Marketing In A Period Of Scarcity – Product Research
Many industries have been forced into taking some critical look at the cost effectiveness of their current marketing operations along with other aspects of their business. The problem now being faced by almost every company, large and small, is now to remain in business and maintain its staff. The past few years have witness a lot of cut backs in operational cost which resulted in workers being retrenched and many plants closed down. The reason for some of these retrenchments and closure are mostly lack of raw materials or inability to break even. The major concern of most companies in Nigeria is how to stay in business.
They have at one time or the other trimmed their work force because of the substantial reduction in their production capacities due to lack of raw materials. This type of situation is not in the interest of economic development of any nation. A well thought out marketing plan would have take care of this situation by giving information on how maximum use can be made of the little in supply. It also goes a long way in showing how the scarce situation can be turned around to that of abundance.
The scarcity of resources is an economic reality which every economic system has to be to contend with. A situation of scarcity exists when the basic essentials of life and input for production are lacking or are in short supply. These results in a persistence shortage of goods and services in the economy, this situation does not make for economic development. This is the position of the Nigerian economy at large.
Marketing maximizes the efficiency to make sales from a wide production range without significantly increasing calling or other costs. What marketing does in a scarce period is to take a look at the present lines of products and eliminate the line that is no longer marketable, introduce or diversify to other marketing lines that would satisfy the consumer needs, thereby enhancing their standard of living. The goal of development is basically the elimination of shortages. Marketing does this.
If customers buy all that has been produced because of lack of alternatives, that is not a proof that they are maximising profit or satisfaction. Maximising satisfaction is what marketing is about. You can not also claim to be able to specify what gives people the greatest satisfaction without asking them, which now takes us to other very important arms of marketing research, distribution, promotion, selling and efficient public service.
Marketing Research And Economic Development
Marketing research is directed at the more efficient running of a business unit. It is very crucial in developing economics with limited capital resources. It provides the information needed to make for the maximum utilisation of scarce resources. It goes a long way in encouraging planning from the grassroots. Intelligently applied marketing research will not only have a significant impact upon the profitability of the firm, but also would influence the industrial economic progress of the country.
This is in line with Nnolim’s view that because such research effort can involve individual consumers, it encourages planning from the grassroots. This will avoid the observed elitist character of development plans in developing countries. Development plans should then involve marketing research to help define what the people need prior to planning for their welfare.
Distribution And Economic Development
This provides time, place and possession utilities necessary to make the goods produced available in the right quantity and place for exchange. It is an indispensible function because of an ever-increasing physical distance between the producers and the ultimate consumers. This function is an important area for marketing management in every business situation, as it draws the line between operating at a profit or at a loss.
Promotion And Economic Development
Promotion informs the public of the availability of goods and services and their want satisfying quantities. It persuades the target audience and reminds it to buy products. Promotion seeks to modify behaviour and thought in some ways. It helps to complete the communication cycle between those engaged in production and those engaged in consumption. The need for promotion exists in both surplus and scarcity conditions. This is because in trying to uniform, promotion an often persuade and so can be a useful means to desirable social change if well utilised. People are equally educated on how to make the best use of their money.
Salesmanship And Economic Development
This is an aspect of the marketing function performed by sales people. Retail sales people persuade customers to buy. It helps to complete the communication cycle between those engaged in production and those engaged in consumption. The need for promotion exists in both surplus and scarcity conditions. As an aid too increasing sales, sales people must be able to persuade shoppers that what they are selling is what the customer needs. Sales people are usually trained in two selling techniques trading up and suggestive selling. Trading up implies convincing customers to buy a higher price item than they originally intended to buy while suggestive selling seeks to broaden customers original purchase with related item.
Marketing In The Public Service
Not much can be said of a meaningful development without reference to the efficiency and effectiveness of the public service. As the effort of marketing is directed at ensuring the satisfaction of the customer, the same should result in a more viable public service, which on a long run would help in the economic development of Nigeria. As Ogwo rightly pts it, if this philosophy of marketing is applied to the provision of our public services, effectiveness and efficiency would result and this would be a worthwhile contribution to our economic recovery. He went further to assert, though, that the orientation of government tends to be paternalistic while that of marketing principles is that the individual (consumer) knows best. The need for promotion exists in both surplus and scarcity conditions.
As an aid to increasing sales, sales people must be able to persuade shoppers that what they are selling is what the customer needs. Sales people are usually trained in two selling techniques trading up and suggestive selling. What specific role can marketing play in the economic development of Nigeria? Having said much regarding economic development, growth and marketing with particular emphasis on Nigeria, there is the need to examine some specific roles of marketing in economic development.
Marketing promotes through its various functions (earlier discussed) the diffusion of innovations and technology transfer from the developed economies to Nigeria. The standard of living of Nigerians could be made better through the application of marketing tools. Marketing tools reduces cost and wastage, aid the build up of capital through export and increased consumption. Capital is one of the most limiting factors in the development of developing economy.
The role of marketing in a developing economy is to reduce cost, which means saving in capital. It helps in capital formation. Capital is transferred from agricultural sector to the industrial sector. Marketing brings the industrial goods to the door of the rural consumers through promotion and consumer education. This is not been faulted. Marketing has also help in the expansion of local national and international economic activities which have helped to beef up the economic base, thereby enhancing development.
Marketing creates demand for products, services and ideas. In addition to demand, creates new wants and exposes the goods and services which help create the urge for consumption. The exposure of goods and services by marketing helps in creating the urge for consumption. Which also leads to more work, behaviour in efficiency of work to earn more income for additional consumption and more production occurs in all the different sectors of the economy.
Hence a general and overall increase in economic development or activities and production takes place. This, therefore, is the means and motivating force in the process of economic development. Based on the discussion so far, we can see that the role of marketing in the economic development of Nigeria cannot be over emphasised. It is the co-ordinating factor for effective management and utilization of our scarce resources. Marketing, if well applied, would help reduce wastage which is seen as a clog in the wheel of Nigeria’s economic development process.