CONTEMPORARY MARKETING STRATEGIES AND PERFORMANCE OF AGRICULTURAL MARKETING FIRMS IN SOUTH-WEST NIGERIA


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CONTEMPORARY MARKETING STRATEGIES AND PERFORMANCE OF AGRICULTURAL MARKETING FIRMS IN SOUTH-WEST NIGERIA

ABSTRACTThis thesis examines the application of Contemporary Marketing Strategies and their impact on agricultural marketing firms performance in South-West Nigeria. The study was carried out on established conceptualised Contemporary Marketing practice comprising of four different approaches - Transaction, Database, Analysis Interactive Mix and Network Marketing. The general objective of the study was to examine the application/adoption of Contemporary Marketing Strategies and the Performance of agricultural Marketing firms in Nigeria’s buyer-seller relationships. Data for this research were obtained from both primary and secondary sources. Relevant published and unpublished literature provided the secondary data. The primary data were obtained through structured questionnaires (administered to sampled agricultural marketing firms managers involved in three major divisions of Industrial, Food and other Agro sectors in South- Western, Nigeria). One thousand one hundred and ten (1,110) copies of the questionnaire were administered, out of which eight hundred and eighteen (818) were collated for the analysis, representing 79 per cent return rate. To achieve the objectives of this study, four hypotheses were formulated. For the data analysis, the statistical test tools used included Analysis of Variance, Multiple Regression Analysis, and independent t-test. MS-Excel and SPSS 15.0 computer packages. The results showed that there is combined contribution of Transaction Marketing (arms-length, Marketing mix, functional Marketing and internal capacity) in predicting customers’ acquisition. The study also revealed that there is significant difference in generating retainership capacity as well as improved market share between agricultural marketing firms with high adoption of database marketing and those with low adoption of database marketing. It was also observed that agricultural marketing firms with high and low use of face-to-face and dyadic relationship marketing have significant difference in sales value and volume. The results equally showed that agricultural marketing firms with high and low penetration of network marketing have significant difference in market share. Based on these findings, some recommendations were made that before embarking on expensive IT and data collection projects, managers should ask themselves basic questions like: how does Database Marketing fit in with existing and future marketing plans? What are the specific quantitative and qualitative benefits of Database Marketing system that will improve marketing productivity? What organizational changes will be necessary to accommodate a Database Marketing system? These questions are intended to provoke a situation review, which, if appropriate, evolves into a plan for Database Marketing systems development. If agricultural growth is to be stimulated and market created for our industrial products, if higher productivity, improved preservation, packaging, packing and labeling techniques should be encouraged in Agro-related industries, the decision of Contemporary Marketing should focus on customer's preferences/ optimal Transaction, Interactive mix, Network and Database Marketing. This would also engender maximum benefit of electronically-interactive relationships.

TABLE OF CONTENTSCertification…………………………………………………………………………..    iiiDeclaration…………………………………………………………………………….    ivDedication…………………………………………………………………………….    vAcknowledgements………………………………………………………………….    vi-vii Abstract….…………………………………………………………………………….    viiiTable of Contents…………………………………………………………………….          ix-xi List of Tables…    xiiList of Appendices    xivList of Figures…    xv

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction1.1    Background of the Study…………………………………………………….    1    Statement of Research Problems    9    Objectives of the Study…    141.4    Research Questions………………………………………………………….    151.5    Hypotheses Formulation…    151.6    Significance of the Study……………………………………………………..    16    Scope or Delimitation of the Study………………………………………….    16    The Structure of Work…    17    Definition of Terms…    18

CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review, Conceptual and Theoretical Framework    Introduction…    21    Conceptual Framework…    22    Meaning of Marketing…    22    Importance of Marketing………………………………………………    26    The Evolution of Marketing ……………………………………………    322.2.1    The Early Days…………………………………………………………….    332.2.2    Modern Marketing………………………………………………………..    372.2.3    Contemporary Marketing Thoughts…...........................................................    41    Philosophies of Marketing Management in Nigeria…………… …….    43    Contemporary Marketing Practices……………………………………….    552.4.1    Transaction Marketing……………….……………………………………..    572.4.2    Database Marketing……………………………………………………….    572.4.3    Interaction Marketing……………..……………………………………….    612.4.4    Network Marketing………..………………………………………………    622.4.5    Classifying Marketing Practices……………………………………………..    642.4.6    Relationship Marketing………………………………………………….    66    Information Technology and Contemporary Marketing Practices …………    69    Perspectives on Marketing Strategy Research…    73    Marketing Strategy Content Studies………………………………………….    74    Roles of the Marketing Manager and Marketing Concept in Organisations…    78    Organisation’s Performance    86    Barriers to the Implementation of Contemporary Marketing Strategies…    87    Cultural Dimensions…    882.9.2    Cognitive Dimensions……………………………………………………….    91    History, Growth, Use and Potential of Agro-industries in Nigeria…    94    Functions, Operations and Importance of Marketing Boards…    95    Functions, Operations and Importance of Indigenous Agro-Processing Industries 97    Types of Agro-processing Industry…    99    Developmental Role of the Agro-processing Industry…    103    Potentials of Agro-industry in Developing Countries…    104    The Specificity of Agro-industry……………………………………………..    1072.10.7    Linkages Effects……………………………………………………………..    109    The Agro-processing Industry in the Process of Development………………    111    Evolution of Technology and Food Consumption Patterns…    114    Theoretical Framework…    118    The Contingency Theory in Management…    118    The Concept of Organisation-Environment Fit…    126    The Commitment- Trust Theory…    133    Summary of Focal Literature and its Gaps…    136

CHAPTER THREE: Research Methodology3.1    Introduction...…………………………………………………………………    143    Research Design    143    Population of Study…    144    Sample Frame    145    Sample Size Determination…    146    Sampling Technique…    1493.7    Method of Data Collection……………………………………………………    1503.8    Research Instrument….……………………………………………………….    150    Administration of Research Instrument…    152    Operational Definition of Study Variables    153    Research Procedure…    157    Validity of Research Instrument……………………………………………    157    Reliability of Research Instrument …………………………………………..    159    Method of Data Presentation and Analysis…    160

CHAPTER FOUR: Presentation, Analyses and Interpretation of Result    Introduction…    161    Response Rate of Questionnaire Distributed…    1614.2    Demographic Data……………… ………………………………………    1634.2.1    Demographic Profile of Respondents    164    Restatement of Hypotheses…    185    Hypotheses Testing    1854.3.2    Hypothesis One….………………………………………………………….    1854.3.3    Hypothesis Two…………………………………………… ……………….    1874.3.4    Hypothesis Three…    1884.3.5    Hypothesis Four….. ……………………………………………………….    189

CHAPTER FIVE: Discussion, Conclusion, and Recommendations5.0    Introduction…    191    Summary of Theoretical Findings…………………………………………..    191    Summary of Empirical Findings…    1965.2    Conclusions ………………………………………………………………….    199    Recommendations…    203    Managerial Implications…    207    Research Implications…    211    Contributions to Knowledge…    212    Limitations and Suggestions for Further Research…    213References…    216-253

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTIONBackground of the Study:The importance of the agricultural sector in developed and selected developing economies, including Nigeria, is generally well known. Most public policy makers, since independence, expected the agricultural sector to satisfy national food requirements, supply most of the agricultural raw materials needed by the manufacturing sector, provide adequate employment and income as well as earn substantial foreign exchange for the country (Daramola, 2004). All national development plans in Nigeria since 1962 recognised that planning can be used, among other things, to achieve a higher growth rate for the economy and ameliorate certain structural deficiencies inhibitive to development process (Otokiti, 2007). The various policies and measures designed for the actualisation of the objectives in various plans(1st Plan:1962-1968; 2nd Plan: 1970-1974; 3rd Plan:1975- 1980;4th Plan:1981-1985, e.t.c.) included various attempts at raising the level of public sector participation in the Agro-sector and provision of basic necessities of life like food, opportunity for education, employment and reasonable health and sanitation condition, even distribution of income, change and amendment of social structure, community development and increased per capital income of the citizenry as well as better attitude to work and conducive environment for the citizens.There was also the establishment of specialised agro-institutions responsible for loan management, input subsidies and producers’ price setting through various marketingboards such as Cocoa Marketing Board, Oil Palm Produce Marketing Board, Groundnut Marketing Board and the Cotton Marketing Board.All these were followed in later years by the abolishment of commodity boards and the adoption of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986. In the same vein, a unified system of agricultural extension was adopted to quicken the dissemination of improved husbandry practices and research findings to farmers while more universities of agriculture and research institutes at national levels joined these establishments to broaden and strengthen agricultural research. The challenges received international attention, as more institutes of global reach were established. These included International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT). The IITA is an international non-profit research for development organisation established in 1967 under United Nations Joint Collaborative Effort on Food Problem in Tropical Africa.The CGIAR, established in 1971, is a strategic partnership, whose donors support 15 international centres, working in collaboration with several government and civil society organisations as well as private businesses around the world. The CGIAR generates cutting-edge technology to engender sustainable agricultural growth to the benefit of the poor through stronger food security, better human nutrition and health, higher incomes and improved management of natural resources.CRIN, was established in Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria, on December 1, 1964 as a successor autonomous research organisation to the Nigerian substation of the defunct West AfricanCocoa Research Institute (WACRI) (through the Nigeria Statute, Act No. 6 of 1950). Thiswas sequel to the establishment in 1944 of the WACRI headquarters at Tafo, Ghana with the responsibility of conducting research to facilitate improved production of disease-free, or disease-resistant cocoa. The NIHORT in Ibadan started out as the National Fruit and Vegetable Research and Development Centre (NFVRC) with the assistance of UNDP/FAO Project NIR/72/007. The centre metamorphosed into NIHORT through the Federal Government Agricultural Research Institute Establishment Decree Order No. 35 of June 1975. NIHORT has the mandate to research into the genetic improvement, production, processing and marketing of vegetables, fruits, citrus, ornamental plants, spices, dissemination of information and transfer of improved technologies on horticultural cropsInspite of these measures, the performance of this sector has generally been considered unsatisfactory and its expected contributions remained largely an expectation (Ukpong, 1993; Fu-lai, 2001; Agundu, 2001; Daramola, 2004; Forae, 2005).Regardless of the above, various agricultural crops were cultivated to boost the effort and capacity of these marketing firms to contribute to national plans. The effect varies with the five regions of the world (Tropical, Equatorial, Temperature, Rolar and Atlantic) (Otokiti, 2004). Globally, the main agricultural crops according to Otokiti can be divided into three different sectors, namely:(i).    Foods Crops in the forms of wheat, rice, maize, rye, oats, millets and barley;(ii).    Industrial Crops comprising cotton, jute, hemp, flax, rubber and oil crop; and(iii)    Other    Non-Continental    Crops    like    cocoa,    tea,    coffee,    tobacco,    sugarcane, groundnuts, sugar-beat, yams, etc.Against these backgrounds, the focus of this thesis is to analyse the possible operations andstrategies of agricultural marketing firms in these three sectors. These marketing firms playsignificant coordinative and operational roles, and developmental marketing function toward their effect on economic development process.In some countries, such as Austria, India and United States of America, these sectors make significant contributions to gross domestic product. Whereas in Africa, activities of agricultural marketing firms hardly account for more than 15 per cent of the gross domestic product (Forae, 2005). The nature and processes of agricultural marketing encompass on- farm and off-farm activities from the production to the commercialization of agricultural products, such as post-harvest handling, waste saving and seasonal crops management and preservation, processing, marketing, and related commercial activities. These are often confused with large-scale commercial farming. However, these activities are carried out by “agro-enterprises,” which are usually non-farm enterprises engaged in productive activities. Agricultural marketing therefore takes place within sections 0 and 1 of Standard International Trade Classification, (SITC), which is used for external trade statistics (export and import values and volumes of goods), allowing for international comparisons of commodities marketing operations and manufactured capacities.Contemporary marketing activities have shown that the traditional principles of sales/personal selling seek to assist sales executives to “close a sale” (Pride and Ferrrel, 2002).   Hult et al (2007) stated that “. . . building one-to-one relationships with customers is the heart of business marketing.” Thus relational marketing is pivotal to bus-marketing strategy and contributes greatly to business performance (Nigam, 2001).Another view of relationship marketing focuses on the use of technology to acquire,maintain and manage customers (Copulsky and Wolf 1990; Peppers and Rogers 1997). As such, it can be considered as an elaborate form of database marketing. Yet anotherperspective considers the relationship more in terms of cooperation between the buyer and the seller. The role of the buyer is more involved and characteristic of a partner because of his/her involvement in the development and design of the products and services that are offered by the seller. The relationship in this buyer-seller dyad is based on the relational characteristics of promises, trust and personal interactions (Anderson and Narus 1990; Groonroos, 2004). The final perspective is an all-inclusive strategic view of relationship marketing, which includes databases, loyalty programmes, customised services, personalised relationships, strategic alliances (Kotler 1992; Morgan and Hunt 1994). Thus, available literature emphasises that relationship marketing offers a new paradigm for the field. An understanding of contemporary marketing will include the concept of relationships, transactional marketing, database marketing, interaction marketing, and network marketing (Kotler, 1992; Sheth, Gardner and Garrett 1988; Sheth and Parvatiyar 1995; Webster 1992, Brodie et al, 2007).Coviello et al. (1997) attempt to resolve this issue when they examined a paradigm shift in marketing in terms of relationship marketing by pooling a variety of research streams on relational marketing and developing a classification scheme. Their research encompasses four types of marketing practices: Transactional Marketing, Database Marketing, Interaction Marketing, and Network Marketing. Transaction Marketing includes the management of the Price, Product, Place, and Promotion (4Ps) in order to attract and satisfy customers.Database Marketing involves the use of technology-based tools to target and retaincustomer. The key to Database Marketing success is in managing data selection, data integrity, privacy issues, supplier relations, data analysis and application.Interaction Marketing implies face-to-face interaction within the relationship. Thus, it is a process where individuals initiate and handle complex personal interactions. Marketing occurs at the individual level based on social processes and personal interactions. Relationships are established between individuals, and can occur in both a formal and informal manner, with the parties being mutually active and adaptive.Interaction Marketing is truly “with” the customer in both a formal and informal manner. Both parties are mutually active and adaptive. Interaction Marketing is truly “with” the customer since both parties in the dyad invest resources to develop a mutually beneficial and interpersonal relationship. Interaction Marketing is not the responsibility of only the marketer, nor is those that engage in Interaction Marketing necessarily in the position of seller. Rather, this approach can involve a number of individuals across functions and levels in the firm, and may encompass both buying and selling activities (Coviello et al. 2003).Network Marketing entails developing inter-firm relationships to allow for coordination of activities between multi-parties for mutual benefit and, resource exchange (Trott, 2005). There is little consensus on precisely what innovation network is or indeed when an innovation network is said to exist. However, there is some agreement that network is more than a series of supplier and customer relationship (Trott, 2005). Some networks have been described as federated in that a set of loosely affiliated firms work relatively autonomously but none the less engage in mutual monitoring and control of one another (Day and David 1999,). Other networks can be viewed more as a temporary web, in which firms coalesce around one firm or a business opportunity. For example, following most natural disastersaround the world, a collection of organisations, including emergency services, government departments, charities and volunteer group quickly work together as a network to tackle the immediate problems.Other networks are sometimes referred to as strategic partnerships and usually evolve from long-standing supplier relationships. Through repeated dealings, trust and personal relationships evolve. For example, firms with an established track record in supplying materials or components to an agricultural marketing firm may well find themselves becoming involved in additional activities such as concept testing and product development. This may also include universities, government agencies and competitors.Most scholars in marketing refer to successful organisations as those which efficiently correspond with their environment. The responsibility of this environmental contact typically lies within the domain of marketing operations and the development of appropriate marketing strategies. Consequently, this area of marketing received considerable attention in the last two decades both in the Marketing Literature and in the business world (Bolton et al, 2008). There are varied reasons attributable to the development, the dominant one being the dramatic changes in the overall business environment (Baker et al, 1999) of the company and country of operation and evaluation.Allied to this relationship is the development in scholarship that presents a comprehensive participant implementation orientation in marketing. Thus marketing is presupposed as everyone’s responsibility in satisfaction of needs (Greyser and Paul, 1999; Bolton, 2005). This, scholars suggest, must be reflected in the strategic orientation of the organisations; a proxy for market-based orientation. Empirical studies also supported the market orientationphilosophy and that the organisation’s marketing focus should enhance financialperformance and new product development (Cadogan and Diamontopoulos, 1999; Enright, 2001; Noble et al, 2002; Gray et al, 1999; Otokiti, 2004; Daramola, 2005; Greenley et al, 2004; Gary et al, 2006; G. Tomas et al, 2007).Moreover, Hooley, Lynch, and Jobber (1990) provide further empirical evidence concerning the relationship between marketing strategy and corporate attitudes. They discovered that positive attitudes towards marketing’s role in corporate affairs led to superior performance. This further confirms that marketing strategy has a central role in the business strategy dialogue (Slater and Olson, 2000).The implication is that top management personnel should not consider decisions regarding marketing strategy independently of their business strategies, because marketing strategy is uniquely able to assess the consumer’s needs and the potential of the organisation for gaining competitive advantage, which ultimately guide the corporate or business mission (Wind and Robertson, 1983; Daramola, 2005; Hooley et al, 2001; Li 2000).Contemporary and time-based marketing strategy is also considered as a directional variable in that it provides a business with the overall direction of various marketplaces over a period of time. This is a broad area and it is probably the most difficult, but the most important, for the managers to understand. One set of key issues is the relationship of contemporary marketing strategy with mission analysis; market definition; market segmentation; product differentiation and positioning; and matching marketing assets with customer needs (Piercy, 1992; Oghojafor, 1998).These are the most fundamental marketing questions concerning agro-marketing activities; however, the ones that were typically concrete structures for planning and decision on food policy are unfairly required.Thus research is almost inevitably in this area particularly market-led strategic change.However, to establish a complete and successful marketing strategy for these sectors of top management, integration within production system is essential and should exist in the organisation (Leppard and McDonald, 1987:160).Fostering a market orientation is the single most important factor in organisational readiness for database marketing (Seiler, 2000). Interaction Marketing examines the development of interpersonal and individual buyer-seller relationships. Network-Marketing focuses on the position of the firm in a connected set of inter-firm relationships. The hypothesis that these authors proposed is that transactional and relational marketing are not mutually exclusive; rather, they are parts of the same paradigm. Although each of these constructs is clearly different, the basis of the framework allows for marketing practice to be pluralistic, hence the constructs are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In other words, an organisation that practises Transaction Marketing could also practise other contemporary marketing practices such as Database, Interaction, or Network Marketing. They propose that the relative emphasis given to either one of these perspectives differ under different market conditions or business situations (Webster 1992). However, the exact measures of these contributions to specific organisation performance variable remain an issue of major concern in many developing economies. In particular, the expected sectoral analysis vis sector such as listed under SITC to which agro-sectoral marketing board belongs is our focus in this thesis.    Statement of Research Problem.Transaction Marketing (TM) has received considerable attention since the 1990s in developing countries as consumers have become more demanding in their exchanges fromfirms, consequently intensifying competitive challenges (Pride and Ferrell, 2002). Market- driven potential of collective impact of TM activities is used to deliver enhanced value beyond customers’ expectations and above firm’s offering. The strategy of building strong customer relationships has been reportedly documented to have offered significant competitive advantage and responsive to direct invitation by competitors (Dinis, 2006).However, estimating the future earning potential of a strong customer retention, market share, increase in sales, etc. is a complex and inexact process. Current marketing productivity metrics focus on past customer behaviour and current period marketing expenditures. Neither of these conventions provides accurate valuation of TM’s contribution to firm performance. As a result, critique of this approach has demanded a review of marketing structure and strategies concerning transaction marketing’s inability to demonstrate significant contributions to firm performance (Li, 2000). Consequently, research interests directed through “TM-mixture” in improving the measurability, predictive capacity and accuracy of marketing performance in recent years have called for additional investigation.In past decades, the focus of research on marketing productivity has been on efficiency, and effectiveness based on control costs related to transaction marketing with its customer- centric emphasis. This represents an increased demand for effectiveness and impact of cost-led marketing efforts on customer responses based-expectation. Similarly, there is increased desirability to understand the impact of TM variables on customer behaviours and how these reflect on improved firm performance. There is the need for a study to examine the conceptual connections between the elements of TM marketing efforts and its productivity and how interconnectivity of transaction marketing elements can be utilised toimprove the contribution of Agro Industry marketing firms to industry performance in Nigeria.The application of information technologies to agro-marketing is another relationship that is been investigated in this study. Thus, the increasing use of information technologies to support marketing processes has been reported as capable of reshaping buyer-seller interactions in agro sector. Thus, the applications of the interface of Agro-marketing companies’ and their clients have shown increasing monopolistic tendencies in database literature (Gummeson, 2002). Similarly, Parasuraman and Grewal, (2000) observe that the disaggregated measurement of database marketing via information transaction components and economic space theory remained sub-optimally accounted for improved customer from volume to value.Consequently, increasing competition and accelerating market fragmentation couple with lower information system costs have spurred many organisations into developing IT-based marketing strategies, which capitalise on the opportunities presented by powerful database injection. In addition, some organisations succeeded in disaggregated budgetary analysis of their marketing systems to achieve competitive advantage in marketplace. Conversely, others were inhibited by the intricate human, technical and organisational problems created by the mal-adoption of all or selected components of database marketing.Conceptual contributions portray the use of IT as both proximate and ultimate conditions to the introduction of innovative model of customer’s retainership as well as developmental profitability relationships with other clients. Again, empirical studies have clearly confirmed the capacity of IT in enhancing organisational performance in the form of increased sales volume and market share. However, evidence on its effects on newcustomer’s multiplicity and retaining capacity of existing ones are not well documented.Infact, studies on such concepts as IT-DBN-based customer generation and retaining capacity are at sectorial as against national level. Some other works differentiated labour inhibitive and capital intensity capacities between developed countries and developing once (Khanna, 1983; Otokiti, 2005).The arrival of developmental marketing system in the 21st century brought dramatic changes in the marketing environment and engendered radical rethinking on marketing activities. This development, along with Market Life Cycle Theory, demonstrated the “customer-scarce hypothesis” and Human Resource (HR) relationship and increased interaction demand for marketing (Day, 2000). However, this “rethinking” has largely focused and is associated with marketing practice in developed and industrialised economies, and recently, the newly industrialised countries. A comparative position in developing countries showed that far less attention has been given to the synergy and multiplier effect of interactive marketing practice in the developing countries.More importantly, evidence on structural change and competitiveness of Agricultural marketing firms in developed countries, reveals reasonable adoption of interactive marketing activities, in form of face-to-face, dyadic and relationship marketing. This is as against the position found in the developing countries, (including Nigeria). Consequently, more countries in developing markets now view these developments with great interest and seek additional information from empirical evidence of the industrialised countries. In addition to the above, the general arcession that for most developing, market maturity status, their commitments on customers need, expectation and service mix must occupy and attract significant budgetary position. Again literature shows that agricultural marketing firms in developing countries are yet to understand fully the complexities ofcustomers needs and how services are designed and delivered to match the organisation’sexpected sales and volume of operations, all of which are possible through new customers, new products, new markets development and creativity. This research work intends therefore to evaluate the relationship between complimentary agro marketing strategies aimed at (i) analysing retainership relationship between costs of creating new ones; and (ii) examine the nature of market share from existing competitors and evaluate choices regarding the leverage on cost-oriented components of winning new customers from competitors and balancing this with retaining existing customers.A fourth element of the constructs in contemporary marketing practices is Network Marketing, which is also known as, “Co-operate-to-compete hypothesis”. The Network Marketing represents a model where effective competitor requires participant to be effective co-operator. This is because, not all instances of firms co-operating with one another resort to sub-optimal competitive tendencies (Teck-Yong, 2005).Marketing academics and practitioners have long been interested in the nature of Network Marketing (e.g. business-to-business (B2B) relationship (Dwyer, Schirr, and Oh, 1987). A recent study by Bolton et al (2008) shows how business customers’ evaluation of suppliers’ performance vary across different types of relationships. Similarly, research in services marketing has focused on cross-sectional studies of consumers and business customer switching behavior (e.g. Gawesh et al., 2000). In addition, Heide and Weiss (1999) found that a buyer’s decision to switch to a new vendor of a high-technology product depends on his or her perception of rapid technology change, prior experience with vendors, buying process formalisation and product characteristics. However, we could find no studies on the inter-firms relationship and its impact on organisation performance, particularly as related to increased market share. This study intends to fill this identifiedgap by highlighting the importance of inter-firm and inter-sector relationships on increase agro firm market share of the food, industrial and continental sectors.Despite the broad practices of Marketing into the food sector, and the particular relevance of Agriculture in a developing economy, no known attempt has been made to investigate, empirically, the relations of contemporary marketing strategies, and organisational performance in a developing country’s agricultural marketing companies in Nigeria’s buyer-seller relationships. This thesis intends to fill this intellectual omission.

    Objectives of the StudyThe purpose of the study is to examine the application/adoption of contemporary marketing strategies and the performance of agricultural marketing firms in Nigeria’s buyer-seller relationships.Our objectives are as follows:1.    To ascertain whether agricultural marketing firms with high use of combined strategies of Transaction Marketing (TM) ( Arms-length, Marketing Mix, Functional Marketing and Internal Capacity ) would gain more customers than those not using combined transaction marketing strategies;2.    To determine if agricultural marketing firms with high adoption of database marketing will have high generating and retainership capacity and improved market share;3.    To find out whether agricultural marketing firms operating with the strategy of interactive marketing (the mixture of face-to-face and dyadic relationship) are likely to have more sales value; and4.    To know whether agricultural marketing firms with high penetration of network marketing will have greater market share.

    Research QuestionsIn order to achieve the objectives of the research study, the study raises the following questions:1.    To what extent do agricultural marketing firms with high use of combined Transaction Marketing strategies of (arms-length, Marketing Mix, Functional Marketing and Internal Capacity) acquire more customers than those not using combined TM strategies?2.    At what rate do agricultural marketing firms with high adoption of database marketing have high generating and retainership capacity and improved market share?3.    How will agricultural marketing firms with high mixture of face-to-face and dyadic marketing strategies have more sales value than the competitors?4.    At what instance will agricultural marketing firms with penetration of network marketing have greater share of the combined market?

    Hypotheses FormulationTo provide answers to the research questions, the following hypotheses were tested:1.    There is no significant combined contribution of Transaction Marketing strategies (arms-length, Marketing Mix, Functional Marketing and Internal Capacity) in predicting new customers’ in agro marketing firms.2.    There is no significant difference in generating and retainership capacity and improved market share between agricultural marketing firms with high adoption of Database Marketing strategies and those with low adoption of Database Marketing.3.    Agricultural marketing firms with substantial adoption of face-to-face and dyadic relationship marketing will not significantly experience increase in sales value.4.    Agricultural marketing firms with high and low penetration of Network Marketing willnot perform significantly different in organisational market share.

    Significance of the StudyA study of this kind is expected to make theoretical, methodological and practical contributions to agriculture marketing studies. Five stakeholders have been identified as focal interest in this research (export operators, EXIM banks, academics, practicing managers, participants e.t.c.). This research would be of importance to both export and import businesses and academics. Most researchers participating at global marketing companies and export drivers   may find the findings of this research work essential for their investment portfolio, and the instruments for this research may be used in some developing countries of Africa that have embraced agricultural marketing strategies in their National planning system. Also, practising Nigerian export/import managers would find issues on contemporary marketing strategies useful for their plan mechanism and non-oil policy orientation. In addition, the work is likely to affect new development and creative policy related to managerial decisions on the findings and methodology of this research. It is hope that such practising Nigerian managers would improve corporate decision-making and performance, and contribute to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.

    Scope and Delimitation of the StudyThe study focused on the cross sectional examination of contemporary marketing strategy and performances of agricultural marketing firms in South- West Nigeria. However, ourstudy only covers three states in the South-West geo-political zone namely; Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo. The use of only three states out of six represented over 85 per cent coverage rate (Gold Star Publications, 2007) and therefore delimits possible generalisation of this research’s finding. Within this area, there are three distinct ecological zones: the mangrove forest to the south, the rain forest in the middle belt and the savanna to the north. All these combined to represent a robust agro output. In fact the zone is well suited for production of food crops such as maize, cassava, rice, yam and plantain as well as cash crops like cocoa, oil palm, gum Arabic, rubber, coffee. This explains why majority of agricultural marketing firms are concentrated in these states. The target population of this study includes companies operating in the three states based on the report of major 5,000 companies in Nigeria, published by Gold Star Publications (2007). That the companies used for this study have representative offices in other states not included in its scope, led to the decision to use our representative states.

    The Structure of WorkThis thesis is divided into five chapters. It presents the progression of the study from Background of Study through to Definition of Terms. Chapter Two contains a comprehensive review of literature related to the topic, in which concepts are drawn and theoretical framework developed to guide the investigation. Empirical review was included in this chapter. The research methodology developed on issues of methods design, instruments and strategies adopted on the investigation are in Chapter Three. The results of data collection, spreadsheet of responses and tabulation are presented in Chapter Four. Findings, recommendations and contribution to knowledge from the research questions and previously stated objectives are in Chapter Five. This chapter also incorporatesconclusions, implications of the results and contributions to knowledge. Finally, we include some suggestions on possible research areas which, built on the results of this study, could provide further contributions to knowledge in the field.    

Definitions of TermsStandard International Trade Classification (SITC) is a product classification of the United Nations (UN) used for trade statistics of all economies sectors.Agricultural Marketing: This involves on-farm and off-farm activities from the production to the commercialisation of agricultural products, such as post-harvest handling, processing, marketing and related commercial activities.Pre-Structural Adjustment Programme (PRE-SAP): In order to reverse the worsening economic fortunes government embarked on an extensive structural adjustment programme which was put in place in 1986 with emphasis on expenditure reduction and expenditure switching policies as well as using the private sector as the economy’s engine of growth via commercialisation and privatisation of government-owned enterprises.Marketing Boards: Legal bodies set up by the government for procurement and processing, grading, e.t.c of agricultural produce from farmers and market them either internally or outside the country. Various Marketing Boards in Nigeria, include (i) Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB) (ii) Oil palm produce Marketing Board (OPMB) (iii) Groundnut Marketing Board (GMB) (iv)Cotton Marketing Board (CMB) among others.Agricultural marketing firms consist of interdependent sets of enterprises, institutions, activities, and relationships that collectively develop and deliver material inputs to the farming sector, produce primary commodities, and subsequently handle, process, transport, market, and distribute food and other agro-based products to consumers.International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA): is an international non-profit research for development organisation established in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria in 1967. IITA develops agricultural solution with partners to tackle hunger and poverty. Its mission is to enhance food security and improve livelihood in Africa through research-for- development.The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR): Established in 1971, as strategic partnership of 15 international centres, works in collaboration with hundreds of government and civil society organisations as well as private businesses around the world. It generates cutting-edge science to foster sustainable agricultural growth that benefits the poor through stronger food security, better human nutrition and health, higher incomes and improved management of natural resources.Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) established 1964, Ibadan. West African Cocoa Research Institute (WACRI) established through the Nigeria Statute, Act No. 6 of 1950. CRIN is mandated to conduct research on five crops, namely; cocoa, kola nut, coffee, cashew and tea across Nigeria.National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT): The National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) Ibadan, started as the National Fruit and Vegetable Research and Development Centre (NFVRC) assisted by UNDP/FAO Project NIR/72/007. Metamorphosed into the “National Horticultural Research Institute” (NIHORT) by the Federal Government Agricultural Research.Acquisition Performance: This is perceived performance indicator that measures performance of organisations based on new customers generated, increase in sales growth and market share of such organisations.Retention    Performance:    This    is    perceived    performance    indicator    that    measures performance of organisations based on customer retention ability of such organisations

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CONTEMPORARY MARKETING STRATEGIES AND PERFORMANCE OF AGRICULTURAL MARKETING FIRMS IN SOUTH-WEST NIGERIA


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