ROLE OF ADVERTISEMENT IN THE BANKING INDUSTRY OF NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF FIDELITY BANK PLC)

CHAPTER ONE

                                                INTRODUCTION

1.1           Background to the Study

Advertisement in form of radio and television is an essential economic sector in its own right. Fundamentally, an efficient broadcast sector in a country is capable of contributing to the growth of its creative community as well as the consumer markets (Carter, 2006). In Nigeria, the industry has come a long way and has continued to improve to meet up with the ever-increasing societal needs (Onabajo, 2000). These technologies are variously deployed to market and advertise organizations and products.

In Nigeria today, virtually all the financial institutions engage these media to advertise their products. This is an innovative marketing strategy in an industry with strong competition as the banks. One of the essential tools to achieve this effectiveness and increase the economic efficiency of the institution is advertising (Priyanka, 2014). Nwabueze (2006) defined advertising as a paid form of non-personal communication through a medium aimed at promoting ideas, individuals, organizations, goods or services by an identified sponsor. Normally, advertising informs the customer that there is something products and services new in the market that is worth acquisition. Usually the intent is to attract and persuade the consumer to purchase the product. It also helps to describe the features and characteristics of the product or service so that the customer can develop a feeling for the product.

Advertising performs two major functions in the banking sector: to attract the customers’ deposits; and attract the borrowers and users of other bank services. Richardson and Robinson (1986) has noted that in the ever increasing competitive banking environment, advertising helps to create powerful image and credibility for the bank on one hand, and gives confidence and assurance for the clients on the other hand. It is evident therefore that advertising has remained a persuasive and intrusive socio-economic instrument in Nigeria, as in other countries, that neither firms nor consumers can ignore it (Bardi, 2010; Agwu, 2012).

We can feel and perceive advertising activities in our environments like villages, streets, homes, and offices pushing in messages about various products and services, ideas, persons, institutions etc. through a plethora of media outlets (Ozoh, 1994), including radio and television. Eluwa (2005) opined that in addition to informing about products/services, advertising especially through television and radio modes also provides free entertainment programmes. As an aside, this has become so intense and persistent that it takes our natural selective and perceptive instinct to saves us from problems of information overload (Nwosu, 1999).

Apparently, while local advertisers prefer radio, television advertising has been enjoying comparatively superior patronage as a result of its capability to reach more target audience with greater impact because it combines both audio and visual expressions. Advertising research has provided considerable evidence regarding consumer response to persuasive advertising messages, but not much can be accessed that have examined the role of broadcast media in advertising of bank products especially in Fidelity Bank Plc, hence the need for this research work. Across the world, commercial banks are continuously initiating strategies thereby placing huge challenge on radio and television media on the improved ways of advertising through new digital technologies that are expected to significantly change how they attract and retain customers (Sanni and Alhassan, 2013). Given that this is an era in which banks are offering new and innovative services frequently in the market it presupposes that appropriate promotional messages through customer friendly media is expedient to assist the consumers in making wise decision and maintain their loyalty. To this end, especially large banks with broad network of branches have preference for radio and television advertising (Priyanka, 2014).

Available literatures have revealed that effect of broadcast media in advertising of financial services needs extensive research, hence, the need for this study. Much of the literatures on bank marketing concentrate on marketing theory than promotional practices while issues of marketing of financial services is becoming more complicated and management more innovative that financial services and products continue to increase correspondingly. The interest public will therefore like to understand if radio and television advertising influences customer’s preference, persuade and change attitudes of target audience for banks products. Specifically, the study will seek to examine the extent to which radio and television advertising have actually been able to draw the attention, build interest and inspire patronage of banks’ products and services by bank customers in Nigeria. It is hoped that that the outcome of this study will contribute to knowledge of how to improve the advertising effort of the media house in this industry towards enhancing bank performance.

Advertising research has provided considerable evidence regarding consumer response to persuasive advertising messages, but none have examined the role of advertisement in the banking industry of Nigeria, hence the need for this study.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Available literatures have indicated that the extent to which Nigerian banks have shown interest in the application of modern marketing practices is still not encouraging. Banks were observed to still practice sellers’ market. There is low banking habit among Nigerian workers. The services provided, though available, were cloned from other banks and are unaffordable (Oni, 2000). Up till now, little or no research has been done in this part of the world to determine the existing relationship between the advertisement philosophies and consumers’ satisfaction. Virtually all known studies on this advertisement principles and practices in banks that have been reported in literatures were carried out in Brazil, America, Japan, Mexico and other developed countries. In Brazil, consumers experienced dissatisfaction in the banking industry generally which led to looking for solution. The banking industry soon introduced the application of marketing philosophies. The application, according to Wash, (2006) brought about high patronage of bank services and products.

Oni (2000) noted that banking habits among Nigerians are low despite the deregulation of the industry. He further observed a low banker-consumer interaction, which ought to have created superior value during service encounters. The frontline members of staff are inexperienced and not skilled to handle effective marketing communication strategies leaving consumers dissatisfied. Consumers are becoming sophisticated and as such, what is grudgingly acceptable today may not be in future. They are becoming more informed and demanding; consequently, their quality expectations have been raised by the practices of superior retailers (Nweke, 1991).

1.3       Research Objectives

The general objective or main objective of this study is to investigate the role of advertisement in the banking industry of Nigeria by using Fidelity Bank as a case study. The specific objectives are:

i)               To understand the impacts of advertisement on the financial performance of Fidelity Bank 

ii)             To determine the effects of advertisement on the number of customers of Fidelity Bank 

iii)            To examine the reasons for advertisement by commercial banks in Nigeria

1.4       Research Questions

The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:

i)                What are the impacts of advertisement on the financial performance of Fidelity Bank?

ii)             What are the effects of advertisement on the number of customers of Fidelity Bank? 

iii)            What are the reasons for advertisement by commercial banks in Nigeria?

1.5       Research Hypotheses

The followings are the research hypotheses to be tested in this study:

i)               There is a significant correlation between advertisement and the financial performance of Fidelity Bank

ii)             There is no significant relationship between advertisement and the number of customers of Fidelity Bank

1.6      Significance o the Study

This study will be of great relevance and benefit to various categories. Firstly, the banking industry, particularly Fidelity Bank can access the application of advertising to a service organization, like in view of new land on the industry, competition being a top phenomenon, and secondly, customer, which form the bedrock of any business is also taking into account in the research. They too will benefit as reaching them with the right combination of advertising programme action and result message sill stimulate action and result in the desire satisfaction they seek to derive from the industry. Banking Services Thirdly, lectures, students will derive maximum benefit from this research as the member of brokers and literature available looks scanty.

1.7       Scope of the Study

            This study is limited to the commercial banks in the profit-making quoted financial sector in Nigeria. However, it will be carefully carried out selected Fidelity Banks in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

1.8       Limitation of the Study

In the course of this study the researcher probably encountered by the following limitations. The study was conducted in only the banking sector as a case study. Therefore the study could be limited by the following limitations.

Time factor: it was anticipated that the time for the study may not be enough to carry out intensive and extensive study since some of the information is not easily and quickly available. Therefore the researcher used extra time; weekends so as to be able to collect, analyse and interpret the collected data.

Lack of enough funds: the funds available for the researcher is not enough to meet all expenses during the study like transport cost, photocopies and stationeries expenses. Hence the researcher conducted the study in accordance with the fund provided by the sponsor and the researcher own fund.

1.9       Definition of Terms

The following terms were used during the cause of the study.

Advertisement: a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea. Sponsors of advertising are typically businesses wishing to promote their products or services.

Bank: This is an organization that comes out business of banking such as keeping money and lending services.

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