Thursday, 28 August 2014

Impacts of marketing in Kenya

 Marketing has negatively affected socio-economic development in Kenya in a number of ways:
     Price mechanism has negatively impacted rural poor and slum dwellers in urban areas i.e. the free market has led to high prices of goods and services making the less fortunate unable to afford. most product produced by companies. The products are packed in big sizes which the poor and slum dwellers cannot afford and if packed in smaller sizes the production cost still makes the prices unaffordable.
     Poor distribution of products has resulted in hunger in some areas and waste of unprocessed foods in others. Intermediaries in the distribution channel cause delays in the distribution process leading to the products going bad before they reach the consumer.
     Inadequate or total lack of market information has adversely affected small-scale farmers and micro and small scale (jua kali) firms. Lack of marketing information or strategic marketing intelligence makes it hard for the SME to know what the market needs are and any other changes that might be happening in the future. Firms that do not have well established marketing research departments are likely to suffer due the ever changing external environment.
     Inadequate consumer education by marketers has impacted negatively on consumers who are not willing to consume products which are not their traditional staple foods. For instance in insurance products, most people buy the cover without proper knowledge of its legal implications when it comes to compensation. The client might not get what they expected which is as a result of not being provided with adequate information by the marketer. In the case of Credit cards, clients or subscribers use the cards without proper education and control leading to impulse buying.
     International marketing has negatively affected Kenya’s exports especially in primary goods and resulted in relatively higher import prices.
Increased competition has led to demise of some firms in Kenya. Examples? For instance in the transport industry there is high level competition which sometimes unethical. This has led to some companies leaving the market i.e. the Akamba Bus Service, Shaggy bus services, Stage coach amongst others.
     Increased pollution and degradation of physical environment (because of failure to adopt green marketing strategies).There is high growth of ICT in Kenya which has led to increased use of electronic gadgets. This has led to mass e-waste dumping which is currently posing a great challenge to the government when it comes to their disposal.

Importance of Marketing to socioeconomic development

     Marketing creates employment, as a profession it can create jobs like advertising manager, public relations manager, media planning manager, sales strategy manager, brand managers etc.
     Marketing raises people’s standards of living, marketing can raise the standard of living of both the marketer and the consumers since they will have proper knowledge of the product they are consuming through marketing.
     Marketing pays for most of the entertainment and news that the mass media provides to the public. Through the huge marketing budget that most established companies have, marketing is able to pay for all its personnel and activities that goes around the marketing processes.  
     Marketing facilitates international trade , through marketing international companies are able to find markets for their products and services, many firms are now able to compete both locally and internationally through marketing of their products and services.
     Marketing leads to improvement of infrastructure .i e for banking industry where they have more teller points, more services like mobile banking, cash point to attract more clients to their services and products.
     Marketing improves social economic status of the citizens, marketing helps to raise the standards of living of the marketers as professionals and it also improves the lives of the consumers as they are now consume more competitive products and enjoy better quality services.
     Information generation is a strategic role of marketing. Through marketing, information about the product i.e. benefits, usage, expiry dates, is given which makes the consumer knowledgeable about the product. Marketing departments can also have their marketing intelligence/research units gather information on what is happening in the market. 
     Marketing makes possible the availability of the much needed foreign exchange. By engaging in both export and import trade a country is able to have a balanced foreign account thereby meeting its foreign exchange needs.
     Marketing provides incentives for innovativeness, inventions and efficiency.
     Marketing provides entrepreneurial talents/ opportunities especially for the small-scale market intermediaries. Marketing as a profession has created many entrepreneurs, e.g. in the media industry we have many advertising agencies owned by many Kenyan entrepreneurs like Aegeis and Saracen.  
     Marketing leads to accumulation of capital through enhanced savings, for instance in the financial sector i.e. the banks and insurance companies give very good incentives to attract many client to do savings with them, e.g.  Faulu bank, this has been achieved through marketing of these products and services.
     Marketing stimulates demand which in turn enhances production and increased utilization of resources. Through sales promotions, advertising, CSR, PR activities product and services consumption is highly enhanced. This helps in providing information about the product and in turn influencing the consumer purchasing decisions.

Kenya vision 2030 political pillar

Political Pillar
The Political Pillar of Vision 2030 objective is to move to the future as one nation and envisions a democratic system that is issue based; people centered, results oriented, and are accountable to the public. It targets five main areas: The rule of law – the Constitution of Kenya, electoral and political processes, democracy and public service delivery, transparency and accountability, and security, peace building and conflict management
Rule of Law. Kenya’s 2010 constitution provides for increased accountability and transparency to combat pervasive corruption, but no top officials have been successfully prosecuted for corruption since 2002
Electoral and Political Processes. The first application of technology in the 2013 elections aimed to guarantee the integrity of the voter register through the use of a Biometric Voter Registration system that was acquired at a cost of 95 million USD.
Democracy and Public Service Delivery
Transparency and Accountability. The police, the judiciary, and the Ministry of Defense have been identified as some of the country’s most corrupt institutions. Although the judiciary is independent, the courts are understaffed and underfinanced, leading to delays.

Security, Peace-Building and Conflict Management. In September 2013, it suffered its largest terrorist attack since the 1998 U.S. embassy bombing.

Kenya Vision 2030 social pillar

Social Pillar
The Social Pillar of Vision 2030 has the objective of improving the quality of life for all Kenyans. It aims to do this by targeting human and social welfare programs, specifically: education and training, health, environment, housing and urbanization, children and social development, and youth and sports.
Education and Training, many educational institutions opening up at all levels offering both local and international curriculum to fit the needs of the learners, e g very many universities have come up with evening classes to cater for the needs of the working class who are not available during the day this has been enhanced through marketing,
The Health Sector, marketing has led to improvement of services offered at both private and public health facilities through cancer centers and proper awareness on various health issues for instance healthy eating a program on NTV Sunday morning.
The Environment, Waste management system, rehabilitation and Protection of Indigenous Forests in Five Water Towers preparation of a National Spatial Plan, Secure Wildlife Corridors and Migratory Routes
Housing and Urbanization, Producing 200,000 Housing Units Annually by 2012 under Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and Other Initiatives Establish Housing Technology Centers in Each Constituency Installation of Physical and Social Infrastructure in Slums in 20 Urban Areas Enacting Housing Bill, 2006 to Legislate for a One-Stop Housing Development Approvals Mechanism Develop an Integrated Growth and Development Strategy for Six Metropolitan Regions.
Gender, Youth and Vulnerable, Women  and youths Enterprise Fund, Establishment of Consolidated Social Protection Fund, Representation of People with Disabilities in Decision Making Process ,Gender Mainstreaming, Affirmative Action Policy Gender Disaggregated Data, Implementation of Disability Fund

Equity and Poverty.Poverty levels remain high in Kenya. The country is unlikely to meet the millennium development goal (MDG) to halve extreme poverty by 2015. The most recent data suggests roughly 45% of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day, and more than 65% on less than $2.

Thematic Overview of Kenya Vision 2030 (Economic pillar)

 Economic Pillar. 
      The Economic Pillar is seeking to achieve growth in the Gross Domestic Product of 10 percent by 2012. The economic areas that the Vision 2030 is targeting are: tourism, agriculture, wholesale/retail trade, manufacturing, IT enabled services, and Financial Services.
         Tourism, marketing has boosted the image of existing tourism attraction spots hence more foreign and local  tourist which in turn has led to more businesses opening up in the tourism and hotel industries, Development of Resort Cities, Underutilized Parks Initiative, Development of Niche Products, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE)Premium Parks Initiative. 
         Increasing value in Agriculture, for example  Kenchic have improve the way they do their packaging of the product to appeal to both the local and  foreign market through marketing
         A better and more Inclusive wholesale and retail,  Trade Sector Creation of Producer Business Groups Building ‘Tier 1’ Markets Wholesale Hub,
         Manufacturing for the Regional Market, with the strengthening up of the East African community, marketing has enhanced regional trade there by producing better and more improved products and services that can compete in the regional market.
         Financial Services, International Financial Centre, Deepening of Capital Markets. More and more financial institutions coming up and offering wide range of products and services e.g. LPO financing for tenders, Chama accounts for women and youth groups. Business financing, flexible loans and mortgage. Amongst others.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Use of outside research firms

Meaning of outside research: Outside research involves the procurement of research and to some extent development services from other firms. These firms are specialized and have expertise in the research field given their exposure in running projects which is their core business.
  • Reduced bias due to group thinking- The problem of using internal research or in house research is that the process and the result may be biased and subjected to other staff being unable to challenge ideas or opinions of their superiors thus subjecting the entire process to mob mentality and sycophancy. Outside research reduces this bias because the information they gather is what they report and this is not influenced by the executives at the firm.
  • Proprietary software and systems resources highly qualified researchers- Due to concentration and specialization outside research firms will over the years discover new valuable processes and softwares that may improve the reliability and validity of research. These systems will be patented and thus to access these resources the only option would be to procure their services.
  • The ability to cover more ground- Outside research firms has invested in human resources and systems to ensure they perform the research function efficiently. Thus they are able to utilize a large number of human resources to conduct the research and so in turn speeding up the process.
  • Provides time to internal staff to concentrate on other tasks core business- By procuring outside research the internal research department would concentrate on formulating projects to pursue. Thus they will be available for creative purposes and the performance of the actual research process can then be outsourced.
  • Ability to gather specialist expert opinions- given their existence in the research field outside research firms develop valuable networks of opinion leaders and experts who they can easily source information from faster than an internal research firm could.
  • Obtain outside opinion which you can use to build on internal knowledge- Outside research firms facilitate information sharing between the company and themselves. The benefit to the company is that they would notice or be informed on other ideas originating from the research firm that they may not have thought of in the first place.

  • Rigid guidelines and requirements may not move at the same pace as the org- Outside research firms has their way of doing things and this makes them very rigid. This may be seen through resource need whereby they may need more that the company can provide and they may not offer customizations because of their internal procedures.
  • Lacks an opportunity for internal customization where the marketing staff can discuss features with engineering to see what is viable- Internal research has the ability to consult with different other departments on a one on one basis to know what is possible and what may take time to achieve thus providing a better outlook and direction of the research in real-time.
  • Inability to Act on info instantly as it comes up through the research-some of the information that comes up during a research may require immediate attention or action. Thus an internal research department would quickly deliver this information to concerned parties for expeditious action.
  • Fake results or use outdated information- external research firms may also offer fake results this is especially if the resources provided were not enough or they did not perform the service appropriately. Thus to meet deadlines they may present fabricated data and misguide the company.
  • May be working with your competitor info risk leaks are high- given that an outside research firms are at liberty to work with any other company. Chances are they may also be working for your competitor. Information disclosure becomes an issue and the competition may get information on what the company is trying to do.

Role of information systems in business decision making

information systems in business
Access to information
Information systems offer access to information that is needed for decision making. Businesses collect a lot of information about their environment, customers, and competitors among others. This information is meant to guide the decision making process of the business. Information systems will organize this data in order to simplify and provide for quick access to this information.
Collection of Data
Information systems offer an opportunity to collect, store and process information important in decision making.
Interpretation of information
Information systems offer decision an opportunity to recognize trends and patterns. This information helps to guide them in making the right decisions.
Coordination and collaboration
Information systems enable members in the decision making process to collaborate in the process by providing them with access to information from different locations. This fosters team work which is essential in effective decision making.
Information dissemination and presentation
An information system helps in better presentation of information to decision makers and this enables them to make the appropriate given the interpretation of the information. For example bar graphs and pie charts created by Microsoft excel
Before decisions are made information needs to be shared within the process of decision making and it is through information systems that this can be achieved efficiently and effectively
·         Difference between structured, semi-structured and unstructured decisions
Structured decisions
Can be described as a decision whereby all sections of a decision (data, process and evaluation) are determined. This requires that this type of decision be routine, repetitive making the process of dealing with it defined and specific. They are decisions made in clear circumstances.
Unstructured decisions
Although similar to the structured decisions in terms of sections of the decision used there is less agreement on which data and process to be used. The evaluation aspect of the decision is also left to qualified individuals within the organization. This type of decision leaves no room for premeditation of the procedures to be followed and thus they are made in situations which are unclear and one-shot.
Semi structured decisions

The main difference with the other types of decisions is that this types leaves room for human judgment in the decision making process. This type of decision also maintains some level of agreement between the 3 sections of decision making (data, process and evaluation)