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EVALUATION OF MARKET SEGMENTATION ACTIVITIES IN AN ORANIZATION FOR SALES PROMOTIION CASE STUDY OF NIGERIA BOTTLING COMPANY PLC OWERRI

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Stanton 1981:65 defined market as people with needs to satisfy, money to spend and the willingness to spend it. In market demand, we have three factors to consider, people with needs, the purchasing power, and their buying behavior.

Market segmentation is defined as the subdivision of a total heterogeneous market into homogenous subsets of customers where many subsets may conceivably be selected as a market to be reached with distinct marketing mix. In the case of Iwanya 1998:339, market segmentation is the process of dividing the heterogeneous mass or divergent market into homogeneous subunits so that each submarket could be satisfactorily be served by the business enterprises through the application of its marketing resources that could reach these separate segments as desired by both parties.

The market segmentation includes a company to introduce product differentiation strategies to serve the needs and wants of each segment and sub-segment. NBC PLC uses this strategy to serve its customers. It uses the product features and advertising to convince the prospective buyers that its product are not different in outlook, but better satisfying than the existing ones in the market. The product differentiation can be physical attributes like packaging, color, size, weight etc. it can also be nonphysical attributes like product images, price quality, durability and dependability.

At this juncture, it is vital to discuss the sector that influences market segmentation policy. They are;

GEOGRAPHICAL FACTOR: In more precise terms, it deals with dividing the buyers into regions, states, nations, and climate.

DEMOGRAPHICAL FACTOR: In demographical factor, different groups are distinguished on the basis of age, sex, family life cycle.

PSYCHOLOGRAHICAL FACTOR: The psychographic form of segmentation takes into account difference in life styles or personalities line.

SUB MARKET SEGMENTATION: It is made of metropolitan or urban, semiurban and rural areas.

Meanwhile, organizations undertake the process of subdividing large market into subsets to achieve the following benefits:

It enables firm develop scientific product that really match the market demand.

It helps organizations to develop specific marketing programmes for each segment It must have to be emphasized here that markets can only be segmented, if sufficient information of customers needs and wants focuses on decision making, imaginations helps to achieve their sales objectives by the application of market segmentation concepts.

The Nigeria bottling company plc. is the largest bottling company in Nigeria today. It bottles and markets the following ranges of Coca Cola products; such as Coca Cola itself, Fanta, sprite, krest, five alive and Schweppes. The Nigeria bottling company PLC operates under the franchise of Coca Cola international. CocaCola international has its head office in Nigeria since the year 1953 source, Coca Cola yearly preview vol. 17 1989 pg. 24 and at the inception of production, the company started with only one flavour and that was CocaCola but now there are altogether seven flavour namely: sprite, Fanta, krest, Schweppes, Five alive and Eva water.

As previously mentioned, Coca Cola international having one flavour at the inception of production makes use of undifferentiated marketing strategy, offering the same product and promotional images and methods to the whole world in general. But because of the entrance of competitors in the soft drink industry, the new segmented market by having different kinds of flavour and bottling sizes have reached various level income earners and gotten their actual and potential customers worldwide.

The final basis for segmentation takes into account benefits the buyer may be seeking from a particular product. The company can therefore choose the benefits and direct a message to the group seeking those benefits; this study enables us to find out the impact of segmentation to NBC towards the achievement of its sales objectives; and also to know whether they have competitors in the industry and know how to cope with their marketing programmes. We will also consider whether NBC uses products features and advertising to persuade the prospective buyers.

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