore consider it necessary to define item to suit the context to which they are used in this study.

MARKETING RESEARCH:         Marketing research is the function that links the

consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information--information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process.

Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications. (Approved October 2004)  

It’s very necessary in an industry as it provides the entrepreneurs the necessary information before any serious decisions are made.

PRODUCT: is a very important element of the marketing mix. Product is a bundle of utilities consisting of various product features and accompanying services which are made up of set of tangible and intangible attributes. 

NEW PRODUCT: Is item really innovation, truly unique in which there is a real need but for which there is no existing substitute is generally considered satisfaction.

Replacement for existing product involving a significant differentiation from articles. Initiative product which are new to your company but not new to the market.  

WANT: are desires for specific satisfiers of need which are person culture and the way he is brought up.

PRODUCT PLANNING: is the ongoing process of identifying and articulating market requirements that define a product’s feature set. Product planning serves as the basis for decisions about price, distribution and promotion.

Product planning includes developing a product concept and testing it.

PROMOTION:            is any technique that persuasively communicates favorable

information about a seller’s product to potential buyers either directly others who can influence purchase decisions. 

MARKETING: is the performance of business activities which direct the flow of goods from the producer to the consumer or user in order to satisfy customers and accomplish the company’s objective.

PRICE: is the amount of money which is needed to acquire and exchange some combined assortment of product and its accompanied services.

DISTRIBUTION: is concerned with the activities involved in transferring the goods from the producer to the final buyers and users. These activities could be classified as physical, legal, promotional, and financial, all performed in the course of transferring ownership.

PACKAGING: is the general group of activities in product planning which involves designing and producing container paper for a product?

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