Marketing Practice of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): Perspective from a Developing Country
This paper focuses on marketing practice of SMEs in Nigeria. The specific key learning objectives of the paper are; to highlight the strategic importance of SMEs in economic development of any economy; to sketch the patterns of Government support programmes for development of SMEs in Nigeria and Past Empirical Studies of SMEs performance in Nigeria; to highlight the importance SMEs for survival and continued growth of Nigeria Economy; to highlight the impact of environmental factors on marketing practice of SMEs; to establish the extent to which marketing practice of SMEs in Nigeria conforms with marketing principles and functions. The Nigeria marketing environment presents features that are quite different from the developed economies and even quite different from other developing countries. There are for examples infrastructural problems that are unthinkable in the context of developed economy. Equally government support programmes for SMEs are poorly managed such that intended results are not obtained. There are attitudinal problem on the part of the SMEs operators and officials of government supervisory agencies. All these have direct and indirect impacts on marketing practice of the SMEs in Nigeria. The paper falls back on empirical studies of the lead author, his post graduate and undergraduate marketing students, on SMEs, to illustrate the marketing practice of SMEs in Nigeria, a developing economy. Conclusions are drawn based on marketing practice of SMEs in Nigeria. The authors call on scholars and writers on marketing functions of SMEs, especially in Nigeria to shift to providing empirical works in their writings on marketing functions rather than the present theoretical considerations. This is because research based findings could be used to improve the marketing practice of SMEs.In summary, the primary purpose of this paper is to present research based findings of the marketing practice of SMEs in Nigeria. The usual focus of authors on marketing practice is the big firms that have made it in the market place. The marketing practice of SMEs is usually assumed. However, the SMEs dominate the landscape of all economies, from developed, developing to underdeveloped. Since marketing is concerned with the creation of customer, and this should be the valid basis for the existence of any business organization. It is important that the marketing practice of the organization that dominates in all economies should be investigated, and understood so as to be able to improve on the practice.This paper is divided into four segments, the literature reviews, summary of the findings on empirical investigation of marketing practice of SMEs by the lead author, then findings of undergraduate and post graduate students supervised by the lead author, this is another way of looking at the marketing practice employed by the studied SMEs. Then follows discussion of the findings in the light of the environment and conclusion.
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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)
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