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Competition is stiff within the small and medium enterprises and product performance has not been effective compared to the last decade. the challenge currently being faced is how small and medium enterprises marketers respond by creatively introducing small and medium enterprises policies, instruments, and marketing techniques to serve as a basis for the country‟s sustained economic development. This study sought to establish the effects of marketing strategies on the sales performance of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. The study was guided by the marketing mix theory and theory of push and pull. This research adopted a descriptive research survey to determine the effects of marketing strategies on the sales performance of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. This study‟s target population was small and medium enterprise managers operating at the Enugu Metropolis. To come up with an appropriate study sample, the study utilized a stratified sampling technique where the small and medium enterprise owners were classified into different business areas including food and restaurants and other non-food item businesses. The study intended to use a sample size of 50 small and medium business managers within the state who were duly registered by the state Government is 10% of the population. This research collected primary data using questionnaires. The questionnaires comprised of both open and closed-ended in line with the objectives of the study. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 21.0). The study concludes that a considerable number of SMEs in Enugu Metropolis had adopted product development strategies, adoption of product development strategies resulted to a positive significant effect on the sales performance of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. Product development strategy helps SMEs achieve business goals, such as entering new markets, selling more to existing customers or winning business from competitors. Pricing strategies had a positive significant effect on the sales performance of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. However, pricing the product too low or too high can have unintended consequences sales. Pricing strategies give SMEs the flexibility in setting prices and win new business or maintain prices and increase the profit margin. Promotional strategies had a positive significant effect on effect on the  sales performance   of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. The study further concludes that employment of promotional strategies helped to keep customers informed of what the firm offered, promotional strategies informed clients or customers on both the price where to get the product and the price. Place strategies had a positive significant effect on the sales performance of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. Location-based marketing is one of the best ways to convert foot traffic and online traffic into new customers. Location-based marketing helps to remove barriers to sales. The study recommends that SMEs in Nigeria should continually embrace product development strategy as this strategy provided a framework for creating new products or improving the performance, cost or quality of existing products. The SMEs should continually adopt pricing strategies (market penetration pricing, premium pricing, price skimming and economy pricing) as these tactics were found to have a positive impact on sales performance. Although a successful pricing strategy can increase revenue and profitability, careful planning is also essential to minimize the risk of costly mistakes related each specific strategy. SMEs must continually embrace promotion strategies.


1.1   Background of the Study


Marketing is generally considered as the process by which companies create value for customers and build strong customer relationships in order to capture value from customers in return (Cavusgil & Zou, 2004). A strategy on the other hand is a firm’s game plan for competition and survival in a turbulent environment. According to Mohamed et al., (2014) a marketing strategy is a process that can allow an organization to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales. Sales performance is the sum of all efforts that it takes to deliver a product or service, therefore is measured in terms of items produced and services performed within a given time period. There are several marketing strategies that can take any small and medium enterprises from mediocre to success when utilized correctly. Breaking into a new business climate and finding customers is hard work, but when equipped with innovative ideas and proven techniques, financial markets sales personnel can become extremely successful (Kisaka, 2012). Key small and medium enterprises marketing strategies will always include an in-depth review of the value of follow-up. All successful sales intermediaries understand that consumers need to be contacted again and again in order to make a vital connection.


Marketing strategies and sales performance have been grounded on marketing mix theory and the theory of push and pull. Marketing mix theory is still used today to make important decisions that lead to the execution of a marketing plan. The idea of a marketing mix theory is to organize all aspects of the marketing plan around the habits, desires, and psychology of the target market (Grönroos, 1994). The theory of push and pull is applied in today’s market; pushing solutions is sometimes seen by the customer as intrusive or overlooked by the customer as the solution gets lost due to information overload. Pulling solutions has always been a part of most organizations. A customer would visit the organization and ask questions and someone would answer them. Financial institutions that emphasize the push theories often do so to increase efficiency. They believe that if, for instance, they create the penultimate user manual that will cover all the questions the customer might have; they will limit the amount of contact the customer needs to make to the financial institutions (Zmud, 1984). This study will focus on the effects of marketing strategies on the sales performance of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. The topic on marketing strategies was chosen as an effort to find out whether different marketing strategies undertaken by the small and medium enterprises in Nigeria have any effect on the sales performance.

The number of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria is shrinking rapidly. Competition is stiff within the small and medium enterprises and product performance has not been effective compared to the last decade (Otieno, 2015). Most small and medium enterprises have sharpened their marketing strategies as a mechanism to guarantee the success of their business in the future. The challenge thus facing the small and medium enterprises is the need for diversification of their products better tailored and suited to meet the needs and development of the country. For while the small and medium enterprises can play a very significant and critical role in a nation‟s developmental process, the challenge currently being faced is how small and medium enterprises marketers respond by creatively introducing small and medium enterprises policies, instruments, and marketing


techniques to serve as a basis for the country‟s sustained economic development (Njoroge, 2015).

Marketing strategy is the fundamental goal of increasing sales and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage (Rotich, 2016). Marketing strategy includes all basic, short-term, and long-term activities in the field of marketing that deal with the analysis of the strategic initial situation of a company and the formulation, evaluation, and selection of market-oriented strategies and therefore contributing to the goals of the company and its marketing objectives. Market penetration strategy is also known as concentrated growth strategy since a company can thoroughly develop and exploit its knowledge on a specific market. Ataman (2010). Companies do this so that they can expand their customer base. This is possible through the size of purchase, the maximum rate of product obsolescence, getting new product users, advertising, and offering inducements.

Product development comes as a result of changes in clients‟ preferences, high competition, and advanced technology. These can be regarding products in the market, innovations made on the products, or existing products that have been improved. Successful product development strategies are a result of leveraging three internal elements, technical advantage and experience, marketing savvy and better understanding of the customer. (Onyango, 2016). Market development strategy for a given product is accomplished when a product has gained new clients in a new geographic segment with new institutional segments O‟Leary-Kelly & Flores (2002). Finally, product diversification; which is a corporate strategy aims at entering new market segments. This

is the most uncertain section since the business goes in without any experience in the new market and is also uncertain if the product will be successful. Market penetration is key in market penetration since the business works on convincing current clients to new products that they are not used to. This is a great place to start because these clients already know and use the company‟s products and services. Therefore, a relationship that can be expanded has been established earlier.

Marketing methods, especially those that were used traditionally as a blueprint in business activities are gradually fading from markets and innovative methods. According to Cooper and Kleinschmidt (2015) small and medium enterprises need to adopt more modern technological marketing tool such as mobile marketing to improve on their performance since most small and medium enterprises use traditional forms of marketing to reach potential customers and to entrench their brands and only few of them use modern technology in marketing their products and services.

Sales performance/expansion alludes to the volume of offers accomplished inside a predefined period contrasted with predetermined sales levels (Rotich, 2016)). Accomplishing more noteworthy sale execution is the most essential part of sales pioneers as it specifically impacts on their key execution pointers. Sales performance has been conceptualized to incorporate both the result and behavioral measurements (Cavusgil & Zou, 2004)). Sales results have dependably been seen by execution situated sales representatives as proof to their behavioral execution and therefore a positive relationship has been found to exist between occupation association segment of responsibility and sales performance. In


today’s dynamic working business environment, organizations that depend on poor information to settle on key deal sales performance decisions, risk being rendered clumsy by the opposition. As organizations develop more idealistic about open doors for development, the weight is on for deals staff to meet ever-higher income.

As businesses grow more optimistic about opportunities for growth, the pressure is on for sales organizations to meet ever-higher revenue targets. For these reasons, optimizing sales performance in economy calls for a more rigorous and data-driven approach to foundational sales processes, including strategic planning, territory allocation, resource planning and compensation programming. Performance can be defined as the extent of actual work performed by an individual or to what extent the actual work is shown by an individual (Cooper & Kleinschmidt, 2015). In an era of intensifying competition and fierce negotiations with buyers, tactical selling approaches simply don‟t work. The key to sales success is creating value the buyer is not currently considering in their decision making.

1.2   Research Problem

 The current globalization of markets has made business to see the internationalization of their activities as a way of remaining competitive. Marketing strategies have become important tools globally for any organization to remain in competitive market environment hence stronger. Epetimehin (2011) sees strategy as a pattern of resource allocation decisions made throughout an organization. This encapsulates both desired goals and beliefs about what is acceptable and most critically unacceptable means for achieving them. Marketing strategy implies that the analysis of the market and its environment, customer buying behavior, competitive activities, their needs and capabilities of marketing intermediaries.

In Nigeria, the contribution of small and medium enterprises sector has been momentous but despite their significance, most small and medium enterprises are faced with the threat of failure with past statistics indicating that three out five fail within the first few months (Rotich, 2016). The mortality rate of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria remains very high and affects both start-ups and older established small and medium enterprises. Statistics indicate that the high failure rates of small enterprises are largely attributed to weaknesses in financial management and marketing. The alarming rate of small business failure is a major concern hence the need to investigate their marketing strategies and determine if they have effect on sales performance.

Studies have been done related to marketing strategies. Ayedun et al., (2014) carried a study on effect of marketing strategies on corporate performance of estate surveying and valuation firms in Kaduna metropolis of Nigeria. The study revealed that there is a positive relationship between marketing strategies adopted and corporate performance of the firms. Further Aliata et al., (2012) did a study on influence of promotional strategies on banks performance. A positive relationship was found to exist between promotional strategies expenditure and bank performance. Spending on promotional mixes individually had little effect on bank performance. Ataman (2010) carried a study on long-term effect of marketing strategy on brand sales. The study found that the long-term effects of discounting are one-third the magnitude of the short-term effects and the ratio is reversed from other aspects of the mix, underscoring the strategic role of the tools in brand sales. Epetimehin (2011) further did a study on the impact of relationship marketing on the performance of insurance organizations. Findings of the study revealed that relationship marketing practices have been playing a dominant role in improving the performance of insurance and increasing customers‟ satisfaction through service quality.

Marketing strategies and performance studies have also been done in Nigeria. Mwai (2015) carried out a study on factors that influence sales and marketing strategies adopted by commercial banks. The study found out that corporate strategy, organizational culture, target market and consumer behavior all influence the choice of sales and marketing strategies of the bank to a very large extent. Magunga (2010) also did a study on effects of marketing strategies on the performance of insurance companies in Nigeria. The study registered a positive relationship exists between product innovation as a marketing strategy and firm‟s performance. Muthengi (2015) also did a study on effects of marketing strategies on sales performance of commercial banks in Nigeria. The findings  of the study indicated an overall significance of the marketing variables adopted, although not much effect was seen when a marketing variable is compared with bank performance in isolation of other variables. Therefore, there have been few studies in Nigeria on marketing strategies and its effects on sales performance of small and medium enterprises. This, therefore, creates a proper avenue to fill the gap that other researchers have left. The study tries to focus on effects of marketing strategies on sales performance of enterprises in Nigeria which then leads to the question; what are the effects of marketing strategies on sales performance of small and medium enterprises?

1.3   Research Objective

 The main objective of this study was to examine marketing strategies and their effects in sales expansion in organizations.



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