An exploratory study on the relationship between marketing mix decisions and the success of micro and small enterprises: a case study of Westlands Shopping Centre, Nairobi

Otieno, Dorcas Awiti
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Strathmore University
This study set out to explore the relationship between marketing mix decisions and the success of micro and small enterprises. This main objective was broken down to 3 specific objectives: to understand the general characteristics and general marketing environment of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in Westlands; examine the significance of the correlation between marketing mix elements and success of micro and small enterprises; and observe and understand the combinations of the marketing mix elements relevant to success within specific industries in the MSE sector. The study was carried out in Westlands shopping centre that has a population of about 400 MSEs. The study was exploratory in nature and thirty one businesses were used for analysis. Purposive sampling was used to derive the final sample. Minitab and Microsoft Excel were used to arrange and analyse the data. Responding to research, this study categorised MSEs into four distinct categories. General characteristics such as, age, experience, motivation and challenges were comparable across groups. The study added to literature by establishing that there are indeed significant industry differences among MSEs and this does indeed affect their marketing activities. All categories except professionals relied on the consumer market. Variability across all categories in terms of the number of marketing activities employed was significantly different for all the marketing elements except distribution. Also, the versatility in marketing activities across groups was significant. Traders were the most versatile category followed by professionals, entertainment houses and artisans respectively. In terms of success, the only significant differentiator was in the self-claimed definition of success (objective versus subjective). Otherwise, across groups there was no real difference in the exhibition of the success variables given by the research. However, there were tendencies that could be further explored in later research. The relationship between the type of customer and the level of marketing done is an area that could be studied. Further, the tendencies of exhibiting certain variables in success by specific industries should be studied. A study on how business orientation affects the marketing activities done would also be a good area to study especially for successful MSEs.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree of Masters of Commerce
Marketing, Management, Entreprenuership, Small business, Westlands Shopping Centre, Nairobi, Marketing mix, micro and small enterprises