Strategic Marketing Management Practices Employed By Local Garment Making MSES and Their Effect on Competitiveness in Nairobi County, Kenya
Owaga, Grace Awino
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The Kenyan local garment making industry is characterized by slow growth and faces stiff competition from low priced imports. Extensive research has been carried out on the evident preference of imported clothes over locally made garments as well as the challenges facing locally made garments. These challenges range from fit to the value offered for locally made garments. However, the practice of managers of Micro and small sized enterprises, abbreviated as MSEs, in the local garment making business as far as increasing their business competitiveness has obtained limited attention. There are gaps in knowledge of both the active and proactive responses of the managers and their strategic management practices directed towards increasing competitiveness in the industry. The study sought to address these gaps in knowledge. The objectives of the study were to: determine the effect of strategic management practices employed by managers in local garment making MSEs with respect to the product concept, the price concept, the promotion concept and the place concept on competitiveness. The conceptual framework for the study was drawn from the 4 Ps of the marketing mix and the Supply Chain (SC) frame work. The study adopted a cross sectional descriptive research design to collect data, analyze and present. A pre- test was carried out on 10 MSEs at the Nairobi Textile who were not included in the final study. The pre-test was carried out to ascertain reliability of the data collection instrument. A Cronbach’s value of α=0.79 was acquired. Respondents for the main study were selected from garment making MSEs in Nairobi County Central Business District (CBD) registered in the Kenya Business List. Questionnaires served as the data collection instrument to gather in- depth information. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the independent variables. Regression analysis was used to analyze the effect of each of the marketing mix strategies on competitiveness. ANOVA was used to test the Null hypothesis and to determine the effect of each of the marketing mix variables on competitiveness. The study found out that marketing management practices employed by managers of local garment making MSEs had a statistically significant effect on competitiveness. Price and Product were found to be the highest contributors to local garment making MSEs competitiveness, while Promotion and Place were the least. The uniqueness in garment designs as well as strategies to handle complaints arising from the locally made garments are the variables within the product concept that promoted competitiveness the most. The study also revealed that product branding and package branding were the practices least utilized by local garment making MSEs. R2 (Coefficient of determination) was found to be at .7136, which implied the marketing mix variables contributed to 71.36% of MSEs competitiveness. The study recommends that the management of all aspects of the marketing mix variables should be enhanced in garment making MSEs to maximize competitiveness.
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