Influence of strategic marketing practices on performance of firms in the flower industry in Kenya
Marketing efforts and know-how are instrumental in commercializing ideas and inventions successfully. Today cost-efficiency does not provide long-term competitive advantage for companies whereas marketing, when well conducted provide long-term competitive advantage especially in the field of strategic marketing. The flower industry in Kenya has grown tremendously since the turn of the century. This study sought to investigate the influence of strategic marketing practices on performance of firms in the flower industry in Kenya.The objectives of this study were: to determine the strategic marketing practices employed by firms in the flower industry in Kenya and to establish the influence of strategic marketing practices by firms in the flower industry in Kenya. The study used descriptive cross sectional survey design. The population of interest for the study included the companies in the flower industry operating in Kenya. As at July 2015, KFC had 94 registered flower firms. The study conducted a sampling where of 50% of the 94 flower firms registered with KFC were randomly selected and studied. This implies that the sample size of the study was 47 flower firms .The study used both primary and secondary data. Primary data was obtained from the marketing managers in the flower companies.Data collected during the study was quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics which included the mean, frequencies and percentages. This was done using Microsoft Excel, Statistical Package for social science (SPSS) and other relevant computer software that may be necessary. From the findings, Competition in most global product markets is intense thus for organizations to achieve this they must first be competitive with other systems in attracting resources, and secondly must be absolutely competitive against similar systems or industries in other countries. The research found out that most firms focused on product attribute when marketing to make their organization competitive. According to the study, most firms used advertising as a promotion strategy in their organization followed by some who used internet as a promotion strategy in their organization. From the findings, it is clear that flower firms must ensure that their marketing strategies are perceived as the best by the customers who can otherwise be lost to the rival companies if these rival companies devise better marketing strategies targeting the same customers. They need to recognize the critical value of customer service through consideration of external environment such as customers, competitors and government. Efficiency is another factor that affects strategies in return affecting organization performance. Machine breakdown, repair of equipment and power failure are factors that should be avoided since they slow down on the marketing strategies adopted by the organizations. The study recommends that that flower firms should ensure that the ultimate goal for any marketing strategy they develop is customer satisfaction. This is because customer satisfaction is a good predictor of future purchase behavior. Secondly flower firms should concentrate their strategies on meeting the customer’s expectation and offer more benefits to the customer. This includes the customer’s expectation in terms of price, network distribution, quality and more promotional benefits.