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MARKETING ATTITUDINAL CHANGE

Project Topic: Marketing of Attitudinal Change in Ebonyi State: A Study of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)


 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1    Background

Most of us are aware of the different social problems that exist in our society. According to Coffman (2002), these problems could be a result of people’s behaviour in a specific segment (eg. drunk driving, condom usage, anti-smoking). Other social problems could be broader and involve the society as a whole, where issues as health care policy and support for quality child care are important.  To decrease the effects of such social problems marketers design and stage social marketing campaigns where the fundamental purpose is to influence peoples behaviour (Andreasen, 1997). Coffman (2002) agrees that campaigns are different, but the common characteristic of all campaigns is their focus on influencing what people think about and do.  To measure the social marketing campaign effects, a campaign evaluation is conducted by marketers (Andreasen, 1997).

According to Chris (2005) “Attitudes are learned through past experiences and serve as a link between thoughts and behaviour”. Attitude may be formed out of the abundance or rate of involvement in the learning processes.  Subsequently these predispositions will shape people’s experience in response to an object or situation.  An attitude can be broadly defined as a hypothetical mental structure which determines actions or prepares a person to act in a certain way (OECD, 1994).

In our society today, people have the tendency to combine alcohol and drugs with driving vehicles. In an interview with Elin Safststom Transport Developer, Trafiverket, 24th of February 2011) she explains that the results of this social problem is too often severe traffic crashes, where not only the person who is driving gets hurt, but also innocent outsiders.  Trafikverket has therefore together with Raddningstiganstan ( a company in charge of the emergency services) in Katrineholm created an educational traffic safety campaign called traffic safety, which has till date only been exposed to the students. The purpose of this campaign is to aware the high school students of the different types of risks that exist while driving and to teach the students, the resultant effects of alcohol consumption, drugs, tiredness, speeding, non-usage of safety belt and usage of mobile phones in connection with traffic.  The reason for educating this group of people about society issues likes this one is because they are the first in line to attain a driving license for vehicles like cars, motorcycles, mopeds.

In Nigeria, Federal Road Safety Crops (FRSC) carried out attitudinal change campaigns among motorist in the country with a view to reducing road crashes during the last months of the year 2001.  The programme tagged: “Operation Public Enlightenment All through”, The FRSC Egbeda Unit Commander, Sanya Adeoye, said the progrmame was targeted at the motoring public. It was the belief of the Federal Road Safety Corps that attitude was the change needed to reduce traffic crashes on the road. According to him, the programme is expected to take place in all motor parks, churches, mosques and on the roads nationwide. He explained that erring motorists would not be booked or arrested but rather, they will be educated on the offence so that they will have attitudinal change against road traffic crashes.  Attitudinal change motorists should desist from over speeding, over loading, drunk driving, use of mobile

phone while driving and non use of seat belts among others. Adeoye said that researches have shown that out of the three agents of road traffic crashes, human factor contributed 80 percent or more; hence the FRSC resolved to dedicate the campaign to attitudinal change on the part of the motorists in the state.

The changing of attitude is one of three key approaches to road safety-along with changes to the road environment and to vehicles and equipment. This research work will show pit falls in our approach to attitudinal change and to design attitudinal change programmes that work.

1.2    Statement of the Problems:-

There have been countless amounts of campaigns all around the world where marketers have tried to influence people’s behaviours. Kotler and Armstrong (2008) state that consumer’s beliefs and attitudes influence the consumer behaviour, as a belief is a descriptive thought and attitude is a consistent evaluation of a product service / behaviour.

Road safety promotion strategies have been in operation in Nigeria for more than seventeen years now but neither has their impact been assessed nor has their contribution towards the reduction of carnage on our roads been established. The trend has been an increase in deaths and injuries, especially around the pressure seasons of Christmas and Easter, when road traffic volumes on the national and provincial road increase.

The periods of strategic planning have always been followed by the periods of campaigns, for example; Federal Road Safety Commission; The National Road to Safety Strategy (2001 – 2005) and the National Road Safety Strategy (2006 onwards). In line with the observed carnages, and as a result of several variables, example, old technologies, worn-out bridges, obsolete messages, which people are no longer sensitive to, stereotyped text messages, disregard for road users in rural areas, in illiterate settings, undeveloped areas, research apathy in the message domain, disregard for critical audiences like school-goers, pedestrians, the disabled, the aged and criminals, as well as several other misdemeanors in communication, therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the entire message strategy and all the systems associated with it, with social marketing as the overarching tool.

According to Goldberg, (1997) some messages often overlook semiotic cultural differences like colour significance and unique culture interpretations, sound interpretations and attitudes towards sounds and several other text, signs and discourse message designs not suited to village Road Safety audiences.  Hirschman, (1991) observed that the culture, level of education, and other variables pertaining to geographical habitat, especially in the lower socio-economic start of society, often call for in-depth research into the semiotic expression and interpretation of the cultural groups, the intent being to deliver comprehensible messages.

The strategies of the government presently in use for promoting Road Safety in Nigeria are more than four years old and apparently no study has been done to evaluate their effectiveness.

1.3    Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this research is to evaluate the marketing of attitudinal change in Ebonyi State, a case study of the Federal Road Safety Commission.

  1. To identify the problems facing attitudinal change among drivers in Ebonyi State
  2. To evaluation the strategies to counter these attitudes.
  3. To identify if the strategies adopted has any impact on the drivers.
  4. Evaluate how the road safety campaign has achieved a particular attitudinal change.

1.4    Research Questions:

To enable the researcher get solution to the research problems certain questions were raised. Also it is believed that if the right answers to the questions are obtained it would lead to the achievement of the purpose of this study.

The questions are as follows:

  1. What are the problems facing attitudinal change among drivers in Ebonyi State?
  2. What strategies were evolved to counter these attitudes?
  3. Has the strategies adopted any impact on the drivers?
  4. How did the Federal Road Safety Commission achieve the particular attitudinal change?

1.5    Significance of the Study:-

This research work has academic significance due to its relevance in the field of educational institutions most specifically graduates of marketing which is among the Educational Units that train future teachers, managers, and Administrators. Its findings and suggestions are likely to provoke academic debate on the matter and generate new interests among scholars.

Apart from the academic relevance, the study will be of great importance to government, private organizations and individuals concerned with the business of road safety. It will serve as guide in the area of developing social marketing to address the obstacles hindering effective attitudinal change.

Most importantly, Federal Road Safety Commission will immensely benefit from the study because of its relevance to that struggle to prove to the government that they can make Nigerian roads, the safest in Africa.

Lastly, students and researchers would want to benefit from this study.

1.6    Scope of the study:

The scope of this study covers the marketing of attitudinal change in Ebonyi State, a case study of the Federal Road Safety Commission.

The study of this topic therefore, should have carried the researcher far and beyond Ebonyi State of Nigeria. But for some certain limitations and constraints the researcher have deemed it prudent to narrow down the scope of the study to Federal Road Safety Commission in Ebonyi State.

This decision is taken without prejudice, as a wider scope would mean much involvement in terms of finance and materials required for data collection and to undermine these facts may prone the researcher to frication.  Also the choice of this area was influenced by the fact that the researcher is based in Ebonyi State.

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Topic: Marketing of Attitudinal Change in Ebonyi State: A Study of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)

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