The financial services industry has undergone substantial changes from regulatory, technological, cultural and economical forces, among others. One of the most serious results of these changes is the need for financial service companies to be marketing-oriented. Marketing oriented companies places emphasis on their clients and customers’ needs and wants, and determines how these needs and wants can be beneficially served. A necessary component of marketing orientation is a strong programme for developing products (services).
Marketing activities and markets are ever changing, but the fundamental philosophy of marketing is fairly constant. Marketing changes any business, including financial services businesses. Substantial changes in financial service businesses have been witnessed in form of fund-transfer technologies, structural reforms of financial institutions, and intense competition through the introduction of myriad of products, among others.
The rising relevance of marketing in the financial service industry expedited the observed changes in financial service businesses. In an increasingly competitive and the change-prone Nigerian financial service environment, the efficient and effective practice of strategic marketing should be recognized as a salient corporate goal.
Marketing of financial services, therefore, entails the marketing of the services of the financial sub-sectors. These include the services of the Commercial banks, Merchant banks, Central Bank, Bureau de change, saving and Loans companies, Mortgage institutions, Discount House, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Finance House, Nigerian Stock Exchange and other financial institutions.
Broadly speaking, banking business is concerned with the offering of services, which include deposit collection, financial services, monetary transmission, credit services, foreign exchange services, among others. To offer these services efficiently and effectively to clients, corporate marketing managers must understand and practice marketing (Berry, 1974).
Marketing practice has changed Nigerian banks in recent times as bank executives are motivated to source deposit from clients. Effective bank marketing starts with a bank’s clients, and seeks to create mutually –satisfying exchange relationship between a bank and its clients. This can be achieved through corporate marketing activities.
With the dynamic nature of banking operation in the world, for bank to achieve its organizational goal of profitability and growth, the issue of marketing can not be over emphasized. The bank’s fundamental role of financial intermediation and other functions expected of the bank which will serve as a source of income which will bring about profitability and growth to the organization can not be achieved without effective marketing. This is due to the level of competition in the industry, and the nature of bank business. In marketing its services, banks must attract depositor on one hand, and attract borrower and users of its services on the other hand. This double-sided nature of bank services brings marketing problems, which are more complex than those which normally, face marketers of other physical products.
The decade has seen banking industry goes through enormous changes, and the process is far from over. In the researcher’s strong view, in the years ahead there will be further pressures on the shape of banks, the way business is carried out, and also for less certain ones because is not the job-for-life as used to be. All this means that bank must be keenly attained to the needs of providing customers with the right services and imbuing them with the necessary standards. The role of marketing in this regard is enormous. Banks wanting to be on the top have to consolidate on marketing strategies or merge into over larger groups to meet competitive challenges...