PROPOSAL ON EXHIBITION AND TRADE FAIRS AS TOOL FOR IMPROVED SALES PERFORMANCE IN THE TELECOMMUNICATION INDUSTRY
A STUDY OF THREE SELECTED TELECOMMUNICATION ORGANIZATIONS IN NIGERIA
Background to the Study
Exhibition and trade fair is growing at a rate of three times that of traditional advertising. Though relatively small compared to the major components of the marketing communications mix-advertising, sales promotions and P-O-P communications-expenditures on event sponsorship are increasing. Thousands of companies invest in some form of event sponsorship (Hussainy, 2008).
Exhibition and trade fairs can be defined as a form of brand promotion that ties a brand to a meaningful athletic, entertainment, cultural, social or other type of high-interest public activity. Exhibition and trade fairs are distinct from advertising, sales promotion, point-of-purchase merchandising, or public relations, but it generally incorporates elements from all of these promotional tools. Event promotions have an opportunity to achieve success because, unlike other forms of marketing communications, events reach people when they are receptive to marketing messages and capture people in a relaxed atmosphere (Muehling and Laczniak, 2007).
Marketing is also seen as a process by which individuals and groups obtain what they want through creating, offering and exchanging products of value with others. All sport and recreation organizations undertake marketing, although they are often unaware that they are actually doing so. Listing in the yellow pages, telephone directory, placing information in the local newspaper, offering a discount and special offers etc. are all forms of marketing.
Thus, an event is a marketing communication activity and can be looked at as an activity with a high level of involvement. Because events involve their target group and involve it in the company and the products as well as they give the target group an experience that appeals to all senses. In other words, events appeal to the feelings and emotions that arise in the individual and the event-based communication becomes differently visible and ‘alive’. The message may therefore be able to create a stronger effect than through traditional communication channels (Romaniuk and Sharp, 2004).
From its origins in event planning, the exhibition and trade fairs industry has seen great growth in the last five years and has consistently been one of the most effective tools that marketing professionals have at their disposal in terms of making a tangible connection to current and potential customers. The increasing competitive pressures brought on by globalization are forcing business professionals to find new ways to engage customers. Not surprisingly, savvy exhibition and trade fairs professionals are therefore focusing the majority of their efforts and budgetary spend on lead generation tactics such as trade shows. While it is important to garner leads, marketing and specifically exhibition and trade fair professionals cannot lose sight of the fact that the sales cycle only begins at lead generation and that current and prospective customers must also be nurtured even beyond purchase. Companies can benefit tremendously from the deeper exhibition and trade fairs touch points that promote nurturing such as proprietary conferences that provide a controlled environment for delivering messages and closing business. The nurturing process will allow the customers to more effectively be funneled into the subsequent stages of the sales cycle thus creating greater opportunities to develop into repeat customers (Saleem, 2010).
Exhibition and trade fairs are growing rapidly because it provides companies alternatives to the cluttered mass media, ability to segment on a local or regional basis, and opportunities for reaching narrow lifestyle groups whose consumption behavior can be linked with the local event.
It integrates the corporate sponsorship of an event with a whole range of marketing elements such as advertising, sales promotion, and public relations. Corporations both large and small have grown this industry at a rate of 17 percent per year, and they have achieved a high level of success.
An event is a live multimedia package with a preconceived concept, customized or modified to achieve the clients’ objective of reaching out and suitably influencing the sharply defined, specially gathered target audience by providing a complete sensual experience and an avenue for two-way interaction (Jalees, 2006).
Exhibition and trade fairs involves canvassing for clients and arranging feedback for the creative concepts during and after the concept initiation so as to arrive at a customized package for the client, keeping the brand values and target audience in mind. Marketing plays an important role in pricing and negotiations as well as identifying opportunities to define and retain event properties by gathering marketing intelligence with regard to pricing, timing etc.
Statement of the Problems
Traditional exhibition and trade fairs methods have taken a backseat. Organizations using exhibition and trade fairs strategies are left behind in terms of products sale and acquiring new customers. In spite of spending millions of Naira on advertising, companies are not being able to generate effective leads as expected or converting them into loyal consumers.
Again, marketers face extensive challenges in their marketing communications, for example, increased media and audience fragmentation, greater competition in the media market, and decreased effectiveness of traditional advertising and promotion (Belch and Belch, 2007). Therefore, marketers constantly look for new ways to communicate with consumers in which process many expenses are being incurred.
The sustainability of events marketing can be very expensive to maintain in the sense that Clients might be mounting pressure on the distributors because they are under pressure from their own stakeholders.
Aims and Objectives of the Study
This research work seeks to study exhibition and trade fairs And Improved Market Share Performance. The objectives of this study include:
- To measure how exhibition and trade fairs increases telecom market share performance and profitability.
- To examine how exhibition and trade fairs increase telecom customer loyalty.
- To examine how exhibition and trade fairs affect telecommunication sales volume.
- To examine the extent at which exhibition and trade fairs will boost telecom competitive edge.
Relevant Research Questions
The following research questions were buttressed for the study:
- To what extent will exhibition and trade fairs increases telecom market share performance and profitability?
- How will exhibition and trade fairs increase telecom customer loyalty?
- Does exhibition and trade fairs have effects on telecommunication sales volume?
- To what extent will exhibition and trade fairs boost telecom competitive edge?
In carrying out this research work the following theoretical statements are suggested to serve as a direction on which the work will be premised:
- Ho: An Exhibition and trade fair does not have any significant influence on telecom market share performance and profitability.
H1: Exhibition and trade fairs have significant influence on telecom market share performance and profitability.
- Ho: There is no significant relationship between exhibition and trade fairs and customers’ loyalty.
H1: There is significant relationship between exhibition and trade fairs and customers’ loyalty.
- Ho: Exhibition and trade fairs does not have effect on telecommunication sales volume
H1: Exhibition and trade fairs has effect on telecommunication sales volume
Scope of the Study
This research work examines the exhibition and trade fairs And Improved Market Share Performance with a view to explore three selected Telecommunication organization in Nigeria namely, GLO, Etisalat, MTN Nigeria Ltd Nigeria located at Victoria Island, Lagos.
The study as perceived might face some logistic challenges in term of the time and the costs that will be involve in carrying out the research, but nevertheless, it would endeavor to accomplish its aims and objectives.
Significance of the Study
It is hoped that the findings and recommendations of the study will be of great benefit through the following ways:
The study will broaden students understanding about the importance of exhibition and trade fairs in any business environment and it effects on sales performance.
The study will be of great benefit to the public by bringing to their awareness about the existence of a product and its value.
The study will also help sales manager to monitor the trend of the market and the consumption pattern in order to establish an interactive dialogue between an organization and its customers.
It will also help the sales personnel to reposition their branding and marketing strategy in the society in order to attract and retain their target market.
Summary of the Project
Brief Outline of Literature to Be Reviewed
The literature review presents the framework of the study in addition to a review of empirical studies on exhibition and trade fairs And Improved Market Share Performance. The following will be taken into consideration during the course of the study:
- Conceptual Framework
- Effect of Exhibition on telecom market share performance and profitability
- Effect of trade fairs on telecommunication sales volume
- Marketing Environment
- Types of Marketing Environment
- Marketing Strategy
- Segmentation and selecting target markets
- The segmentation process
- Marketing planning
- Theoretical Framework
- Review of Empirical studies
- Research Design: The research design that will be use for this study is the survey design. The reason why this design was suggested is because the researcher would make use of the primary data obtained through the questionnaire.
- Characteristics of Study Population: The study will focus on exhibition and trade fairs And Improved Market Share Performance with a view to explore staff of three selected Telecommunication organization in Nigeria namely, GLO, Etisalat, MTN Nigeria Ltd Nigeria located at Victoria Island, Lagos.
- Sampling Techniques: The sampling techniques that will be use for this research work is the simple random sampling. The basis for the selection of the sample is hinged on the fact that the whole population cannot be understudied, and that it will contain a fair representation of the population.
- Data collection instrument: The basic instrument for the data collection will be the conventional instrument that is frequently employed for statistical analyses and measurement in most studies which is questionnaire.
Primary Data: Primary data will be collected by administering the questionnaire to staff of GLO, Etisalat, MTN Nigeria Ltd Nigeria located at Victoria Island, Lagos.
- Data presentation: The data which is collected will be represented through tables, using simple percentage for analyzes and interpreting of the questionnaire.
- Data Analysis: the study will use simple percentage for analyzes and interpreting of the data while Pearson Moment Correlation with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Science will be use to test the hypotheses of the research study.
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