An investigation of the marketing strategies and factors infleuncing their implementation by garment-making micro-enterprises in Nakuru town, Kenya
Kinuthia, Lydia Nkatha
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The challenges of successful marketing in the clothing industry continue to increase in a world characterized by resource constraints, inflationary tendencies, changing lifestyles, rapid technological changes and increased competition both at local and international levels. In Kenya, the clothing industry is characterized by a very dynamic environment and intense competition caused mainly by enlarging globalization, trade liberalization and the second-hand (mitumba) clothes. In such an environment, it is becoming increasingly difficult for an enterprise to maintain longterm success. Thus the clothing enterprises are faced with challenges that demand them to offer higher value added products that meet the demands of the customers. As a solution, a sound marketing strategy is critical to the survival and growth of micro-enterprises in the garment making sector. Such a strategy will need to be implemented effectively. However, there is limited research that has looked at the industry from a marketing strategy perspective in terms of the factors that influence the implementation of the marketing strategies. This research aimed at determining the various marketing strategies and the factors influencing their implementation by the garment making micro-enterprises. The research design used was ex-post facto while the target population was 385 garment-making micro-enterprises that have less than ten employees in Nakuru town. Using an interview guide and a questionnaire comprising of closed and open ended questions, data was collected from a sample of 265 respondents for the survey (randomly selected using a table of random numbers) and 40 respondents for the interview. The data collection instruments were pre-tested using 40 respondents (30 for the survey and 10 for the interviews). The data collected was analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Exploratory factor analysis, Chisquare goodness-of-fit test (X2) and multiple regression analysis were used to identify the marketing strategies and determine the factors influencing strategy implementation by help of Statistical Packages for Social Sciences version 16.0 (SPSS). There were eight strategies implemented by garment-making microenterprises. Interactive Marketing was the most implemented strategy while Emarketing was the least implemented. Target market factors did not have any significant influence on Interactive Marketing though it had the greatest influence on Product Differentiation strategy. Entrepreneurial orientation factors had a significant influence on Branding and Cost Reduction strategy. Internal environment factors did· not have any influence on E-marketing but greatly influenced Branding and Cost Reduction strategy. The External environment factors had the greatest influence on Market Penetration strategy. A major conclusion is that Benefits Sought; Innovativeness; Structure and Culture; and Enabling Environment are very vital in the implementation of the marketing strategies. Further research is recommended to explore the impact of the marketing strategies being implemented on the enterprise performance and growth.