An evaluation of the utilization of the promotion mix elements by dairy firms in Kenya.
Mulwa, Catherine Mutindi
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Although concern over the performance of Kenya's dairy industry has been mounting since the early 1980s, there is still lamentable scarcity of information on how milk processing firms do their marketing particularly in the post-liberalization era. This study was set out to evaluate how one of the marketing mix elements, promotion, is utilized in the marketing of dairy products in Kenya. The data collection instrument was a structured questionnaire which was completed by officials handling marketing duties in each respective firms studied. It was discovered that promotion mix elements are utilized to a small extent, though differences existed in their use by size of the firm, duration of the firm's operation and the number of product lines. Also some elements are more utilized than others. The main factors influencing this trend were availability of funds, market competition, type of products manufactured and profitability of funds. Market competition, type of products manufactured and profitability of the methods available for promotion. Promotional efforts were found to be constrained by poor roads, lack of strict controls by the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) over the raw milk business, high cost of media advertising and shortage of professionals in the field. On the basis of these findings, it is recommended that firms employ professionals especially in the marketing field who can design more cost effective promotional strategies for the firms. The KDB should strive to provide an enabling trade environment by curbing the raw milk business and giving firms a wider market scope. The government should try to improve on roads for easy transportation. Financial institutions should grant soft loans to milk firms to promote the industry. Areas identified for future research include cost benefit analysis of the promotion mix elements in the dairy industry; an assessment of the potential of various milk products in Kenya, and the impact of raw milk consumption on human health.