1.1 Background to the Study
Strategic Marketing is becoming more and more important for both the new and established companies due to the complex environmental dynamics and increasing global competition. Manufacturing companies, regardless of their age or size, are forced to build more on strategic marketing in order to compete and survive. Strategic marketing helps to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) that will enhance company performance. This is achieved through formulation of effective marketing decisions and actions that determine the long-run performance of a marketing company.
Formulating effective marketing strategies involves recognizing relationships between elements of the marketing mix. Although formulating a consistent strategy is a difficult task for any management team to achieve, implementing the strategy throughout the organization is even more difficult due to several environmental factors that can impact on it. A myriad of factors can potentially influence the process by which strategic marketing plans are turned into organizational action.
However, manufacturing companies in Nigeria aspiring to meet the challenges of today’s rapidly changing markets and increasing competition require strategic marketing decisions. Any manufacturer who fails to recognize the fact that the market place changes every moment, may one day be forced out of business. Customer requirements and competitive forces change significantly every few years in sectors like manufacturing, communications, banking, insurance, petroleum, textile, hospitality and entertainment.
Today’s economic landscape is being shaped by two powerful forces–technology and globalization. Besides technology and globalization, other forces reshaping the Nigerian economy include deregulation, privatization and the general reform agenda of the Federal Government as contained in the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS, 2003) document. These changes in the environment have brought about the need for strategic marketing in conformity with the changing nature of the marketing environment to enable companies compete favorably.