PROJECT TOPIC- EVALUATION OF THE USE OF NETWORK MARKETING IN INCREASING CLIENTELE BASE FOR FOREVER LIVING PRODUCTS
The evaluation of the use of network marketing in increasing the clientele base in respect of Forever Living Products was assessed.
This was carried out by examining how network marketing addresses the issues of unsold products, price fluctuation, inconsistency in the production of new products, boost competitive strength of new products and handle the problems of marketing expansion. A sample size of two hundred and sixty seven (267) was arrived at from a population of eight hundred (800) retailers, dealers and customers of Forever Living Products in Enugu and its environs. Data was collected through survey research design by means of questionnaire. The questionnaire was validated by
specialist in data analysis and finally approved by the supervisor, while the reliability of the instrument was measured using the split half technique. Data collected were collated and analyzed using simple percentage while the hypotheses were tested using sample proportion statistics. Each null hypothesis was rejected on the criteria that the calculated value is greater than the table value of 1.96 at 5% level of significant. Results indicate that unsold products are usually great with a response rate of 78.57%, and that prices of the products do not fluctuate (100%). Although network
marketing is yet to be implemented in the sales of Forever Living Products it has the potentials of addressing the inconsistency in the production of new products as well as been capable of boosting the competitive strength and market expansion of Forever Living Products. The research therefore concludes that network marketing have the capacity of bringing Forever Living Products back into perfect competition and thus recommends its incorporation into the marketing of Forever Living Products.
1.1 Background of the Study
For over a hundred years now, during which period science and technology have been revolutionizing all aspects of human life and experience, modern management has not only gone through a series of metamorphoses but it has also played a strategic role in that revolution. The continuous process of identifying human needs and wants and apply human knowledge and skills in converting available resources or raw materials into what is required to satisfy the felt needs and wants of each society has been made possible only through the art and science of managerial and entrepreneurial leadership and improved technology.
It can be said that the major distinctive characteristic between the haves and have-nots of the world today lies in their relative capabilities to develop and utilize their human and non-human resources. Obidaiah (2007:13) explains that the simplest explanation is that network marketing is a method of marketing that utilizes independent representatives to reach potential customers that a company otherwise would not reach with
traditional online or offline marketing methods.
In order to accomplish this, Madubuko (2011:44) states thatnetwork marketing companies and their associates recruit individual “their sales force”, like other companies and franchises have done for years, for example the insurance industry. How often have you seen ads on television that use the term, “Independent Insurance Agent or Associate?” Yet, these advertisements are watched. It is naturally assumed that they are employees of the company, when really they are independent business owners.
No doubt you have noticed as you have driven through your neighborhood many of these small business. They have signs and other advertisements designed to draw your attention to them. Yet, you will rarely see advertising from the appropriately 13 million people who are either involved with direct selling, or in the network marketing industry according to figures by the Direct Selling Association (DSA). In most cases they are assigned an exclusive territory and, therefore, cannot market outside of their assigned territory. Whereas in network marketing, in most cases, you can market just about anywhere your company is established.
Moha (2011:51) queries why the internet or other traditional marketing methods is quite simple and want access to network that is, network of friends and family members. Today there are hundreds of companies offering products and services. Many of these products and services are recognized by their brand name. They know that word-of-mouth marketing is a far more powerful and effective method of marketing, especially, when that message comes from those who are known and trusted by consumers. Thus, these companies are more than willing to pay to communicate this message to a network of friends and family.
It is extremely important to understand that this method of marketing is not about bugging your friends and family members, as many critics would love to make people believe. It is about the ability and skill to determine from those individuals within the circle of influence who would be interested in the products or services that one’s company has to offer. That information alone is one of the critical elements that separate those who fail, from those who go on to become very successful.
Occasionally, one might uncover a few individuals who also want to start a business. To be one’s boss in life, there must be a willingness to get the education needed to run a small business. For someone who is working with people, then network marketing just might be the right kind of business.
Running a network marketing business is very rewarding. While it does give the freedom from punching someone else’s clock one will be punching his own clock and will have to hold oneself accountable. For an employee, the training he gets from having a network marketing business will give him a deeper appreciation of what employers have to deal with on a daily basis. He will also become a far better communicator, someone who really listens and addresses the wants and needs of others (Donpedor, 2011:30).
With the economy the way it is today, working from home makes more sense than acquiring a second job in order to make ends meet. Finding a second job is not easy either. Udochi (2011:36) & argues that network marketing is a business model and a legitimate business that uses several methods such as referral programs and direct selling to sell company products or services. In the business model, individual associates or distributors act like a franchise to the parent company or network marketing business company and they are paid compensation according to the number of products sold with their efforts or with their own organization.
Most people confuse network marketing business with pyramid selling but the fact is that in the network marketing nobody loses money. The profit made by the business model is shared to the individuals in the business based on the retail sales and group profits made by them. It is very important for the newcomers in the business to check whether the company is legitimate before signing any contract with them. Network marketing distributors need to check the reputation of the company they work for.
The first important step is to check whether the company is regulated with the rules and regulations advised by the government or any organization related to it. The regulation part plays an important role in choosing the right company. The next step is to check the country’s regulations; most countries restrict the network marketing companies from charging large joining fees.
Therefore, it is better to know the legal requirements for this type of business. A network marketing company should not force the distributors to have large and expensive inventory of products. The distributors must make sure that the products are really good and have good value in the consumer market. Also, it is very important for the distributors to believe in the product, and should avoid joining any company that sells a product of very low quality.
It is also recommended to check whether there are any training programs available to help the distributors to start their business. The chosen company should have long and established track records of many years. At least, the company should have been in the business for five years. Most importantly, it is better to choose a company and products that make the distributors more comfortable. The rest of the work will look at how these issues can be resolved for Forever Living Products (FLP).
PROJECT TOPIC- EVALUATION OF THE USE OF NETWORK MARKETING IN INCREASING CLIENTELE BASE FOR FOREVER LIVING PRODUCTS
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Network marketing is that act of marketing that carefully brings all the stakeholders into a forum for interaction through the various media of communication. The problem, therefore, arises from how to co-ordinate the respective stakeholders for optimality. Such coordination
in the marketing of new products has to consider many things such as; man-power in distribution, getting distant stakeholders, exploring follow grounds, minimizing voices of dissent and discouragement, constancy in product development, fluctuation of price, and the problem of unsold products.
In network marketing, it is unlikely that people who did not join during the first few months of operation or become one of the early
distributors in their community can build enough of a sales pyramid to do well. Less than 1% of these new distributors earn significant income; and many who stock up on products to meet sales goals get stuck with unsold products that cost thousands of money. Nevertheless, it is claimed that unsold products are usually taken back by the parent company.
Price fluctuation or pricing conflict is common, and it can jeopardize the entire strategy, so it is necessary to map out the price for each step in the channel and include a fair profit for each type of partner. Then, compare the price that the end-user will pay because if a customer can buy from one channel at a lower price than from another, your partners will rightfully have concerns.
Network marketing can also cause social harm because many “believers” pester everyone they know to buy their products or become a distributor. In many cases, this pressure strains or terminates friendships.
Since becoming a network marketing distributor is simple and requires no real knowledge. Many people become a distributor initially in order to buy their own products at a discount since distributors can buy products “wholesale,” sell them “retail,” and as well recruit other distributors who can do the same. When then, enough distributors have been enrolled the recruiter are eligible to collect a percentage of their sales. Once a new product appears in the market, a succinct introductory letter to explain what’s in it, highlighting the product’s profit margin, features and benefits, and a proven sales record usually accompanies it.
The product should be defined as accurately as possible such that a deeper understanding of exactly what the distributors are selling is made known. Then, a sales plan that brings the product to the market is developed.
For network marketing to boost competitive strength of newproducts, a firm’s cost structure, product offerings, distribution network and customer support has to be put in place.
1.3 The Objectives of the Study
The broad objectives of this study is to evaluate the use of network marketing in increasing the clientele base in respect of forever living
products. The specific objectives are: 1. To examine how network marketing addresses the issue of unsold products.
2. To access how network marketing addresses price fluctuation.
3. To determine how network marketing handles inconsistency in the production of new products.
4. To evaluate how network marketing boosts competitive strength of new products.
5. To examine how network marketing handles problems of marketing expansion.