OYENIRAN ABIOLA OLAYINKA (KBS00 178)|
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Prior to the liberalization of the telecommunication sector of Ghana’s economy, the mobile telephony sector of the economy was non-existent. The only telecommunication service available to the populace was limited fixed lines provided by the Ghana Postal and Telecommunication Corporation (GP&T), which had a monopoly. The rate of access to phone in homes was 3 phones per 1,000 inhabitants and its distribution was skewed in favour of urban dwellers especially those in Accra. This led to the springing up of communication centers which charged ten times the rate of operators.
The liberation of the Telecommunication sector of Ghana’s economy in the 1993/94 brought about a sharp growth in the number of mobile operators. In 1993 Celtel (formerly Kasapa and now Expresso), launched the first mobile telephony service in Ghana. As the year 2000, there were four mobile operators (Buzz, Celtel, Spacefon and Onetouch) operating in Ghana but the level of competition among these operators was near zero. During these periods, would be customers had to queue for hours in order to acquire a mobile SIM which were sold at cut-throat prices. Mobile call charges were also extremely high with Spacefon charging GH¢.30 per minute for local locals. These operators were however only providing voice services which were very poor. Owning a mobile phone line was a luxury only a few can afford during these periods. However, the sector over the past ten years has seen a 300 percentage growth (real terms) in mobile operators and over 2000 percentage (real terms) and subscription. As at today, there are five mobile operators (the four mentioned earlier and Zain) operating in Ghana with the sixth (GLO) at its initial stages of getting established in the country. Currently the rate of mobile penetration is over 60% with every one-in-two Ghanaians owning a mobile phone. Mobile SIM cards are now going for as low as GH¢1 with mobile call charges dropping as low as GH¢.075 per minutes with all mobile operator running a data (internet) service. This phenomenon has been a direct result of the growth in mobile operators witnessed over the past ten years. The increased rate of competition has called for the adoption of effective marketing strategies by these network operators who have nothing but rendered poor services to its customers who are the life blood to the operations of any mobile operator. Marketing strategy is defined as a process or model to allow a company or organization to focus limited resources on the best opportunities to increase sales and thereby achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. It is a written plan (usually a part of the overall corporate plan) which combines product development, promotion, distribution, and pricing approach, identifies the firm's marketing goals, and explains how they will be achieved within a stated timeframe. Marketing strategy determines the choice of target market segment, positioning, marketing mix, and allocation of resources. It is imperative for any business which wants to succeed in this challenging and competitive business environment to adopt an effective marketing strategy and mobile telephone operators are now exception. There are four major classification of marketing strategy, these are; Segmentation, Dominance, porter generic and innovation or growth strategies. The type of strategy a business would adopt is based on the type of competitive environment it finds itself.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The stiff competition being witnessed in the mobile telecommunication sector has resulted in these major mobile operators losing customers to the other competitor which has resulted in reduce sales volumes, growth and shareholder value for that matter. In the bid to achieve a competitive edge over...