ANALYSIS OF THE PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING
This study was carried at analyzing the effectiveness and problems of classified advertising in Enugu. The study appraised the use of classified advertising in Enugu metropolis its perception by the Enugu audience, its advantages and major set backs. The study also examined the extent to which classified advertising achieves advertisement objectives in Enugu and the various opportunities and benefit of classified advert which media organisation and advertisers in Enugu can exploit. Finally, the study tried to find out the ethical level of classified advertising in Enugu metropolis.
To generate answers to the study two sets of questionnaires were administered. One to the print media organisations and the other to advertisers and consumers of classified columns. It was discovered after a detailed analysis. The hypotheses formulated where tested using chi- square (X2). The sample size were determining using Topman formular fo advertiser. (Customers) why senses survey was used for management and relevant staff.
Tompan formula. Z2pq
n = sample
z = standard deviation (or the desired 1.96)
and estimated standard error of 5%
Z = 1.96
e = 0.05
p = 0.9
q = 0.9
The sample size (N) was calculated as
n = (2)e (P) (1 – P)
n = (1 – 96)2 (0.9 )(1 – 0.9)
n = (1 – 96)2 (0.9 )( 0.1)
n = 3.8416
n = 138.292
The data generated through the two sets of questionnaires that classified advertising is not frequently used by advertisers in Enugu metropolis, at the same time many users in Enugu metropolis are skeptical about its operation. The cost of classified advertising was considered by many advertisers to be moderated when related to other advertisement modes in Enugu. Also classified advertising was seen to have two major advantages in the sense that advertisers see it as being relatively cheap and easy to use.
Other findings made in this study are that classified advertising in Enugu is mainly used by lower class advertisers who normally advertise change of name, general goods, employment, real estate activities and others.
In this order of frequency. This nullified the initial position held that classified advertising is used for inconsequential purposdes. The research also revealed that classified advertising has low readership in Enugu metropolis and is not a major profit center in the print industry. Finally, it was observed that classified advertising at present is not an effective advertising mode in Enugu and that it has low ethical rating.
Following these finding, the researcher recommended that print media organisation should present a united front to enlightened both the masses and advertisers on the operation and users of classified advertising. To make classified advertising a major profit center, aggressive marketing of classified column was recommended. Garing readership was recommended to be made part of the marketing task in the print business. this will help talkle the general low readership for classified advertising. On the low ethical relating for classified advertising, a more formal approach for the verification of claims in the classified adverts was recommended.
Classified adverts should also be made more conspicuous by making good use of design elements. More e of this sort was also recommended to reveal low classified advertising can be effectively used in Enugu metropolis.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Any one who looks seriously at today’s business environment in Nigeria will notice remarkable change, especially in the area of marketing communication. These changes in marketing communicating have become more like a revolution with firms placing more emphasis on advertising as a tool for communicating their marketing massages. Modern marketing calls for more than developing a good product, pricing it attractive and making it readily accessible to target customers (Kotler, 1988: 587) companies must design and disseminate sufficient information through advertising (Asuguo Vol. 4-6 April June 1995: 11). Advertising is any form of non personal communication that is transmitted to a given audience through mass media.
The 1980’s and 1900’s had seen more changes and development in advertising in Nigeria than had occurred during the previous years. Advertising tend to represent the economic progress of societies and in this respect, it ranges from the sophistication of the industrialized world to the new life style of the developing nations. Until recently believing in the effectiveness of advertising and promotion has largely been a matter of faith. (Jefkin, 1991: 17) but today, many firms are becoming more sensitive in selecting both the media and the form in which their products are advertised in the selected media.
In Nigeria, among the most popularly used primary media are radio, television and the press. The press is one of the cheapest means of reading a large number of unknown or unidentified prospective buyer (Jefkin, 1991: 74), whether they be in a town, region or even the entire country. There are three (3) main way by which one can advertise in the press – classified advertising display, advertising and special advertising, for example public notices, political advertising appears in the classified column of newspapers, magazines and journals, they are made of words which are brought together to from copies.
The question now is how effective is this form of advertising especially in Nigeria? only a thorough understanding of its application in respect of its relative uses, strength, weaknesses and other dimensions, can assure appropriate use and spending on it. This is why it is necessary for practitioners, experts and scholars in marketing communication to continue carrying out a research studies of this sort to be sure of its uses and effectiveness.
Again, the economic recession and deregulation of the economy has eroded the consumers purchasing power, there by compelling them to be more mindful to their spending now, more than ever. This has also stimulated competition for national sales heat up, newspapers and magazine need to ensure that they remain continually viable by finding other important ways of revenue generation. This study has there fore become necessary to examine the operation of classified advertising in Enugu metropolis to find ways by which it can be used as a variable means of revenue generation in the press media. The importance of classified advertising, they are bedeviled by some problems. Thus in this research the researcher takes a critical look at the effectiveness and problems of classified advertising in Enugu metropolis.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Classified advertising is one of the important methods used by advertisers to create awareness of goods and services. It s a huge and still largely untapped market, because newspapers still fail to recognize the opportunities and potential profits in classified advertising.
The rapid rate at which small scale firms spring up calls for unexpensive and attractive ways of communicating massages to the target audience. But a school of thought believes that classified advertising are used for inconsequencial adverts. At the same time, there are ambiguities as to the operation of classified advertising and doubt on its adequacy in achieving advertising objectives, in the view of this many advertisers are felt to follow appreciate the role of classified advert, their target audience, thus this research work. The researcher focused on finding why the advertisers to have not follow appreciated the method. Assessing the extend, is the use of this method can effectively reach the target customers, what possible problems militates against the use of classified advertising?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness and the problems of classified advertising in Enugu metropolis. Other objectives are. To evaluate the use of classified advertising in Enugu metropolis. To determine the effectiveness of classified advertising in relation to cost and reach.
To determine the extence which classified advertising creates awareness of goods and services. To examine the advantages which classified advertising has over other forms of advertising. Highlight the various opportunities which the media house can export in classified advertising. To make appropriate recommendations base on the findings of the study.
1.4 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESES
Based on the objectives, the following hypotheses were formulated:
Ho1: Advertising does not create customers awareness of goods and services.
Hi1: Advertising create customers awareness of goods and services.
Ho2: Advertising is not an effective mode for advertising in Enugu metropolis
Hi2: Advertising is an effective mode for advertising in Enugu metropolis.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study would be of benefit to practitioners, experts and scholars in marketing communication a lot of information on the operation of classified advertising.
Apart from these groups, media houses in the country would be provided insight to the strength, weaknesses and opportunities in classified advertising which they can exploit to increase their revenue.
The out come of this study will be beneficial to companies, politicians small scale business, agents, non profit organisation, government and his general public. For it will help them on how to effectively make the use of problems and prospect of classified advertising.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study only under took an analysis of the effectiveness and problems of classified advertising.
However in the view of times, money and other constraints emphasis was placed on newspapers houses in Enugu metropolis with emphasis on advertisers using classified columns in the selected dates.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
For easy understanding of this study the researcher defines the following terms.
1. Target audiences: The marketing communication must identify the target audience. The target audience may be individuals, groups, or any of the marketers publics. They may be customer users, deciders or influencers. The audience determine the content of the massages, the medium and the timing (Ebue April 2000: 14).
2. Promotion: This is the broad name for special kinds of sales stimulating activities other than advertising, personal selling and publicity. It is often thought of as a special selling incentive. Anything that would more sales incentive. Anything that would more sales above the existing level is promotion (Ebue 2000: 7).
3. Marketing: This is management activities responsible for identifying anticipating and satisfying customer needs and wants through exchange process. (Ebue 2001: 3).
4. Advertising: This is define as the non – personal communication of information, usually paid for and usually persuasive in natures, about products goods and services. Or ideas by identified sponsor through various media (Bovee and Arens 1992: 7).