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Effect of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) on the Company’s Sales Perfomance

The Effect of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) on the Company’s Sales Perfomance. A Study of Nigerian Breweries Plc 9th Mile Enugu State          

  Abstract

This research is on “The effects of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) to the companys sales perfomance. Integrated marketing communication plays a vital role by providing the company different types of promotional tool put together as a vital communication sytem for both the consumers and business. The main aim of this promotional tools is to deliver carefully prepared messages to target audience. The objective of the study is aimed at examining the impact of (IMC) Integrated Marketing Communication on companys sale perfomances. The researcher used both primary and secondary sources and methods of data collection to obtain relevant data. In other words, the researcher used questionaire and interviews as well as rekated  information from related literature. Chi-square test of independence was used to test the hypothesis. The researcher analysis of the hypothesis came up with some findings which state that “there is no singnificant relationship between the IMC activities, the company uses and its sale perfomance and “profitability” is not accepted. The researcher came up with some recommendation which included that periodic swot analysis, consumption pattern monitoring, new and sophisitcated IMC tools, adequate management of IMC programmes should be adopted.

CHAPTER ONE

                                              INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background of the Study

Since early last decade, the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) concept has been largely regarded as an important marketing management issue because of the effectiveness of the integration of marketing communications tools for example, Advertising, Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Sales Promotion, and Personal Selling to optimize the communications impact on target consumers (Kotler, 2000; Schultz and Kitchen, 1997).

Additionally, there are several reasons for the growing importance of IMC. These include:  a change of marketing expenditures from media advertising to other forms of promotion, particularly consumers and trade-oriented sales promotions; a movement away from relying on advertising focused approaches which emphasize mass media to lower-cost, more targeted communication tools such as event marketing, sponsorship, direct mail, sales promotion and the internet;  a shift in marketplace power from manufacturers to retailers;  the rapid growth and development of data base marketing;  demands for greater accountability from advertising agencies and changes in the way agencies are compensated; the rapid growth of the internet, which is changing the nature of how companies do business and the ways they communicate and interact with consumers; and increased efforts to measure and improve marketing communication return on  investment (ROI) by both clients and agencies (Belch and Belch, 2004; Cornelissen, 2001; Shimp, 2000). These factors have given rise to investigations into new ways of managing marketing communications.

Throughout the IMC debate, practitioners and academics forward the notion that, improvements in the coordination and integration of marketing communications should lead to some level of superior business performance (Kitchen and Schultz, 1999; McArthur and Griffin, 1997; McGoon, 1998). The common explanation is that through IMC, a company can attain “synergy” between all of its marketing communication activities and decisions.  Defined in terms of three constructs: “consistency”, “interactivity” and “mission” synergy ensures that the use of alternative communication tools are mutually reinforcing, leading to a level of enhanced productivity and performance (Duncan, 1993; Duncan and Moriarty, 1997; Eagle and Kitchen, 2000, Hines 1999).

The implicit assumption of IMC is that, through synergy, IMC provides a cost-effective way to maximize the impact of communication by improving marketing decisions through a ‘market-back-approach’ (Duncan and Moriarty, 1997; Kitchen and Schultz, 1999; Pickton and Hartley, 1997; Stewart, 1996). Additional efficiencies are derived through improved cooperation between departments and service providers avoiding the duplication of information gathering, or “reinventing the wheel” in developing communication strategies (Hartley and Pickton, 1999; Linton and Morely, 1995). Other than efficiencies, benefits should also accrue through improved brand communications and positioning, bringing about opportunities for more profitable longer-term customer relationships (Keller, 2001)

1.2  Statement of the Problem

There have been many papers and works analyzing the relationship between certain marketing tools or activities and resultant business performance determinants.  Some authors analyze the effects on sales (Assmus et al 1984; Kapil and Shoemaker, 2004; MacLnnis et al, 2002; Tellis and Weiss, 1995); many authors analyzed the effects on customer satisfaction (Bendall-Lyon and Powers, 2003; Homburg and Stock, 2004; Kenneth, 2000; Jap, 2001; Lewis, 2004).

Lately, there have been several works analyzing the relationship between integrated marketing communications (IMC) and business performance (Low, 2000; Reid, 2003; Reid et al, 2001; Zahay et al, 2004) and between marketing orientation and business performance (Gray and Hooley, 2002; Guo, 2002; Konic, 2003). However, the comprehensive study of IMC’s impact on the company’s sales performance in Nigeria is still in the beginning stage. While some marketing managers are aware that marketing communications is an important resource of their business performance, others are very ignorant of the efficacy and prospects inherent in its application for effective business performance, thereby, neglecting its application (Snoj et al, 2001). In communicating with their business environment, most marketing managers use irrelevant and inefficient marketing communication tools that produce no result, thereby recording a negative impact on the business performance of the company.

Another disturbing aspect of the application of Integrated Marketing Communication is that most marketing managers fail to appreciate the importance of monitoring and evaluation in the discharge of their marketing activities. This neglect has made it impossible for the marketing Managers to measure effectively the impact (positive or negative) Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) can make on their business performance.

Consequently, this study seeks to explore and extend the knowledge of IMC by investigating how the IMC impacts on sales performance.

1.3     Objectives of the Study

This study is aimed at examining the impact of IMC on company’s sales performance. Specifically, the study strives to:-

  1. Find out the level of IMC programme in the firms and its impacts on sales.
  2. Investigate how the IMC programmes are managed in relation to its performance and results.
  3. Find the indicators that marketing executives and managers use in measuring the effectiveness of the overall IMC programmes.
  4. To ascertain whether the company appreciate and apply IMC in boosting their sales performance.
  5. To examine the IMC tools commonly used by the selected company under study in boosting their sales performance.

  1.4  Research Questions

The following are the research questions:

  1. What are the marketing communications programmes being used in your firm?
  2. How is the IMC programmes managed in relation to its outcome?
  3. What are the indicators used in measuring the effectiveness of IMC programmes?
  4. What impact does IMC make on the sales performance of your firm?
  5. What are the IMC tools commonly used by your firm in boosting the sales performance?

 1.5   Research Hypothesis

The null hypothesis formulated for the study is as follows:-

  • There is no significant relationship between the IMC activities the company uses and its sales performance and profitability

1.6  Significance of the Study

Practically, this study will assist in broadening the knowledge of the market players on the essence, importance of IMC and new media and channels available in disseminating marketing information synergistically.

  1. Academically, this study will help in widening the frontier of knowledge in various ways:
  2. The significance of this study can be viewed from academic and practical stand points.
  3. It will contribute to the enrichment of literature on Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC).
  4. It will reveal modern ways of disseminating marketing information that is lacking in Nigerian literatures and marketing communications environment in Nigeria.
  5. It will serve as a body of reserved knowledge to be referred to by researchers.

 1.7   Scope/ Area of the Study

The research covers the Nigerian Breweries Plc 9th mile, Enugu State with particular interest in the effects of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) to the company’s sales performance.

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