The study on marketing and profitability of Nasco Company Jos was carried out to examine the impact of marketing research on profitability. Marketing research is an indispensable part of marketing activity for manufacturing companies in Nigeria. However, commitment to practical application of marketing research by most of these companies in Nigeria is very low. The study used primary and secondary data gathered from 133 randomly selected staffs of Nasco Company in Jos. To achieve the study objectives, a questionnaire was adopted as research instrument. The data gathered was subjected to simple percentage and Chi Square analysis. Findings show that truly marketing research improves product performance of the Nasco Company. More so, of all the factors considered (promotion strategy, Product strategy, Distribution strategy, General marketing strategy and Pricing Strategy) promotional factors were found to be most important, then product strategy while pricing mix account for the least variation. This study recommends that production firms should accord necessary attention to the element of marketing research by designing market strategies driven by a sound marketing management, targeting and strategic positioning.
1.1 Background of the Study
Marketing research comprises one of the most important and fascinating facets of marketing. The development of effective marketing strategies is based upon an understanding of the consumer and his or her behavior. However, understanding the consumer can be achieved through marketing research. According to Curry (2007), marketers who fail to conduct a thorough and comprehensive marketing research run the risk of not achieving their marketing objectives. At one time, businesses were small, customers were few, and markets were mostly local; suppliers and customers were in almost daily, close personal contact; bargaining was done face to face; the market place was the hub of economic and social life (Sunny, 2003). Businesses were run not by corporate executives but by people who were similar to those whose custom they sought to attract. They shared the same culture and communications was direct and resonate with cultural values.
Business management refers to the planning, organizing, directing and controlling of human and economic resources to achieve specific objectives of organizations (Onah and Thomas, 2004: Thierauf, Klekamp and Geeding, 1977). Marketing research traces its origins in the United States to 1911 when Charles C. Parlin was appointed as manager of the Commercial Research Division of the Curtis Publishing Company (Bartels, 1962). Much of the early research represented little more than testimonials received by writing purchasers of the firm’s products. Research become more sophisticated during the decade of the 1930s, but mistakes were still made. The Literary Digest conducted a major national study of 10,000 households selected at random from lists of telephone numbers and reported that Alf Landon and not Franklin D. Roosevelt would be elected president. The fiasco resulted from a failure to realize that many voters (apparently most of whom were democrats) did not have a telephone in 1936 (Bartels, 1962).
In today’s dynamic business environment, corporate organisations are faced with the needs to impact positively on the host communities, by taking upon themselves certain responsibilities in order to increase their societal and environment influence. Organisations also included social and environmental concerns in business operations rather than focusing on profit making only. Organisations have developed a variety of strategies for dealing with this intersection of societal needs, the natural environment, and corresponding business imperatives with respect to how deeply and how well they are integrating social responsibility approaches into both strategy and daily operations worldwide.
Effective planning requires accurate information derived from marketing research. Marketing research is the systematic and objective identification, collection, analysis and dissemination of information for the purpose of assisting management in decision making (Malhotra, 2002). It applies scientific methods in data collection and analysis for the test of prior notions or hypotheses. It aims at providing accurate information that reflects the true state of affairs of organizations. There are two dimensions to marketing research, namely; problem identification research and problem solving research (Abugu, 2014).A problem identification research is undertaken to identify problems which are not apparent on the surface and yet exist or likely to arise in future, e.g. market potential, market share, sales analysis, forecasting and business trends.
Marketing research develops, interprets and communicates decision-oriented information to marketing practitioners (Abugu, 2014).Through the provision of relevant information, marketing research eliminates uncertainties and links the marketing variables with the environment and consumers. Marketing research provides information on controllable and uncontrollable factors and enhances the effectiveness of decisions made by marketing managers (Twedt,1983).Marketing decisions depend on research information to succeed, withstand competitions and other external pressures. However, in a developing business environment like Nigeria, total reliance on marketing research to make decisions is rather risky because research results are not hundred percent correct (field survey). Being cautious on how marketing research findings are used, however, should not undermine their relevance and diminish the need to conduct marketing research. While making business decisions without research findings may work in the short-run, failure is inevitable in the long-term without continuous efforts at assembling accurate information. The extent to which marketing practitioners apply marketing research findings in decision making in their organizations defines its overall effects or impact and is what this study seeks to address, among others.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Despite the relevant literature suggesting the positive relations between marketing research and organizational performance or some issues in marketing, the relationship between marketing research and marketing performance has not been empirically demonstrated enough. Due to very little is known about how marketing research activities affect marketing performance. In today’s high competitive, dynamic and challenging marketing environment, the level cum quality of information gathered through marketing research are very critical to the growth and survival of the organization. Also, the unpredictable and transient nature of consumers which studies have shown is more complex, because customer’s needs and buying motives are often anything but obvious. Consumers themselves cannot tell you exactly what they need and why they buy. To gain good customer’s insight, marketers must effectively manage marketing information from a wide range of sources. A rapid turnover is a mean to an end, but not an end itself, only an effective marketing research can achieve this, but the question is, if marketing managers are quite aware that an effective marketing research system can help to facilitate this?
Furthermore, it is important to state that marketing research is a potential tool for effective decision making. Marketing managers are therefore perturbed on how to get it right in the face of changes in the ever evolving marketing environment, consumer thirst, demand for product and services, competitors’ product and service. Is marketing research capable of providing better or best solution? Thus, a company’s marketing research and information system must do more than simply generate lots of information. The real value of marketing research and marketing lies on how it is used in the customers and competitors insight that it provides. Therefore, this study seeks to assess marketing research and profitability of Nasco Company Jos.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The primary aim of this study is to examine marketing research and profitability of Nasco Company Jos. The study intends to outline the following Sub-objectives;
- To ascertain the application or use of marketing research system in marketing decision making process.
- To explore the impact of marketing research activities on marketing performance in Nasco Company Jos.
- To determine the extent of the practical application of marketing researches by marketing managers in Nasco Company Jos.
- To determine the existence (if any) of the adverse or negative impact of marketing research on marketing decision making.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
In the course of this research work, the researcher deemed it fit to formulate some null and alternate hypotheses that would enable her to analyze the data or information collected from respondent. In line with this, the researcher tends to formulate the following hypothesis to verify whether a hypothesis is true or false.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between marketing research and profitability.
H1: There is a significant relationship between marketing research and profitability.
Ho: Practical application of marketing researches by marketing managers in Nasco Company Jos is low.
H2: Practical application of marketing researches by marketing managers in Nasco Company Jos is high.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The importance of this present study is not just to analyse the practice of marketing research but to understand the current practice, the level of understanding of marketing research by manufacturing organisations in Jos in relation to how it should be. It will explain how marketing research affect the performance of any firm or organization. The research would also help to explore the impact of marketing research on marketer’s commitment to the organisation. What part do the marketers play in corporate marketing research? Can he or she influence the decision making process? What is their level of understanding of the concept of marketing research? To this end the findings of the study will be unavoidably important to managers, marketing managers, marketers, directors and even sales personnel. The data obtained will serve as reference materials to academia and scholars who intend to embark on a study of this nature.
1.6 Research Methods
This study adopts descriptive survey method. Therefore, a cross-sectional research design is used to design the methodology. The premise for this research method is because data are collected from the population for intensive study and analysis.
More often than not, the research cannot possibly study all subjects or items in the population. Hence, a selective random sample from or a subset of, the population was taken.
The reasons for random sampling are;
- Among the elements (manufacturing companies in Jos) that make up the population of study there are similarities and therefore a study of one of these elements will give the researcher sufficient knowledge of what is obtainable in the entire population of the study.
- It is cheaper to engage in the random study.
- It allowed for quicker results and more thorough research conduct.
- It is practically impossible to consider all elements in this research considering the limited time frame.
The targeted population for this study were manufacturing companies in Jos, but due to large number of manufacturing companies located in the region, Nasco Comapny will be considered for this study. Primary data will be gathered through questionnaire administered among randomly selected employees of the selected company. The data will be analysed using frequency and percentage tables.
1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The research is on marketing research and profitability and thus is based on the effective process of decision making by management which tend to improve productivity and increase sales margin in Nasco Company in Jos. This research is to determine how effective marketing research will assist marketing manager in decision making. In the course of carrying out this project work, the research encountered a lot of problems. Among the many problems encountered include lack of adequate materials, financial constraint, logistic problem, time limit for the completion of work was not enough to encourage a most preferred research project.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Marketing: A social and managerial process by which individual and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging product and values with other. Marketing is an exciting dynamic and contemporary field of human endeavour. It affects us each day in our roles as providers of goods and service (i.e producer) and as consumers.
Marketing is embracing all of the activities involved in anticipating. Marketing Research: We can say marketing research is a systematic method of collecting, recording and analyzing of data, which is used to solve marketing problems. American Marketing Association (AMA) Defines Marketing research as a systematic gathering, recording and analyzing of data about problems relating to the marketing of good and services.
Profitability: profitability is the degree to which a business or activity yields profit or financial gain or the state of yielding profit or financial gain.
Marketer: a marketer could be defined as one that sells goods or services in or to a market, especially one that markets a specified commodity.
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?
1.9 Historical Background of NASCO Company
NASCO Company started operations in 1963 with the establishment of a jute bag factory in the central city of Jos, Nigeria – the very first in sub-Saharan Africa. This was in response to the desire of the founding fathers of Nigeria on the eve of independence to meet the challenges for the effective bagging, storage and export of the large agricultural yields prevalent in the country. Investors from Europe, Asia and the Middle East were invited by the Federal Government to participate in the economic development of the new nation. An investment agreement was accordingly stipulated, paving the way for the formation of a company whose ambitious purpose was the development of industrial, agricultural, real estate and marine areas. Since then NASCO has been building a company whose values are deeply held – a commitment to people and communities, to quality and customer service, and to success in the marketplace and reinvestment in the business.
Successive generations have continued to grow the company and adapt the business as markets evolved, demonstrating the entrepreneurial flair and strength of purpose that is required for a business to survive half a century. Over this period, NASCO has achieved many milestones and contributed significantly to Nigeria’s rich agricultural and industrial heritage. With faith in the local economy, many new factories were established in diverse areas from food and household products to packaging materials and industrial chemicals. Today NASCO has become renowned for the quality of its products and for its ability to match product to demand.