Marketing of building consultancy services in Kenya: A case study of consulting engineering firms, quantity surveying firms and architectural firms
This thesis is a research on how building consultancy firms in Kenya carry out their marketing management in spite of the apparent inadequate knowledge. slowness and rigidity to accept changes by the consultants themselves, compounded by the strict professional ethics by the professional bodies on overt methods of marketing. It is hypothesized that marketing by the firms has been ineffective and hence the poor performance by most of them in the light of the apparent increase in need for the services. This research is based on information obtained from building consultants, potential clients for building consultancy services namely: building contractors, building developers and Ministry of Public Works departments as well as marketing consultants. In order to have a basis for the research a review of literature in marketing has been clone. This begins with the definition of what marketing is conceived to be by different people. From the various definitions an operational definition of "marketing" as used in this research has been developed. The research evaluates different tools of marketing generally and how they can be used in marketing of services in general and then narrows down on marketing of building consultancy services. The uniqueness of marketing or services, in general and building consultancy services in particular has also been appraised. The difficulties of using some marketing tools developed ill the literature review for building consultancy services is highlighted and has also been discussed in this research. horn the definition of marketing as well as a general appraisal of the marketing process together with the marketing models in regard to the unique problems of marketing or building consultancy services a conceptual theoretical marketing model for building consultancy services has been developed for the research. Legality and ethics seem to be major factors that cause unique marketing problems of building consultancy services in Kenya and therefore, these two aspects are considered together. To give a background to the research, the thesis presentation stalls by extending the general background of building consultancy, by doing this it helps to focus on the professionals involved in building consultancy and their contribution as well as the institutional framework in which they operate. The evolution and development of professions has also been discussed in order to understand the existence or certain restrictions which are exercised by certain professional bodies. A total of 72 building consultancy firms, comprising of 12 Consulting Engineering firms, 27 Quantity Surveying firms and 31 Architectural firms were interviewed using questionnaire.A group of potential clients comprising or building contractors, developers and three departments Ministry or Public Works were also interviewed using questionnaires In addition the researcher personally interviewed 4 marketing research firms through personal interviews. The data collected was analysed manually to ease interpretation as well as quicken the completion of the research The data which could not be analysed through quantitative means was presented in the form of description . From the results of the data interpretation in this study it is apparent that most building consultancy firms do not market their services effectively. This is because of lack of appreciation by some building consultants of the potency of some marketing tools as well as the fact that, those consultants who know and wish to use these tools call not do so because of some restrictions imposed by the respective professional bodies It is therefore recommended that building consultants should be educated in the area .of marketing and also some restrictive professional by-laws that hinder marketing of building consultancy services should be repealed and suitable safeguards against abuse of freer marketing regulations should be enacted.