1.1. BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Marketing as a business concern is much more than developing a good product, pricing it correctly, and ensuring easy and ready availability of the product to customers. It also entails the development of a good programme of promotion.
Promotion is one of the four major components that make up the marketing mix popularly known as the 4ps of marketing. It has to do with the marketers’ means of communicating his product offerings, marketing programmes and activities to the actual and potential customers. Through marketing promotion, consumers are informed about the existence of a product and equally persuaded to buy. It is therefore a very potent means of educating consumers, creating good image for the firm and its products, and increasing level of patronage. It embraces all information between buyers and sellers in order to influence their attitudes and behaviours. The forms of this promotion tools are advertising, personal selling, publicity, public relations and sales promotion.
Even though each of the aforementioned promotional tools could be used on its own to achieve the firms marketing objectives, a good blend of most of them is required in formation of an effective promotional strategy and the attainment of promotional synergy.
It has been established that any marketing or production firm without a very strong promotion is bound to fail, in other words, if a company produces a very standard product with fair pricing policy and carries out all other aspects of product development but fails to create awareness of it through promotion, that product will not make it simply because consumers and potential customers are unaware of the existence of such product. On the other hand, when proper promotional activities are included, the product will not only sell fine but have competitive edge over other similar products.
According to Kotler and Keller (2006), Promotion is communicating information between seller and potential buyer or others in the channel to influence attitudes and behaviour. The marketing mangers’ main promotional job is to tell target customers that the right product is available, at the right place and at the right price.
Promotion as described by Udeagha (2003) has its origin in a Latin word meaning “to move forward”, today it is seen as a communication undertaken to persuade others to accept ideas, concepts or things.
Onah and Thomas (2004) gave the tasks of promotion as communicating with the consumer and providing him with information which will lead him to use the product or service, providing him with enough incentives that would induce him to accept the product and offer him invitation for immediate action.
In Nigeria, as in many other parts of the world, the successful marketing of consumer goods depends to a large extent on the promotional tools adopted by the firms within the industry. Such consumer goods industry is filled with firms that manufacture closely substituted brands of products. These firms need to create the desired awareness for their product and arouse the consumers’ interest to purchase their product. They have to adequately back-up their product, price and distribution strategies with very sound promotional tools.
The Researcher intends to study the promotional tools adopted in the marketing of consumer products in Enugu with Hardis and Dromedas as the case study. This is the largest firm that almost control the production and manufacturing of household and industrial hygienic and beauty products in Enugu.
Hardis and Dromedas Ltd was incorporated in Nigeria, as a Limited Liability Company in the year 1993 and commenced business operations the same year. It has three manufacturing plants engaged in manufacturing of fine household, industrial hygienic products and beauty care products. The hygienic products help in improving the standard of living of users by keeping disease causing gems, fungl and bacteria away resulting in improved health.
The Head office and major manufacturing plant is located in Emene Industrial Estate, Enugu South Eastern Nigeria. They have branch offices in major cities of Lagos, Port Harcourt, Aba, Onitsha, Uyo, Jos, Kaduna, Abuja, Makurdi amongst others and a nationwide distribution network that ensures availability of their products at uniform and affordable prices across Nigeria.
Hardis and Dromedas Ltd is an organization that puts the welfare of staff as part of their core values because their success is attributable to commitment of the employees. They also continuously strive to update their skills while exposing them to the latest technology and expertise available to various operations.
Their products are equally manufactured in the most environmentally sustainable process exceeding the standard of regulating authorities hence ensuring certification and registration of the products accordingly. As a responsible corporate citizen, Hardis aids the economic development of our country by creating new wealth and jobs for our teaming youths while ensuring that their investors get good returns on their investments.
Hardis and Dromedas Ltd has six ranges of products under their manufacturing.
- Extra Isol: This is the all round winner for fighting germs. It is a concentrated Germicide formulated to fight germs in domestic and industrial settings. It maintains a germ-free environment.
- Ekko Rose Water: It is a fragrant solution, air fresher and odour neutralizer, it is carefully blended with choice flowers from worlds plains of sub-Saharan Africa. Rose water solution destroys germ while deodorizing your environment at home and other places.
- Divitol Antiseptic Disinfectant: Formulated to kill disease carrying germs and ensuring healthy families, it is suitable for personal hygiene, households, offices, hospitals and large institutions.
- Akacha Cleansing Soap: Made from rich natural and vegetable oil with properties to clean and sooth the skin Akacha Beauty care range of cleaning soap and astringent is for your natural ingredients found only in Africa.
- Combo Synthetic Soap: This was manufactured for washing of clothes, plates and even taking baths. It has ingredients that will wash clean and at the same time protect your skin.
- Royallux range of products: This consists of Royallux cleansing lotions, Royallux soap, Royallux dishwasher, Bleach, Removers and spirits amongst others. They are specifically made to aid in household activities and general care of our bodies.
The company’s promotional tools during its inception mostly included the use of advertising, publicity and personal selling but in the late nineties, the company adopted the use of sales promotion.
The company carries product brands that are close substitutes to other nearby companies. They closely monitor the market to observe and adjust to any changes in the promotional tools, like adopting adverts in line with the dictates of the time and regularly embarking on sales promotions in order to arouse interest on their products, and obtain their action through regular purchase of their products. This company Hardis and Dromedas Ltd constantly depend on available promotional tools to improve and maintain their market shares.
This study shall focus mostly on advertising and sales promotion being the two major promotional tools currently used by the company and very little emphasis shall be placed on publicity, public relations and personal selling because of the little impact they have on consumer products in Enugu.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In Nigeria, as in many other developing countries of the world, improvement in the level of technology and economic development has caused an improvement in the consumption pattern of the people. Thus, establishment of many new consumer manufacturing companies in the country and consequently bringing about stiff competition from other upcoming foreign firms and local ones.
Hardis and Dromedas particularly as indicated by the Chief Executive Officer is faced by numerous problems which militate against the smooth running of the organization. These problems range from poor and inadequate public power supply, lack of portable water, high cost of product haulage, poor road network, lack of local funds, multiple product taxation among others.
These developments and others have threatened the existence of many firms within the industry because they all manufacture products that are very close substitutes to each other, thus they need to adopt good promotional tools in order to captivate the interest of the consumers, arouse their desire for the product and maintain their market share.
It has been observed equally that some products especially new ones failed to fulfill the objectives and goals of making adequate returns simply because they don’t sell in the market. Promotion which does the work educating, informing and persuading the consumer to buy certain products, when lacking constitutes problems of products failure and death.
A marketer, who produces a good or service and sits back awaiting great things to happen, usually discovers that not much do happen. The firm needs to tell its story. The fact still remains that after you have produced the best product, packaged it brilliantly, priced it rightly, distributed it magnificently and positioned it to best meet the needs of the customers, you would have wasted all these marketing efforts if nobody knows you have done these things. This is the essence of promotion.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The aim of this study is to identify and appraise different Promotional tools used by manufacturers of consumer products in Enugu, using Hardis and Dromedas as a case study. This will be determined through the objectives outlined below:-
- Find out whether consumers purchase Hardis and Dromedas products due to its promotions.
- Find out the types of promotional tools mostly used by Hardis group.
- Highlight to the manufacturers the importance of promotion and its tools with a view of generating greater sales and returns.
- Make recommendations based on the result of the above examinations.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
Hygienic and beauty products are indispensable in every homes and large establishments like hotels, hospitals, schools and even churches. They go a long way in refreshing and promoting cleanness and healthy living.
The Nigeria publics now prefer home-made beauty products because of continuous pronouncements on the deadly effects of continuous use of foreign products. Hardis and Dromedas adopt different promotional tools within the industry to create awareness and attract customer’s patronage but it was observed that the ones they use are not enough. There is need for more awareness of their products to cover more areas. Also, with different promotional tools available, sometimes they get confused on which promotional tools to use in order to win more customers. This study will help them and other firms to identify the promotional tools that have the greatest and least influence in the Nigerian consumers as well as the tools that will yield the best result.
Finally, this study intends to arouse further interest in the areas of marketing and promotion which has not been given the maximum attention they deserve in Nigeria and most of other developing countries. In addition, it will help the management of Hardis and Dromedas Ltd in proper allocation of promotion budgets. It will also be of great help to subsequent researches on this or familiar field of study.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS.
The study intends to answer the following questions:
- What are the types of promotional tools normally used by Hardis and Dromedas Group?
- Do the promotional tools adopted by Hardis group have any influence on the buying habits of consumers?
- Which promotional tool provides the most significant effect on customers among all the promotional tools?
4. Is there any difference on the rate of sales when the organization and their products are being promoted and