Table of content
Title Page i
Table of content vii
CHAPTER ONE 1
1.1 Background of the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problems 3
1.3 Objective of the Study 4
1.4 Research Question 4
1.5 Research Hypotheses 5
1.6 Significance of the Study 5
1.7 Scope of the Study 6
1.8 Limitation of the Study 6
1.9 Definition of Terms 7
CHAPTER TWO 8
LITERATURE REVIEW 8
2.1 Conceptual Framework 8
2.1.1 Concept of Viral marketing 8
2.1.2 Dimensions of Viral marketing 11
2.1.3 Benefit of Viral Marketing 14
2.1.4 Elements of Viral marketing 15
2.1.5 Viral marketing and Internet External Environment 15
2.1.6 Damage Control of Viral marketing 16
2.1.7 Concept of Performance 16
2.1.4 Measures of Performance 17
2.1.9 Concept of Insurance 22
2.1.10 Viral Marketing and the Performance of Insurance firms in Nigeria 24
2.2 Theoretical Framework 25
2.2.1 Porter’s five Forces of Competitive Position Analysis 25
2.3 Review of Related Empirical Studies 26
CHAPTER THREE 29
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 29
3.1 Introduction 29
3.2 Research Design 29
3.3 Population of the Study 29
3.4 Sample size and sampling technique 30
3.5 Source and Method of Data Collection 30
3.6 Administration of Instrument 32
3.7 Data Analysis Techniques 32
3.7 Reliability and Validity 32
3.8 Limitation of the Study 33
CHAPTER FOUR 34
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS 34
4.1 Questionnaire Distribution and Retrieval: 34
4.2 Data Analysis and Interpretation 35
4.2 Hypotheses Testing 40
4.4 Discussion of Findings 42
CHAPTER FIVE 44
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 44
5.1 Introduction 44
5.2 Summary 44
5.3 Conclusion 44
5.4 Recommendations 45
Appendix I 50
Appendix II 51
1.1 Background of the Study
The Internet plays a crucial role in building corporate brand reputation all over the world in today’s market. According to Singha, Veron-Jackson, and Cullinane (2008), the emergence, proliferation, and ubiquity of the Internet have not only transformed businesses, but also altered the relationship between business and customers. This means that the manner in which companies are communicating their brands to consumers is different from the past.
Advances in technology have helped to migrate company and consumer relationships to an interactive level, where technology contributes to brand building by creating and sustaining a long-term relationship with the customer (Singha et al., 2008). However, giving consumers the opportunity to voice their opinion will not always lead to positive word-of-mouth and can threaten companies’ good image and reputation with their consumers (Wilson, 2012a). De Bruyn & Lilien (2008) maintain that with the growth and evolution of the Internet, electronic peer-to-peer referrals have become an important phenomenon, and marketers have tried to exploit their potential through viral marketing campaigns.
It is generally agreed that viral marketing involves the spreading of a marketing message via ‘word of mouth, ensuring that the receivers have the interest to pass along the message to their acquaintances (Kaikati & Kaikati, 2004). Multiple social media formats are used in the process, which includes social networks sites such as YouTube, email communication, and many other forms of electronic media (Larson, 2009). This marketing technique on social networks and by word-of-mouth generates publicity to increase brand awareness, with the objective of using this technique being an increase in product sales through carefully designed viral processes (Borade, 2013).
Viral Marketing is the word today, which is used to describe the revolutionary way by which any information proliferates across a million people rapidly within a short period of time. Marketers are now increasingly looking forward to tap this opportunity to deliver any kind of a marketing message because of its ability to make it contagious. Viral Marketing is not so easy and uncomplicated. It has been seen in the past that all such marketing campaigns have not been always successful, barring a few exceptions. The complexity of viral marketing campaigns arises from the understanding of how consumers react or respond to online marketing messages.
Viral marketing exploits existing social media and networks by encouraging customers to share product information with their friends (Leskovec, Admic, & Huberman, 2008). While viral marketing can help a brand grow quickly and cheaply, it carries more risk than that of building a brand based on relevance and relationships (Aaker, 2004). This marketing strategy uses customers in a specific market to promote a product (Richardson & Domingos, 2012).
Insurance plays a vital role in the transfer of risk across all spheres of life. The concept of insurance refers to a contract between two parties where one promises to indemnify the other party for the occurrence of any risk covered under the contact in exchange for a monetary consideration called pre-change for a monetary consideration called premium (Ogwo, 2010).
The party who makes this promise is ordered to as insurer and its a limited liability company. This company also faces several risks and is not properly recognized or patronized in Nigeria and this necessitates the use of viral marketing (word of mouth) in making insurance count in Nigeria. The enlargement of the insurance company depends on the strength of the marking department of the insurance industries and so if the marketing department of the insurance industries has a vast social networking system, then marketing of insurance services will be easy and marketing cost will be low. However, the situation in Nigeria seems different. Despite the existence of social media in Nigeria, insurance still does not count because of low patronage in Nigeria. From the foregoing therefore, the study seeks to examine the impact of viral marketing on the performance of insurance companies is Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problems
The contribution of marketing to the growth and development of insurance and making it count in Nigeria cannot be overemphasis. The marketing of insurance services has always being a central problem for the insurance company. A company with low marketing strategies tends to fail in the quest to achieve their goals. When an insurance company has an effective and efficient marketing strategy which is advertising their services through the social media, then they have created high level of awareness to the public thereby creating familiarity, increasing visibility and developing good customer relationship. The reality is that the insurance companies for a very long time have been having a bad reputation from the insuring public and viral marketing (word of mouth) can redeem the pride of the insurance company.
The major problem in Nigeria is that insurance companies have been given a bad reputation with an awkward name which is “The 419 business”. The insuring publics do not believe or doubt the truth which the insurers preach which is not bringing confidence to the insuring public because of some dubious, fraudulent and unprofessional insurance companies or practitioners and also fraudulent clients. The primary objective of the marketing is to help in creating awareness to the insurance public of the intension they have. Insurance in Nigeria has not taken its giant stand in playing its role in helping to develop the economy sectors of Nigeria. One of the problems of insurance development in Nigeria is as a result of inadequate awareness among Nigeria public. Also, the use of unqualified or untrained personnel in the industry also hinders the marketing of insurance services. The ineffective and unhealthy competitions which are carried out by the management of some companies which has led to the decline and fall of the companies have made the public to lose confidence in the insurance business. Thus, the study is set to determine the impact of viral marketing on the performance of insurance companies in Nigeria.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of the study is to examine the relationship between viral marketing and the performance of insurance companies in Nigeria. The specific objectives are;
1. To examine the relationship between escalating brand and the performance of insurance companies.
2. To examine the extent to which supportive access associate with the performance of insurance companies.
3. To examine the relationship between immense efficacy and with the performance of insurance companies.
1.4 Research Question
1. What is the relationship between escalating brand and the performance of insurance companies?
2. To what extent does supportive access associate with the performance of insurance companies?
3. What is the relationship between immense efficacy and with the performance of insurance companies?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
HO1: There is no significant relationship between escalating brand and the performance of insurance companies.
HO2: There is no significant relationship between supportive access and the performance of insurance companies.
HO3: There is no significant relationship between immense efficacy and the performance of insurance companies.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study cannot be over emphasized. It can be seen from the problem statement that major difficulties are identified with marketing strategies adopted by insurance companies. It is hoped that the study will help insurance companies, managers and marketing managers on the field of study to adopt better marketing strategies that will improve the overall performance of insurance companies and help them realize set goals and objectives.
The recommendations made in this study if applied would provide initial steps in major decision on the determination of the present marketing strategies that can be used to improve the performance of insurance companies in Nigeria.
The study will also help the reader to know that the success of organizations especially insurance companies depends on a good marketing strategy so that it will present good image and increase their sales revenue. It will also widen the researcher’s knowledge about viral marketing and how they can be applied to the marketing insurance companies.
Above all, the study will also help the people to know the value of viral marketing (word of mouth) and how it can be used to attract new market customers.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study is delimited under the following heading: content scope, geographical scope and unit of analysis.
Content Scope: The content scope of this study involves an investigation to ascertain the impact of viral marketing on the performance of insurance companies in Nigeria. The dependent variable is performance, measured by profitability, market share and sales volume. While independent variable is viral marketing proxied by message clarity, escalating brand, supportive access and immense efficacy.
Geographical Scope: This study is delimited in Port Harcourt Rivers State with references to some selected insurance companies including Nicon Insurance Limited, Oasis Insurance Group, and Standard Alliance Life Assurance Ltd.
Unit of Analysis: The unit of analysis in this research is the staff of the selected insurance companies at the time of the study.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
Although this study has accomplished the purpose which it sets out to achieve, one of the very limitations is that the validity of the result or finding is defending on the honesty of the respondents in providing the needed information.
Due to constraint of time and money, it is difficult to carry out the research extensively. This led to the limiting of the scope cognizance was also taken to the fact that the academic calendar was too short and academic workload was enormous, as a result of this, no time to run around for the work.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Insurance: Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss.
Viral Marketing: Its name refers to how consumers spread information about a product with other people in their social networks, much in the same way that a virus spreads from one person to another.
Word of Mouth: It is the passing of information from person to person by oral communication, which could be as simple as telling someone the time of day.
Marketing strategies: It is a long-term, forward-looking approach to planning with the fundamental goal of achieving a sustainable competitive advantage.
Marketing: It is the study and management of exchange relationships. Marketing is the business process of creating relationships with and satisfying customers.
Performance: It is the completion of a task with application of knowledge, skills and abilities.