EFFECT OF ADVERTISING OF HERBAL PRODUCT ON CONSUMER DECISION MAKING PROCESS

ABSTRACT: The research examined the effect of Advertising Herbal products on the Consumer Decision Making Process: A case study Amen Scientific Herbal Centre, Taifa-Accra. The research was anchored on Source Credibility and Cultivation Theory. A survey research method was adopted while a questionnaire was used to collect data from respondents. 150 respondents were accidentally selected from major strategic locations within Usshertown, Tudu, Victoriaborg, West Ridge, and East Ridge while 131 copies were correctly returned and analysed using frequency and percentage data analysis method. Findings show that lots of the respondents are often exposed to Amen Herb advertisements from the radio, television, billboard and online media. By and large, it is obvious that substantial numbers of the respondents have been influenced largely by Amen Herbs commercials which have further changed their herbs consumption pattern. The most important appeal used to draw attention to Amen herb products are benefits appeals and package while it is clear that to a reasonable extent, advert does have an effect on the respondents. Also, substantial numbers of the respondents have a preference for Amen Herbal Products. It is recommended that APCON should see that advertisers maintain the principle guiding advertising because consumers through advertisement are luring into buying the wrong product.


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the Study

            The essence of being in business by any commercial organisation is to produce for sales and profits. For an organisation to continue to be in business such organisation must generate enough sales from its products or services to cover operating costs and post reasonable profits. For many organizations, sales estimate is the starting point in budgeting or profit planning. It is so because it must be determined, in most cases before production units could be arrived at.

            In an industrial and free competitive market economy, where the interplay of economic variables dictates the market, the problem of survival of business becomes a very nightmarish one for producers and manufacturers. The singular desire of manufacturers becomes how to create awareness and market for their goods. Advertising is then one strategy that fulfils the desire completely. The desire to be buoyant in business and to increase profit has given advertisement an irrevocable reputation.

            Advertising is not undertaken by management just for fun or to keep products or services. It is principally involved in persuasion or advocacy even apparently just giving us information, using media that are paid for it to get through to the mass audience with the identity of the advertisers being clear. Advertising has the mandate to sell the advertiser’s goods and help the consumers to shop wisely (Okoro, 2005).

            Similarly, of all marketing weapons, advertising has a leading impact on viewers minds, as its exposure is much more felt (Katke, 2007). The marketing mix has four subsets i.e. product, price, place and promotion. Advertising is a component of the promotional mix, which is used to create awareness about products and services for making purchase decisions (Akinrosoye, 2004).

No company can become a market leader unless they invest lots of their investment in promotional purposes (Hussainy, 2008). The major aim of advertising is to impact buying behaviour; however, this impact on the brand is changed or strengthened frequently people’s memories. Memories about the brand consist of those associations that are related to the brand name in consumers’ minds. Also, the major objective of consumers’ behaviour analysis is to determine the factors that influence consumers’ behaviour in a particular circumstance. Consumers’ behaviour analysis is helpful for advertisers to understand the behaviour of consumers in buying different situations.

            Meanwhile, one of the sectors and activities in Ghana today that is experiencing a serious influx of people is herb production as supplements and drugs which have resulted in several competitions among the practitioners leading them to use different forms of promotional tactics to push their brands. It should be recalled that since time immemorial, traditional herbal medicine has been so important in the health care delivery system in Ghana and most African countries due to its neutrality.

            Today, many people in less developed and civilized areas often use herbs more because of the availability of the herbs, availability of inherited methodologies. Other reasons for using herbs by some people is due to lack of money to patronize professional doctors or hospitals. In Ghana, the estimated ratio of the Traditional Medicine Practitioner (TMP) to the population is 1:400 as against a ratio of the orthodox doctor to the population of 1:12,000 (Christiana, 2018).  Thus, TMP is an important actor, in the health care delivery system in Ghana.

            Meanwhile, one of the very popular among the Traditional Medicine Practitioners is Amen Scientific Herbal Centre, Taifa-Accra which has even turned into a hospital now using the traditional herbs for their major treatments of any kind. The centre is gaining momentum as more people are beginning to release the potency of the natural herbs to the western drug.    

            It is against this background that the research examines the t effect of advertising of herbal products on the consumer decision-making process: A case study Amen Scientific Herbal Centre, Taifa-Accra. 

1.2       Statement of the Problem

            As companies are spending a large amount of investment on advertisement because they want to keep their product at the top of the customer’s mind. Advertisement has proven to be a successful tool for communication but companies are still in confusion that what kind of ingredients should be there and how to do these advertisements will help to change the consumer decision-making process (Rusell, Rusell & Lane, 2006).

            Consumers react in various ways in their purchase decision-making process. They are influenced by a number of factors in each purchase that is made. Competition is now a major factor among herbal producers in the world today. Producers need to advertise their products and services in order to be able to reach out to both customers (existing) and potential customers if they are not to be overtaken by their competitors.

            Due to this marketers have developed the tendency of misleading consumers about their products through advertisement. In as much as advertisements help consumers in finding products or choosing between the various brands of products in the market, producers sometimes mislead customers into buying products that do not really serve the purpose for which they were advertised.

In the midst of all these, many marketers of herbal drugs are now doing their best to erase this negative perception from consumers minds and make herbal products their choice. To this end, the research examines the effect of advertising of herbal products on consumers decision making process: A case study Amen Scientific Herbal Centre, Taifa-Accra. 

 1.2       Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to discover the effect of advertising herbal products on the consumer decision-making process. The specific objectives of the study are as follows:

  1. To examine the level of people’s exposure to herbal products advertising campaigns.
  2. To ascertain whether herb advertisements have changed the perceptions of consumers positively towards using herbs products.
  3. To determine ways which advertisement influences consumers’ decision-making process of herbal products.
  4. To examine whether herbs advertisements influence consumers’ buying habits of herbal products.
  5. To determine whether herbal products performed as advertised to the consumers.

1.4       Research Questions

To facilitate arrival at sound findings to achieve the objectives set out above, the following research questions were considered. 

  1. To what extent are people exposing to herbal products advertising campaigns?
  2. To what extent have herb advertisements changed the perceptions of consumers positively towards using herbs products?
  3. How does advertisement influence consumers’ decision making process of herbal products?
  4. Do herbs advertisements influence consumers buying habits of herbal products?
  5. To what extent has herbal products performed as advertised?

1.5       Significance of the Study

            It is the belief of the researcher that research of this nature will use different categories of people especially now that the country is making serious efforts to promote and boost locally produced products. Thus, the study will be useful to students, scholars, consumers of goods and services, policymakers, advertisers, advertising agencies and advertising researchers.

            This study will help the advertisers and advert agencies to understand the perception and factors that influence consumers’ buying decisions of herbal products.

            Also, it will educate consumers on how to identify the best herbal products in the market by making use of advertisement information. The study will expose media and advertising industries on the need to stand firmly on advertisement ethical principles.

            The study will form bulk empirical material and literature that is available in the subject area which future researchers and students can lay hands on when writing carrying out similar studies in the future. 

1.6     Operational Definitional of Terms

Effect: This refers to the impact that advertisement has on consumers decision making on herbal products.  

Advertising: It refers to any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of herbal products by identified sponsors such as Amen Scientific Herbal Centre.

Herbal Products: These are various drugs or supplements that are locally produced and consumed by consumers for the cure or treatment of various illnesses or infections. 

Consumer decision making process: These are collections of factors that influence the perception of consumers toward deciding to buy or not to buy herbal products.

Amen Scientific Herbal Centre: This is one of the many traditional herbal medicine institutes that treat and heal people from sickness and diseases in Ghana It is located at the Opp. Town Council, Dome, Accra.

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