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The Impact of Sales Promotion

In: Business and Management

Submitted By wano
Words 2345
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ABSTRACT
The deregulation of the Ghanaian telecom sector in 1994 has led to the increase in the number of telecom firms in the country which render identical services. The ever increasing competition in the industry has prompted telecom firms to be determined and ensure satisfaction of customer needs and wants more effectively than their competitors.
In other for these telecom firms to succeed in this ever increasing competitive market, they employ a lot of different promotional tools to attract and retain their customers.
One of the most commonly used promotional tools is sales promotion which provides incentives to customers or to the distributor channel to stimulate demand for a product.
This study is aimed at assessing the role sales promotion play in influencing the consumer buying behavior of telecom consumers. A non-probability sampling technique was used for the study and the sample was selected from a population of telecom service users resident in the Accra Central. A five point Likert scale
Questionnaire will be used in acquiring the respondent’s information. The questionnaires
Will be analyzed with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and
Microsoft Excel.

INTRODUCTION
The business environment has become very competitive in the 21st century due to the growth in technology, infrastructure and access to information around the globe. This has made the environment very complex and consumer preferences keep changing because of the low switching cost in the market. Due to this increasing demand of consumers in the market, management of business organizations have to increase their resources with attention focused more on attracting and retaining its customers.
The ever increasing competition in the global market has prompted organizations to be determined and ensure satisfaction of customer needs and wants more efficiently and effectively than ones competitors (Kotler, 1988).
The Ghanaian telecom industry is one area that has experienced an increased competition in the last six (6) years.In August 1994, the Government of Ghana deregulated the telecom sector and took an important step in embracing the potential of a competitive market to generate growth and innovation in the sector. The Government of Ghana therefore authorized four different mobile operators to operate in Ghana and also created a robust and aggressive market for setting off the wireless telecommunication network, whose growth has been strong and spreading through the country in recent years. This reform was also to ensure that, information is made accessible to all and sundry, and not only to the rich in society as was the case. In 1997, Ghana also signed the final World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on basic telecommunications indicating their readiness to enhance information in the country and beyond (Mensah, 2006).
The Telecommunication industry in Ghana currently has grown tremendously and currently has six telecom operators notably are MTN Ghana, Expresso, Tigo, Vodafone
Ghana, Airtel and Globacom. In the telecom industry where competition is intense, the criterion for success would much depend on creating awareness, persuasion and informing customers of the existence of offerings. With the introduction of the Mobile
Number Portability (MNP) by the National Communication Authority (NCA) and the
Ministry of Communication in 2011, which allows a consumer to port from one network to another without incurring any cost and also maintaining their number has further deepened the increasing competitiveness among the telecommunication companies. This increased competition in the industry, has however resulted in several communication tools being employed by marketers to help them succeed in this era of competitions. One of the commonly used communication tools by Ghanaian telecom providers is sales promotion.
Sales promotion is an initiative undertaken by organizations to promote and increase sales, usage or trial of a product or services (Aderemi, 2003). Sales promotion refers to the provision of incentives to customers or to the distribution channel to stimulate demand for a product. It is an important component of an organizations overall marketing strategy along with advertising, public relations and personal selling. Sales promotion acts as a competitive weapon by providing an extra incentive for the target audience to purchase or support one brand over the other. It is particularly effective in spurring product trials and unplanned purchases (Aderemi, 2003).
Sales promotion is a marketing activity that adds to the basic value proposition behind a
Product (i.e. getting more for less) for a limited time in order to stimulate consumer purchasing, selling effectiveness or the effort of the sales force (Aderemi, 2003). This

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Service providers like the Telecom operators’ needs to provide offerings or services that satisfy consumer needs and expectations to ensure the company’s economic survival. In order to achieve this feat, they need to understand consumer buying behaviour to help them evaluate their service offerings.
Consumers of Telecom service go through a cycle of decision making processes before making a purchase decision which define their behaviour in the consumption of the services they purchase from these companies. The consumer buying process is a complex matter as many internal and external factors impact on the buying decision of the consumer.
The consumer makes a purchase decision by examining alternatives before making the purchase. Sometimes, the purchase may differ from the purchase decision reached earlier. There is always a post purchase evaluation by the consumers after purchasing and consumption of the service. The consumer determines whether he was satisfied or not with the services rendered. This actually will be an important information reference point to the consumer in determining their behaviour in the next purchase. Because services have experience properties, moods and emotions are critical factors that shape the behavioral process of consumers.
Specific factors that may lead to altered consumer buying behavior are size and composition of the evoked set of alternatives, perceived risk, brand loyalty and attribution of dissatisfaction as Telecom is in the service industry.
This research therefore seeks to find out to what extent the sales promotion practiced by telecom operators influence the consumer buying process. It also seeks to find out reasons for consumers deviation from the established buying process.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this research is to assess the role sales promotion play in influencing the consumer buying behavior of telecom service consumers.
Therefore, this research seeks specifically:
1. To find out the practice of sales promotion in the telecom industry.
2. To find out the factors that promotes or impairs the effectiveness of the practice. 3. To assess the impact of sales promotion on consumer behavior in the telecom industry.
4. To recommend suggestions on measures for improvement.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This research seeks to find answers to questions such as;
1. What are the sales promotions strategies practiced in the telecom industry?
2. What are the factors that promote or impair the effectiveness of the practice?
3. What impact does sales promotion have on consumer behaviour in the telecom industry?
4. What are the suggested measures for improvement of sales promotion?

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study would be significant in the promotion of products and services by the telecom operators in Ghana. This study would also be relevant to companies in the service industry to determine the various factors that influence the consumer’s purchase decisions to enable them adjust their strategies. It will also help the firms to properly utilize their resources, increase their profitability and growth. Again, this study would inform researchers and firms why consumers do not follow through the whole consumer decision process before making a purchase decision and the implications of consumer behavior on sales.
ORGANISATION OF THE STUDY
This study will be organized in five chapters. Chapter one is the introductory part of the
Study. It will comprise of the background of the study, problem statement, main and
Specific objectives, research questions, significance of the study and the scope of the Study.
Chapter two will comprises of various literatures on sales promotion, consumer decision
Process and consumer behavior models. It review and discuss the issues in the Literature both in Ghana and other countries.
The third chapter analyses the methodology that was used for the research. It includes analysis of the population, sample procedure and data analysis. It discussed how data was collected and the instrument used for collecting the data.
The chapter four comprised of the Results and Discussions of the research. The fifth
Chapter presents the summaries of findings, conclusions and recommendation from the
Study.

THE STUDY AREA
The study was conducted in the Accra Metropolitan Assembly in the Greater Accra
Region of Ghana. It will comprise all subscribers or customers of Vodafone and other networks within the Accra Metropolis. The study used consumers from other networks to enable the researcher assess the various strategies of sales promotion being employed in the other networks. All respondents lived or worked in Accra as at the time the data will be collected.

POPULATION AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUE
The study population, as have been noted, comprises all subscribers or customers of
Vodafone and other networks within the Accra Metropolis. The study will use consumers from other networks to enable the researcher assess the various strategies of sales promotion being employed in the other networks. Ghana’s mobile penetration has reached more than 100% per cent mark as of the end of November 2014 according to the NCA
(National Communication Authority). This means that, out of a population of

24,722,485, there were 30,219,16 subscribers on at least one of the five active mobile networks in the country. The addition of Glo telecom to the mobile networks four year ago has increased mobile phone subscribers in Ghana currently. It is thus extremely difficult to access the exact figure for this study. However, for purposes of this study, the term “Subscribers” refers to all persons who have registered communication lines with any of the six mobile telephony networks namely Vodafone, MTN, Tigo,
Expresso, Airtel and Glo. The population will, therefore, be diverse but the target population for this study will be chosen from mobile phone subscribers found at Accra Central vicinity at the time of data collection.
The sampling design provides detailed explanation of the target population and the sampling method used for this research. The population was heterogeneous because it will comprise all customers of Mobile phone companies in Ghana. For the purpose of this research, a purposive sampling technique will be used to sample hundred (100), made up of customers who were adjudged users of Vodafone, MTN, Tigo, Expresso, Airtel and
Glo network service. Guba and Lincoln (1981) have stated that purposive sample is almost never random but intended to exploit competing views and fresh perspectives as fully as possible. The sample size for this study will therefore, be hundred (100) customers of Vodafone, MTN, Tigo, Expresso, Airtel and Glo network service.
The researchers will use the non-probability sampling technique to determine subscribers from whom data was obtained. The researcher found this technique appropriate to use because the sample was taken out of a diverse population of mobile telephony subscribers in their natural environment and a questionnaire was administered to seek customer’s answers to questions. Furthermore, this research, like any marketing research, involves a large population which is almost inaccessible if each member of the population should have a known chance of being included in the sample. This would cost too much or take too much time.

DATA COLLECTION PROCEDURE
Both primary and secondary data were collected for the study. The researchers will administer questionnaires to Vodafone, MTN, Tigo, Expresso, Airtel and Glo service consumers. The respondents will then complete the questionnaire within an average of ten (10) minutes. The group targeted a 100 % response rate. The aim of collecting the data was to establish the influence of sales promotion on consumer buying behavior in the telecommunication industry. The researchers will assist respondents who will found difficulty especially where they could not understand.
Secondary data will be obtained through related literatures of sales promotion and data will be obtained from National Communication Authority (NCA) and Vodafone Ghana website. RESEARCH INSTRUMENT
Questionnaire will serve as the main data collection instrument that will be used. The questionnaire proves to be the most common research instrument, appropriate enough to help the researchers ask questions and obtain data with ease.

RESEARCH DESIGN
Research design according to Kerlinger (1986) is “the plan and structure of investigation conceived so as to obtain answers to research questions”. The design of a research specifies the methods and procedures for acquiring the information needed. It represents the overall operational framework of the project that stipulates what information is to be collected from which source and by what procedure.
This work lays focus on Vodafone Ghana and other mobile telephony networks in
Ghana. The researchers will employ the quantitative approaches to data collection and analysis. According to Ary et al (2002), a study allows for an in-depth analysis of a single unit such as one individual, one group, one organization, one programme etc.
This study will be done with customers or subscribers of Vodafone and other mobile telephony networks at Accra central vicinity for the purpose of obtaining quantitative data.

DATA ANALYSIS
Analyzing data involved reducing and arranging the data, synthesizing searching for significant patterns and discovering what was important. Ary et al (2002) has noted three steps involved in analyzing data: organizing, interpreting and summarizing data.
Statistical tools such as tables, bar graphs and pie chart were used. The analysis will be done with the help of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) and Microsoft
Excel. The closed ended questions will be given numerical codes which will be done in a varying scale depending on the responses. The results of the data that are analyzed will be presented in the form of tables and charts.

REFERENCES * Aderemi, S.A. (2003): Marketing Principles and Practice. Mushin: Concept Publication Limited. * Kerlinger, F. (1986): Foundations of Behavioural Research. 3rdEdition, New York. * Kotler, P. (1994): Marketing Management. 8thEdition. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice Hall. * Kotler, P. (1998): A generic concept of marketing: Marketing Management, Vol. 7, pp. 48-54. * National Communication Authority (2012): E- Learning: www.nca.org.gh. Accessed 28.02.15.

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