The use of marketing communication tools in less developed countries with specific reference to the Eritrean manufacturing industry

Tesfamariam, Tsegazeab B.(Tsegazeab Bereketeab) (2005-12)

Thesis (Mcomm)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Marketing communications, the "promotions" component of the marketing mix, is a systematic relationship between a business and its market. Its importance in the over all business success has increased dramatically in recent decades. In today's cluttered and complex market place, marketing communications allows products/brands to stand out and help consumers appreciate their comparative advantages. Marketers have various communication tools at their disposal including advertising, sales promotions, personal selling, direct marketing, public relations, sponsorship, exhibitions, point-of-sale, and the Internet to achieve their specific objectives. These communication tools are further grouped into broad media types. The conventional media advertising, which involve 'renting' space on television, newspaper, poster, radio etc are referred to as 'above-the-line advertising,' whereas all non-media promotions, including personal selling, sales promotion, direct marketing, public relations, and sponsorship are commonly termed as 'below-the-line promotions.' The proper use and mix of these elements is fundamental for marketers to ensure that they obtain the most for their communication budgets. Though there is no optimum mixture of expenditures between the two broad categories, the appropriate mixture involves spending enough on promotions to ensure sufficient sales volume in the short-term while simultaneously spending enough on advertising to ensure the development of new brand and preservation of a product/brand's equity position in the long-run. Furthermore, each element of the communication mix should be integrated with other tools of the communication mix so that better results are achieved for a unified message consistently reinforced. The increasing importance of marketing communications should benefit all firms around the world, no studies have been undertaken to analyse their applications in least developed countries. The purpose of this study is therefore, to investigate the overall awareness, use and integration of marketing communication tools by manufacturing firms in a least developed sub-Saharan country, Eritrea. Accordingly, empirical data from 41 randomly selected firms has been analysed. The finding showed that, although it seems marketers in this emerging nation are aware of the role of marketing communications, a tendency for relatively less emphasis on marketing communications amongst most manufacturing firms was observed. The most commonly used marketing communication tools include sales promotions and personal selling, according to their importance, both from below-the-line, followed by TV advertising. Manufacturing firms in Eritrea tend to spend less on marketing communication relative to their annual tum over. Most importantly, the total marketing communications expenditure is dominantly allocated to below-the-line promotional activities. This result indicates that more emphasis is placed on short-term success to the expense of long-term brand development, brand and company image building or preservation. Furthermore, most manufacturing firms treat the various communication elements as virtually separate activities, rather than integrated tools that work together to achieve a common goal. Finally, the study concluded by commenting to individual firms to carefully consider the power that marketing communications offers, and avoid being blind-sided by any of the tools. Government officials in Eritrea need to consider enhancing the current momentum of marketing in general and marketing communications in specific in the country.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Bemarkingskommunikasie, die "promosiekomponent" van die bemarkingsamestelling, is 'n sistematiese verhouding tussen 'n sake onderneming en sy mark. Sy belang in die oorhoofse sakesukses het dramaties oor die afgelope dekades toegeneem. In vandag se oorvol en komplekse markplek laat bemarkingskommunikasie produkte/handelsmerke toe om uit te staan en help gebruikers om hul vergelykende voordele te waardeer. Bemarkers het verskeie kommunikasiemiddele tot hul beskikking, insluitende advertering, verkoopspromosies, persoonlike verkope, direkte bemarking, openbare skakeling, borgskappe, uitstallings, verkoopspunte, asook die Internet, om hul spesifieke doelwitte te behaal. Hierdie kommunikasiemiddele word verder in breë mediatipes verdeel. Die konvensionele media advertensies, wat die 'huur' van ruimte op televisie, koerante, plakkate, radio, ens. insluit, word 'mediareklame' genoem, terwyl alle nie-mediagebonde promosies, insluitende persoonlike verkope, verkoopspromosies, direkte bemarking, openbare skakeling en borgskappe normaalweg as 'promosiereklame' bestempel word. Die behoorlike aanwending en samestelling van hierdie elemente is deurslaggewend vir bemarkers om te verseker dat hulle die beste vir hul kommunikasiebegrotings behaal. Hoewel daar geen optimum samestelling van uitgawes tussen die twee breë kategorieë bestaan nie, behels die gepaste samestelling genoegsame uitgawes op promosies sodat voldoende verkoopsvolumes oor die kort termyn verseker word, terwyl genoeg op advertering uitgegee word om die ontwikkeling van nuwe handelsmerke en die behoud van bestaande produklhandelsmerk se aandeelposisie oor die lang termyn te verseker. Verder behoort elke element van die kommunikasiesamestelling met ander instrumente van die kommunikasiesamestelling geïntegreer te word sodat beter resultate verkry word vir hierdie verenigde boodskap wat aanhoudend versterk word. Temidde van die toenemende belang van bemarkingkommunikasie behoort dit tot voordeel van alle firmas ter wêreld te wees, maar geen studies is nog onderneem om die aanwendings hiervan op die mins ontwikkelde lande te analiseer nie. Die doel van hierdie studie is dus om die oorhoofse bewuste gebruik en integrasie van bemarkingskommunikasiemiddele deur vervaardigingsfirmas in 'n minsontwikkelde sub-Saharaland, Eritrea, na te gaan. Aldus is empiriese data van 41 willekeurig uitgesoekte firmas geanaliseer. Die bevindings toon aan dat alhoewel dit wil voorkom asof bemarkers in hierdie opkomende land bewus is van die rol van bemarkingskommunikasie, 'n tendens waargeneem is ten opsigte van 'n relatiewe lae klem op bemarkingskommunikasie aan die kant van die meeste vervaardigingsfirmas. Die algemeenste bemarkingskommunikasiemiddele wat aangewend word, sluit in verkoopspromosie en persoonlike verkope ingevolge hulonderskeie belangrikheid, wat albei na promosiereklame verwys, gevolg deur televisie advertensies. Vervaardigingsfirmas in Eritrea is nie geneig om baie op hul bemarkingskommunikasie bedrywighede uit te gee nie in vergelyking met hul totale jaarlikse omset. Belangrik ook is dat die totale bemarkingskommunikasie-uitgawe oorwegend toegeken word aan promosiereklame aktiwiteite. Hierdie bevinding dui daarop dat meer klem gelê word op kort termynsukses ten koste van lang termyn handelsmerkontwikkeling, handelsmerk- en maatskappybeeldbou of -behoud, Verder hanteer die meeste vervaardigingsfirmas die verskillende kommunikasie elemente soos feitlik afsonderlike aktiwiteite, eerder as geïntegreerde werktuie wat saam fn gemeenskaplike doel kan bereik. Laastens sluit die studie af deur kommentaar teenoor individuele firmas te lewer dat hulle die mag sorgvuldig moet oorweeg wat kommunikasie aan hulle bied, en te vermy om deur die middele negatief beïnvloed te word. Staatsamptenare in Eritrea behoort te oorweeg om die huidige algemene bemarkingsmomentum en spesifiek bemarkingskommunikasie in die land te stu.

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