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1.1 Background of the Study
Following the past distress in the banking and finance industry in Nigeria, the new generation banks are now refocusing their strategic marketing activities on the customer services. The customer services entail ensuring the satisfaction of the customers, through aggressive marketing techniques. The banks are now fully involved in the electronic banking as the means of promoting effective customer services. According to Sanusi (1999), electronic banking is a kind of banking that involves electronic form of money transmission. Here, banking services are fully automated such that transactions are concluded in a jiffy. It involves the use of computer network in dispensing cash and transfer of funds. The primary objective is to replace intensive labour operations and thus, help reduce the waiting time of customers. Most of the Money Market Instruments now in vogue in the industry are targeted at high net worth individuals irrespective of whether references are taken on them or not. Empirical evidence has shown that new generation banks in Nigeria render services to both illiterate and literate customers. The strategy for the new generation banks is to target the educated and sophisticated customers, who could be individuals or corporate bodies. According to Ojo (1998) electronic products should be directed at them because they are the ones that understand the intricacies involved. However, from the legal
implications of electronic banking, banks need to exercise due care and diligence in dealing with them too. This is because, many of them are literate in both financial and legal matters, hence, they often resort to legal action(s) whenever an injury is sustained. In any event, a trained banker is expected to know what to do when such categories of people are approached for marketing services.
Traditionally, banks have provided some services to the personal and corporate customers in Nigeria. Prior to the advent of the Structural Adjustment Programme in 1986 banks were either lending or accepting deposits or handling Documentary Bills for collection. In mobilizing deposits, attention was given to hardcore savers, which formed the basis for customer services. According to Ogwuma (1999), the development of information technologies and systems has affected the customer marketing strategies in the banking industry in Nigeria. Based on the on-line computer system, the banks are able to reach many customers through strategic marketing techniques. The internet system as new development in electronic strategic marketing tool also enables the banks the showcase their products and services both within and outside the country. Chartered Bank Plc. Is one of the bans in Nigeria that has re-engineered its services to meet customers of different categories (researcher 2004).
Customer services is a veritable marketing concept in the banking industry today. According to Sheth and Garrett (1986), the nature and scope of marketing is not as clearly defined. This is because marketing horizon has been broadened. First, marketing is no longer considered merely a post production process. Modern bank marketing includes pre-production processes because everything in business beings and ends with customers’ satisfaction especially in the banking industry today. Modern marketing has also broadened its horizon to include all exchange of value not just economic exchanges. According to Dixon (1999), the scope of marketing is unquestionably broad. Often included are such diverse subject areas as consumer behaviour, pricing, purchasing, sales management, product and service management, and marketing communication. If the strategic marketing concept is to be applied successfully in the banks all Managers and other officers in the organizations must share it. Strategic marketing is a force, which should pervade the entire firm. It must enter into the thinking and behaviour of all decision-makers regardless of their level within the organization and their functional area. According to Boyd and Massy (1982), marketing in its broader sense covers not just selling, advertising, sales promotion and pricing, but also product design and quality, after-sales service, distribution, reliability of delivery dates, and in many cases purchasing supplies. This is because customer needs relate to these items as well as more obvious marketing factors such as sales price and how products are promoted. Another way of expressing the important
point made in this study is that most banks have a marketing or sales department, but every officer in the department should share marketing concept.
It could be suggested that strategic marketing should aim to maximize customer satisfaction, but within the constraints that all firms have a responsibility to society as a whole and to the environment. Kotler (1985), suggested that a ‘societal marketing’ concept should replace the marketing concept as a philosophy for the future. ‘The societal marketing concept is a management orientation that holds that the key task of the organization is to determine the needs and wants of target market and to adopt the organization to delivering the desired satisfaction more effectively and efficiently than its competitors in a way that preserve or enhances the consumers’ and society’s well-being.
Success in business comes from recognizing and exploiting an opportunity when it arises. This begins with recognizing a market, and then adjusting finance and production to the needs of that market. Because of the changing nature of society, government and the environment, new opportunities and new potential markets are continually arising in the banking industry. A correct understanding and analysis of these environment factors, the ‘framework of marketing’, coupled with only average selling ability, will in most cases be rewarded with more success
than good sales plans applied to an enterprise which has not properly identified customer needs. Various factors in the ‘market environment’ may need to be taken into account by an organization. These are:
(i) the demographic environment;
(ii) the ethics and culture of society;
(iii) the economic environment;
(iv) the state of technology
(viii) the law and government regulations
1.2 Statement of Problem
Following the past distressed situations in the banking industry, many banks and other financial institutions collapsed and had their operating licences withdrawn by the regulatory authorizes; the market for financial products shrinked due to the erosion of confidence in the banks; the market for financial products and services suffered great depression. Now that many banks are being re-engineered and repositioned for effective operations, the most important issue is how to evolve efficient marketing strategy that will sustain the banks in this new millennium, as part of marketing concept. Banks are now engaged in merger and acquisition and product development that meet the demand of the customers. The problem that informed this study is: How to effectively design the banks services that are
acceptable to the banking community so as to es
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