THE IMPACT OF PROMOTION ON CONSUMER PATRONAGE OF PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES
This research project is aimed at determining the impact of promotional strategies of pharmaceutical firms on consumer patronage. The study was expected to reveal at the end of the day the degree of these promotional messages on consumer patronage, and it will equally help the producers of pharmaceutical to understand the consumers’ attitude towards the use of their products. The objective of the study was to find out the following: To determine the extent, to which Gabbey pharmacy is aware of promo – tools. To determine the impact of direct marketing on consumer patronage at Gabbey pharmacy in Enugu Metropolis. To appraise the promotional strategies adopted by Gabbey Pharmacy product in increase profitability. Secondly, information was collected through the use of structured question are administered to consumers. Oral interview was conducted among the producers of pharmaceuticals, consumers and patent medicine dealers. Secondary data were collected from journals, publications and other related works. Chi- square (X2) statistical tool was used in the analysis of primary data at 95% confidence level. It was found out that almost all the consumer respondent has at time or the other bought a brand of pharmaceutical products. Also, substantial number of the consumer respondents got to know of Gabbey brands through the company representatives. On the basis of the above findings it was concluded that consumers seek constantly pharmaceutical product with desired attributes to solve their health problems. However, the population of the study was made up of the resident of Enugu metropolis. The researcher used a census survey for the staff strength of the company of (10) persons, and the sample size was 246. Finally, it was recommended that thee is need for NAFDAC and other regulatory bodies to shed off their current conservative and restrictive approach in promotion of pharmaceutical. Manufactures should be encouraged to interact to exchange information directly with their customer using interactive media like internet, e-mal etc. Current Global trends where drugs are promoted as fact moving consumers goods like putting a lot of pressure on marketing/promotion approaches of pharmaceutical firm. These firms should therefore invest more regularly on researches that track the dynamic consumer behaviour in order to articulate promotional programmes base on current anticipated needs of the consumers. The researcher believed that if these recommendations are religiously carried out, pharmaceutical firms will laugh loudly well as they will witness a stupendous and astronomical increase in their sales turnover and even on return on investment.
Consumers have diverse motivation, taste and preference. They constantly seek solutions to the various state of deprivation (needs) through product offerings and bombardment of promotional messages. Consumer’s perception of his needs and desired solutions sharpened by his socio – economic and cultural background of the study will determine how he reacts to an element or a mix of the promotional variables.
The challenge of marketing/promotion rests on predicting current and future consumer’s needs and preferring suitable solution to them. accurate prediction of consumer’s variables will ensure consumer’s preference/patronage of one’s brands over competitors.
This research therefore attempts to determine the impact of promotion on consumer patronage using Gabbey pharmacy limited, a pharmaceutical marketing company as a case study.
1.1 BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COMPANY
Gabbey pharmacy limited is a pharmaceutical marketing company with head office located at 8 Awkunanaw street Achara layout Enugu. The firm came into existence in 1972. The company was blessed with supportive customers and committed staff and that helped it handle effectively, its internal and external problems. It was not long before the industry noticed a strong competitor has come on stream.
It was not surprising that five year later January 3, 2000, the co-marketing arrangement broke down and Gabbey pharma ltd was faced with the option of quickly introducing and entrenching new brands. It was therefore a nervous moment when on January 4, 2001, the company took the bull by the horn and introduced a portfolio full of new products.
Critics thought that the company has taken a suicide pill and eagerly waited for the expected to happen. It never did. The staff and management and the company customers rallied round and took a simple commitment. THE COMPANY MUST SUCCEED. The lot fell on the vibrant and lean sales and marketing department to provide the necessary marketing formular that will ensure quick entrenchment of the new products. The department after series of meeting with its ever supportive customers pioneered the motorcycles sales Reps scheme in Nigeria. the essence is to effectively cover the grassroot, reach the area not covered by the competitors and generate the necessary demand – pull. Communication between company and customer was made more effective and company’s reaction to changing market situation was very swift. This ensured grassroot implementation of consumers oriented marketing programmes. By middle of the year, it was obvious that the company has survived the “suicide pill” gaining a very big respect from other key players in the industry.
Today, the company is one of the leading pharmaceutical marketing firm in Nigeria.
Some of the product it sells are:-
1) Septirn 12) Brinderin
2) Actified 13) Tramal
3) Banocide 14) Imodium
4) Dara prim 15) Normoritc
5) Linctified P 16) Halfar 100mg
6) Linctifed P 17) Cenocide
7) Repler 18) Smifed
8) Fevokine 19) Primpex
9) Calpol 20) Novalor
10) Antepar 21) Tussirex P
11) Zinate 22) Metaprim
Other lines includes tacorage (flavoured vitamin C) chotrimax cream, deep head, woodward Gripe water.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Consumers have diverse motivations, tastes and preferences. They constantly seek solutions to these various states of deprivation (needs). And, as they do these, they are guided or influenced by certain decisions which could be internal and external. Internally, consumers and influenced by their belief system. And, externally, they are influenced by their socio-economic and cultural background coupled with promotional messages. Therefore, this work is systematically made towards uncovering the impact of promotional activities of product offering on a consumer as he makes his purchase decisions. That is to say, the impact of promotion on consumer patronage.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This research aims at
- Highlight the importance of consumer patronage and the need to monitor it
- And react accordingly to changes in customer motivation, taste and preference
- To relate consumer patronage to brand preferences
- To highlight the need to articulate promotional strategies based on uncovered and anticipated needs of the consumers.
- To highlight the need to consider the socio-economic and cultural background of consumers while articulating promotional strategies to influence consumer patronage.
- Identify relative relevance of promotional mix variables in different buying process, product life cycle of pharmaceuticals.
- Highlight the importance of encouragement consumers suggestions/criticisms as means of uncovering consumer want and thought and tailoring promotions strategies accordingly.
1.4 HYPOTHESIS RESEARCH
The following hypotheses were postulated to guide the research.
Ho: Promotional activities of Gabbey pharmacy do not lead to consumer patronage of their product.
Hi: Promotional activities of Gabbey pharmacy lead to consumer patronage of their product.
Ho: Gabbey do not create awareness of their products.
Hi: Gabbey create awareness of their products.
Ho: Promotional activities of Gabbey pharmacy impact negatively on the profit of the company.
Hi: Promotional activities of Gabbey pharmacy impact positive on the profit of the company.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
In every organisation there is need to plan sales promotion and there is impact which promotion create in a way that it will bring corresponding increase in sales and profit. This can be achieved through creative and innovative marketing activities. This research will be of paramount importance to Gabbey pharmacy limited Enugu as a cooperate body, salesmen the customers, marketing practitioner and the economy at large.
1) Corporate body: The continued existence of organisation depends on its ability to provide customers with the needed good and services and on a profitable condition. Corporate body like Gabbey pharmacy limited Enugu. Cannot afford to remain in business if sales promotional strategies are not well planned. The researcher believes that this project will serve as a guide for the formulation and implementation of sales promotion strategies.
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