MARKETING RESEARCH AS A TOOL FOR INCREASED PROFITABILITY IN SERVICE INDUSTRY(A CASE STUDY OF NICON INSURANCE COMPANY PLC)
This study examines marketing research as a tool for increased profitability in service industry taking NICON Insurance Company Enugu State as a case study.
Marketing research can be seen as the application of the scientific method of inquiry in helping marketers to better understand and define their problems and find appropriate solution to them some of the objectives of the study include:
1. To examine critically the level of marketing research applied by NICON Insurance in their service delivery.
2. To find the medium through which the research was created.
3. To ascertain customer’s perception of the research message, and whether the claims in the message actually satisfies the needs and wants of the customers.
4. To find the different research tools used by the organization.
5. To find if the research conducted have actually increased the growth and profitability of the corporation.
In the course of solving the research problems, both primary and secondary data were collected with much emphasis on primary data which helped the researcher to get first hand information from the customers and staff of NICON Insurance from the comprises the staff and management, the customers (policy holders) and the agents. The research instruments used for this study were the questionnaire surveys and personal or face-to-face interview. The questionnaire was the major research instrument used in the study, which was administered to the staff of NICON Insurance Company, policyholders and agencies. In determining the sample size, the researcher covienenrently fixed the sample size at 160 for the customer (policy holders) of NICON insurance and 20 for the agents. This brings the total number of questionnaire distributed to 220.
In organizing and presenting data collected, tables and percentages were. The level of significances used is 5%. The various hypotheses were tested using the chi-square.
After a successful research, the researcher came out with the following findings:
1. That NICON Insurance company at one time on the other engaged in marketing research activities.
2. That the company does not have a marketing research department because of the cost involved
3. That NICON cannot do without marketing research as it help them to identify the needs of this prospect.
4. That the establishment of marketing research department will increase the profit level in the organization.
It is against these entire background hat the researcher believes that the study of this nature is necessary since it will help the company, the customers and the agents. Therefore, NICON Insurance Company, Enugu state should engage in marketing research activities since the market is very competitive and will also help them to remain competitive in the industry. It will also help them to increase the profit level in the organization.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The basic reason for this study is to examine Marketing Research as a tool for increased profitability in service industry taking NICON Insurance Company Limited Enugu as a Case Study.
The term Marketing Research can be seen as the application of the scientific method of inquiry in helping Marketers to better understand and define their problems and find appropriate solutions to them. It is also the systematic and objective, collection, recording, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of data needed for solving specific market problems. It involves collecting and analyzing environmental information systematically that market opportunities would be recognized and marketing problem solved.
Marketing research can also be views as the systematic design, collection, analysis and reporting of data relevant to a specific marketing situation facing an organization. Companies use marketing research in a wide variety of situations. For example, marketing research is helpful when it comes to ascertaining the state of demand among consumer’s in the market. It can equally help marketers to understand customers satisfaction and purchase behaviour, provides variable information to management for problem solving, help in assessing market potential and market share, help in measuring the effectiveness of pricing, distribution and promotion activities. Some large companies have their own research departments that work with market managers on marketing research projects.
Good Marketing research does not only involved ordinary technical tools. It requires cooperation between researchers and marketing managers. Good Marketing researchers must focus attention towards marketing management and marketing research, and be sure that their researches focus on real problems. Broad principles or laws” putting it another way, research is a planned process of conducting investigations in order to achieve a pre-determined objectives. The objective is usually a solution to one or more specific problems or an addition to current knowledge in a particular field.
It is against this background that the researcher believes the study of 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 like NICON Insurance.
Also, this research work will help to ensure an improvement in the quality of services rendered to the customers and publics by NICON Insurance cooperation and could as well help the management draw strategy and programme which will enable them to remain competitive.
The research work will also help service organizations to understand more correctly the basic principles of marketing research and its place in service business so as to influence future marketing operations.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Inadequate marketing research affects NICON insurance corporation in the following ways:-
1. The inadequate marketing research have denied customers information about insurance corporation PLC.
2. The inadequate marketing researches in NICON have prevent potential customers valuable information regarding NICON PLC’s new ways of rendering services.
3. The inadequate use of marketing research in NICON have prevented customers from the knowledge of services rendered by NICON and have prevented them from taking advantage of it.
4. The inadequate use of marketing research have affected NICON in their quest for patronage.
5. The inadequate use of marketing research had created problems to NICON on the mode of operation of services available at the service industry for customers benefit and utilization.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
1. To examine critically he level of research that that been generated by the corporation.
2. To find out the medium through which the research was created.
3. To find out the different research tools compare in adequate research.
4. To ascertain customers perception of the research message, that is whether the target audience believe in the statements claims and promises contained in the result form the research.
5. To find out if the research conducted have increased the growth and profitability of the corporation.
6. To alerts customers on the services and mode of services rendered by the service industry especially the NICON insurance corporation PLC, Enugu.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Ho: Marketing research does not create awareness of the NICON insurance corporation.
H12:Marketing research creates awareness of NICON insurance company
H02:Marketing research does not increase the number of policy holders.
H12:Marketing research increases the number of policy holder.
H03:Marketing research does not increase profit in NICON Insurance Corporation.
H13:Marketing research increase profit on NICON Insurance Company.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The benefits of the study can be discussed under the following.
– To the NICON, the research. The general publics and intending future researcher.
NICON Insurance PLC, like every other researcher spends on researching in order to rate profits. Therefore, this study will be of great benefit to the insurance company, in that it would inform them more about the reaction of their target market towards their research activities and in turn bring a profitable return for management to continue to improve of it. The research agency, the more it can understand how the research has created work on the tagged audience, the better will its planning and decisions be in future. Similarly to the industry (the service industry in this case) which is responsible for spending over N1 billion annually on behalf of researchers, has an individual and collective responsibility to improve the level of prediction for its recommendations.
Finally, this study would help the researcher and the readers to appropriately appreciate the use and importance of proper research in introducing and increasing profit on any service rendered.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study takes a look into the marketing research activities of NICON firms in the service industry. Because of time and other factors involved, the research was limited to the study of a particular insurance firm known as NICON Insurance Corporation PLC, Enugu. It examines the conduct of marketing research activities in the industry.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
MARKETING – This is a process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, distribution, ideas, goods and services to create exchange that will satisfy individual and organization objectives.
MARKETING RESEARCH – It is the systematic and objective design, collection, presentation, analysis and interpretation of data (information) to enable managers deal with specific problems facing any organization. It is also the systematic and objective search for, and analysis of, information to guide managers in marketing planning and problem solving.
SERVICE MARKETING – The marketing process involving organization that buy in order to provide
services: SERVICE – Are activities or benefit that one party can order to another that is intangible and does not result in the ownership of its production may or may not be tied to physical product.
INSURANCE – Is one of the social sciences designed essentially for the social science designed essentially for taking risk and risk taking involves the uncertainty of loss. It is also an arrangement with a company in which one pays them regular amounts of money and they agree to pay the cost.
MARKET SHARE – Percentage measure of the share obtained by an individual company from the total market available.
MARKET POTENTIALS – This is them situation whereby the market demand approaches to a limit as the industry marketing expenditure gets to infinity within a given environment. It is also the highest expected sale of a product for a customers in a specific geographical area during a stated of time under ideal conditions. Ideal condition takes place when there is no environmental changes, showing that all resources for production are available and all the firms in the industry are efficient in their distribution, sales promotion, advertising, public relations, public relations, publicity, pricing and product improvement efforts – Ani J.O, Anyionu S.C (2007).
BUYING MOTIVE – All those factors within a person organization which combine to create a desire to purchase.
FIELD RESEARCH – This is the physical collection of data involving face to face contact with the customer.
FORECASTING – This is the expected level of company sales based on chosen marketing plan and an assumed marketing environment.
RISK – Is the variability that is likely to occur in the future return from a project.
MARKET- Is a potential buyer of a product or services
CUSTOMER – A customer can be referred to, as someone who regularly do purchase from a particular store, company or organization. Adetao (1999).