PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF PERSONAL SELLING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS IN, THE MAKETING OF BAN( ING SERVICES: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
Marketing communications which also is known as marketing rosations is one of the marketing mix variables used by markptsrs in formulating marketing strategy, A marketer who builds a product or creates a service and then sits back and waits for’things to hapgpen, usually find out that not much does happn, The firm is duty bound to communicate with its potential customers and other publics. Good communication to these publics will enable the company gain their confidence and good will. It will also lead to a good corporate image and identity. However, the
basic function of promotion is to sell goods or services, Promotion in banking involves creating awareness among the customers of.bank service, what they intend to benefit and why they should go for it instead of a substitute or alternative.
. Different communication channels may be relatively more effective in moving consumers from one stage of the purchase decision process to another. At the beginning of the process, the use of mass-media is’likely to be the most cost-effective channel for stimulating awareness and
providing background knowledge. As customers move towR,rds evaluation and purchase however, they may actively seek out two-way personal comrmnicat.ion th:\t w i l l enable them to ask specific questions t h a t w i l l help them make f i n a l deaisiona.
Thie research is focused on the e f f e c t i v e n e s s . o f personal s e l l i n g and public r e l a t i o n s i n the marketing of banking services. The two promotional tools were compared to determine which one between them is more e f f e c t i v e than the other.
On the methodolagical approach, the researcher made effective use of primary and secondary data, used interview method, observation and administered two seta of questionnaires. One set of questionnaire was meant f o r the Banks’ customers while t h e other one was d i s t r i b u t e d
to t h e i r staff.
The research population was made up of staff and ctaatomers of Inland bank, Orient bark and Diamond bank i n Aba and Onitaha metrepolitan towne. I n a l l 360 copies of the questionnaire were d i s t r i b u t e d . 160 questionnaire copies were given to the banks staff while the balance of 200 were d i s t r i b u t e d t o the Banks’ customers.
The data were subjected ts empirical t e s t i n g with t h e a i d o f chi -square (X 2 ) s t a t i s t i c .
Through the t e s t s t a t i s t i c the following findings were made:
– T h a t banks employ PR and persolla1 s e l l i n ~s t r a t e g i e o i n the marketing of t h e i r services.
– Personal s e l l i n g is more eff’ec t i v e than public r e l a t i o n s i n the marketing of banks’ s e r v i c e s .
– There is s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p between PH s t r a t e g i e s and personal s e l l ing stra tegi es of t h e banks.
– Personal s e l l i n g prac t i c e s cre;~tc? mu re cu:; torncr:; l o y a l t y than YR p r a c t i c e s .
Prom the a f o r e -men t.:i one0 f’.i n t i i ntgs, i t, was recommended t h a t v a r i e t i e s of personal s e l l i n g ar~d publ..ic r e l a t i o n s should e employed i n ~narkctirig of’ the banks’ s e r v i c e s . Additionally, the inherent advantages of personal s e l l i n g should be maximized f u l l y .
Consequently personal s e l l i n g should he used to deepen and s t r e n g t e n l o y a l t y i h a d d i t i o n t o t a c k l i n g any . o p e r a t i o n a l problems and worries t h a t may manifest at anytime i n the course of t r a n s a c t i o n . However, it is important t o h i g h l i g h t t h a t promotim alone cannot be burdened with more than its f a i r share of t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of generating s a l e s revenue. Therefore s a l e s revenue r e s u l t s from a c a r e f u l l y planned and f u l l y i n t e g r a t e d marketing ml x.
The r e g ~ ~ l a t o rcyo n t r o l employed o v e r t h e y e a r s by t h e supervisory agencies ~ e n e r a t e d major monetary a n t j a l l o c a –
t i o n a l d i s t o r t i o n w i t h i n t h e banking s e c t o r an,.! indeed t h e economic system. However, t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n of a cotnprehensive
programme of economic recovery through the s t r u c t u r a l adjustment programme (S.A.P) i n Semptember 1986 helped t o remove some of t h e s e impcrf’ections.’ The main t h r u s t of t h e adjustment was t h e d e r e g u l a t i o n 07 t h e f i n a n c i a l and economic a c t i v i t i e s . With i I, came t h e l i b e r a t i o n of l i c e n s i n g of banks and o t h e r f i n a n c i a l 1n~til;utj.on:;.
However, with t h e vacant of’ SAP, t h e banking s e c t o r witnessed a phenomenal r i s e in t h e number of Leicester batiks operating w i t h i n t h e system. The number of banks i n c r e a s e d horn 13 i n 1900 t o more than 120 by t h e end of 1996.
This i n c r e a s e i n t h e number of o p e r a t o r s has brou(:ht about increased competition i n t h e in,lustrous. In response t o t h e competition, banks a r e now seen t o be making morae use of marketing t n o l s , Traditionally, the need for marketing in banking was not rec$nosed because for a very long time banking was a sellers’ market while most customers felt highly, privileged to enjoy the services of a bank, Such was the neglect of marketing that little or no attention was g5vi.n to consumption instead, production was the suspect of emphasis , Production efficiency was the focus of the banking business because o f the belief that products/services were bought and not sold, that a reputation for operational excelled. ~. g~ j.11le ad customers to trace the appropriate source of supply, Consumer orientation was relatively unknown as it was sacrificed on the alter of product orien Lation, Once the marketing concept becomes an integral part of a firms philosophy, its management seeks to develop a network of marketing activities that will maximize customer service and ensure profitability.
The combination of elements making up a programme bases on the markelin:- concept is known as the marketing mixed, The elements are product, promotion, place ant1 price. l?orl marketing programme to achieve thi: d e u i rccl rcnul t s , each of t. hose fun-ct i.ons mu:; t; be exec t;o : 12 1′:’or: actively , One of the four PIS, promotion can further be subdivided into Advertising, PublA& Relations, Sales Promotion and Personal selling.
However, as a result of the scope of this write-up, our focus would be limited to the public relations and personal selling functions of promotion, Communication between individuals has a powerful advantage over mass-media communication in that it involve person-to-person contact with a potential customer. This al3ows the seller to tailor the message to fit a particular customer con cerns and interests.
The need for prsonal selling in, banking was what Eseokafor, U.F. ( 1 9 9 6 ~ 2 71) was referring to when he said, “the situation in the backing industry in the country calls for forcashing, anticipation persuasive salesmanship and aggressive murmuring of bank products whereby the bank will get off their traditional armchair to canvass and sell their services”, Many commercial and merchant banks now scout around for deposits.
Big companies arid rich individuals are daily besieged by the bank officials who look for deposits and offer attractive rates. Rather than sit back and expect the customer to come, the bank that wants to remair in business must as a matter of survival go seeking the customer to know exactly what he wants with a view to ensuring that he gets maximum satisfaction, Nevertheless, it is important to note that the branch delivery system and the branch manager ill p a r Licular still constitute the key to client interface.
In corporate banking p~rsonal selling is still the preferred mcans of communication and in the large and medium corporate market specialist account managers have tend to supersede ‘ traditional branch managers as the main mechanism for the bank to sell its services, In many cases there is no direct contact between the manager and the branch cpstomers and it is important that staff generally are marketing oriented. Often the role of the manager will be to introduce customers to an expert on the Bank’s staff who can give detailerl information about a particular service, Sometimes with a business enterprise it may be necessary for a meeting to be arranged with senio~ bank staff who are able to advice the company on financial – . matters such as the~?ai~in&oaf new capital. In some banks, account execut$ve have the task of looking after the
financial needs of a number of companies, cross-selling the bank’s corporate services whenever possible.
Another promotional function which is of relevance to this write-up is public relatjons, This very function is made more relevant in banking today as a result of crisis o.f confidence in the security of deposit engendered by mass bank distress and failure that has befallen the industry for many years now. Despite this situation: banks can still thrive, withe effective application of the public relations options. Public relations strategies could be used to change such negative perceptions and apathy into sympathy and interest. Banks sell services to the public.
The latter’s readiness to buy the services depends largely on how much they know about the services and the confislence they have in the banks,
Public relations is more of a background activity and is designed to enable the banksf position with specifically targeted audiences. The key objective of publicity is tO obtain editorial coverage, as distinct from paid space in the media seen by the banks’ desired customer hase. It may
be used bo promote services, places, ideas, people, activities and organisational image.
The results of publicity can, however, be especially important an3 close attention to public relations can lead to substantial strategic advantage, This is especially important for institutions with low communication budcets since publicity is generally much cheaper than direct mail and media advertising, Ie
PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF PERSONAL SELLING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS IN, THE MAKETING OF BAN( ING SERVICES: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
STATEMENT OF THE STUDY
In recent years, many organisations in the business sector including commercial banks have been witnessing a serious decline in customer patronage and profitability, One of the factors that is believed to be responsible for this diminishing customer petronage of commercial
banks is as stated earlier the increased numbers of operators, However, the issue of distress helpeJ to heighten the problem, People no longer have faith in banks, especially the new generation banks, Thus the competition for customers that these created brought about a sharp
reduction in customers patronage of banks.
This competition, thereof have brought to an end the era of arm-chair or easy banking, There is now a
well articulated effort by banks towards evolving marketing concept in -order to have greater patronage, The issue in the unfolding era will be that of dynamism and aggressive banking, Although, so many banks have started adopting the marketing concept in their mo.tie of operation, g r e a t e
attention had been given to some functional crens of’ marketing to the detiriment of ot;hc.r.s. This limited focus was especia.11~n oticeable in the promotional areas of’ personal selling and public relations.
This was rnat!e evident in the limited number of publications and reeaerch works that’ have heen devoted to these promo tionnl function with respect to thc banking sector, Hence, my inspiration to explore this very topic was as a result of dearth of information on these areas 01′ marketin[:. Again, most of the banks in the country rely heavily on advertising. Noweves, as the power ni’ advcrtinbng weakens somwwhat, due to rising media costs, increasing clutter and smaller audiences, the assessment of thc other promotional strategies become very necessary. This study will enable us determine to what extent they can contribute towards building awareness, producing customer satisfaction . and confidence, improving company profit anri enhancing bank’s position with specifically targeted market. The findings resulting there from will help in providing necessary recommendations that will give a bank a competitiye edge and re-establish the confidence of the bank’s publics on Lhe bank.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this study are as follows:-
To determine the real causes of declining customerst patronage and profit of the banks, if any, To find out main reasons why their customers choose to patronise them, To identity and evaluate the personal selling and public relations strategies employed by the selected banks.
To compare the effectiveness of these PR and personal sell.ing,
To examine the relationship between the PR strategies and the personal selling strategies of these banks,
To determine which of t!:ese two promotional practices (ie PR and personal selling) creates more customer
loyalty than the other, To make appropriate suggestions and recommendations in line with findings,
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY –