Marketing by building contractors in Kenya
Gitang'i, James N
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This report presents the findings of a study on how Kenyan building contractors market their services and the problems they face in the process. The basis of the report is a review,_of the evolution of building contracting business in Kenya. This helps us to discern the development of the business in relation to building contractors' business management policy and practice in relation 1o the structure of the building industry. It also throws light on the marketing behaviour of building contractors in relation to the characteristics that distinguish building contracting from other businesses in other sectors of the economy. This is due to the characteristics that distinguish building industry from other industries. The tasks and tools involved in the marketing management process are considered in detail . They include marketing planning, organisation of the marketing programme and evaluation of the performance of the same. The major marketing tools considered are service planning and development, promotional methods, marketing channels and price for the services. These marketing tasks and tools are the core of the marketing management process. They determine the success or failure of how any business organisation sets and achieves its goals in relation to the extent and how they are employed. To evaluate the marketing performance of building contractors, a theoretical model is employed. The model is developed from common existing marketing management models which are related to the marketing management process. These models are examined to discern their strengths and weaknesses to exploit the former and built on the later for adaption to marketing performance by building contractors. A total of 105 building contractors and 'll building consultants were interviewed using questionnaires. In addition 55 of the former and 26 of the later were personally interviewed. Data collected using questionnaires was manually analysed using means and percentages to enable easy interpretation of the findings due to the nature of the variables under investigations. Qualitative data that could not be converted into means or percentages together with information got from personal interviews is presented by way of narratives. From the results of the study, it is evident that most Kenyan building contractors employ marketing tasks and tools to a small or no extent. They also practice marketing informally in most cases. A major conclusion of the study is that building contractors do not market their services and those who do, do it poorly. This is mostly due to lack of understanding of what marketing is or its importance in management of building contracting business. Another factor is the extensive use of informal management techniques which tends to hinder effective employment of formal business management techniques. Hence, it is reoommended that building contracting business should be managed formally and professionally to enable the effective and efficient employment of marketing tasks and tools for the success of the business.
University of Nairobi
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