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Any investment has to bring some return for its investor, evaluating the effectiveness of a particular investment help organizations to realize whether their investment is worthy or not. Investment in marketing communication takes major share of organizations investment for marketing activities in general and this marketing communication helps in draw backs of existing marketing practices and make necessary corrective actions to improve marketing activities, effectiveness and efficiency as the whole efforts of organizations fruitfulness lies on marketing at the end of the day. Marketing communications can be defined as all strategies tactics and activities involved in getting the desired marketing message to intended target markets; regardless of the media use, most service marketers have access to numerous forms of communication, referred to as collectively as the marketing communication mix. The mix includes advertising personal selling, publicity and public relations sales promotion, instructional materials and corporate design (lovelock and wirtz, 2004) marketing communication mix elements provide information and consultation are important components to add value to a product or services. Customers need information about the features of the product or services, its price and how they can access it to make informed purchase decision. Thus if customers are able to get necessary information about the product timely and adequately, they may feel that they are buying quality product or services. This means that having good and effective communication channels add value to the product or service of the company. As customers have confidence in their
purchase. Generally, taking into account the nature of the service industry, the challenges it brings to the organizations and the need to follow holistic marketing approach to effectively interact with customers highlights the importance and significance of marketing communication activities.
In service setting, marketing communications tools are especially important because they help create powerful images and a sense of credibility, confidence and reassurance. Though it will be wise and important to evaluate, the effectiveness of all the elements. Generally, marketing communication tools have the potential to inform the masses, present and prospective consumers about the goods and services of a company and force them to visit the company’s manufacturing information and making purchase decisions. Marketing communications for services should provide symbols or tangible cues, as concrete signals of the service abstract attributes (Lacobucci, 2001), thus communicating and convincing customers to buy services products is by far mix challenging than selling manufacturing products. Marketing communications has the potential and opportunity to persuade those who can come to the company’s office with background information about the services from company advertisement by responding to customer’s questions, doubts about the service. (Perrault and Mckarthy, 2002).
In this regard, the interactive nature of marketing communication also makes it the most successful marketing mix for building relationship with customers at certain stages of the buying process, particularly in building up buyers trust, choices, certainly and proceedings. This is most imperative
especially for service companies particularly in developing and underdeveloped countries.
As it is very important and decisive to evaluate any business, activity, so does to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing communications elements, the main thing here is that how can we evaluate the effectiveness of marketing communication tools, though there are many ways to measure the effectiveness. In light with the assessment of the effectiveness of marketing communications in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, it involves making decisions on the five Ms-mission, message media, money and measurement (Kotler, 2001) marketing communications can be measured in terms of both communication and sales effect. Measuring the communications effect can be done before or after the communication program is printed or broadcast. However, most companies agree that measuring the effectiveness of marketing communication in terms of sales effect is difficult as there are many things to affect buying decisions other than marketing communications.
The advent of globalization had helped the telecommunication industry to gain more popularity while its service patronage is growing rapidly among citizenry. This has prompted telecommunications marketers to develop new strategies aimed at increasing their customer’s size. Mobile phone is the most promising and high growth area of telecommunication with more than 1.7 billion global subscribers and about 80% of the world’s population covered by mobile network.
Mobile phone is becoming so popular that people are leaving landlines to rely completely on mobile phones, primarily because of mobility, safety, price and privacy (Alhiou, 2000). Furthermore, one of its benefits is the
international roaming service capability, which gives consumers the ability to use same number to contact others in many countries anytime anywhere. Presently, customers can go to market with more knowledge choices and value that new technology has brought to customer’s daily lives.
The usage of mobile phones has now extended from choice communications to the internet (Azila and Noor, 2011). On the secondhand phones serve as a personal organizer, with built-in cameras, camcorders, games, music, playback radio, push-to-talk, infrared, Bluetooth connectivity and ability to watch video and TV services (Xevelonaki, 2005). This indicates that the new mobile phone device can now provide users with many services and facilities to ensure customer enjoyment, satisfaction and loyalty. The objective of the service companies that offer communication services is to develop services to satisfy the customers.
In due time, satisfied customers will be those that will be loyal and help the company to sustain business. Therefore, telecommunications companies are putting more emphasis on promotions as a tool to managing customer relationship and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Organizations exist to attain certain mission for undefined period of time. In order to exist in the business for a big period of time organizations must look for effective and efficient ways of doing business activities to achieve organizational objectives. At present due to environmental dynamism and competitiveness, the struggle for survival and succeeding in the business has become more difficult and challenging. The growth trend and nature of the service industry with the competitive brought several and special problems for services marketing. Since service encounters are complex and multiple
factors affect interactions organizations have to adopt holistic marketing approach to deal with these problems.
Holistic marketing approach for service requires external marketing approach which deals with interaction of the organization of the company as a whole with the customer in terms of company products, price distribution channels and promotion activities. Marketing as a central concept in modern business theory is defined as companies achieving their strategic goals in terms of maximizing profit and corporate goals through satisfying consumers (Houston, 1986:125). Early marketing and principle focused more on integration and co-ordination of all marketing functions within a sense of a company’s operations (Felton, 1959).
However, due to the nature of competition in modern business world, Kotler (1996:242) suggests that the achievement of organizational goals depends on determining the needs and wants of the target market and delivering the desired satisfaction effectively and efficiently. Thus, marketing communications mix is often used by companies in building brand loyalty and equity in terms of tangible values of brand in order to create and maintain competitive edge.
It is obvious that consumers as well as normal human beings experience consuming behavior as a complex inner psychological process which is influenced by a range of external effects including social and cultural factors. In fact, many companies have realized that marketing communications can constitute itself into a position force in the marketing of their product admittedly. The figure on the total annual bill of the marketing
promotions budget is not easy to come-by. Nevertheless, it is estimated that Nigeria spends about 0.05 percent of its Gross National Product (GNP) on promotions and it is hoped that this figure will improve as the country attends a greater rate of development in the business sphere.
Undoubtedly, marketing promotions is the most conspicuous of all the business effort. It forms the promotional and communication program of a business in a competitive environment such as ours. Hence, marketing communication is a necessary social force for any economy to take off and it has influenced the public to such an extent that products that are not advertised have fallen to disuse and what is more, business men who do not advertise are forgotten.
The introduction of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria has been pretty late in our country compared to other neighbouring countries, though the first telecom NITEL was introduced ages ago and its operations were managed by the government. The industry has not been so persuasive until 2001 when Nigeria opted for an approach of extensive cost distribution to deregulate the telecoms industry (ThisDay Newspapers 2004:14). Since 2001, the telecoms market in Nigeria has provided a clear and exciting opportunity for many telecoms operators. This industry is highly deregulated with the NCC Licensing a wide variety of telecoms operators and equipment suppliers. Now there are many players in the industry like Etisalat, Starcoms, Zain, Zoom, Reltel etc battling so hare with their respective market share and consumers as well as the economy benefitting tremendously from this fierce competition (Vanguard Dec. 5, 2007:36). Therefore, modern marketing calls for more than developing a good product, pricing it attractively and making it accessible. Companies must also
communicate with present and potential stakeholders and the general public. In line with the above identified peculiar problems, with the telecommunications industry, this study seeks to assess the effectiveness of marketing communication tools in the telecommunications industry.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1. To determine the extent marketing communications applied by telecommunications industry provides information about their services.
2. To examine the degree marketing communications in the telecommunications industry is able to increase customers’ awareness of its services.
3. To determine the effect of marketing communication tools in the telecommunications industry in convincing and changing customer’s attitude towards its services.
4. To estimate the degree of marketing communication tools in the telecommunications industry in building company image.
5. To determine if marketing communications is effective in enforcing band loyalty in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. To what extent do marketing communication tools applied by the telecoms industry in Nigeria provide information about their services?
2. To what degree does marketing communications in the telecoms industry increase awareness of its services?
3. What effects has marketing communications to convincing and changing of customer’s attitude towards the services offered by the telecoms industry?
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