MARKETING CONCEPTS A SURE WAY OF ENHANCING GROWTH IN THE SALE OF INSURANCE SERVICES
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
There concept “insurance” has defined by many authors and from different perspectives but all those definitions are emphasizing on one thing, that is being a pool of risk also a risk transfer from one person to another. According to Fagan J.I (1989) Insurance is defined as a social derive of explosive units to make their individual losses collectively. Insurance allows the individual insure to substitute a small cost (i.e. premium) for so large but uncertain loss (not to Exceed the amount of insurance under an arrangement whereby the fortunate many who escape loss will helps to compensate the unfortunate few who suffer loss. The aim of insurance contract is to provide indemnity, ie compensation for injuring or loss sustained.
Insurance has two broad classes which include life and non-life insurance. Life insurance comprise of whole life assurance, term assurance, endowment assurance and Annuity while Non-life insurance consist of fire insurance, marine insurance, motor vehicle insurance, contractors “all risk” and engineering risk insurance occupy a strategic position in on economy because it is the only business which exists for the survival of other business. Moreover, for these insurance product and service which is available to consumers to reach target market (that is desire people), adequate sensitization and awareness should be create in order to reach out to all the consumers. One of these is the adoption of selling concept. An organization produces a product and then uses various methods of selling to persuade a customer to buy their product. Their aim is to sell what they product and not to satisfying what the customers wants and need. Selling concept which include product, place, price and marketing which include product, place price and promotion have a long way in satisfying potential consumers and encourage others towards insurance products. The focus of marketing mix remain how to make people embrace insurance product, use the products and enjoy the varieties of services offered by the insurance company and in turn make profit.
The marketing concept is a philosophy of the business which states that the customer wants satisfaction is the economic and social justification of their wants at a profitable volume in an integrated business operation. The marketing concept can also be said to be the philosophy that recognizes that the consumers is at the centre of everything we do in business. Its concept believes that without consumers there on be no marketing and based on this it should be aimed at satisfying the need of the consumer.
The marketing concept is based on three fundament beliefs:
1. Marketing orientation: The insurance company should try to research and find out how best to create awareness or orientate the customers.
2. Profitable sale volume: Target customers should be examined by the company to find out whether their product, customers, sale men and territories are profitable.
3. Co-ordination of marketing activities: This measure as used to determine the extent of the implementation of the marketing concept. Here, the organizational status of the chief marketing executives and the extent of integration of marketing functions under the chief marketing functions is the main concern.
Therefore, the major problems facing the marketing concepts in Nigeria is implementation that is why strategies are being mapped out by most companies to meet the demand of the customers by applying marketing concept to its business. Problems of the insurance services in Nigeria are as follows: Delayed settlement of genuine claims; low level of regulatory compliance; absence of new products; delayed remittance of premium by intermediaries; inroad of banks into the industry; moral hazards and sharp practices; government’s policy inconsistency; weak regulatory measures; illegal commissions and rebates; and poor image of the industry. This last problem has made for shallowness of the market for insurance.
Considering that so much have changed between the socio-economic environment of your days in insurance business and now – The average Nigerian is considering the pressing needs of food and shelter, before giving any thought to insurance (Man never chop to keep money for insurance). Without even taking cognizance of prevalent general insufficiency of income among Nigerians to patronize insurance, what about the well-known conception that a typical Nigerian insurance company is never ready to pay in any event of sad occurrence? When compulsory, many Nigerians now prefer cheaper premium ‘to fulfill all righteousness’. Some are of the view that even with the government (the biggest consumer of insurance in the land), incidents of debts remain very high. It is alleged that government officials often prefer to divert funds meant for insurance to other uses. In a nutshell, there is high apathy towards insurance in Nigeria.
While researching for this piece, an insurance expert summarized the following as other problems of insurance in Nigeria:
- The industries which feed the short term insurance underwriting business are affected by adverse market situation (e.g. manufacturers).
- Long term insurance contracts, which are more rewarding are not really there. The industry is merely making do with short term insurance market (e.g. property insurance; compulsory life insurance; individual and other life insurance). These come at a time when even many marginally insured refrain from paying premium.
- Those long term business which typical insurance companies should rely upon (e.g. group life insurance, annuity insurance, investment related insurance) are farfetched. Who does not know that the rates of returns on short term insurance (often affected by commercial rate inflation index) are not quite profitable?
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Inspire of the growing number of insurance companies in Nigeria, its growth is still being hindered because the insurance sector still witness a low level confidence in the insuring public, the general patronage is still at lowest. Internal problems among the executives in an organization hinder the smooth implementation of marketing concept to insurance activities this is due to inability of the management of various insurance companies to engage the services of qualified marketers. Finally, these and other numerous problems; both internal and external environment still hinder the operations of the insurance sectors of the economy. In view of these problems stated that necessitate this research work. The researcher wants to identify the problems and then put forward a solution to the problem.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study is to examine the extent and scope of the application of marketing concept to insurance industry. The specific objectives of the study are:
i. To examine the relevance of the marketing concept in the marketing of insurance services in Nigeria.
ii. To examine the problem encountered in the adoption of marketing concept in insurance industry in Nigeria.
iii. To examine the extent to which marketing concept has enhanced marketing of insurance in Nigeria.
iv. To make recommendation based on the findings of the study for organizational improvement.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. To what extent is marketing concept relevant to insurance services in Nigeria?
2. To what extent do problems encountered in the adoption of marketing concept in insurance industry been successful?
3. To what extent does marketing concept enhance marketing of insurance in Nigeria?
4. To what degree of success to the problems in the application of marketing concept in insurance industry Nigeria been realized?
1.5 STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESIS
The following hypotheses were formulated in order to carry out a detailed research on the topic they include:
Ho: The application of marketing concept has no enhance the marketing of insurance in Nigeria.
Hi: The application of marketing concept has enhanced the marketing of insurance in Nigeria.
Ho: The marketing concept cannot be successfully applied in the insurance industry in the area of marketing.
Ho: The marketing concept has not increased sales volumes of insurance products in Nigeria.
Hi: The marketing concept has increase sales volumes of insurance products in Nigeria.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of immense benefit to managers and departmental executives as it will help them to adopting marketing concept to their business activities. The study is equally important in portraying the problems encountered by insurance company in adopting marketing concept in the operation. This will serve as a vital information to new entrants into the industry as they will strive to avoid those problems.
Moreover, the loss of public confidence on the industry operation will be removed, as information on the application of marketing examines. This will enable managers and departmental executives to shift emphasis from sales concept to marketing concept. It is equally helps the intermediaries who are independent business organizations that directly and in the flow of products and its markets.
Finally, this research work will be useful to potential users of information, lectures, student’s marketers, suppliers, financial institution, non business organizations, insurance and the public as it will serve as are reference point for further research.
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