UTILIZATION OF DIRECT MARKETING CHANNELS BY MANUFACTURING COMPANIES IN ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA
The purpose of the study was to determine the extent of utilization of direct marketing channels by manufacturing companies in Anambra State. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. Seven specific purposes were developed in line with the major purpose of the study. The study answered seven research questions and tested seven hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The population of the study consisted of 341 managers. This was made up of 108 marketing managers, 99 advertising managers and 134 sales managers in the 140 registered manufacturing companies in Anambra State. There was no sampling as the entire population was studied. The choice of these managers was informed by the fact that they are directly involved in the utilization of direct marketing channels in their companies. The questionnaire was structured on a 5-point rating scale and was validated by three experts from the Department of Vocational Teacher Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Their observations and suggestions were used to improve the quality of the final draft of the instrument used for the study. Cronbach Alpha reliability coefficient of 0.92 was obtained for the entire items in the instrument. The 7 clusters had Cronbach alpha coefficients of 0.89, 0.87, 0.91, 0.95, 0.96, 0.87 and 0.89 respectively. A total of 332 copies of the 341 questionnaire administered were retrieved representing about 97% retrieval. The data collected were analysed using mean and standard deviation for answering the seven research questions while t-test statistic and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used in testing the seven null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance and 330 degree of freedom (df) for the t-test statistics. The major findings of the study were (1) personal selling was utilized to a great extent in serving customers (2) direct-mail, telemarketing, catalogues, direct-response marketing, customer database marketing and websites were utilized only to a little extent. It was concluded that direct marketing channels were poorly utilized. Based on the findings and conclusions, it was recommended that manufacturing companies need to adopt direct marketing techniques as this has been found to promote profits and assure maximum returns on investment.