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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to assess advertising as a marketing
strategy: using MTN Nigeria as a study. The aim of this study was to
know the various advertising strategies use by MTN and how these
strategies have helped in marketing their products and services. As a
study on advertising, the survey design was used for the study, having a
sample size of 360 respondents. Cluster sampling technique was utilized
in selecting the respondents out of the total estimated population of
University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The major findings showed that the
various advertising strategies (infomercial, inherent drama, bonus pack,
contest, and event sponsorship) used by MTN in marketing their products
and services are effective advertising strategies. People subscribe to
MTN after listen to their advertisement; People have several reasons of
subscribing to MTN network.; Subscribers are impressed by MTN
television commercials; Television commercials are very persuasive in
nature; The use of television commercials by MTN has change non MTN
subscribers to MTN subscribers; the use of dramatic element in MTN
advertisement has very good influence on subscribers; Event sponsorship
helps in promoting MTN products and services; The use of sports is the
best in marketing MTN products and services; Subscribers have interest
in the contest “ who want to be a millionaire” ;Who want to be a
millionaire has positioned MTN in the mind of subscribers and nonsubscribers.;
Winners in the contest are not only MTN subscribers; MTN
family and friends package compels people to subscribe to MTN.,
Subscribers use family and friends package because it reduces tariff, etc.
Based on the findings, useful recommendations for further research were
made: There is need for MTN to make appropriate use of various
advertising and marketing strategies in order to win competition.
Copying competitors advertising/marketing strategy need to be
discouraged. Every strategy adopted by MTN need to be unique, attention
arresting and influencing. MTN should reduce their tariff as well make
sure that their customers compliant are respected to the core. Every MTN
advertisement should be place in the right perspective, MTN should
measure their customer’s satisfaction from time to time to avoid losing
them to other operators. MTN should device means of upholding
customer loyalty, retention as well profitability through giving bonus,
event sponsorship and free airtime to customers from time to time. Price,
service quality, product quality and availability are expected to be the
target of telecommunication operator. Finally, telecommunication
operators need to form a continuous lasting relationship with their
customers to know them better and satisfy their needs adequately.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE………………………………………………………………………I
CERTIFICATION…………………………………………………………………II
DEDICATION……………………………………………….…………………..III
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS…….…………………………………………………IV
ABSTRACT…………………………………………………………,…………..V
LIST OF TABLES………………………………………………,,……………..VI
TABLE OF CONTENTS……………………………………………………..VII
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of study………………………………………………………,….1
1.2 Statement of problem………………………………………………………….4
1.3 Objectives of the study………………………………………………………..6
1.4 Research questions…………………………………………………………….7
1.5 Significance of the study……………………………………………………….7
1.6 Scope of the study……………………………………………………………..8
1.7 Theoretical framework…………………………………………………………9
1.8 Definition of Terms ………………………………………………………….13
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURES
2.1 Focus of Review…………………………………………………….……….17
2.2 Telecommunication…………………………………………..…………….17
2.3 Telecommunication and Customer Satisfaction……………………………..22
2.4 Advertising and Marketing Strategy…………………………………………24
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design…………………………………………………………..….63
3.2 Population of the Study………………………………………………………63
3.3 Sample Size……………………………………………………………………64
3.4 Sampling Technique……………………………………………….…………65
3.5Instrument for Data Collection……………………………………………….66
3.6 Validity of the Instrument……………………………..……………………..67
3.7 Reliability of the instrument………………………………….…….………..68
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3.8 Technique for Data Analysis and Presentation………………………………68
CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION OF DATA AND DISCUSSION OF
FINDINGS
4.1 Presentation of Data…………………………………………………………69
4.2 Discussion of Findings……………………………………………………….82
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary……………………………………………………………………..87
5.2 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………88
5.3 Recommendations……………………………………………………………….89
Bibliography

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of Study
In today’s highly competitive market, the ability to be ahead of another
or at least at par with others is an essential ingredient for relevance. The face,
nature and needs of present day business have drastically changed and so has
the concept and practice of advertising.
In this era of intense competitive pressures, many firms are focusing
their efforts on maintaining a loyal customer base. This is particularly true in
the telecommunication industry where deregulation has created an environment
that allows consumers considerable choice in satisfying their communication
needs. Today, many network service providers are directing their marketing
strategies towards increasing customer satisfaction, loyalty and improving their
image through various advertising strategies.
Telecommunication operators are pursuing advertising and marketing
strategy, because of the difficulty in differentiating based on the product and
service offering. Typically, customers perceive very little difference in the
product and services offered by network service providers. Most service
providers have discovered that increasing customer retention rates can have a
substantial impact on profits and image of the company. That is why they
usually embark on different advertising / marketing strategies to lure customers
as well as attract new ones to their products and services. But most of these
operators have not yet make appropriate use of unique advertising strategies in
marketing their products and services. The unavoidable task facing
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telecommunication operators today is on how to focus on unique advertising
and marketing strategies that will result in differentiate their products and
services from other operators.
Since the liberalization of telecommunication industry, and the granting
of operating licence to some private operators like MTN, ECONET, Multilinks,
Intercellular, MOBITEL, EMISS, GLO, STARCOM, ZAIN,
VISAFONE, RELTEL and ETISALAT, etc. by the Nigerian Communications
Commission (NCC) to operate the Global System of Mobile
Telecommunication (GSM) , the landscape of the industry has witnessed
tremendous transformation and competition. The industry has created an
environment that allows consumers considerable choice in satisfying their
communication needs.
Today, telecommunication operators are pursuing marketing strategy
through advertising of various kinds, like inherent drama, infomercial, event
sponsorship, contest, bonus pack, etc. because of the difficulty in
differentiating based on the product and service offering. Typically, customers
perceive very little difference in the product and services offered by network
service providers. Many service providers have discovered that increasing
customer retention rates can have a substantial impact on profits and image of
the company. Many network service providers are directing their marketing
strategies towards increasing customer satisfaction, loyalty and improving their
image through advertising.
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Successful advertising requires good knowledge of overall marketing
environments, awareness of consumer’s need and lucid understanding of salient
attributes of a product as well as good marketing strategy in a competition
environment. Most product benefits are salient until advertisement message
make them known to buyers. Consumers are always seen as people who are
trying to satisfy needs and as such seek for and given attention to product that
has some certain benefits they sought through advertising.
Good marketing requires that you give customers rational reasons for
their emotional buying decision. However, Trout (1969, p.51) opines; “the
ultimate marketing background is the mind and the better you understand how
the mind works, the better you will understand the type of strategy that will
work for you.”
The apparent effectiveness of a given advertisement is judged by how
much impact it has in the minds of consumers to which it is directed and as a
marketing tool aims to accomplish by conveying accurate and compelling
information to consumers.
Advertising strategy emerged from analysis of market situation. For
instance if a product class is mature, definitely the company becomes the
market leader or hero. For advertising to play a significant role in marketing a
product in this modern era, it has become increasingly necessary for
telecommunication advertisers to use a comprehensive advertising strategy or a
particular strategy that will help in positioning their product and services or
have much impact in the minds of subscribers.
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1.2 Statement of Problem
GSM activities have increased, leading to competition in the
telecommunication industry. Recognizing the seemingly insatiable appetite of
subscribers for quality services and the potential of Nigeria market, increased
competition in the market has pushed down connection charges, improved
efficiency, productivity, increased service innovation and better quality service.
Despite the level of intense competitive pressure, most
telecommunication operators are using uniform advertising style that confuses
television viewers to differentiate one telecommunication advertising message
from another. In their efforts in marketing their product and services, there is
an increasing dissatisfaction and criticisms on their uniform advertising style.
Unique Marketing strategies are very important in telecommunication
industry today; because once customers have subscribed to a particular service
provider their long-term relationship with the service provider is of much
importance to the success of the service provider. Hence, service providers
need to form a continuous lasting relationship with their subscribers to know
them better and satisfy their needs adequately.
The importance of advertising and its strategies in marketing product
and services cannot be overemphasized. It is based on these lapses created by
telecommunications operations in advertising their products and services that
more unique advertising strategy as marketing tools are deemed necessary to
ensure that each telecommunication advertisement is uniquely differentiated
from one another in order to confuse viewers.
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.1.3 Objectives of Study
This study has the following guiding objectives:
1. To create awareness on the need for unique advertising and marketing
strategies in marketing products and services.
2. To determine whether change in subscribers brand loyalty, as regards the
choice of network in the telecommunication industry has been as a result of
advertising strategies
3. To know the suitability of these advertising strategies in marketing products
and services.
3. To determine the extent to which advertising strategies can make non-buyer
of MTN products to be buyer
4. To set of recommendations that will enable MTN and telecommunication
operators to make effective and appropriate use of advertising strategies in
marketing their product and services.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions are based on advertising strategies used by
MTN in marketing their products and services, which will guide this study:
1. Does MTN infomercial help in marketing MTN product and services?
2. Does inherent drama in MTN advertisement increase the interest of
consumers in using MTN product and services?
3. Does MTN event sponsorship help in marketing MTN product and services?
4. Does Contest (“who want to be a millionaire”) in MTN promotional strategy
position MTN product and services over its competitors?
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5. What aspects of MTN bonus packs compel or derive a consumer to take a
particular action?
1.5 Significance of study
This study is significant in the following ways:
1. This study is significant because it will help different companies to know the
need to adopt the most suitable and unique strategy in advertising as well as in
marketing.
2. This study therefore, becomes significant in the sense that it aim at
advertising as a marketing strategy, which will help marketers and advertisers
to know the importance of using effective and appropriate strategy in
marketing their product and services.
3. Attempt to highlight the resourceful roles advertising strategies play in the
exposure MTN delivered to subscribers.
4. Also is significant because it would serve as a point of reference for those
seeking additional information on this research topic and other related subject
matter.
1.6 Scope of Study
The interest of this study is on that assessment of advertising as a
marketing strategy: A study of MTN. But studying the entire subscriber MTN
was difficult; hence subscribers of MTN in University of Nigeria, Nsukka were
used. Individual efforts coupled with the harsh economic realities and
exigencies of present day Nigeria and other logistics pose some potent
limitations. Also the diverse natures of the audience make the study sample
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selection, instrument administration, data collection/analysis and interpretation
of data a bit cumbersome.
1.7 Theoretical Framework
In order to situate and align any study within its proper perspective,
there is a need for existing theory that will form the pivot on which the study
revolves. Consumer Perception Process Theory is used for this study.
This theory, according to Arens (2004, p.147), “shows how consumers
perceive, conceive and remember advertising messages or generally any
communication. It also shows factors, which determine the acceptability of
such messages.” This theory posits that for advertising to influence customers,
they must perceive, conceive and remember advertising messages.
The main postulation of this theory is that customers are influenced
physiologically (sensory), psychological (Emotional), to accept advertising
messages concerning MTN which on the long run makes them to consume their
product and services. However, it is what goes beyond consumer
rationalization that makes the basic for strategic direction and decision making.
It is the emotion that makes the decision not rationalization.
The basic motivation to one’s choice in a product or service, let alone
any other product or service, relies on the emotional component that has been
induced in the mind through advertisement. In other words, satisfaction get
from a product or service is through what we see, hear or get a feel for it
through advertisement.
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In addition to this perspective, gender, age, education, race, income,
occupation, etc. all affects what we like and find attractive in an advertisement.
If an advertisement is designed to create awareness, the advertisement itself
may portray a message using repetition of the brand name and words and
pictures related to the brand in question.
However, being repetitive does not necessarily get the point across since
there are countless advertisements every where we go. In essence, there are
numerous things about an advertisement that catch our attention and lure us
into buying things. A good majority of consumer decision is rooted in the mind
where emotion directs choice.
In other words, MTN customers see or hear the advertising message,
accept the message because of the strategy used to draw their attention, and
keep on remembering the message. They are being influenced by what they see
and hear in the advertising message.
The great power, which advertisement has over its audience made
Reeves (1982, p.101) to say: The consumer tends to remember just one thing
from advertising, one strong claim or concept… Each advertisement must
make a proposition to the consumers. The proposition must be so strong that
can move millions i.e. pull over customers to your Product.
In addition to Reeve view, Hart (1995, p.11) posits that:
One of the most important benefits of advertising is that it
facilitates the consumer being active rather than a passive agent
in the economic cycle. In order to make purchasing decision or
social decision, the consumer should be informed ideally; they
should receive information from a variety of different sources
and advertisement is one of these sources.
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Every good advertising message is expected to make a lasting remark or
impression in the mind of a consumer, which will help in attracting and luring
consumer to buy the product or service.
Advertising is all about passing on your message across to the customers
with the intent of selling a product, an idea or anything else of value. These
days, that there is intense competition among telecommunication operators,
consumers are bombarded with endless streams of continuous data emerging
from a wide variety of different communication channels. Knowingly or
unknowingly, each one of us is exposed to a plethora of telecommunication
advertisement each day. Whether one is watching television, walking across
the street, browsing the Internet, listening to a radio, reading a newspaper or a
magazine etc. All these avenues are full of advertising messages aimed at
anyone who cares to take notice of them.
This theory shows that telecommunication advertisement must be
designed strategically in right perspective that is able to grab the attention of
the consumer for whatsoever small time period it may be and market the
product which is the central objective. The difference or the strategic
uniqueness of telecommunication operators’ advertisement will ensures that it
does not get drowned in the sea of noise that the consumer is subjected to on an
everyday basis. The consumer perception process theory shows that only the
most unique telecommunication advertisements bordering on the outrageous
are able to reach out to the consumer. Such advertisements are able to garner
their ten seconds of fame and register themselves in the minds of the
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consumers as well as help in marketing their products and services. This has
given rise to an altogether new breed of advertisements that are distinct, unique
and wacky. All this is directed at the sole objective of attracting the consumer’s
attention to buy a product
Furthermore, consumer perception process theory shows that for
telecommunication advertisers to market their product through advertising they
must come up with advertisements that are distinct and unique in their style and
execution in marketing their product and service. Apart from the content of the
advertisement , the delivery of the advertisement in terms of the choice of
characters along with the choice of the medium of communication all play a
very important role in determining the success of an advertisement campaign.
A good telecommunication advertiser would strategically position it advertising
message in such a way that it would grab the attention of the consumer and
stand apart from the advertisement of competitor.
1.8 Definition of Terms
A clear understanding of major concepts in any study goes a long way in
illuminating the reader’s views by engendering better comprehension. This
section deals with the conceptual framework of the major variables of this
study (advertising, marketing, strategy, marketing strategy, advertising strategy
and MTN).
Advertising
Various definitions of advertising abound today. Journalists for
example, might define it as a communication, public relations, or persuasion
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process; business people see it as a marketing process; economists and
sociologists tend to focus on its economic, societal, or ethical significance and
some consumers might define it simply as nuisance.
According to Aren (2004, p.7), “advertising is the structured and
composed non-personal communication of information usually paid for and
usually persuasive in nature, about products (goods, services and ideas) by
identified sponsors through the media.”
Marketing
There are many definitions of marketing, but Kotler (1990, p.497)
definition focuses on customer orientation and satisfaction of customer needs.
According to him, marketing is the social process by which individuals and
groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging
products and value with others.
American Marketing Association (2007,p.7) sees marketing as “the
activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating,
delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients,
partners, and society at large.”
Strategy
The concept strategy has been borrowed from the military and adapted
for use in business.
Mintzberg, in his book (1994, p17), “The Rise and Fall of Strategic
Planning” points out that people use “strategy” in several ways, but the most
common being these four he mentioned:
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1. Strategy is a plan, a “how,” a means of getting from here to there.
2. Strategy is a pattern in actions over time; for example, a company that
regularly markets very expensive products is using a “high end”
strategy.
3. Strategy is position; that is, it reflects decisions to offer particular
products or services in particular markets.
4. Strategy is perspective, that is, vision and direction.
Marketing Strategy
Australian Administration Small Business Guide (2009) sees marketing
strategy as “most effective when it is an integral component of firm strategy”
by defining how the organization will successfully engage customers,
prospects, and competitors in the market arena.
Advertising Strategy
An advertising strategy is a campaign developed to communicate ideas about
products and services to customers as well as prospective consumers and
influencing them to buy those products and services.
MTN
MTN Nigeria was incorporated on November 8,2000. It is the biggest
single investment made by MTN group outside South Africa. The dual band
GSM license was awarded on February 9th 2000: which covers 900MHZ and
1800MHZ spectrums. MTN Nigeria commenced operations in June 2001. It
has coverage almost in all states of the federation with approximately 2.5
million subscribers as at February 2005. MTN is a unique and insightful brand
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that inspires people to lead, work and play better. It provides inspirational
solutions for basic human needs through its high quality network, products and
services.

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