1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Marketing concept is a customer oriented philosophy which states that customer’s satisfaction is the economic and social justification of firm’s corporate existence. These philosophies hold that the company should be customer oriented. Strive for profitability. Sales volume and coordinate all its marketing activities. Marketing management however is the vehicle that business uses to capture the marketing concept.
Kurtz (1992. Pg 3) defines marketing management as a unifying approach marshalling and directing the total resources of a business firm towards the determination and satisfaction of a customer and consumer wants in a way planned to enhance the firm overall profit position.
Where the marketing concept is recognized, there is a total change in the basic philosophy of business. Instead of trying to sell what can be produced. Management produces what is really needed by the customer though profit criterion is there. The element of serving and keeping the customer satisfied are equally important to the company. By realizing that it is not merely selling a particular product but particular need of a customer is satisfied effectively.
The essence of banking services marketing is to provide the desired satisfaction to customers and make the business of banking maintain a sound footing and sustainable growth in the short and long run.
The current industrial, commercial and technological metamorphosis with increased competitive pressure. Customer expectation and other unstable environmental faces are clear indications that a business either adopts marketing concepts philosophy or goes out of existence. The recent proliferations of banks in Nigeria denote a more intense competition in which only those capable of adopting dynamically would be able to maintain a sustained growth and profitability.
The present economic changes in Nigeria no doubt, pose greater challenges to commercial banks. These trends of changes have made banks to realize that their customers can no longer just be treated in an off head manner. Banks therefore employs marketing experts who actually go out and solicit customers patronage and loyalty. Banks now realized the importance of maintaining close relationship with customers and getting the service closer to them as possible. Most banks set up marketing research department or as the case maybe in order to gather more facts about customer needs, attitude, motives and preference. The orientation of banking service started with production concept which believes that customer would buy the services offered to them by banks provided it is accessible and affordable. Thus banks thinks of offering useful services and open out more branches to make their service accessible.
Later the bank moves to product concept under the assumption that customers would buy such services that offers the best quality and value for the price that is being offered. Thus banks direct their efforts in improving the quality of their services.
However, at the later stage of their development, sales orientation comes into effect i.e. selling concept which believes that customers would not buy enough from them unless a positive extra effort is made to sale the product due to increase in competition and awareness. Today, the application of marketing concept makes banks to accept the fact of finding out the needs and wants of customers and to provide banking service package that will best satisfy such needs and wants profitably.
The marketing concept has been viewed as the correct philosophy in achieving a long – term commercial success. Thus making the task of persuading customers to buy the service that bank offered very easy. Therefore customer satisfaction becomes inevitable. The marketing concept is directed towards answering the question as to, who are our customers. To whom do we produce? What marketing techniques do we employ? Why are we selling this product? Who do we sell to? Also to find out what the customer want and where he wants to buy the product and how he want it delivered in order to create a cordial relationship between the organization and its customer so as to achieve maximum satisfaction.
The banking profession in Nigeria had until – recently been characterized by what expert refers to as arm chair banking, where bankers are waiting in their offices for work to come and meet them. This approach to banking business is deficient because the bank had not fully embraced marketing concept: its philosophy and function. Their perception of marketing is still narrowly defined. Marketing of bank services actually transcend these myopic ends.
Nigeria commercial banks need to adopt the marketing concept programmes for a purposeful and customer oriented approach to the business of banking. As a result of the above factors, this research is designed to answer the following questions.
1) To research into and find out those areas the banks have found to be of interest in satisfying customers.
2) To ascertain the opinions of banking staff towards their customers and vice – versa.
3) To find out the place and role of marketing in the organizational structure of commercial banks and to what extent marketing functions have been applied.
4) To ascertain the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing concept application.
5) To make useful recommendation towards improvement