MARKETING STRATEGIES AND BUSINESS PERFORMANCE OF DOMESTIC AIRLINES IN NIGERIA
Marketing strategy embraces major fundamental components of marketing practice. Despite this importance, executives in Nigerian Aviation Industry have not been market driven as they lagged behind in adopting marketing concept and other promotional efforts in order to increase patronage. Today, only 15 million; 8.6 percent out of 174 million of Nigerian population travelled by air with its dire consequences of suffering from entropy, performance below capacity, inability to provide quality services, abysmal profit and lack of adequate implementation of direct marketing techniques. All these problems necessitated the need to evaluate the relationship between marketing strategies and business performance of domestic airlines in Nigerian Aviation Industry.
This study adopted survey research design. Target population comprised 488 staff of the selected airline and total enumeration method was adopted. Data was collected through the use of structured questionnaire titled:”Marketing Strategies and Business Performance Questionnaire” (MSBPQ) adapted and validated for the study. The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for the constructs ranges between 0.76 and 0.97. The response rate was 83.4%. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential (Pearson Product moment correlation, regression analysis) statistics.
The analysis of the data revealed a moderate positive and significant relationship between Direct Marketing and Sales Growth (r= 0.422, p<0.05); Mouth to Mouth Marketing and Market Share (r= 0.270, p<0.05); and Online Marketing and Profitability (r=0.448, p<0.05). It also revealed that Traditional Marketing has positive significant effect on Working Capital (R2=.453, F(1, 406)= 336.370; p<0.05); Transactional Marketing influence Customer Satisfaction (R2=.309, p<0.05); and Marketing Strategies have significant effect on business performance (R2=.632, F(5, 402)= 181.336; p<0.05)
The study concluded that marketing strategies significantly influence business performance of Airline Operators in Nigeria The study recommended that Airline Industry should aggressively be market driven by adopting marketing concept; marketing strategies should be seen as an investment to improve business performance with a view to meet continuous and changing demand of customers; airline operators should interact with and respond to internal and external market factors so as to maintain equitable working balance among the interest groups.
Keywords: Marketing strategies, Business performance, Direct marketing, Profitability, Transaction marketing, Traditional marketing.