ENTREPRENEURIAL MARKETING EDUCATION AND GRADUATE‘S CAPACITY FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT IN SOUTH-WEST, NIGERIA

VOL. 02 ISSUE 06

                              Abiodun Eniola Alao & Aliu Ajani Odunmbaku

Department of Marketing, Moshood  Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria

Abstract

This study looked into the relationship between entrepreneurial marketing education and graduates’ capacity for self-employment in southwest, Nigeria. The study unit for this research is the Universities and Polytechnic graduates in South West, Nigeria. Cross sectional descriptive survey research design was used to investigate how entrepreneurial marketing education would have a significant effect on graduates’ capacity to become self-employed in specialized fields of marketing. The population of the study consisted of three hundred and forty seven (347) graduating students of marketing in 9 tertiary institutions that offer marketing in southwest, Nigeria. Using questionnaire administration as data collection technique, a total enumeration (census) of the population was sampled. Data collected was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings of the study hypothesis one revealed that there is a significant positive relationship between entrepreneurial marketing education and entrepreneurial digital marketing (r = .696, n = 329, p <.005). Similarly, the study second hypothesis showed that there is significant positive relationship between entrepreneurial marketing education and entrepreneurial event marketing (r =.897, n =329, p<.05). The third hypothesis further showed a significant positive relationship between entrepreneurial marketing education and entrepreneurial merchandising (r = .636, n = 329, p = .005).The study concluded that there is a significant positive relationship between the entrepreneurial marketing practices and graduates’ capacity for self-employment in Southwest, Nigeria.

Keywords :- Marketing Education ,Self –Employment.

Introduction

Marketing education comprises wide range of fields upon which entrepreneurial career can be built (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2008). Marketing as a field of study provides specialized knowledge ground where trainers, students and graduates of marketing could situate and discover desirable opportunity towards becoming self-employed entrepreneurs in the contemporary ravaging world of unemployment. Possible areas for entrepreneurial marketing education and development may include event marketing, public relations, content marketing, digital marketing, marketing research, merchandizing, packaging and professional selling, among others in-exhaustive entrepreneurial specialist areas (Lodish, Morgan, Achumbeau and Babin, 2016). Focus-based entrepreneurial marketing education as a specialized field of marketing, offers students and graduates of marketing essential entrepreneurial foundation through leadership training skills, practical exposure and presentation and work-based learning experience (Lodish et al, 2016).

According to Nwangwo (2007), every higher education must endeavor to inculcate the philosophy of entrepreneurial orientation and content for students’ development, failure of which would lead to wastages in terms of both human and natural resources. In the given context, it is considered that students of marketing in all higher learning Institutions in Nigeria should have the opportunity to develop entrepreneurially as graduates and become self-reliant, job creators and employers of labour, in varying degrees and capacities (Arogundade, 2011). Thus, such value in entrepreneurial orientation could have gone a long way contributing some percentage level to employment generation and reduction in poverty in a developing economy such as Nigeria (National Universities Commission, 2004). However, many studies have been done in the field of entrepreneurial marketing education, still, review in this interest area shows there is dearth of scholarly work that focuses on the specialized knowledge set to build students’ capacity for self-employment in a developing economy.

The phenomenon of unemployment is fast becoming a ravaging problem to many young graduates in the face of growing economic recession. The problem of unemployment in Nigeria has been most described by numbers to show a clear view of its ravaging effect on the teeming young graduates. According to Bureau of Statistics (2016) the first quarter of 2016 shows that Nigeria unemployment rate has recorded 12.1 percent as increase against the 10.4 recorded in last quarter of 2015.In the same vein, the total number of unemployed youths rose by 18 percent to 9.485 million leaving young graduates unemployment to increase by 21.5 percent from 19 percent (Bureau of Statistics, 2016). This is against a report showing that Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) spends N3 billion yearly on innovative entrepreneurship development programme (YIEDP) aimed at empowering young graduates to becoming self-reliant and self-employed (CBN Bulletin, 2016), in expectation of reducing graduate unemployment. However, entrepreneurial marketing education has recorded a milestone expected to have impacted strongly on its evolution and practice in the global economy (Muthee&Ngugi, 2014). Inspite of the milestone, the extent of how entrepreneurial marketing education has impacted substantially on graduates’ capacity building in terms of self-employment in specialized areas such as digital marketing, event marketing, public relations, packaging and merchandising has remained quite insignificant, going by the growing percentage ratio of unemployed youths currently within the Nigeria economy. The education system of Nigeria has produced well over nine million graduates in the last decades through different levels of tertiary institutions, of which by estimate, students and graduates of marketing will not be less than 0.07 million. Out of this output, the labour market could barely absorb 10% of such graduates (National Manpower Board, 2016). This is showing a great unimaginable parity between number of graduates being churned out year on year from Nigeria tertiary institutions but without gainful employment into public and private establishments. This, however, calls for academic concern and the need for a study that investigates the lingering problem of growing rate of graduate unemployment, and answers a broad question on how entrepreneurial marketing education contributes to building capacity and enlarging self-employment landscape for marketing graduates in Nigeria.

This particular study focused on the need to examine tertiary students of marketing and how well they are prepared to take on the challenge of unemployment after graduation. The study is expected to discover the gap in the curriculum for developing students of marketing in Nigeria tertiary institutions. The central issue is to know whether marketing students undergo essential entrepreneurial learning in marketing education, and subsequently, how they develop capacity to create marketing-based jobs and employment, overcome unemployment issues and contribute meaningfully to the economic well-being.However, the broad objective of the study is to examine how entrepreneurial marketing education leads to building students’ capacity and self-employment of marketing graduates. Other objectives of this research work included; investigating the extent in which entrepreneurial marketing education builds students’ and graduates’ capacity for entrepreneurial digital marketing, evaluate how the current standard of entrepreneurial marketing education ensures students’ and graduates’ capacity for entrepreneurial event marketing and to ascertain what content of entrepreneurial marketing education would ensure graduates’ capacity in entrepreneurial merchandising.

This paper has been structured in such a way to exposed readers through the conceptual review of literature in entrepreneurial marketing taking into consideration some very key technical specializations in the field of marketing, the researchers’ methodology, results discussion and implication of findings and how it has contributed to the body of knowledge.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Marketing, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial marketing

According to American Marketing Association (2004), marketing involves broad areas of specializations where human existence can be well affected positively. The central and essential role of marketing is to focus on people’s essence, that is, the consumers and their endless needs in order to ensure their satisfaction at each given time of identified needs. Many authors have put forward many definitions of the term marketing to establish its whole essence, particularly in the given direction. Kotler (2007) sees marketing as human activity directed at satisfying needs and wants through exchange process. The emphasis of the definition is that market and value creation form the basis for having exchange. It implies that until exchange of value occurs, the process of marketing is not complete. It also aligns with American Marketing Association (2004) which says marketing involves planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution ideas, goods and services to create exchange that satisfies individuals and organizational goals and objectives. A widely acceptable definition developed by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, London(CIM) as the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customers’ requirements profitably. All the concepts, on common grounds, provide that marketing offers quite so much in terms of value and benefits meant to meet people’s lifetime expectations and goals.  Marketing as a business function play a dual importance of giving people a consistent lease of life and offering large support for continuous existence or survival of business.  The need for both organizations and individuals to co-exist for their common good lies in effective application of marketing as value creator. However, it should be emphasized that the given concepts relate the significance of marketing to our contemporary society in respect to its well-being and continuous productive existence. To buttress on this view, Chineye (2006) asserts that the increase need to achieve certain developmental objectives through customer satisfaction philosophy has made marketing an intrinsic factor in the survival of organizations, government and larger society. In order to advocate the position of how significant is marketing to society and business, Drucker (1954) established that “because the purpose of business is to create customer and improve quality of life, the business enterprise thus has two and only two basic functions namely marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results in terms attainment of set organizational goals and objectives, all the rest are costs. Marketing is therefore the distinguishing function of any chosen area of business. However, the innovation which complements marketing is an offshoot of entrepreneurship. As an important content in entrepreneurship, innovation makes a critical resource supporting marketing to get the best possible result for business performance and growth (Mwangi & Bwisa, 2013). Entrepreneurship is an all-important process that supports marketing principle and practice to maximize resource put in it by any organizations. The definition of entrepreneurship is viewed by many authors as a process of creating value by bringing together a unique package of resources to explore an opportunity (Bygrave, 1989; Corn Wall & Perlman, 1990; Morris & Kuratko, 2001; Pinchot, 2000). The process established in the practice is synonymous to that of marketing, as it involves set of activities which include identifying opportunities, ascertaining needed resources, acquiring them and taking advantage to maximize the potential of any venture (Morris & Kuratko, 2001). There are key dimensions that ensure the continuity focus of every possible venture. These are innovativeness, risk-taking and proactivity, all these must be imbibed by who or person taking up the challenge of entrepreneurship practice. This is the point in which marketing training plays an all-significant role in developing a would-be entrepreneur, particularly in specialized fields of marketing. However, the whole idea leads to the new concept of entrepreneurial marketing as a unique combination which provides the managerial content and capacity for marketers to deliver unique value through an effective use of marketing tools, concepts and theory to support the development of any new venture (Ireland, Hitt, Camp & Sexton, 2001). It should be emphasized that the two concepts; marketing and entrepreneurship are a Siamese that have a lot in common for uncommon interface in terms of how entrepreneurial attitude and behavior could impact positively on the development of marketing practice, as critical sources of self-employment generation.

Digital marketing

The concept of digital marketing was used in 1990s when advertising was more of common practice in the field of marketing. The emphasis in terms of creating knowledge and skills relating to advertising practices dominated marketing education in higher institution of learning in Nigeria. The emergence of new social media and mobile tool as new technologies and means of reaching new markets and transactions of the 21 century business has propelled the need for development of digital practice in the marketing products and services (Arbelaez&Gavilanez, 2017). In the contemporary entrepreneurial business world, digital marketing has become an essential tool used to complete and win business advantage. Digital marketing as a tool for business purposes qualifies on its own as a business focus many graduates may embrace to render services to other businesses. According to Kannan (2014) since digital marketing is the new order in business world, many have immersed into it to catch up with the digital era as the most efficient ways of reaching customers of products and services and maximizing revenues and marketing goals. This development is in response to what globalization brings to the doorsteps of business or entrepreneurial practice. Vadar and Parlour (2014) buttressed that the embrace of digital marketing has become the cornerstone of marketing transformation in terms of creating needs and re-shaping of marketing strategies. However, it is expected that digital marketing should expand through the boundaries of marketing education to conform to the requirements of preparing students and graduates to match with the new standards of digital era. The digital era has equally necessitated the need for every educational institution to develop marketing curricula that create digital knowledge and skills in this specialized field for entrepreneurial practice of self employment. Educational institutions should now avail students the opportunities to gain the knowledge needed from this specialized field to help them create a service-base business that sees market not only from within the country but the worldwide market. (Patrutiu-Baktes, 2015). Entrepreneurial practice in digital marketing can be created on some basic business platforms which include web or mobile marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social network and Customer Relationship Management (Brugh, 2008).

Event marketing

To explain the concept, we simply express it as marketing of events. From this simple meaning, it becomes clear that all events can be seen as being associated with event marketing. An event itself is a live ‘occurrence’ with an audience and where an audience is created for an event; a potential message would have to go along with it to make a good and memorable experience for them. The kind of events being expressed in the given context is limited to the ones that are created for marketing purposes. Such events may include road shows, exhibitions, conferences, product launches, product sampling, charity fund raisers, sales promotion among others. There are areas of interest where graduates’ capacity for entrepreneurial event marketing practice can be explored. Event marketing relates to the promotion of a product, brand or service through in-person interaction (Kim, 2017). There are many forms of event marketing which include conferences, trade shows, seminars, round-tables, summits, virtual, hybrid. There is dearth of academic studies in the area of marketing education (Wood, 2001). There is an attempt to use work of marketing fields to develop concepts and contexts relatively to practice of event marketing as an area to build students’ graduates capacity to express their entrepreneurial capability. McCole (2004) opines that dearth of studies on event marketing presents an indication of the dividebetween academic and real world practices and calls for more alignment between marketing education theory and practice in this area of study. In a similar context, Guptax (2003) identifies the need for systemized body of knowledge and conceptual framework upon which scientific enquiry would base in the area of event marketing. Williams (2006) has made an important case that there should be greater understanding of how marketing education on event marketing will lead to its entrepreneurial practice particularly in relation to lifestyle, events tourism and hospitality. According to Forrester research outcome, events make up for 21% of B2B marketing budget and by 2020, 3.2 million global professional events will be taking place on an annual basis. It is expected that the trend will continue in the years ahead. This explains the global wider space for entrepreneurial practice in event marketing and the essential need for quick emergence of well trained and knowledgeable entrepreneurs in the field. The best practice of event marketing will open up future opportunities for graduates of marketing students who should be trained to maximize entrepreneurial possibilities in the field.

Merchandise Entrepreneur

Merchandising involves how a product line is chosen and presented to customers through display, pricing, advertising and education. Merchandising is used in a grocery store to maximize sales volume regardless of the actual needs of the customers. It is a marketing approach that is used to enhance customers’ ability to make intelligent choices. The components of merchandising include general store character, products selection, product display and promotion, product emphasis, pricing, education, advertising and product choice. There are wide variety of techniques that affect products and customers’ awareness towards improving sales in merchandising. We consider these few critical knowledge areas where marketing graduates gain capacity to become entrepreneurs in the profession of marketing. However, the discussed areas of entrepreneurial possibilities where entrepreneurial marketing education could create great talents of entrepreneurs from within marketing students and graduates of different higher institutions in Nigeria are opened to the selected few of areas of interest discussed in this study. According to Shane, Locke, and Collins (2012) successful nature of a business venture depends on the youth capacity availability which defines the readiness to turn knowledge and ideas into business or entrepreneurial possibilities. The discovery of opportunities through entrepreneurial marketing education and ability to utilize it will be determined by the extent of entrepreneurial knowledge impact made on students and graduates to develop their capacity towards taking up entrepreneurial activities confidently. To buttress this position, the gap in the employment market has been created as a result of low level of untapped open business opportunities around the world business market because of lack of entrepreneurial knowledge and skills (Barringer & Ireland, 2015). It has been argued that effective participation and training in the area of entrepreneurial marketing will close such gaps and have positive influence on the desirability to start a new business (Perterman & Kennedy, 2003).

Entrepreneurial marketing education and students/graduates capacity development

Entrepreneurial marketing education follows that students and graduates offer modules that develop their capacity and marketing-based competences to know how to start a specialized venture as career option and grow to contribute value to larger society. It has been suggested that  all students of higher or tertiary institutions as potential graduates have to be taken through entrepreneurial education; a process that helps develop their entrepreneurial thinking, build confidence with enrich knowledge-base and capacity to create a new venture for self – employment (Mubarka, Yousaf & Altaf, 2012). In the given context, it is important that students and new graduates of marketing in all tertiary learning or Institutions in Nigeria are taken through an educational curriculum founded upon entrepreneurial marketing content to help them develop necessary degree of students’ capacity that will certainly lead to self employment. Gibb and Hannah (2006) emphasized that institutions are created to help prepare students and graduates on how to develop entrepreneurial ability to create business ideas, identify opportunities, set up a business and manage growth, the well-being of the society and other business areas. Where such level of entrepreneurial education is attained, students and graduates should have been prepared to become more confident and equipped for a real world of greater uncertainty and complexity to create and sustain occupation, job and employment (Mubarka et al., 2012). However, a learning environment should promote the much needed value of entrepreneurship content in all fields of study and specifically in marketing education content focused on building new capacity in every graduate towards creating new employment for themselves and larger society (Fooster& Li, 2003). The critical areas of employment identified in relation to entrepreneurial marketing education may include wider areas of marketing practices. These areas of marketing education are key specialized fields where students develop a strong base of academic and entrepreneurial knowledge and skills that better prepare them to follow career pathways which propel their entrepreneurial expression. By this process, students are expected to have gained the necessary level of confidence to pursue associated opportunities that bring about creation of much needed market value embedded in the acquired entrepreneurial marketing knowledge and skills for eventual transfer into viable employment services.

Entrepreneurial capacity of many universities and polytechnics students have been found to be susceptible to factors of self-confidence, poor knowledge, perceived barriers and poor attitude towards engaging in entrepreneurship in general (European Commission, 2008). A perceived lack of relevant knowledge, experience and self-confidence have been further identified as key bases upon which students and new graduates will not engage in entrepreneurship after graduation (European Commission, 2008). Against this backdrop, many scholars’ perspectives have shown that Universities and other tertiary institutions should fast become more of engines of scientific inventions and technological development, specifically in terms of initiative thinking and development that enhance students’ capacity (Rani & Alam, 2015). The tertiary Institutions should imbibe and enhance the curriculum for developing students; graduates and researchers’ knowledge and capability that will further lead to ability to relate educational content to talent development and self-employment. It is expected that all higher educational institutions focus on creating and building the academic environment and lecturers that foster entrepreneurial mind-sets, skill and capacity in their students and graduates, who are prepared to contribute meaningfully to economic activities by creating and offering value for self-employment. Students can be well guided and developed in different areas of their education and curriculum on how to begin and grow enterprise in a way in which they contribute to employment well-being of the larger society. Technical-based Institutions such as Polytechnics in particular are known to be the educational grounds upon which graduates with more potential for capacity building to become self-employed are bred; hence, this should be the essential focus of all technical-based institutions. Stakeholders’ participation inputs, that is re-known, tested, experienced and established entrepreneurs, and their contributions could be great source of practical educational knowledge and inspiration that help build the required level of students and graduates capacity for becoming confident entrepreneurs in the start-up and future successful ones. The involvement of stakeholders relates to extended program that create an interface opportunity between students, graduates and established entrepreneurial leaders who act as role models. This level of education create a degree of entrepreneurial awareness, allays fears in the ability to start, educate and equip students and graduates on what to expect in the outside world as a potential entrepreneurs (Yousaf & Altaf, 2015).

One of the goals of technical education is to prepare all students to become ready for their own kind of job at the point of their graduation. Providing the students with entrepreneurial learning in various tertiary Institutions of marketing education interest is a critical step to achieve an all-important goal of self-employment in the specialized fields of marketing education. It is therefore suggested that universities and polytechnics where marketing is a choice of study should emphasize on entrepreneurial training and teaching methods to help graduates to reach their future real world employment goals. However, such educational approach should help marketing students connect clear their interest of the real world practice to the current knowledge derived from their class work education. They are expected to be more connected to marketing learning and experience that offer them the real world of work and practice where they can display the acquired knowledge and skill from class education entrepreneurially. It has been argued that entrepreneurial-based class learning provides students with firsthand look of what marketing knowledge and skills are needed to become a chosen field of entrepreneurial practices                                          (Digget, 2005). The Research outcome shows that students understand and retain knowledge best when they have applied the practice in a relevant content (Digget, 2005). In this regard, a skilled marketing educator of 21st century should help students master learning targets and standards using purposeful crafted lessons and teaches with appropriate instructional strategies. It is essential that students understand why they are learning particular skills in the marketing content, knowing and engaging in learning opportunities that enable them to use the acquired skills, creativity and critical thinking to solve problems (Darling and Hammond, 2006). The instructional materials where marketing students acquire skills and knowledge have been found to have significant impact on such important degree of learning. Sanbamatsn, Shariff and Sherenen (1991) have shown that students’ learning irrespective of field of study is directly influenced by how well such learning is connected to a context. The research has depended on how people learn when they find the ideas significant to their real world vision. The study emphasizes on the importance of connecting the content of the instructional material to the world of the students. It argues that the content should be well given to help students retain skills and knowledge. Keller (1987) posits that if the teachers or lecturers can endeavor to make their students well familiar with the knowledge and skills they are given their students’ capacity for learning and applying knowledge will increase. Shulman and Lenchaner (2012) thus contend that the connection must be done by ensuring students are well engaged with rigorous content in interactive learning environment. A positive interactive environment for effective learning and knowledge acquisition with creative based curricular and instructional support materials for all students offer a genuine education tailored towards building students or graduates capacity to express strength for self – development employment that contributes to better economic activities. However, a scholarly position was made in terms of how entrepreneurial education relates to students’ or graduates attributes and mindsets. Mubarka, Yousaf and Altaf (2012) posit that entrepreneurial attributes among students will be determined when entrepreneurial education creates positive response among students through certain entrepreneurial-based courses. In contrary, Rapooso, Paco and Ferreira argued that desire of students or graduates to become an entrepreneur is differentiated by the behavior personal to every individual. This is because skills to attain entrepreneurial awareness are not only found in the knowledge-based course structure but also found in the students or graduates’ individual differences (Fooster& Li, 2003). It should be emphasized that such attributes is innately expressed in the students with special kind of skill and it is measured in his level of confidence to start an entrepreneurial business or marketing enterprise (Yousaf, Altaf, Rani & Alan, 2015). Self-confidence is the trust expressed in the individual student’s skill to start a good entrepreneurial marketing enterprise.

Theoretical Foundation

The first under pinning theory for this study is referred to as entrepreneurial success component theory. The theory was developed by Gibb and Ritchie (1978) to explain the key start-up success components through social typology of prospective entrepreneurs. The theory views entrepreneurship as a social process. It argues that even though one cannot conclude that entrepreneurs can be developed by educational training in totality but they can still be supported towards creating successful and sustainable business enterprise. It is explained that although individual personality plays a key factor in career choice but other factors which include education, family, experience, lifestyle and social issues are much more important. This theory explains that some factors that emerge from the environment can influence individual’s life towards becoming an entrepreneur and creating a successful enterprise. The second theory relates to human capital development.Human capital theory has been adopted in this study as another important theory for its relevance to human skills and knowledge in describing human entrepreneurial development and capacity. According to Davidson and Honig (2003) the theory postulates that entrepreneurs with higher level of input should produce superior output. The theory argues that if entrepreneurs can be trained with the necessary educational contents or skills it is expected of them to create ventures that will be successful. It implies that individuals who received higher quality of training and education will possess higher entrepreneurial skills that will help to set up a successful business enterprise. The cost may include direct expenses such as tuition, purchase of books and other out of pocket cost or indirect costs such as psychic losses. The skills will not only generate income but will bring about increase level of productivity and higher wages. Macro perspective views entrepreneurial education training and creation of new venture responsible for job creation, reduction in unemployment and differences in countries productivity and technology advancement particularly in developing economies such as Malaysia, Taiwan, Nigeria and Korea. It should be emphasized that these countries have achieved different levels of economic growth based on different levels of investments on entrepreneurship education and training at different levels. In another context, based on findings postulated that human capital theory supports that societal well-being is not just a function of accumulation of capital, resources and labor but more of individuals’ knowledge and skills – which can be used to develop better value system among individuals and society at large. The theory predicts that improved knowledge and skill will yield better economic advancement for both individuals and societies. This view suggests that through knowledge and skills, individuals add value and societies become better through creation of enterprise that has positive effect on the well-being of the people.

METHODOLOGY

The study unit for this research is the Universities and Polytechnic graduates in South West, Nigeria. In the south west the study covered two states that offer marketing at the graduating level, namely; Ogun and Lagos States. The study population comprised both public and private tertiary institutions that offer marketing as a course of study. Cross sectional descriptive survey research design was used to investigate how entrepreneurial marketing education would have a significant effect on graduates’ capacity to become self-employed in specialized fields of marketing. The population of the study consisted of three hundred and forty seven (347) graduating students of marketing in 9 tertiary institutions that offer marketing in Ogun and Lagos states of south west, Nigeria. A total enumeration (census) of the population was sampled. Using questionnaire administration as data collection technique, A structured questionnaire was designed and used to collect pertinent data from the targeted respondents. The questionnaire was used to collect relevant data relating to two parts, A and B which include demographic information of the target respondents, and questions to elicit responses on Entrepreneurial Marketing, Entrepreneurial Marketing Education, Entrepreneurial Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurial Event Marketing, Entrepreneurial Merchandise and Graduates’ self-capacity development, marketing students’ self-employment. Responses were guided using 5-point likert scale of strongly agreed (5), agreed (4), undecided (3), disagree (2), strongly disagree (1). To ascertain the validity of instrument, the questionnaire was subjected to expert opinion, evaluation and measurement to assess and improve on the content and construct of the questions. The research instrument was subjected to reliable tests. Firstly, a pilot study was conducted using some percentage of the sample size to test the extent to which the instrument measures real relationships between entrepreneurial marketing education, graduates’ capacity for entrepreneurial digital marketing, event marketing and merchandising. Further reliability test was conducted using split-half Spearman Brown prophecy formula to check the extent of errors and correction in the instrument (Nachimas and Nachimas, 2004). Cronbach Alpha technique was applied to determine internal consistency of the instrument through SPSS version 21. Data collected was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

The result of this study is based on stated objectives and research questions using bivariate correlation analysis to test the stated hypotheses. In order to validate the set hypotheses, using the above analysis instrument, the level of their respective significance compare with the adopted 1% (0.01) level of significance was used. The tables below show the various results of the correlation tests. Any value of the analysis that is greater than the study standard significance level will result into its rejection, meaning that the hypothesis is rejected. It therefore implies that such proposition is not significant at the given level of significance.

Hypothesis One: There is no significant positive relationship between entrepreneurial marketing education and entrepreneurial digital marketing.


                                                           Table 1: Correlations
  Entrepreneurial Marketing EducationEntrepreneurial Digital Marketing
Entrepreneurial Marketing EducationPearson Correlation1.696**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
Sum of Squares and Cross-products700.188423.951
Covariance2.1351.293
N329329
Entrepreneurial Digital MarketingPearson Correlation.696**1
Sig. (2-tailed).000 
Sum of Squares and Cross-products423.951529.690
Covariance1.2931.615
N329329
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). 

There was a strong, positive correlation between entrepreneurial marketing education and entrepreneurial digital marketing, which was statistically significant (r = .696, n = 329, p = .005).The above finding corroborates with outcomes of previous studies (Mwangi and Bwisa, 2013; Kannan-Narasimhan, 2014; Vadar and Parlour, 2014) which confirms the positive effect of entrepreneurial marketing education and entrepreneurial digital marketing. Vadar and Parlour (2014) study confirmed that digital marketing has revolutionized into entrepreneurial marketing in terms of creating need and re-shaping of marketing strategies. Digital marketing has expanded through the boundaries of marketing education to conform to the requirements of preparing students and graduates to match with the new standards of digital era. This is why Brugh (2008) recommended that entrepreneurial practice in digital marketing can be created on some basic business platforms which include web or mobile marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social network and Customer Relationship Management.

Hypothesis Two: There is no significant positive relationship between entrepreneurial marketing education and entrepreneurial event marketing.

                                                   Table 2:Correlations
  Entrepreneurial Marketing EducationEntrepreneurial Event Marketing
Entrepreneurial Marketing EducationPearson Correlation1.897**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
Sum of Squares and Cross-products700.188590.362
Covariance2.1351.800
N329329
Entrepreneurial Event MarketingPearson Correlation.897**1
Sig. (2-tailed).000 
Sum of Squares and Cross-products590.362618.936
Covariance1.8001.887
N329329
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). 

From the research hypothesis two tested above (Table 4.3.31) using Pearson Correlation, it was observed that there is significant positive relationship between entrepreneurial marketing education and entrepreneurial event marketing (r = .897, n = 329, p<0.05). Thus, the null hypothesis (Ho2) which states that is no significant positive relationship between entrepreneurial marketing education and entrepreneurial event marketing was rejected.The finding of hypothesis two conform to research outcome of Forrester who opine that events make up for 21% of B2B marketing budget and by 2020, 3.2 million global professional events will be taking place on an annual basis. It is therefore expected that the trend will continue in the years ahead. This explains the global wider space for entrepreneurial practice in event marketing and the need for quick emergence of well trained and knowledgeable entrepreneurs in this field. The areas of event knowledge and skills may include general business, marketing, entrepreneurship, management, marketing information, marketing research, marketing communications, marketing management, channel management, planning, product management, pricing, service management, sales promotion, and content marketing (Mwangi and Bwisa, 2013). Access to this knowledge will allow students and graduates of marketing understand the whole essence of marketing as a value creating phenomenon right from the point of learning and exchange of knowledge in the classroom to the point of service delivery by enterprise operations.

Hypothesis Three: There is no relationship between entrepreneurial marketing education and entrepreneurial merchandising.

Table  3: Correlations
  Entrepreneurial Marketing EducationEntrepreneurial Merchandising
Entrepreneurial Marketing EducationPearson Correlation1.636**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
Sum of Squares and Cross-products700.188296.693
Covariance2.135.905
N329329
Entrepreneurial MerchandisingPearson Correlation.636**1
Sig. (2-tailed).000 
Sum of Squares and Cross-products296.693310.419
Covariance.905.946
N329329
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). 

The result revealed that there was a strong, positive correlation between entrepreneurial marketing education and entrepreneurial merchandising, which was statistically significant (r = .636, n = 329, p = .005). Hypothesis three which states that there is no relationship between entrepreneurial marketing education and entrepreneurial merchandising was therefore rejected. Shane et al., (2012) posit that successful nature of a business venture depends on the youth capacity and availability which defines the readiness to turn knowledge and ideas into business or entrepreneurial possibilities. The knowledge of merchandising in marketing approach is used to enhance customers’ ability to make intelligent choices. However, the elements of merchandising include general store character, products selection, product display and promotion, product emphasis, pricing, education, advertising and product choice. They established further that discovery of opportunities through entrepreneurial marketing education and ability to utilize it will be determined by the extent of entrepreneurial knowledge impact made on students and graduates to develop their capacity towards taking up entrepreneurial activities confidently. To buttress this position, Barringer& Ireland (2015) assert that the gap in the employment market has been created as a result of low level of untapped open business opportunities around the world business market because of lack of entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. Therefore effective training and participation in the area of entrepreneurial marketing will create an avenue for merchandizing in marketing as it has been found to have positive influence on the desirability to start a new business (Perterman & Kennedy, 2003).

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

In conclusion, this study has been conducted to expand on previous studies on issues relating to entrepreneurial marketing education and graduates’ capacity for self-employment. It has been extended into looking at the possibility of entrepreneurial marketing education building students’ and graduates’ capacity for entrepreneurial digital marketing, entrepreneurial event marketing and entrepreneurial merchandising. It is clear that there is relationship between the entrepreneurial marketing practices and graduates’ capacity for self-employment in Southwest, Nigeria. Many current moves on entrepreneurial marketing education are characterized by increasing emphasis on competition, self-reliance, and responsiveness. Several advantages of a market-led educational system are laudable, but equally convincing are some of the arguments against the system. Therefore, we must recognize that adoption of more entrepreneurial marketing activities in Nigerian tertiary institutions offering marketing as a course will have consequences for graduates’ self-employment. Special attention will need to be directed towards institutional missions, communication channels, coordination of activities, criteria used in personnel decisions, and informing the students about the importance and contributions to society of entrepreneurial marketing education.

REFERENCES

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