THE ROLE OF MARKETING RESEARCH IN SERVICE ABSTRACT Marketing research is the systematic design, collection, analysis and reporting of data and findings relevant to a specific marketing situation facing the company. This study focused on marketing research in service industry, in order to carryout the study, the following objectives amongst others were states; To ascertain the proportion of, marketing budget allocated to the marketing research activities in a .given period of Five selected service organization. To ascertain,, jf the marketing research activities increase the number of policy holders in five selected service organization. , Based on the stated objectives, three hypothesis were formulated, they are: Ho:. Marketing research does not create awareness ,of Five selected service organization. Ml: Marketing research creates awareness of Five selected service organization .In the process of the study, th.e following finding were revealed that Five selected service organization at one time or the other engaged in marketing research activities. That the company has a marketing research department at the headquarters only but not at the zonal offices. That marketing research activities increase the number of policy holders. That marketing research activities increase the profit level of the company. In view of .the releasing findings, recommendation on '. how to apply marketing research for the success of the company were offered. In conclusion, the ultimate aim of using marketing research is geared towards customers satisfaction at a profit to the company, so Five selected service organization is advised to continue putting marketing research-into effective u:.;e. CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY Organizations use many types of resources to function. One of the most valuable, often the least understood, is their knowledge base. Management is unable to take formed decisions without knowledge and the quality of that organization knowledge, skills, resides primarily in employees but can also be collected in data bases. The knowledge base covers all aspects of the organizations activities products, technology, human resources- finance, sales and marketing and is a wasting asset requiring constant dating, improvement and extension to keep abreast with changes in the operational environment. The markets have two characteristics, which distinguished them from the other environments in which companies operate. They are: In variable dynamicandaretending to become more so in response to increasing pace of technical development, competitive pressure and a continual uplift customers' expectations. Change is caused by a wide diversity of factors most of which are beyond the control of any single supplier. Marketing therefore operate in an inherently unstable environment and it is all too easy for companies to lose touch with conditions in market they service. They develop new strategies launch new product, target new market and initiate new service packages- all of which push them into increasingly unfamiliar marketing territory. Marketing research is the marketing information. It is defined by the American marketing association as the systematic gathering, recording and analyzing of about problems relating to marketing of goods and services. Marketing can also be defined Kolter (2003:129) as the systematic design, collection, analysis and reporting of data and findings relevant to a specific marketing situation facing the company. Marketing research is very important to any organization or company because it is through it that we know the feelings, wants, needs, perception and preference of customers/consumers knowing that consumer/customer is the focal point of marketing and every organization or company will always want to satisfy their customer's clients in other to continue in the business. It is a link between the customer and the general public to the individual, organization of the business firm and also identifies and defined marketing opportunities, trends, threats and measurements. 1.2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Despite the large market potentials in service industry and its competitive nature in Imo State, many companies and business still find it difficult to develop an appropriate offering that will serve the market satisfactorily. ALLCO insurance company faced very staff opposition from other insurance companies especially other foreign owned insurance brokers and agents at its on set due to fear of the uncertain effects that its entry into the industry might cast on their business prospects, thus were reluctant to assist the company. Also, the level of insurance awareness in the country is still very low, at present about 1.0-15 percent of the Nigerian population are insured. Unlike developed countries this resulting in low productivity and profitability. Consequently, there have been allegation Two Selected service organizations not compensating the unfortunate policy holders, all these have resulted in negative attitude towards their services, thus have resulted to loss in profit. This research takes an in-depth look at this allegation and other pro problems in other to proffer an amenable attitude towards two selected service organization. 1.3. OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY The objectives of this study are to ascertain 1. What type of marketing research activities are available to companies especially those activities that two selected service organization is interested in conducting? What proportion of marketing budget is allocated to the marketing activities in a given period in two selected service organization"? Whether the company has its own established marketing research department or if they hire the services of marketing research constants. 4. The source of their marketing data and the method used in analysis such data from which information is derived. 5. Whether marketing research creates awareness in two selected service organization. 1.4. FORMULATION OF HYPOTHESE The following hypotheses were formulated and tested. Ho: Marketing research does not create awareness of two selected service organization Hi: Marketing research creates awareness of two selected service organization. Ho: Marketing research does not increase the number of policy holders. Hi: Marketing research increases the number of policy holders. Ho: Marketing research does not increase profit of two selected service organization. Hi: Marketing research increases profit of two selected service organization. 1.5. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY Olakunori (1997:20) defined marketing research as the planned and systematic investigation and collection of relevant facts, the analysis and interpretation of those facts through objective and verifiable methods, for the purpose of arriving at solution of problems or deducing broad principles or law's putting it another way, the research is a planned process of conducting investigations in other to achieve a-determined objectives. The objective is usually a solution to one or more problem or an addition to current knowledge in particular field. It is against this background, that the researcher believes that the study f this nature is necessary. The outcome of this study will provide an adequate understanding on the application of the various marketing research to service business/industry. Also this research work will help to ensure an improvement in the quality of service rendered to customers and the public by two selected service organization and could as well help the management design strategies and programme which will enable them to remain competitive. 1.6. THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY The study takes a look into the marketing research activities of insurance firms in service industry. Because of time and other factors involve the researcher was limited to the study of particular insurance firm known as Two selected service organization operating at Owerri metropolis. It examines the conduct/operations of market research activities in the industry. 1.7. DEFINITION OF TERMS Marketing: This is the process planning, and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services organizational goals. Peter D. Bennett (1988). Service Marketing. The marketing process involves organization that buy in other to provide services or these marketing activities or processes which involve the provision of services to customers through exchange process. Hart N.A and Stapleton, J (1986) Services: They are activities or benefits that one party can offer to another that are intangible and do not result in the ownership of anything. Rotter P. (2003) Insurance: This is one of the social sciences designed essentially for taking risk and risk taking involves uncertainty of loss. Benaeth C. (1980) Marketing function: This is all embracing term covering every contributory factor in the process or consideration to be the responsibility of marketing management Hart N.A. and Stapleton(1986). Marketing. Information: The data and news relevant to marketing operations. Ifezue A.N. (199Q). Market research: Is the process of making investigation into the characteristics of a given market Baker. J. Michael (1991). Marketing services: is the term sometimes used to cover all marketing activities in a company other than the sales function of marketing research, advertising etc Hart N.A. and Stapleton J. (1986). Policy: Is the written or typewritten document which evidence the terms of insurance contract between the parties. Itukwu, J.O (1988). Premium: This is the financial consideration paid by the insured to the insurer in return for the promise of the insurer. Itpkwu J.O. (1988).
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