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Over the decades, increasing competition, constant changes in markets and technology have provided the motivation for reconsidering the way organizations are managed. It was on this basis that this study was carried out with the main objective to assess the effect of Marketing Mix Strategies on Customer Satisfaction in Fako Division , Cameroon. The study adopted a descriptive research design. The study made used of a sample population of 285 respondents of telecommunication companies’ operating in Fako Division.

The Purposive sampling was used as the sampling technique of the study. Data was collected through the use of questionnaires and the questionnaires were divided into a five point likert scale in other to meet the objectives of the study. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics and the multiple regression analysis with aids of SPSS and Stata.

The findings of the study reveal that that place, promotion and people have a positive and significant effect on customer satisfaction of telecommunication companies in Fako Division. While product, price and processes has a negative and insignificant effect on customer satisfaction of telecommunication companies in Fako Division.

It is recommended that telecommunication companies in Fako Division should put in place appropriate and proper telecommunication companies in Fako Division should not concentrate so much effort toward improving product, price and processes as it might not led to customer satisfaction rather they should developed these marketing strategies so as that customers can be satisfied with the company.

Keywords: Marketing Mix Strategies, customer satisfaction telecommunication companies, Fako Division,

1.1 Introduction

This study is out to evaluate the effect of marketing mix strategies on Customer Satisfaction in telecommunication companies in Fako Division, Cameroon. The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one comprises background of the study, statement of the problem, research questions and objectives, research hypotheses, scope of the study, significance of the study and operational definition of term. Chapter two outline the literature review which comprises of review of concepts of the study, the theoretical review, review of empirical literature and gap and contribution of the study. Chapter three present the methodology which comprises of the research design, area of study, population of the study, sampling procedure and sampling size, instrument of data collection and analysis, data collection, data analysis procedure and ethical consideration. Chapter four presents the findings of the study and chapter five present the discussion, conclusion and recommendation of the study.
1.2 Background of the Study
Customer Satisfaction is an evaluation by the customer, after buying their goods and services. The most popular view of customer satisfaction in academia is that customer satisfaction is the judgment borne out of the comparison of pre–purchase expectations with post purchase evaluation of the product or service experience (Oliver, 1997). Customer satisfaction can result from any dimension and its judgments may arise from no quality issues and require experience with the service or provider (Taylor et al, 1994; Howard and Seth, 1969).
Customer satisfaction is widely recognized as a key pressure in the formation of consumers’ future purchase intentions (Taylor and Baker, 1994).

Satisfied customers are also likely to tell others of their favorable experiences and thus engage in positive word of mouth advertising (File and Prince, 1992; Richens, 1983). This positive word of mouth advertising is particularly useful in collectivist African cultures like that Cameroon where social life is structured in a way to improve social relationships with others in the society (Hofstede, 1980; Hall and Hall, 1987). Dissatisfied customers, on the other hand, are expected to switch brands and engage in negative word of mouth advertising.

Every company is required to always be able to recognize, understand and fulfill the needs and wishes of customers better than its competitors. When customer needs and wishes are achieved means the customer’s basic expectation has been fulfilled. If hope has been compared with the perceived quality of a product or service, then it can be said customers experience satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Therefore, customer satisfaction has become part of the purpose of most companies, in addition to obtaining the maximum profit or profit as well so that the company is able to face the tougher competition in order to maintain the company’s survival (Anggawen et al., 2021). In line with that, the quality of service becomes important in order to provide more satisfaction to the customer and ultimately to the added value for the company itself.

Through customer satisfaction, it is hoped that the customers will make a re-purchase or reuse, not easily affected by other similar companies and will also form a free promotion for the company that is by providing positive recommendations to others. Building loyalty is the most effective way to achieve constant growth in profit. The best customers are loyal customers. Therefore, the company must be able to identify, retain and strengthen loyalty (Anggawen et al., 2021). Parawansa, (2018) In his research suggests that the best service provided to major customers is one of the common ways that telecommunication companies can do to maintain good relations with their customers.
The need to achieve customer satisfaction has compel companies to
conceptualize, design, and implement various strategies with marketing strategies
constituting one functional area essential for contemporary companies to enhance
performance. To build a strong customer satisfaction, it is necessary to develop a strategy. Essentially, marketing strategy is a plan that allows a business owner to direct activities that are consistent with the goals of the business owner and organization spend money wisely
in order to create the greatest amount of return on investment.

Telecommunication marketing strategy entails the adaptation of marketing mix elements
to environmental forces (Jain & Punj, 1997). The rationale behind the formulation of
marketing strategy is the determination of the nature, strength, direction and interaction
between the marketing mix elements and the environmental factors obtainable in a
peculiar situation (Jain and Punj1997). This implies that the objective of a firm marketing
strategy is to establish, build, defend and maintain its competitive advantage
The marketing strategy represents the major change in today’s company orientation that
provides the foundation to achieve competitive advantage. Marketing helps in new
business in defining business goals and develop activities to achieve them. According to
Belch and Belch (1997), any organization that wants to exchange its product or services
in the market place successfully should have a strategic marketing plan to guide the
allocation of its resources.

Marketing strategy builds competitive advantage by combining
the customer-influencing strategies of the business into an integrated array of market focused actions (David, 1997).
Roger (2002) viewed marketing strategies as an array of techniques employed by marketing managers to identify, anticipate and satisfy customer requirement profitably.
Aremu et al (2012) posted that the environment is always seen as a major parameter in
determining marketing strategy in an organization. It is not possible for decision maker to
formulate marketing strategy for their organization in a vacuum. They need to recognize
various elements of the marketing environment that influence decision making in their
organization.Marketing is one of the

key ways in which companies try to create awareness of
their products or services (Fuerderer, et al., 2013). Marketing is
undertaken through the five key elements known of the marketing mix. With the ever rising significance of the financial sector, there has been a rise in pressure for efficient
marketing management and regulation of company’s financial services. According to
Green et al. (2014), it is vital to point out that marketing strategies are very
important in the long run performance of an organization. The marketing targets should
be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely (SMART).

Over the years, the number of service companies in the same industry is continuing to increase. Becoming more and more similar Customers will face increased competition as the level of competition rises. More product options, price ranges, and quality levels, so customers can always find what they’re looking for the most valuable of several products because today’s customers are more demanding, they are not satisfied not only for functional advantages, but also for more tangible ones such as popularity, position, characteristics, life style, success, and other factors that they are associated with can establish a strong bond Increasing the product’s usefulness or adding value Brand equity refers to the value of an accompanying brand. Rostami
et al. (2014). As a result of this situation, it is possible that customer’s satisfaction of service companies plays a significant role.

It is undeniable that the need for communication for everyone is now very important in daily life. Rapid technological developments changed the way people communicate over long distances than conventional, such as correspondence becomes more practical, using a mobile cellular with phone call and short message service .Even today with the development of the internet also make a transformation of standard mobile phone to be smartphone, the way communication has evolved into an internet based. This enables everyone to communicate through video call and social media. It’s mean that mobile telecommunication provider in today not only provide
communication service, but also provide the consumer need of internet connection.

In developing countries such as Cameroon, development of communication has also reached an awesome stage. Cameroonian public awareness of the need for communication and growing level of purchasing power followed by price of smartphone increasingly affordable, opening up opportunities for companies engaged in the field of mobile telephone services to expand in this sector. Research in telecommunication sector in Cameroon is probably long overdue as telecommunication is now the hub for the economic development of the country. It is one of the most important factors that drive trade and economy in general. The Invention of mobile phones has been a milestone in the telecommunication industry. Since the introduction of CAMTEL, MTN, ORANGE and NEXTEL networks in Cameroon, mobile phones have become the most preferred method of communication by the majority of Cameroonians. This is because of easy accessibility and convenience making the transfer of information very quick.

It should also be pointed out that the market war between the telecommunication companies has been fought mainly along their marketing strategies. As such their growth, success or failure can best be explained in terms of their marketing strategies. This is why this study concentrates much on the marketing strategies of telecommunication companies to ascertain how they have contributed to their performance over the years.
For the multinational corporation the pursuit of a global marketing strategy
encompassing a standardized marketing mix strategy retains the promise of
greater opportunities in the borderless marketplace (Dunning, 1993; Kustin, 2004; Roth,
1995). These strategies also offer the opportunity to develop higher quality products by
obtaining greater efficiencies of production, through lower costs associated with economies
of scale (Levitt, 1983), outsourcing (Kotabe, 1990; Keegan & Green, 2003), developing
priority locations for manufacturing (Dunning, 1998), distribution (Rosenbloom, Larsen, &
Metha, 1997) and economies of scope (Yip, 1989).

Therefore there has been a lot of competing in mobile telecommunication business sector in
Cameroon that is CAMEL, MTN, ORANGE, and NEXTTEL telecommunication. Growing level and aggressively penetration of telecommunication sector in Cameroon can see from
continuously communication sector increase the contribution to Cameroon Gross Domestic
Product and increasingly number of customer in year to year based on each company annual report every year.
The increasingly fierce market conditions making market participants and company
competing to win this competition. Managers in this sector find themselves faced with
increasing demands from customers, and face new challenges to achieve what they want
and provide clients with superior services in light of the existence of higher competition in
the marketplace. Various company that provide similar service, make company must
develop and utilize product branding to ensure that companies can enjoy competitive
advantage. Managing high value of service performance with the effective marketing mix
strategy will help consumer to response about the company differential marketing of the
performance (Al-Dmour et al, 2013).

According to Mullins, Walker and Boyd (2012), the benefits of setting a clear marketing
target are as follows. First, it aims at giving the staff a clear sense of direction in terms of
where the business is going and what is expected of them. Secondly, it’s useful when
evaluating the success of the business. The third benefit is that it will ensure that all the
efforts and actions are focused on obtaining the set objectives and lastly, it will help
motivate the staff both leaders and their team and also help reward them when the project
is completed (Fuerderer et al, 2013)

The term Marketing Mix was developed by Neil Borden who first started using the phrase in 1949. “An executive is a mixer of ingredients, who sometimes follows a recipe as he goes along, sometimes adapts a recipe to the ingredients immediately available, and sometimes experiments with or invents ingredients no one else has tried.” (Culliton, 1948). According to Borden, “When building a marketing program to fit the needs of his firm, the marketing manager has to weigh the behavioral forces and then juggle marketing elements in his mix with a keen eye on the resources with which he has to work.” McCarthy (1960), was the first person to suggest the four P’s of marketing – price, promotion, product and place (distribution) which constitute the most common variables used in constructing a marketing mix. According to McCarthy the marketers essentially have these four variables which they can use while crafting a marketing strategy and writing a marketing plan. In the long term, all four of the mix variables can be changed, but in the short term it is difficult to modify the product or the distribution channel.

Another set of marketing mix variables were developed by Frey (1961) who classified the marketing variables into two categories: the offering, and process variables. The “offering”
consists of the product, service, packaging, brand, and price. The “process” or “method” variables included advertising, promotion, sales promotion, personal selling, publicity, distribution channels, marketing research, strategy formation, and new product development. Recently, Bernard Booms and Mary Bitner built a model consisting of seven P’s in (1981). They added “People” to the list of existing variables, in order to recognise the importance of the human element in all aspects of marketing. They added “process” to reflect the fact that services, unlike physical products, are experienced as a process at the time that they are purchased.

Therefore whenever we talk over the marketing product four fundamental factors of marketing is mentioned: product, price, distribution and promotion which are known as 4p. But the rate of customer participation and also the time are important in service delivery. So, for considering these four factors, other factors in marketing decision of management in the service organization are important that are called “service marketing mix” or 7p. In fact correlation and adhesion of these seven factors are mentioned as a significant and effective element to succeed in each competitive service occupation and the disproportion between these seven factors causes in success in marketing activities.

All of these have necessitated the creating of new marketing principles that are changing the way marketing strategies are formed. So 4ps turned to 7ps and to 12ps which are positioning, personality, policy, performance and perseverance as an additional 5ps to the 7ps making it 12p in numbers. A successful marketing strategy must tell an organisation where they would want to be on a long term basis that is why it is often said that marketing strategy is a continuous process. Marketing strategy is seen as the marketing logic by which the business will hope to achieve its marketing objectives.

In the business organisation, there is safely no activity where the marketer must not therefore make the right decision about the four components of the marketing mix – price, product, place/distribution and promotion through the employment of marketing strategy. These key components must be coordinated and moved into a unified effective strategy if the product must perform well in the market to meet the expectation of the customers. It consists of specific strategies for target markets, marketing mix and marketing budget. This research has the purpose, to investigate the effect of marketing mix strategies on customer satisfaction in telecommunication companies in Fako.
1.3 Statement of the Problem

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