The research work examines the relevance of marketing research in enhancing the service level of manufacturing firm and to achieve the purpose. Past contributions and the opinions at experts were reviewed. The research design adopted in carrying out this research work is quas – experimental design and the primary data was collected with the aid of questionnaire from ten (10) respondents draw from three small scale firm in Owerri. The data was subsequently analyzed using frequency table and percentages via analysis of variance solution software package (SPSS). After critically analyzing the data, the following were the findings that there is a significant relationship between marketing research and the service level of manufacturing firm and secondly moderating factors do interfere in the relationship between marketing firms and recommendations were made, that firm should be enlightened on the relevance of marketing research and how it attest marketing performance positively, adapt in order to have an edge over technological tools to suit current market situation. The relevance of marketing research in enhancing the service level of manufacturing firm (A case study of some selected manufacturing firm in Owerri Metropolis).
Marketing research involves conducting report to support marketing activities and the statistical interpretation of data into information. This information is then used by managers to plan marketing activities, gauge the nature of firm marketing environment and attain information from supplier. Marketing researchers uses statistical method such as qualitative research, quantitative research, hypothesis test chi- squared test, linear regression, correlation, frequency distribution etc to interpreter their findings and convert data into information.
The marketing research process spans a number of stages including the definition of problem development of research plan, collection and interpretation of data and disseminating information formally in the form of a report. The task of marketing research is to provide management with relevant, accurate, reliable, valid and current information.
1.1BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The Nigerian economy for long has been characterized with little wonder, Nigeria is often known as a reseller market. The few manufacturing firm still operating are either muiti-national cooperation or government establishment. This scenario has adversely affected the Nigeria economy to an extend. It has become dumping ground for other countries.
Although a lot of economics reform programms were initiated in Nigeria to make the manufacturing industry vibrant and allow infant industries to grow, such programms were never sustained to the later due to political instability and mismanagement of funds by stakeholders. Nevertheless, the recent programmes of the federal government has given hope to the manufacturing firms or industry as small and medium scale manufacturing firm are gradually emerging everywhere.
However, due to mildness and inexperience of the infant manufacturing firm, there has been a continuous cry of out consumers of low quality products and service. The major reason for this poor performance has been attributed to the lack of marketing research by large cooperation in Nigeria.
Marketing research plays a vital role in the success of every business entity. Expect believe that marketing research is the main pilot of commercialization.
Kotler (200) defined marketing research as the systematic and objective identification, collection and analysis and dissemination of information for the purpose of assisting management in decision making related to the identification and solution of problems and opportunities in marketing. Armstrong (2004) defined marketing research as the function that links the marketer to the consumer and the public through information. He further said that marketing research is used to define and identify marketing opportunities and problems to generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; to monitor marketing performance and to improve understanding of the marketing process from the above definition of marketing research, it is assumed that marketing research is a discipline approach to problem and prospect of ensuring efficiency and portability in any firm.
1.2STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
With the recent proliferation of small and medium scale enterprises in major cities Nigeria is sure to become an industrialized economy in the next decades. If these enterprise are given the necessary support (security, fund, expertise, conducive environment and industry protection) by the government.
Nevertheless, the manufacturing industry just as the financial sector has suffered enough economic crisis and the result is evident in the quality of service provided by firms in this sector. In spite of the presence of regulatory such as Nigeria standard organization (NSO), National agency for food and drug administration and control (NAFDAC) and consumerist the quality of products and service rendered by manufacturers is on the decline. This decline is on the evidence of the negligence of firms to properly determine and fill in the need and wants of consumers.
This shows that marketing research has not this been properly embraced in this industry or by manufactures despite valuable studies and write up of experts, all shows that the contribution/benefits of marketing research to the success of business organization is immense.
In fact, most managers and elite nurse are of the note that marketing research have no value in developing nation like Nigeria, and that has been one major reason for this negligence.
As a result, this study was embarked upon to investigate the extend of relationship between marketing research and the service level delivered by small and medium scale manufacturing firm in Imo State.
1.3PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study has its major purpose of investigating the extend of investigating the extend of relationship between marketing research and the service level of manufacturing firm. The study also examines the following specific objectives.
1. Whether marketing research is conducting in the manufacturing industry.
2. The extend to which marketing research is conducted.
3. The extend of qualification of the personnel.
4. The extend to which marketing research tools (Research plan, data collection, and analysis instrument) are validated.
5. How frequently is marketing research conducted by manufactures?
6. The extend to which manufactures (management) implement their research findings.
7. Whether marketing research contributes significantly to the performance / growth of the manufacturing industry.
8. How frequently are the marketing research personnel exposed to exposed to training and motivation.
9. Whether moderating variables interfere in the relationship between marketing research and service level desired by manufacturers
1. What is the extend of relationship between marketing research and the service level of manufacturing firms in Imo State?
2. Do small scales firm carry out marketing research?
3. How frequently is marketing research carried out by manufacturers?
4. To what extend do manufacturers validate their marketing research tools before conducting a research
5. To what extend do manufacturers execute the findings of a research study?
6. Does marketing research contribute significantly to the performance of the manufacturing industry in Imo State?
7. Do moderating variables interfere in the relationship between marketing research and the service level of manufacturing firm?
1.5SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study has it’s main significance to enhancing the service level of manufacturing firm among which are the benefit derived by the sponsoring companies and it’s customers when marketing research is properly used.
Secondly, it helps the firm to make better marketing decisions, which inturns results in product and services that better meets the need of the consumers. Marketing research also provides the information that links marketer with their customers, and the background needed to make effective decision on a wide range of issues.
Also marketing research is very vital in the aspect of employment opportunities. That is it service as a means of employment opportunities there by improving or enhancing the economic stand of the country.
Finally, through marketing research, companies learn more about consumers; need result in more resulting products and services.
1.6SCPOE AND LIMITATION OF STUDY
The research works covers the goal, strategies and implementation of marketing research in enhancing the service level of manufacturing firm.
The research work encountered some short coming in trying to get some necessary information and materials for successful completion some of which are.
Time Constraint: the time that was given for the research work was not sufficient enough for a through work to be carried out.
Financial Constraint: the short of funds limited the researcher to only three small manufacturing firms in Owerri metropolis and also restriction to printing and administrating questions to selected few among which are the wholesaler and customers of the firm ORANISATIONAL BUREAUCRACY
THE EFFORTS TO COLLECT ALL THE NEEDED DATA FROM THE MANAGEMENT AND STAFF OF THE SMALL MANUFACTURING FIRM IN Owerri metropolis was not very easy because of their official protocol and organizational bureaucracy.
1.7OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Marketing Research: This is a systematic and formal process of obtaining, collating, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting the findings relevant to specific marketing problems.
Marketing: It is the human activity which involves identifying and satisfying human wants and needs through the exchange process.
Research: This is a systematic orderly service for solution to a problem. It is finding out about something so as to sort out solution.
Marketing Research: It is the study on itself in a particular service advertisement to determine it’s effectiveness on a target audience.
SMALL SCALE ORGANISATION
It is an organist or acting on it’s belief on a particular business that can be started with less that 100 employee and the minimum of N750,000 and the maximum of N500,000
Service: it is anything of benefit that one party can offer to another, it is essentially intangible and does not involve in the ownership of anything.
Product: A product is anything that can be offered to a marketing for attention, acquisition, use or consumption that can satisfy a need or want.
Price: It is one of the marketing mix (4p’s) this is the value agreed upon by the members in the exchange process. It is the means that allow product or service to get value in the eyes of both the buyers and the sellers.
Satisfaction: Generic belief or pleasures someone derives from consuming a given product or service.
Manufacturing Sector: These are segments of the economy that engages in the production and distribution of goods for human consumption.
Conceptual Framework: A conceptual framework is a moderation techniques in which participant are asked to place the names of product or services on a grid. It also means how item are ground on diagram to stimulate discussion or use.