CORPORATE ADVERTISING AND CLIENTELE GROWTH AMONG SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES IN UYO METROPOLIS
1.1 Background to the Problem
No doubt that most business (both small and medium) have witnessed tremendous growth over the years. This has ushered in an area of stiff competition among businesses. The tendency these days for small and medium scale enterprises to reach out to their customers with packages or several products in order to attract and retain these customers. Increasing market shares and sales volume cannot be overemphasized in a mere launching of new a company’s good image to the market; it takes marketing strategies for firms to attain it. One of these strategic is corporate advertising (Chapman, 2001).
Champan expressed further that mere advertising does not yield much result. If firms intend to dominate the market, the key is corporate advertising.
Business enterprises are increasingly realizing that in order for them to survive, it is very pertinent to evolve strategies that would promote their business performance to the target customers/consumers and thus outperform its competitors specifically in a similar business enterprise. The ever-changing environment of business makes it imperative for small and medium scale enterprises to resort to the marketing of their services so as to register and increase awareness. Indeed what corporate advertising does is to enable the corporate image of the business enterprises to be noised and voiced through several promotional media such as radio, television, print media, internet, signpost and others (Stanton, 2003).
Corporate advertising in small and medium scale enterprises fit into the overall marketing programme and relates to other specialized areas of marketing. Corporate advertising involves processes of creating a good image for the business enterprises in the mind of the public. The growth of small enterprises and clients or customers can be affected and empowered through the components of corporate advertising. One of the components, according to Stanton (2004) is television. Television is a communication medium that allows pictures or images to be transmitted and viewed by the public. This is what really stimulates and entices the clients toward purchases. Of course, customer’s behaviour can be determined or predicted by what they see with their eyes. However, other print media like posters newspapers and magazines do well to allow images of the business to be displayed and viewed by the customers. This is one of the reasons of correlating and matching corporate advertising components with the growth of clients or customers.
Many commercial businesses pay more attention to service delivery, which is the major area of business operation. The performance and success of small and medium scale enterprises is always measured in the direction of marketing and advertising. If the business succeeds in production and personnel management but fails in marketing operation, it means overall failure of the business (Kaita, 2008). Firms depend on its marketing and advertising activities for customer’s growth and profitability. A sustainable customers growth is a symbol of a firm’s success. That is why most firms spend much money in corporate advertising. Corporate organizations showcase their pride and performance by taken advantage of corporate advertising to grow their business irrespective of prevalence of competitors in spite of the limited usage in Nigerian business environment, the contribution of marketing techniques including corporate advertising to small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria is making important difference in the operation of business organization in Nigeria today.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The significance of corporate adverting to business organizations, particularly small and medium scale enterprises cannot be undetermined. Despite this importance, most small and medium scale enterprises businesses still ignore its usefulness and thus refuses to embrace it. Moreso, most marketing managers in small and medium scale businesses may not notice why sales decline (Smith, 2006). Smith observed that customer’s decrease implies sales decrease and thus, low productivity it could be that the marketing manager has not observed what marketing strategy to be adopted that can grow customers and thus sales. It therefore become the thrust of this study to examine whether corporate advertising could grow clients or customers. More strategically to ascertain the role that corporate advertising plays in attracting and retaining clientele of small and medium enterprises.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study assesses the effect of corporate advertising on clientele growth among small and medium scale enterprises.
The specific objectives are:
- To examine the relationship between advertising and clients growth among small and medium scale enterprises.
- To ascertain the effectiveness of advertising in small and medium enterprises in client growth among small and medium scale enterprises.
- To assess which advertising media is most effective in clients growth among small and medium scale enterprises.
- To examine which element(s) of corporate advertising that has significant influence on clients growth among small and medium scale enterprises.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study.
- What is the relationship between television advertising and client’s growth?
- What is the effectiveness of advertising on client’s growth?
- Which advertising media is most effective in client’s growth?
- What element(s) of corporate advertising has significant influence on client’s growth?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study will be useful for business organization, specifically to small and medium scale businesses by providing relevant information on the importance of advertising media in growing clients/customers, which can enable them to adopt these media to improve sales.
The findings will provide some statistics on which of the advertising media has greater influence or relationship or/with clients growth to small and medium scale enterprises that could set the pace for sound decision.
Finally, the findings will serve as a spring board from which further research might be conducted. The data already gathered and documented in this study will serve as a source of information to other researchers.
1.6 Delimitations of the Study
The study is restricted to Uyo Metropolis, where small and medium scale enterprises will be sampled. The study will further be limited to small and medium businesses in Uyo Metropolis that the adequately covered in the data of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
1.7 Limitation of the Study
In the course of carrying out this study, the major constraint was the refusal and reluctance of respondents to fill the questionnaire. The collection of the questionnaire from some respondents also limited the researcher. Notwithstanding, these obstacles does not stop the findings of the study.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Advertising: This is the non personal presentation and promotion of goods, idea and services through the mass media paid for by an identified sponsor.
Advertising Media: These are means of transmitting information about a company’s products and services to the clients, through the use of mass media.
Clientele: They are prospective customers or consumers who have the need to buy products or services.
Corporate Advertising: It is referred to as integrated promotional tools that enable organizations provide information about their organizational image to the prospective clients or consumers in a nor personal form and usually paid for by the advertiser.
Growth: This refers to a positive change in size, often over a period of time and can occur as a stage of maturation or a process toward fullness or fulfillment.