This research work identified and analyzed the impact of advertising on the purchase of Etisalat recharge cards, a case study of Auchi Metropolis. Information were gathered through primary and secondary sources. The analysis and test were carried out in reliable statistical techniques such as frequency distribution table and the use of a chi-square, null hypothesis, alternate hypothesis and simple percentage. This study was designed to examine the extent to which advertising help in informing, persuading and influencing consumer purchasing decision of Etisalat recharge cards. This research work identified that advertising only show the good quality of the product but hide the bad aspect. Recommendations were also made to manufacturers on the need to fill and stretch their line of etisalat recharge cards, control their channel and to conduct their periodic resource not only to withstand the wind of change but also to measure the effect of such marketing activities on demand and because marketing is merely a civilized form of warfare which most battles are won with words, ideas and discipline thinking.
1.1 Background of the Study
At the heart of management, is that all levels of responsibilities lies on fundamental requirement of being able to communicate.
Advertising is a form of external communication. At the core of advertising lies the information, knowledge of how consumers respond to different strategies and how these strategies might effect the image of the organization and their product.
Advertising is a paid form of non-personal communication or presentation and promotion of ideals, goods and services by an identified sponsor (America Marketing Association, [AMA] 1960). Advertising message can be transmitted to consumers through mass media such as radio, television, newspapers, magazines, direct mail, mass transit, vehicle and outdoor display.
Advertising to some extent is the most viable element of the promotional mix like sales promotion, personal selling and publicity. Among all these, advertising seen to play a very important role in dissemination of business information to the target market and the general public, at the same time, advertising attract plenty of controversies as to its impact on consumer purchase decision. It is based on this that Duncan (1974) wrote that “provided the consumer is free, firstly to agree with or ignore arguments and secondly to choose any particular product in preference to another, there is little scope for condemnation of persuasive advertisement”. It was also in support of this fact that the president and chief executive officer of Etisalat produce stated that advertising and positioning of product are almost everything.
There are people that do not see anything good about advertising except that it deceived and cheat consumers. It was with this view that Baster A.S.J. wrote that “the major part of information advertising is and always has been a campaign of exaggeration half truth, intended, ambiguity, direct les and general deception. Baber (1991, p.12), it is in line with this argument and criticism that skilled communicators exercise great powers in persuading and influencing their audience with little or no room for the receiver to use their discretion critics believe that advertising primarily promotes materialism, irrational economic decision and make people to be morally and mentally corrupt. Neil, H. Borden, in his book, the economic effects of advertising observed however that the use of influence in commercial relations is one of the attributes of a free society, just as persuasion and counter-persuasion are exercise freely in many works of life in our society in the home, in the press, in the classroom, on the pulpit, in the court of law, in the political forum, in the legislative halls and in government agencies.
Notwithstanding these controversies, huge amount of money are spent annually by both developed and developing countries of the world on advertising. Irrespective of these controversies, there are a lot of huge benefits of advertising not just to a product but for the economy of a country and to enhance a country’s good public relations that makes countries and business organization to invest on it. Good advertising techniques portrays good image of a country, organization and its products. This of course increases customers awareness of the organizational product which will subsequently favour a country balance of trade through increased demand and increase in organizational internal rate of returns.
On product, advertising influences target groups as well as defend product. It could also build up interest in product category assist in repositioning of matured product and most importantly, exposes the features, benefits and uses of the product.
Though, it is argued that there are some products that are more advertisable than others. It was on this Stanton (1991) quoting advertising authority Neil Borden, identified five products criteria that suggest when advertising might be most effect.
i. Primary demand trend for the product should be favourable. Advertising cannot sell an etisalat product that is in certainly unwanted by the target audience.
ii. There should be some features of differentiation of an etisalat product from those of the competitors. Such etisalat features could be in the area of product, price, distribution and promotional advantage using personal selling, sales promotion and publicity.
iii. There should be some hidden attributes of the etisalat produce which when advertised, will make an impact on the receiver.
iv. Emotional buying motive should be presented. The etisalat product such emotion can be whipped up by the advertising message.
v. There should be adequate fund and efficient media vehicles at the disposal of the etisalat seller.
In all, the main purpose of all marketing effort including advertising is to bring about constant sales that will generate direct revenue to the sellers and manufacturers of etisalat recharge cards.
It is persistent that the most expensive and controversial variable of the promotional mix deserves a more detailed in the field of consumer behaviour.
It is necessary to note that advertising is just one of the elements of promotional mix which influences consumer purchasing decision and as such it is hoped that the result of this research will e better applied in connection with other influence variables in the context of consumer buying behaviour.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
With the proliferation of communication service providers there is every indication that there would a be competition. Users of such services would not be able to make use of them unless they are aware of the existence of such services. Etisalat recharge cards are relatively new to the telecommunication market. If this recharge cards must be bought, conscious effort has to be made by etisalat firm to advertise her product. A cursory look at most advert we see in the television and other medias would reveal that not much is said about etisalat products. It is in a bid to encourage such a firm that this researcher had to undertake on this study. So the problem of this study put in the question form is what is the impact of advertising on the purchase of etisalat recharge cards.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objectives or purpose of this research work is to investigate the extend to which product advertising influences the decision to purchase of etisalat recharge cards.
The objectives of the research stated in explicit term are:
i. To examine the extend to which advertising helps in informing, persuading and influencing consumer buying decision of etisalat recharge cards.
ii. To determine the influence (if any) of sex, age, education, nationality and occupation on the use and purchases of etisalat recharge cards.
iii. To determine the relationship between price and sales volume in an attempt to measure the effectiveness of advertising.
iv. To recommend from the findings of this research how to apply advertising activities on the different stages of the process for improved effectivness in sales strategy for etisalat recharge cards products.
1.4 Significance of the Study
Essentially, this research work is concentrated on indepth study of the advertising techniques and strategies adopted in the sales of etisalat recharge cards and its subsequent effect on consumer decision.
The relevance of this research lies on the fact that its fruitfully outcome will be very instrumental in solving the economic problems stemming from non or under advertising by recharge cards manufacturers.
It is therefore the researcher’s convention that the outcome of this research will also help the producers of etisalat recharge cards by focusing their attention on the impact of advertising on the purchase of etisalat recharge cards. It will enable the companies know the techniques involved in advertising and the need to budget some amount of money for effective advertising.
1.5 Scope of the Study
This research work is undertaken to examine the impact of advertising on the purchase of etisalat recharge cards brands in Auchi metropolis. However, in view of the nature of this research work, adequate effort will be made to cover the whole Auchi metropolis of Edo State.
Nevertheless, it is hoped that the outcome of the study will be applied to other parts of the country after some reasonable necessary adjustment have been made.
1.6 Limitation of the Study
The major limitation of this research work is bias on the side of the respondents, most of them felt that the information needed was for some purpose other than this research work.
There was also the problem of finance, the cost of getting the materials such as duplicating papers, running round together necessary information from the respondents constituted a major problem but with the help of God I was able to sail through.
Finally, was the problem of academics there was high tension and chicken-up programme at school, the time for this research work was too short that the researcher overstretch himself in the course of gathering the relevant information that will make this research work worthy of acceptance. But irrespective of these problems, the researcher has a high degree of reliance of the relevance of the data collected and assures that the above hurdles did not invalidate the usefulness of this study.
1.7 Statement of Hypotheses
The hypothesis that the researcher made use of are as follows:
Ho: Users of etisalat recharge cards do not have more confidence in advertised brands of etisalat recharge cards.
Hi: Users of etisalat recharge cards have more confidence in advertised brands of etisalat recharge cards.
Ho: Advertising of etisalat recharge cards do not make people highlight the needs they would otherwise highlighted.
H: Advertising of etisalat recharge cards make people highlight the needs they would otherwise highlighted.
Ho: Advertising cannot make members of the same family like different brands of etisalat recharge cards.
Hi: Advertising make members of the same family like different brands of etisalat recharge cards.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Many items are used in this exploratory research investigation. Therefore, the important terms used are operationally defined according to the researcher’s purpose and context.
Hence, the terms are defined as follows:
1. Advertising: This is any paid form of non-personal presentation of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor.
2. Attitude: They means a person enduring favourable or unfavourable acquisition of knowledge through thought or perception, emotional feeling and action tendency towards some objects in ideas.
3. Brand: The researcher mean the name, term, sign, symbol or design of any combination of them which is intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those competitors.
4. Market: This is a set of all actual and potential buyers of a product.
5. Target Market: By this, the researcher mean a well defined set of consumers whose needs the company plan to satisfy.
6. Product: A product is anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, use or consumption that might satisfy a want or need, it include physical goods or ideas. It can also be seen as a set of any tangible and intangible attributes, including packaging, colour, price, quality and brand, plus sellers services and reputation.