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TOPIC: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF ONLINE MARKETING: A CASE

STUDY OF THE GHANAIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY

WRITTEN BY: KOFI OTABIL

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1.0 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

1.1 Introduction

The music recording industry offers new trading opportunities for Ghana. In the age
of knowledge-based international competitiveness, services are assuming a greater
share of output of all economies. Though regarded as an informal sector, the music
recording industry in Ghana represents a vibrant and dynamic sector of the Ghanaian
economy. (Collins, 2001).A Webactive (2004) report reckons that the global music
industry generates annual global sales of $38 billion. Mathews (2001b) suggests that
while spending on US online music was only $836 million in the year 2000, about 5.5
percent of the total revenue in the music market, it is projected to increase to $5.36
billion by the year 2005, representing 25 percent of the market. The industry is
dominated by five major record labels namely:EMI, Sony, Universal-Vivendi, Time
Warner and Bertelsmann BMG who control the market for recorded music in terms of
both production and distribution (Webactive 2004).The ability of the major labels to
control the supply chain for music has prevented artists from independently
distributing their own material.

The Internet, by making possible online distribution of music, has disrupted the
normal way of conducting business in the music industry and promises to
fundamentally alter the law, the economics, and the power relationships governing the
industry. Internet marketing is heralded as the new paradigm of marketing
incorporating deliverable benefits as multiple marketing usage, access to commercial
research, competitive intelligence, customer service, just-in-time inventory planning,
sales channel knowledge, support for channel partners, image enhancement, rapid
growth, global reach, around-the-clock presence, ability to target marketing efforts,
cost effectiveness, up-to-the-minute information, and multimedia. Internet marketing
is driven by the escalating, ever-changing needs of customers seeking better services
and products. Berezai (2000) suggests that the growth in consumer use of the internet,
for both leisure activities and as retail channel, has forced businesses to consider the
internet as a business tool. The main requirement for music recording companies

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seeking a competitive advantage is increased knowledge and co-ordination of
processes that cross their marketing functions.Ince (2000), suggests that there is a
growing body of work which shows that the Internet is leading companies to develop
co-operative and less profit-centred activities which can be encompassed under the
broad heading of a supply chain network.
The rise of the Internet and the emergence of more co-operative, network-based
approaches to business have two significant implications for the music industry
supply chain. The first implication is that the supply chain will be radically
transformed, with many intermediaries disappearing and the power of the major
record labels diminishing. The second implication is that rather than purchasing
music, consumers may instead choose to share it between them, thus reducing the
sales and profits of record companies and artists. This assertion is supported by study
conducted by Graham et. al., (2002). However, in order to establish whether these
two developments are likely or not, it is necessary to identify specific changes in the
characteristics that determine a supply chain. During the last decade, many
organisations have developed some form of Internet presence (Reibstein, 2002).

Collins (2001) argues that the music industry has become an essential part of the
culture and society of Ghanaians in occasions such as birthday parties, marriage
ceremonies and other celebrations. Creativity, culture, history, and development are
all in themselves enough of an argument for the importance of understanding the
Ghanaian music, yet the music industry offers more than this. As an economic activity
music combines two characteristics that are critical to economic success. First music
is a form of electronic information and is easily transmitted to the world market. Thus
music is an ideal export product that is not constrained by the high transport costs
associated with the export of physical goods. Secondly, the music industry stands to
benefit substantially from the intellectual property rights. In addition to these
characteristics, the music industry is characterised by job creation possibilities and
synergies with other sectors of the Ghanaian economy. Collins (2001) indicates that
the music industry generates over $25 million to the value of the Ghanaian economy,
and a further $53 million through international sales. The ability to record music as
digital information coupled with the advancement of communication and recording
technology has begun to present an alternative challenges to the existing structure of
the music industry.

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The rapid growth of the internet and the related technologies has started to have an
impact on the medium in which music reaches the consumer. Traditionally, music has
reached consumers through the broadcast media or through the physical product such
as an audio cassette or a compact disc. However, the growth of the internet has
opened a new avenue through which music can be promoted and purchased. Internet
based retail allows consumers to order musical products on-line whiles the products
are shipped to the consumer. The other form of internet based retail is by means of
downloading songs onto consumers‟ hard drives. A study by Graham et. al., (2002) is
of the view that this phenomenon enables individuals to download music for free.
These activities affect the overall revenue of music companies, and also increase
music piracy. Although the study was conducted in the United States of America, its
findings can be adapted to the Ghanaian music industry. This is because internet
piracy has the same effect on music works despite cultural differences. Similar
structures prevail in the Ghanaian music industry where revenues are derived from the
sales of recorded music products.

Though internet connectivity and use are on the increase in Africa the number of
internet users is still very low. Jensen (2002) indicates that despite the fact that the
African internet user growth rate ranks third in the world (186.6 per cent); its
penetration is the lowest at 1.4 per cent. Each computer with an internet or e-mail
connection in Africa supports three to five users. The main barriers to internet
connectivity in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa may be attributed to the lack of
technical know-how as well as inadequate telecommunication infrastructure and also
high rate of poverty. In reference to the internet population in Africa, Darley (2003)
estimates that there are a little over 1 million subscribers in Africa. This figure is
however being challenged by Ondari-Okemwa (2004) who is of the view that South
Africa alone has close to 2 million subscribers.

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1.2 Objectives of the research
The objectives of the study will focus on the following;

a. To analyse the impact of online music retail on the marketing strategy of


recording companies in Ghana.

b. To evaluate the various barriers militating against music online marketing


in Ghana.

c. To assess the prospect for the growth of online music marketing in Ghana.

1.3 Organisation of research

The intense nature of the study has made it necessary to group it into five chapters:
Chapter one involves, background of the study, organisation of the study and
significance of the study.

The second chapter deals with the literature Review. This takes a comprehensive
study of the various elements such as concepts and theories that embodies internet
marketing and marketing in general. This chapter also takes a look at the
contemporary review of the subject within the Ghanaian and global music industry as
well as the online connectivity challenges in Ghana and Africa as a whole.

The third chapter is concerned with the research methodology. Here, the researcher
looks at the research and how it was designed, the data collection and the methods
that were applied in the collection as well as the places of collection.

The fourth chapter takes a critical analysis of the tools of internet marketing and its
impact on the activities of global music industry as well as the contemporary music
industry in Ghana. Also, the author takes into account the numerous challenges faced
by online service providers and its future prospects. This is then discussed into details
by identifying the various strengths, weaknesses, opportunities as well as threats.

The fifth chapter of the study crowns it all with a summary of the findings as well as
possible suggestions to find solutions to identified problems. It also takes a critical
look at the influence of information technology on the marketing activities of
organisations.

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1.4 Significance of research

The contemporary music industry in Ghana is widely regarded as an informal sector


of the national economy. Notwithstanding, the music industry contributes $25 million
to the economy of Ghana internally and generates international sales of $53 million
(Collins, 2001).This research aims to bring to the fore how companies in Ghana have
adopted the internet technology to improve their marketing practice and performance.
This research examines the benefits and contribution as well the challenges of
providing internet marketing services in Ghana. The advent introduction of the
internet has transformed the way business is conducted. The internet has become
established as global channel through which both existing and potential customers
could be reached. This study begins with an introduction to the subject matter and
followed by an overview and opportunities of internet marketing on the Ghanaian
contemporary music sector and the benefits to the overall economic development of
Ghana.

However, despite offering huge potentials for organisations, the internet brings with it
potential obstacles such as internet connectivity challenges as well as the overall
internet population of Ghana. The study concludes by discussing some critical factors
that constitute challenges that will ensure success or could lead to failure.
Additionally, it will serve as a reference to any future research work and also to create
interest in this area of study. Finally, it will broaden the horizon and increase
understanding of the influence of the information technology on the overall value
chain of organisations in the music industry as well as and their subsequent impact
and its contribution to the economic development of Ghana.

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CHAPTER TWO

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 The Internet and the transformation of the music supply chain

The rise of the Internet and the emergence of more co-operative, network-based
approaches to business have two significant implications for the music industry
supply chain. The first implication is that the supply chain will be radically
transformed, with many intermediaries disappearing and the power of the major
record labels diminishing. The second implication is that rather than purchasing
music, consumers may instead choose to share it between them, thus reducing the
sales and profits of record companies and artists. In their study of music supply chain
mechanisms, Hardaker and Graham (2001) indicates that the internet has transformed
the entire music supply chain system with regards to purchasing and delivering of the
music product and services. This assertion can be noted in the ability of the internet to
remove cost-adding activities through the distributing of music digitally which
increases the speed and the convenience of doing business. Although the study was
conducted in the advanced music recording companies in the United States of
America, its findings can be adapted to the Ghanaian scenario. Similar structures
prevail in the Ghanaian music industry where substantial revenues are derived from
the sales of recorded music products in the form of CDs.

However a study by Graham et. al. (2004) proposes that the Internet is having a
major impact on how music is distributed. Music can be and increasingly is being
distributed in digital format through the Internet, both legally and illegally. The
Internet is transforming the structure of activities in the music industry both in terms
of virtual structures replacing physical ones, and network structures replacing
sequential ones. It eliminates the need for physical distribution and retail of products
and also allows both consumers and those involved in making and distributing music

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to communicate far more easily. This assertion is collaborated by Porter (2001)
suggesting that the Internet eliminates powerful channels and shifts bargaining power
to consumers. The traditional product in the music value chain is a package of pre-
recorded music captured on a physical product such as an audio cassette or a compact
disc. This format has been transformed by the advent of the internet which enables the
music product to be distributed in a digital format through the internet.

2.2 The Internet’s impact upon global marketing strategies


The global nature of the Internet, combined with the nature of the communication
technology makes it a perfect vehicle for international marketing and has become an
integral part of the marketing mix. This means that organisations are able to gain
access to foreign markets via the internet(Eid,2005).This development in information
technology provides a new media environment, which delivers on virtually all aspects
of an organisation‟s global marketing strategies. This view was proposed in an earlier
study by Pallab (1996) which suggest that the internet facilitates the ease by which
organisations can conduct global marketing campaigns, with particular relevance to
smaller organisations that previously have been unable to compete on a global scale.

With the growth in its user base and its inability to be constrained by either time or
location, the Internet has the potential for mass communication and advertising with
negligible variable cost per customer. Such characteristics will enable the Internet to
replace traditional mass media. The marketing potential of the Internet has been
realised by organisations over the past few years, with its popularity as a medium to
target consumers increasing and many academics predict it will increase in the future.
This view was supported in an earlier submission by Potter (1994) indicating that
marketing online is more effective than marketing through traditional media channels,
with one vendor estimating that his marketing efforts on the Web resulted in ten times
as many units sold, with one tenth of the advertising budget. Organisations perceive
the Internet as a major communication tool in promoting corporations, their products
and services as well as a means of building brand awareness. The Internet offers
organisations the opportunity to utilise new channels of distribution and reshaping
consumer-shopping habits. The Internet‟s relatively low entry barriers, including the
irrelevance of company size, enhance its attractiveness as a distribution channel.
However, there is a contrary opinion by Porter (2001) proposing that strategies that

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integrate both the internet and the traditional competitive advantages and ways of
competing should win in many industries.

An earlier study conducted by Palumbo and Herbig (1998) advocate that trust is a
critical factor in stimulating purchases over the Internet, especially at this early stage
of commercial development. As a result, global brand development for online activity
is seen as essential on the Internet. It has been argued that the Internet‟s ability to
connect end users with producers directly will eventually eliminate wholesalers and
distributors, and reconfigure the supply chain of many consumer goods and service.
The rapid adoption of the Internet as a commercial medium has resulted in more
innovative ways of marketing to consumers in computer mediated environments. The
Internet has facilitated the ability of firms to reach target audiences more efficiently;
displacing undifferentiated mass marketing techniques for more customised practices.

A web computer news service is able to change advertisements on its site dependent
on the registered users reported purchase behaviour. The ability of such actions is
facilitated by the emergence of Web communities consisting of similar people with
like interests, and the increasing sophistication of technological developments. In the
study of Melewar and Smith (2003), it was proposed that the Internet simultaneously
facilitates the ability of an organisation to customise its interaction between its
customers on a previously unprecedented level. Using demographic data and the
history of previous interactions, organisations can obtain more accurate consumer
profiles, which are then used to create tailored experiences for visitors. A web site is
able to discover the musical and film preferences‟ of its visitors and then uses this
information to recommend CDs and movies to its customers and email details of
forthcoming releases and promotions that would be of interest to particular customers.
With the increased sophistication of server software global marketing strategies have
the ability to encompass tailored marketing for every visitor.

Contrary to local adaptation practices, the Internet fosters the global mass market
concept, thus, supporting the proposition that the Internet will lead to an increased
standardisation of products. Peterson et al. (1997) advocates that the global mass
market concept will thrive due to the increased levels of communication derived from
the Internet. In this regard consumers desire to share the latest trends around the world

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will only increase due to the Internet‟s revolution in worldwide communications. The
nature of the Internet promotes a globally standardised approach to advertising and
promotion, which enable firms to realise cost economies and establishes cohesive
product positioning world-wide. In support of this view, a recent study conducted by
Boudreau and Watson (2006) suggest that a firm‟s website is automatically visible to
all customers with web access no matter where they are located.

With regards to organisations improving their relationships with their customers,


Hoffman et al. (2000) proposes that the Internet opens up a new communications
channel with customers, allowing companies to develop or cement relationships with
them. Web sites can incorporate customer service facilities into their activities,
providing customers world-wide with a focal point for their queries, thus increasing
customer interaction The Internet allows organisations to offer supplementary
information about their products to the customers, thus adding value to the services
provided. In this way the internet enables organisations to pay greater attention to
customer service and is radically changing the way in which organisations do
business.

Activities such as frequently asked questions and email contact with organisations can
improve an organisation‟s customer service facility. The internet is also an efficient
means of conducting market research world-wide. Burke (1996) has demonstrated the
potential of the Internet in facilitating new product development through its ability to
conduct exceptional levels of research. This creates an interactive nature of the
Internet which permits businesses to collect data about customer preferences, attitudes
and behaviours. Previously, focus group interviews and questionnaires need to be
conducted to obtain such information.

With the establishment of intranets within organisations, employees can communicate


freely and co-ordinate strategies, learn, share and solve problems internationally. Such
facilities enable organisations to understand their global customers‟ needs better and
facilitate an organisation‟s ability to meet these various consumers‟ needs. There are
numerous reports that the online automation of routine customer service functions has
generated significant cost savings. The influence of the Internet on organisations‟
global marketing strategies is principally seen in respect to price. The freedom of

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information inherent in the Internet has resulted in numerous price reductions. In this
vein, the study of Peterson et al. (1997) suggests that price competition is more
apparent where products and services are hard to differentiate. This is due to the
relative efficiency of price searching and the irrelevance online of other factors of
competition such as location.

A study by Richardson (2001) reveals that national boundaries played an important


role in the marketing strategies of many global firms. Previously firms exploited the
differences in consumers‟ price sensitivities across national borders by charging
different prices for the same product in different national markets. The Internet has
therefore created a greater degree of price transparency in global markets. The rapid
flow of information on the Internet enables both consumers and competitors to
research and compare the prices of goods and services easily and at a low cost. In
conjunction with the emergence of third party search agents, which collect
information on prices for consumers, the global pricing strategies of firms are
increasingly consistent and are displaying a reduction in discriminatory price policies.

2.3 Internet marketing strategies


The advent of the internet has transformed and added new opportunities to the
marketing communication process. New strategies for internet marketing have been
predicted to include new ways of targeting, focusing on benefits; product strategy
emphasising authenticity and promotion based on well-managed websites. Since the
internet is a global medium, companies using it are always potentially addressing
international audiences which might lead to increased international competition. In
order that marketing communications efforts reach their full potential they need to be
integrated into a co-ordinated framework. This assertion was collaborated in a study
conducted by Gummesson (1999) which states that the traditional transactional
marketing needs to be replaced or complemented with new frameworks that focus on
the value of relations and interaction. Internet communication activities need to be
integrated in the overall marketing communications mix to achieve the desired results.
They need also to be co-ordinated with the operations of the company. In e-business,
the very distinctions between marketing communications and business operations also
become more diffuse especially at a strategic level. Gronroos (2000) argues that due

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to the relational nature of services, relations are particularly important for service
companies.

In the building and management of relations, the interactivity of the internet makes it
a particularly useful tool. Several stages of e-marketing can be defined ranging from
the contact stage focusing only on promotion and information to the relate stage when
a two way relationship is established and the internet is integrated into business
operations. A fruitful relation can be created when customers choose a company as
their primary choice on a long term basis, which many customers tend to do if they
feel that the communication and delivery is satisfactory.Zeithaml (2002) argues that in
order to relate to customers via the web, companies need to shift their focus from web
presence and low price to delivering electronic service quality. In this regard, record
companies distribute music in digital format through the internet including services
such as music downloads and peer-to-peer music sharing to forge long term
relationships with customers. Supplementary services, which are more relational, have
a stronger bearing on customer satisfaction than the core services .In using the new
technology, companies‟ needs to continuously create new supplementary value for the
customers in order to build active relations. By using e-bulletins, newsletters
delivered via e-mail, companies can keep the audience informed about new features
on their website.

2.4 The Changing Role of Marketing


The continued growth of electronic commerce as the single biggest opportunity and
threat facing almost every industry is changing the relationship between producers
and consumers as well as how business is to be conducted. Porter (2001) suggested
that companies have no choice but to deploy Internet technology if they want to
remain competitive. The internet technology has affected the internal workings of
firms, in particular the marketing function and the overall business strategies. The
effect of internet marketing is forcing many managers to rethink and reshape their
business strategies. Baker et. al (1998) emphasise that technology is changing the
emphasis of marketing, enabling more interaction than ever before and the building of
relationships. The interactivity of the Internet makes it qualitatively different from the
outwardly directed advertising messages of classic brand management that assume
consumers to be passive recipients of value. Allen and Fjermestad (2001) states that

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the Internet has major implications for the whole marketing mix, having an effect on
advertising, research, sales, promotions, coupon distribution and customer support
.However, empirical evidence on actual practice is scarce. One study suggests that so
far most firms are using the Internet simply for information provision rather than for
any more sophisticated customer interaction (Arnott and Bridgewater, 2002).

With regards to consumers‟ attitudes for shopping online, a study by Monsuwe et. al
(2004) suggests that consumers‟ decisions whether or not to shop online are also
influenced by the type of product or service under consideration. Although this study
was carried out largely in the US and Europe, its findings can be adapted as a
framework to review literature. The lack of physical contact and assistance in
shopping on the Internet is one factor that influences this suitability. Another factor is
the need to feel, touch, smell, or tries the product, which is not possible when
shopping online.

Standardized and familiar products such as books, videotapes, CDs, groceries, and
flowers, have a higher potential to be considered when shopping on the Internet,
especially since quality uncertainty in such products is virtually absent, and no
physical assistance or pre-trial is needed. On the other hand, Elliot and Fowell (2000)
states that personal-care products like perfume and lotion, or products that require
personal knowledge or experience like computers and cars, are less likely to be
considered while shopping online. However, in case of standardized and familiar
goods, or certain sensitivity products that require a level of privacy and anonymity,
consumers‟ intention to shop on the Internet is high (Grewal et. al., 2002).

During the last decade, many record companies have integrated the internet into their
marketing functions. In support of this, Graham et. al.(2004) suggest that the internet
is having a major impact on how music is distributed as well as changing the way
record companies carry out their business activities. The established tools of
promotion, such as advertising, sales promotion and direct marketing have been
augmented by the introduction of the internet technology. There has been
considerable research into how advertising accomplished by using the internet. A
study by Meadows-Klue (2002) advocates that although the internet is a young
medium to for undertaking advertising, it has already reached maturity and is being
recognised as a branding medium.

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Sales promotional activities such as buy-one-get-one free may be difficult to replicate
in the virtual environment, however, recording companies offer the possibility to
download music products at a discount price. The new generation of iPod and other
models protects the rights of music companies and owners whiles allowing a
relatively cheap payment system that still allows users an affordable option for
accessing music over the internet (Herther, 2005).However, there are other forms of
technological activities aided by the internet such as peer-to peer (P2P) networks
which have adverse effects on the entertainment industry. This network enables the
downloading of music off the internet and transferring onto a CD without
compensating the artiste who created the music or the firm that created, packaged,
promoted and distributed the music materials. A survey by Harley (2002a) estimates
that about a third of burned CDs contain songs downloaded off the internet of which
99 percent are retrieved from an illegal internet sites and unauthorised file sharing
services. Although this research was conducted in the US college environment, its
findings are relevant to this research. With the background that internet usage is
dominated by college and university students worldwide (Alemna and Adamu, 2005).

2.5 Internet Connectivity Challenges in Sub –Sahara Africa


One of the fundamental factors that influence the availability of Internet access within
a country is the telecommunications infrastructure upon which it must operate. While
developed regions may enjoy a full range of access technologies such as fixed line,
cellular and satellite, developing countries may experience a more restricted range of
options, which in many cases will be far more sparsely deployed.Ngini et. al., (2002)
suggest that for a continent of about 765,642,000 people, there are only about
16,671,250 telephone lines and 3,642,392 mobile phones. With a very low teledensity
of 2.48, and total Internet users of between 1.5 and 2 million, the overall Internet
penetration and access level in Africa is extremely low.

A report by African Internet Connectivity (2002) indicates that due to the relatively
small number of people who can afford a phone line, let alone a computer, Internet
public access services are more widespread in the urban compared to rural areas in
Africa. However the future of internet connectivity in Africa appears to be
increasing.Sairosse and Mutula (2003) argues that cybercafés have grown consistently
in Africa during 2001 and offers the most important and popular options for access to

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the Internet for majority of users, since individuals and some organizations cannot
afford dedicated access and have to use shared access.

In general, cybercafés are the most important and popular options for access to the
Internet for majority of users, since individuals and some organizations cannot afford
dedicated access and have to use shared access. Sairosse and Mutula (2003) suggest
that in Ghana there are over 150 cybercafés with 90 per cent of these cafés found in
the national capital Accra. The internet population in Ghana are very few which does
not encourage internal online transactions; hence most of the online transactions are
geared toward the international market of mainly US and Europe destinations.

The internet has become a very important source of information and also offers an
array of capabilities for communicating and retrieving information. These
characteristics of the internet have propelled it to become a useful tool for academic
purposes. The ability of the internet to make available wide range of information such
as up-to-date research reports, and also making it possible for scholars at different
locations on the globe to interact and exchange views, opinions and ideas on various
fields of study makes it an integral component of improving education.

A study conducted by Adika (2003) on the internet usage by Ghana‟s three older
universities reveals that despite the benefits of the internet, its use among faculty
members is still very low. The reasons assigned to these results are that there is a lack
of access to the internet and also the need for training. In another development,
findings from a study by (Alemna and Adamu, 2005) conducted on the campus of
Ghana‟s premier university suggest that none of the users of the internet had
something to do with academic activities such as submitting assignments or
discussing academic problems with professors. This aspect of internet usage will have
to be enhanced through training to achieve the maximum benefits.

There are a number of factors that hinder the growth of the internet usage in the sub-
Sahara African region. These include inadequate computers with internet facilities,
slow internet connection, lack of skills and frequent power cuts. These factors have
been corroborated by studies conducted by researchers such as Ngini et al (2002) who

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conducted similar studies on the internet usage in the African continent. The slowness
of internet access has been attributed to the low bandwidth. Furthermore, high
illiteracy rates in addition to the level of poverty equally contribute to the low usage
of the internet technology in the African continent.

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CHAPTER THREE

3.0 METHODOLOGY
3.1Introduction
Woodside and Wilson (2003), describes case study research as inquiry focusing on
describing, understanding, predicting, and/or controlling the individual. Parkhe (1993)
suggests that there are two major approaches to theory development, deductive theory
testing and inductive theory building. The difference between the two approaches can
be viewed in terms of scientific paradigms, with the deductive approach representing
the positivist paradigm and the inductive approach representing the phenomological
paradigm (Easterby-Smith et al., 1991). More precisely, the phenomological paradigm
can be divided into three: critical theory, constructivism and realism (Guba and
Lincoln, 1994). Boing (1994) advocates that realism is the preferred paradigm for
case study research for several reasons. First, case study research areas are usually
contemporary and pre-paradigmatic, such as inter-organizational relationships and
relationship marketing.

Hunt (1991) states that, the research areas usually require inductive theory building
for deduction from already existing principles of a paradigm is likely to be difficult
where accepted principles and constructs have not been established or are clearly
inadequate. Second, realism does not suffer from the limitations of relativism. In
other words, case study research efforts usually involve the collection of perceptions
of unobservable external world phenomena such as perceptions that are unobservable
(Hunt, 1991), for example, views about non-economic and non-technological
motivations in relationship marketing. As has been noted in the marketing literature,
positivism requires that only observable phenomena can and should be researched, so
realism rather than positivism is a more appropriate epistemological guide for case
study research.

This work is based on a study which examined the impact of internet marketing on the
overall service delivery system of the recording industry of Ghana as well as to

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identify the various barriers to internet connectivity. The researcher has worked for
over ten years in the recording industry and therefore have vested interest in the area
of research. A case study research strategy was adopted, since it can shed more light
on a dynamic and fast moving situation. The case study strategy has considerable
ability to generate answers to the question „why?‟ as well as the „what?‟ and „how?‟
questions (Saunders et. al., 2003). The researcher choose to use the inductive
approach which focuses on the context in which such events were taking place, and
also held a strong interpretivism research philosophy. Therefore the study of a small
sample of subjects might be more appropriate than a large number as with the
deductive approach (Saunders et. al., 2003).The study of Lynch (1994) identified that
case interviews help confirm the shape and spread of key issues and assist in more
precise hypothesis formulation. The wealth of information provided however must be
balanced against the reduced number of people and cases studied. Clearly this
increases understanding of cases but reduces the generalisability (Patton, 1990).

3.2 Secondary data


This study used secondary data, collected from newspapers, trade journals for
example; Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), The Musicians Union
of Ghana (MUSIGA), and Emerald journals, Internet sources such as Google search.
These sources of information played a substantial role in the exploratory phase of the
research when the task at hand was to define the research objectives and also generate
the research hypotheses. Secondary data can be used to assess the generalisability of
findings (Saunders et. al., 2003). The assembly and analyses of secondary data almost
invariably improved the researchers understanding of the research problem at hand
and the various lines of inquiry that should be followed and the alternative courses of
action that might be pursued.

3.2.1 Reliability and validity


To increase validity and reliability of the research, a careful selection of secondary
data were sourced. These include: Emerald journals, published reports from the
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and The Musician Union of
Ghana (MUSIGA). Sales figures for both international and internal markets were
sourced from Prof. John Collins who has written extensively on Ghanaian music
industry. The reliability and validity of secondary data may vary over time as well as

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functions of the method by which the data were collected and the source. The validity
and reliability of collection methods for secondary data will be easier to assess where
a clear explanation of the methodology used to collect the data (Saunders et. al.,
2003).The researcher paid careful attention to the sources of information used to
ensure their validity and reliability to the research work.

3.3 Primary data collection


The main objectives in conducting the research was to provide an understanding of
the impact that the Internet was having on the marketing strategies of music retailing
as well as the barriers being encountered. To establish a future perspective for the
music industry online retail model, as seen from the point of view of the record
companies in the industry, research in the form of questionnaires was undertaken. The
questionnaire method was deemed by the researcher to be the most appropriate way to
achieve this objective most effectively, as it facilitated the collection of detailed,
holistic information and knowledge in an exploratory style. Questionnaires work best
with standardised questions that can be interpreted the same way by all respondents
(Robson, 2002).

To meet the objectives of the research, self-administered questionnaires were


developed to obtain information from targeted respondents. These questionnaires
were despatched via postal method. This method was preferred by the researcher
because it was convenient considering the distance between the respondents and the
researcher. The researcher made available a representative who has been briefed about
the subject matter to co-ordinate and collect filled questionnaires for onward posting
to the researcher. This method was preferred by the researcher despite warnings that
postal questionnaires can be ignored, or completed by the wrong person (Saunders et
al., 2003).

The use of questionnaires to any great effect necessitates an understanding of the


study in which the population being examined carries out .This has been gained by the
author‟s association with the music industry of Ghana which spans over seven years.
The use of questionnaire as an aid to explanatory research affects the testing of
theories (Saunders et al 2003).

19
3.3.1 Questionnaire design
For the purpose of data collection, both closed-ended questions as well as open-ended
questions were developed to allow ease of understanding for the respondents.
Saunders et al (2003) reveals in a study that closed-ended questions are usually
quicker and easier to answer, as they require minimal writing. Responses to closed-
ended questions are also easier to compare as they are predetermined. Open-ended
questions were also used to find out what is uppermost in the respondent‟s mind.
Appendix 1 holds the questionnaire that was despatched to the organisations.
Respondents were asked to select and tick their answer from a prescribed list of
questions which were adapted based on the review of literature and also from having
conversation with reputable individuals in the recording industry in Ghana. Questions
one and two were used to determine the attributes of the organisation as well as
respondents position in the organisation to ensure that questions were being answered
by the both prescribed individuals as well as organisations.

In order to collect opinion data from the respondents, the researcher used the Likert –
style rating scale. This gives the researcher an idea of how strongly a participant feels
about something and also gives more detail than a yes and no answer as well as
enabling the statistical analysis (Saunders et al., 2003).Ranking questions were also
asked by the researcher for respondents to place their responses in order of
importance. This enabled the researcher to discover the relative importance
respondents attached to an item. Category questions were also incorporated in the
questionnaire so that each respondents answer can fit only one category. Saunders et
al., (2003) suggest that these types of questions are particularly useful if there is a
need to collect data about behaviour or attributes.

Each organisation and respondents were assured of confidentiality. This was


important as it was identified from an early stage that confidentiality was a major
stumbling block to gathering information about the way organisations carry out their
marketing functions. This fact was established after interviews with marketing
managers were investigated and found to be non-productive. This was despite the fact
that interviews often give a more open response as parties can talk about their

20
concerns (Saunders et al., 2003).A postal questionnaire method, as previously
identified was preferred as the most productive way of securing responses in a
confidential considering the distance between the researcher and the respondents as
well as the financial resources required to carry out a one- to- one personal interviews.

3.3.2 Validity
To ensure the validity of data collected, the design of questions and the structure of
the questionnaire were well thought out. The researcher ensured also that the order
and flow of questions in the questionnaire were logical to the respondents. Also, the
researcher ensured that the questionnaire was carefully introduced to the respondents
to ensure a high response rate. By examining the questions by which data were
collected, a further indication will be gained of the validity (Saunders et al., 2003).

3.3.3 Reliability
Reliability of data is very crucial in this study. The researcher compared data received
from the study to existing theories and results in order to lessen the threat to
reliability. In order to increase reliability, Saunders et al., (2003) suggest that where
data from two or more independent sources suggest similar conclusions there is
confidence that the data on which they are based are not distorted.

3.3.4 Generalisability
Although it was case study, broad inclusion of data sources was applied to enhance
generalisability of this study. However, the researcher does not claim that the results
of this study can be generalised in every situation outside this study. Bickman et al.
(1998), emphasise that there is no question of trying to determine causal links or to
generalize research findings.

3.4 Administration of research instruments


The research instrument used for this case study was self administered questionnaire
designed to elicit responses. This method was preferred by the researcher for the
purpose that respondents to self-administered questionnaires are relatively unlikely to
answer to please you or because they believe certain responses are more socially
desirable (Dillman, 2000).The questionnaires were sent via email to the researchers‟
representative, who printed them out and distributed to the selected organisations. The

21
questionnaires were administered to the stakeholders in the music industry who offer
online marketing services. The instrument included a series of open questions to
obtain responses required to answer the research objectives.

The online music marketing in Ghana is dominated by 15 recording companies. One


respondent each was selected for the purpose of information gathering. This was done
to increase the level of certainty and minimise the margin of error thereby increasing
the accuracy required to make estimates. The Economist‟s (1997) advice of a
minimum number of 30 for statistical analyses provides useful rule of thumb.
However, this information seems to be based on assumptions which cannot be
generalised. Saunders et. al., (2003) expressed alternate views that where the
population in the category is less than 30, data should be collected from all cases in
that category. The distribution of the questionnaire was designed to go to 15
individuals in the managerial positions from 15 online music marketing organisations
in Ghana. The choice of organisations picked was determined by their role as music
producers as well as online marketers. It was felt that the choice of organisations
would give a wide range of opinions about how online marketing was being practiced
as well as the benefits and the problems that goes with it. The respondents were
cordial and open in all instances, seemed truly interested in the research and the
research questions.

3.5 Method for data analysis


Concerns about the level of returns for the questionnaire proved to be correct. From
the 15 questionnaires despatched, 10 were returned, which represented 75% of the
response collected. The high response rate can be attributed to the interest of the
participants and also the follow up by the researchers‟ representative. Data collected
were assigned numerical value to aid in the data analysis. This provided opportunity
for the researcher to compare data by means of a bar chart to assess the effect of
internet marketing on the organisation‟s marketing function. With this method,
multiple numerical dimensions are represented in varying lengths to distinguish
changes in figures. It also enabled the researcher to engage in multiple comparisons of
data.

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CHAPTER FOUR
4.0 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS

4.1Introduction
In the interpretation of results, both qualitative and quantitative analysis was used to
assess data received. Saunders et. al., (2003) proposed that quantitative analysis helps
in the answering of research objectives by assisting in the quantifying of numerical
data. Quantitative data involves those questions which were placed in ranked order
and also those questions in the category order. Although these are descriptive data as
it is impossible to measure the category numerically or to rank it .In support of this
assumption, Morris (1999), proposed that although these data are purely descriptive, it
could be counted to establish which category has the most and whether cases are
spread evenly between categories.

Qualitatitive analysis was used to assess questions 12 and 14, in order to comprehend
the meaning of text. This method was preferred because it helps to classify non-
standardised responses into categories before they can be meaningfully analysed.
Robson (2002) suggest that such concepts of qualitative data are characterised by their
richness and fullness based on the opportunity to explore a subject in as real a manner
as is possible.

In order conduct a meaningful analysis, answers both to open-ended questions closed


ended questions were classified into different groups to aid in the analyses of data.
The data was transferred according to their categorisation representing the research
objectives into an excel spread sheet. This procedure was used in order to evaluate the
questionnaires to establish tendencies and sort the data in order to assess various data
tabulations. These evaluations results were presented in simple tables and graphs
within their sections.

Additionally, the same pattern for analysis was applied to the opinion (category-,
ranking questions), open-ended as well as closed questions. The tables were made up

23
of mainly three columns; stating the answer to the question, the quantitative
assessment as well as the calculated percentage. This format was only changed where
conditional questions were asked or when change was required for convenience. The
answers to the open-ended questions are not ranked in order of preference but relate to
the number of responses to each factor.

4.2 Results
The researcher sent out 15 self-administered questionnaires to online music marketing
companies in Ghana. The online sector is dominated by these 15 companies. Ten
usable questionnaires were received by the researcher representing 75 per cent of data
collected. The results by questions are detailed below and given the following results:

1. Do you offer online marketing services? Yes or No. A response rate of 100%
of returns answered yes to this question (see table 1). This response was
important as it identified that the selected companies are engaged in online
music marketing.
2. What type of company are you? This question measured the attributes of the
various companies. The response yielded a 50% describing their organisation
as music distributors. A further 30% responded as being online marketers,
with 10% each describing their companies music producers and one stop
shopping centre respectively(see table 2).This response enabled the researcher
to classify the various companies into specific groups to aid in the data
analysis.
3. What is your position in the organisation? This researcher used this question to
ensure that the required individuals respond to the questionnaire. Responses
received indicated that 60% were marketing managers, whiles 20% each
represented Human resource manager and Chief executive officer
respectively(see table 3). There was no response for the position of financial
manager. This will ensure that responses are provided by designated
respondants.This also provided the researcher with opinions of the various
managerial positions.
4. What type of music do you market? This question received 73 responses from
the respondents. See table 4 for the responses to this question. This question

24
was used by the researcher to assess the range of products being marketed by
the various companies.
5. How do you use online marketing in your marketing –mix? This question was
used to measure the attributes of the various companies in their approach to
the marketing –mix considerations. There were various degrees of opinions of
how companies incorporate the marketing function. The responses are
represented in table 5.
6. Who are your target markets? Ninety per cent of the companies choose Europe
as their most important choice. Ten per cent of the respondents choose North
America as their most important choice (see table 6).
7. Why do you target these markets? This question received a total of 70
responses from the respondents. There was 100% response rate in favour of
profitability as an important motive for the choice of a target market. The
overall results are illustrated in table 7.
8. What is the age limit of your target audience? The age category of between 25
and 35 received a 100% response as the most frequent users. Please refer to
table 8 for the overall representation of the results.
9. What percentage of sales does online market contribute to the overall sales
revenue? This question received a total of 10 responses.Fourty per cent of the
companies responded that online marketing contributes between 30-39 per
cent of their overall sales revenue. Three online marketing companies
responded that online marketing contributes between 60-100 per cent of their
overall sales income. Two companies responded that online marketing
contributes between 10-19 per cent of its sales revenue whiles one respondent
said it contributes between 20-29 percent of total sales (see table9).
10. Have your sales increased over the last year? This question received a 100%
yes response. There was an indication that all the participating companies have
had an increased in their sales revenue over the last year.
11. By how many percent? There was a 30% response rate each in respect of
between the categories of 20-29 and 30-39 per cent respectively. There was a
further 20% response for the category of between 10-19 per cent, whiles two
companies responded as having 40-49 per cent and 50-59 per cent increase in
sales respectively (see table 11).

25
12. What factors may have/not have influence these increase or otherwise in
sales? This question received various responses (see table 12).This question
received various responses. The six respondents out of ten cited excellent
services as the main influence for their increase in sales.
13. What are challenges you encounter in offering online marketing services? The
category of both slowness of system and frequent power cuts received a 100%
responses as key challenges to online marketing in Ghana. The overall results
are shown in table 12.
14. What are the future prospects of music online marketing in Ghana? A 100%
responded that the future of music online marketing is good.
15. Please give reason(s) in response of question 13 in your own words (see table
15).

4.3 Analysis
This part of the work discusses the author‟s findings of primary data (self-
administered questionnaires) against the literature that was reviewed in Chapter Two.
With regards to conducting a successful analysis, Saunders et al (2003) suggest that
analysis without a designed framework is difficult for an inexperience researcher and
might not result in a successful analysis of data. In pursuance of this, the author
designed a framework which emerged from the answers to the questionnaire. In order
to meet the research objectives, the analysis will be discussed along the following
headings.

4.3.1Online music marketing and marketing mix considerations


The research results suggest that record companies in the Ghana use the internet as a
tool for advertising (see table 5). Existing literature maintains by Boudreau and
Watson (2006) maintains that the global nature of the internet has an influence on
advertising strategy. Participants in the research responded 100% with regards to the
use of online marketing as an advertising medium. In support of this view, Schlosser
et al., (1999) advocates that internet advertising has become a useful strategy being
used by major marketers.

The issue of direct marketing received produced mixed results as to its importance in
the marketing functions of the organisations which participated in the research. Forty

26
per cent viewed it as very important whiles 60% said it has some importance (see
table 5).The research results highlighted a contrary view to the use of direct marketing
by the participating companies since online marketing is viewed as a component of
direct marketing. A study conducted by Harridge-March (2004) suggests that since
the ultimate role of direct marketing is to gain a response, the internet has the
advantage of soliciting such responses in real time. This assumption places the
internet as a tool which enables providers to interact with potential and actual
consumers as well as enabling intra-customer communications.

Results showed that 40% of respondents regarded sales promotion as very important
whiles 60% said it has some importance in the marketing –mix considerations (see
table 5).This findings is consistent with that of Gordard (2003) who found that price
incentives are offered to promote web purchases in an attempt to convert customers to
internet shopping.

Ninety per cent of respondents perceived online marketing as a distribution channel


whereas 10% said it has some importance their marketing function. This result
confirms earlier study by Harridge-March (2004) which state that the ability of the
internet to establish contact and serve customers has been hailed as a cost-reducing
way of distributing goods and services direct from the provider to the consumer.

Figures from the research showed that 40% regarded personal selling as having some
importance whereas 60% viewed it as a very important aspect of the marketing
function. The internet is regarded as lacking the personal interface being offered in the
traditional marketing practice. A study by Harris et al (2000) emphasis that for many
consumers, the social interchange involved in some marketing channels adds to the
enjoyment of undertaking a transaction. Nonetheless, the lack of human face of the
internet can be minimised by the introduction of chat rooms and forums in answering
consumers‟ questions in real time.

On the issue of publicity, 70% of respondents said it is a very important element of


the marketing mix whiles 30% said it has some importance. The role of web pages in
imparting information to the target is both economical effective provided that people
are persuaded to visit the site and assimilate the information.

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4.3.2Who are your target market and why
Results of this study shows that majority of the music online providers have bulk of
their market in Europe and the North America. Ninety per cent of respondents rated
Europe as their first choice of market destination, whereas North America was rated
second in that order. This results was consistent with the study results of Collins
(2001), who stated that majority of international sales is generated from the over three
million Ghanaians living in Europe. This brings factors such as cultural connectivity
and high Ghanaian population.

On the issue of cultural connectivity, 80% of respondents said it is a very important


factor in deciding which market to target. This appears to be consistent with the
results tabulation of both cultural connectivity and the choice of market destination.
Respondents who rated cultural connectivity as very important also rated high
Ghanaian population as a very important determinant in choosing their target market.
It appears that there was the relationship between perceived high consumption and
market potential. Results show that respondents rated both factors by the margin of
80% respectively.

The results of the study showed that the motive for profitability received a 100%
response rate. This finding demonstrated that organisations view as a very important
component of running an enterprise. It emerged from the study results that service
quality and fast internet connectivity shared common responses from the participating
organisations. They both received an 80% response as very important reason for
choosing a target market. Previous studies by Van Riel et al (2001) reveal that there is
significant correlation information downloading speed and the web user‟s satisfaction.

It emerged from the studies that the age categories of 25-35 were the respondents‟
most frequent users. This outcome may suggest that young people have the propensity
for the internet, presumably because of the awareness they acquire while in school
and colleges. This finding is consistent with earlier studies conducted in Botswana an
African country by Sairosse and Mutula (2003).This result could also suggest that this

28
majority of users in the age bracket have necessary skills and awareness about the
internet and can afford to pay for the service.

4.3.3What percentage of sales does online marketing contributes


The study results suggest that wholly music online marketing companies in Ghana
generates 100% of their overall sales revenue through online marketing. However,
forty per cent of respondents said it contributes between 30-39% of their overall sales
revenue. This finding tends to be inconsistent with general observed view of
Matthews (2001b) suggesting that online music contributes 25% of total revenue of
the music market. This study was carried out mainly in the United States of America
and therefore cannot be generalised to all situations and also since organisations
partaking in the research were of different dimensions.

The study further reveals that all the organisations under research have experienced
increased sales over the last year. The three online music marketers said they have an
increase of between 20-29%in their sales over the last year. This figure was however
consistent with Matthews (2001b) research findings. There was an increase in sales of
between 50-59%, and 40-49% by a respondent each. This study revealed that the three
participating online companies do not offer offline marketing services.

Majority of respondents (60%) said that excellent of services contributed to the


increase in sales. This aspect could be attributed to the fact that most respondents
cited having wide range of products as well as having efficient supply chain.

4.3.4What are the challenges you encounter in offering this service


The study results revealed that 100% of respondents said that slowness of system and
frequent power cuts were their key challenge to providing excellent service to their
customers. Perhaps this finding confirms earlier study by Alemna and Adanu (2005)
suggesting that cited the slowness of the system and the frequent power cuts as major
problems hindering the rapid growth of the industry. Their study was conducted in the
Ghanaian environment and as such findings could be adapted to this study. The result
generally confirms the common problems that affect the internet accessibility in
Africa.

29
The study further reveals that perceived lack of expertise remains largely as an
uncertain challenge to the running of online marketing in Ghana. Results suggest that
80% of respondents say that there is adequate expertise and human resource with the
required skills and knowledge in the online marketing industry. This result is
generally not consistent with the widely held perception that Africa lacks adequate
expertise in this area of operation.

The results show that low profitability and low patronage were regarded as uncertain
being challenges to offering online services in Ghana with a 60% response
respectively. However, there was 10% response that said it was a key challenge,
whiles 20% said they disagree of it being a challenge. This suggests that there is a
correlation between online organisations targeting markets with high Ghanaian
population in association with cultural connectivity to satisfy their customers and also
to make profit.

Study results suggest that 70% of online organisations under review said that they are
uncertain of the challenge with regards to new competition. This could be attributed to
the fact that there are only few organisations offering these services. There is also the
possibility of high barriers to entry resulting in few companies dominating and
serving these markets.

4.3.5What is the future prospects of online marketing


The results received show that all ten responses say the prospect is generally good.
This can be taken into consideration of other factors that were analysed earlier. The
characteristics of businesses are satisfying customers at a profit. Earlier results
suggest that 100% of online companies participating in the research had profitability
as a motive, and also posted profits in their business transactions. The results revealed
that despite the challenges of slowness of system and the frequent power cuts, these
organisations were able to make enough profits to keep them in business.

There were various reasons with regards to the future prospects of online marketing.
These reasons are expressly spelt out in table 15. In all cases, the vast majority of
respondents are positive, which suggest that online music marketing is perceived as a
valuable marketing tool irrespective of the technological challenges. It also appears

30
that, irrespective of the available connectivity infrastructure, there is almost
agreement among the respondents that the internet has improved their marketing
operations. Seven respondents representing 70% of the total received responses
indicated that online marketing offers convenience to their customers. In a related
development, 60% also suggest that online music marketing provides convenience to
their clients‟ needs. A further 40% indicated that Ghanaians living abroad have the
tendency of being internet literate. Additionally, 50% of respondents said there is trust
between clients and online providers.

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CHAPTER FIVE

5.0 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1Conclusions
The global market that is emerging is a digital market and the digital revolution that is
occurring in the global music industry has far-reaching implications for the Ghanaian
music industry. This study has sought to examine how online marketing is
transforming the Ghanaian music industry. It is gratifying to note that companies in
Ghana are able to reach their target market through the means of internet technology.

The study brought to the fore, how online music marketers are able to strategise their
marketing functions through the means of the internet technology. Perhaps the most
significant aspect is the way internet technology is incorporated into the marketing –
mix considerations of the participating organisations. It is gratifying to note that most
organisations use online marketing as a marketing strategy to reach the international
market, and as such regard it as means to distribute their products. The use of
advertising featured prominently as the most elements in the marketing –mix.

It is clear that majority of organisations within the music industry have some type of
internet access which means that the immediate barrier of lack of access to the
internet is disappearing. However, it is apparent that other factors prohibiting internet
use appear to exist in the immediate Ghanaian environment and the African continent
as a whole. This notwithstanding, it appears that attitude towards internet use in the
region is gradually improving.

By incorporating the internet into their daily operations, as well as having a well
thought out strategy, organisations can access larger audiences. It also provides

32
opportunity for these organisations to increase awareness without incurring additional
costs.

As far as potential benefits are concerned, it is evident that all organisations under
research recorded profits in their transactions over the year. This shows that the
benefits outweigh the costs incurred in running it. Evidence from the data received
shows that organisations under review experienced sales increase over the period
under consideration.

This study found out those organisations, regardless of level of internet use feel the
internet is a cost effective way to market their products and promote awareness.
Indeed majority of organisations perceive the internet as both a marketing and
communication tool offering low cost expenditure and high financial benefits.

Significantly, the study revealed that despite the internet having the tendency of
reducing the size of the world, it did not eradicate the presence of culture influence in
international marketing. This was observed in the study, as majority of organisations
under research considered high Ghanaian population and cultural connectivity as
determinants for choosing their target markets.

The transformations in the Ghanaian music industry and the international music
industry in particular have been sparked by new technologies and internet use to
distribute music as a digital good. The ability to distribute in digital format over the
internet are driving changes in the Ghanaian music market structure and also having
significant impacts on the traditional recorded music value chain.

The study revealed that music purchases on the internet were suited to the internet
demographic of young and enlightened customers in the developed countries of high
populated Ghanaians who are also culturally connected.

The phenomenal technological advances in the digital technologies have enabled the
internet to become an efficient medium for accessing music both by downloading it
directly and indirectly, and also by acquisition of CDs from online retailers. Such new
developments in media and the entertainment industry in Ghana open up many new

33
opportunities for the record companies. At the same time record companies from
developing countries can benefits from these new trading opportunities.

The revenue potential of music online is very promising as revealed in the study, as
more and many internet users listen to and acquire music online. Such opportunities
can be captured by online music providers in Ghana to increase their revenues as well
as their market share.

Given the nature of traditional trade and commerce in the Ghanaian music industry, it
is reasonable to assume that through digital distribution of music and the development
of appropriate music sites, record companies will be able to capitalise on the
opportunities created by the convergence of e-commerce and music. Most of the
websites related to the online retailing of Ghanaian music specifically do not yet
permit diffusion of music in the full sense, since records can be ordered on the net but
physical delivery is made by post.

Most internet websites that promote and sell Ghanaian music seldom sell to the
Ghanaian customers mainly for the reason of absence of local bank facilities which
would permit the processing of online credit card transactions as well as lower
internet user population.

In line with the study objectives, it is revealed that majority of record companies in
Ghana use the online marketing as a strategy to reach the international market. These
findings were made known from the results of the questionnaire. The prime target
markets of those record companies were observed to be Europe and the North
America, thus companies are able to export their products. This is consistent with the
study of Lazer and Shaw (2000) which suggest that the internet‟s global connectivity
and lower resource requirements makes it suited to export marketing in any setting.

The frequent power cuts and slowness of system is viewed by online music marketing
companies in Ghana as major barriers militating against their operation. This finding
was in line with the study conducted by Jensen (2002) suggesting that the slowness of
system is caused by internet service providers operating on very low bandwidth links.

34
Despite the numerous challenges affecting the operation of online marketing, results
revealed that participating organisations are optimistic of prospects for growth in this
direction. This response presents a platform for the improvement of the quality of
service.

5.2Recommendations
The findings of research shows that online music marketing in Ghana is in its infancy
and is hampered by obstacles which are mainly frequent power cuts and slowness of
system. In addition, there are significant knowledge and institutional gaps with
regards to the music industry in Ghana which prevents it from maximizing its
potential.

The use of online marketing in Ghana can provide its music industry with a unique
opportunity for accelerated growth and development. If Ghanaian music is to compete
in the international market, and make significant impact on the country‟s economic
performance, then record companies in the industry should align their marketing
strategies and embrace information technology.

Advances in digital technology are revolutionising the way people communicate, and
are also breaking down barriers created by distance. Music is mainly regarded as a
universal means of communication, and the businesses which support it, are being
transformed and redefined. In this vein it is recommended that online music
marketing companies be able to widen their target market to include the wide
international market and limit it to Ghanaians in those markets only.

Given the level of the internet infrastructure and pace of innovation in technology in
Ghana, if the online music distribution is to evolve into a more formal and defined
structure, certain critical issues must be rapidly addressed. The issue of frequent
power cuts and the slowness of system must be tackled by public policies, private
sector initiatives and joint public and private sector partnerships, which support both
internet business and the music industry. Electronic commerce will more than likely
become a way of life the Ghanaian music businesses when it becomes a norm in other
forms of businesses in Ghana.

35
The commendable initiatives already in place to address the above issues both at the
national and the international levels should be encouraged and supported so that the
convergence of internet marketing and music will result in the anticipated benefits of
economic growth and wealth creation for the Ghanaian music industry over the next
ten years.

Among the actions which need to be taken include: firstly, to create a joint strategic
partnership between governmental sectors responsible and the private sector to
develop a policy framework for the promotion of Ghanaian music online. Secondly,
there is the need to create a legislative and regulatory framework conducive to e-
commerce in general. Thirdly, to fund research projects in the areas where there are
knowledge gaps surrounding electronic commerce and music, which will add new
knowledge and also act as reference point for future research work.

Additionally, there is the need to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to


exploit opportunities in the electronic commerce and music by facilitating their access
to computers and to the internet to improve the level and add to the internet user
population. Furthermore, there should be workshops for Ghanaians involved in the
business aspects of music on the use of digital technologies to improve the quality of
the musical product and better distribute the product internationally. Finally, there
should be a collaboration effort between governmental agencies and record companies
to educate the general Ghanaian populace about the value of the Ghanaian music
industry and the need to fight the piracy of online music.

Online music marketing offers multiple tangible benefits such as provision of


additional distribution channels on the worldwide web, promotion of sales of music at
low cost and the provision of an additional marketing vehicle by promoting artistes
online, as well as facilitating market entry, improved customer service and extended
geographical coverage. In order to capture these benefits offered by the new digital
economy, music companies in Ghana will need to prepare themselves for digital
transmission and distribution of music with the objective of becoming globally
competitive players.

36
CHAPTER SIX

6.0 REFLECTION ON LEARNING


My interest in this area of research work was formed by the following factors. Firstly,
my involvement in the music industry in Ghana for the past years. Additionally, my
exposure to electronic business and building relationship through electronic marketing
modules in the second semester as electives generated an interest to undertake this
research work.

After starting the literature review the author realised that there was rarely any
academic articles on the subject matter. This realisation rather motivated the author to
undertake this research work to break the ground for future research and also act as a
reference point in this area of work.

In the course of this research work, the author developed better understanding of how
important the subject matter was, and how it is transforming the entire global music
business. It also brought to fore that the use of information is critical in this era of
globalisation where economic progress is becoming increasingly knowledge-driven,
and information and knowledge are becoming primary wealth-creating assets.

The author realised that previous studies on the course provided impetus and depth of
knowledge to the overall understanding of the research work. There was the need to
network with my representative in my home country. These skills were acquired
through modules such as People management and development and Human resource
management. There the need to work as a team in order to achieve the desired
objective.

This research work has really broadened my perspective on the usefulness and
importance of knowledge. The majority of the literature review used for this research
work was adapted to suit the Ghanaian situation. This has awakened my realisation
that there is much to be done in this field of work to aid in future research.

37
The primary objective of research work is to bring out new knowledge as well as
contribute to existing knowledge. I have realised through this research that to be
competitive in every endeavour of situation, one need to consistently engage in
research to upgrade existing knowledge and also to bring out new knowledge in
relation to real life situation.

As the research sample size was very small and resources in the form of literature in
relation to the subject matter were limited, the findings of this research cannot be
generalised. The Ghanaian music industry does not have a data base from which
information could be obtained to facilitate the objectives of the research. The author
had to review literature from various academic texts and adapt it to the Ghanaian
environment.

Finally, the author has gained enormous wealth of knowledge by undertaking this
research work. This wealth of knowledge will be adapted to the Ghanaian situation in
a bid to improve the current state of the Ghanaian music industry.

38
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46
Appendix 1.

Private and Confidential

Good morning/ afternoon/ evening. My name is Kofi Otabil, an MBA student from

Staffordshire University in the United Kingdom.I have appointed Mr. Kojo Nkrumah

to administer the questionnaire and also collect them on my behalf.

The purpose of this questionnaire is to gather information on the impact of online

music retail and the marketing strategy of recording companies in Ghana and also the

difficulties being encountered as well.

The questionnaire is for a dissertation in partial fulfilment of an MBA programme.

Thank you for agreeing to take part in this survey, the questionnaire contains 13

questions; it should take no longer than 10 minutes overall to fill in the entire

questionnaire.

Please be assured that the results of the survey are private and confidential.The survey

results will be accessible only by the researcher and the examiner.

Thank you in advance.

Kofi A. Otabil.

PS: Please note however that you can withdraw from participation at any point.

47
Questionnaire

1. Do you offer online marketing services? Please tick the answer that applies in your
Organisation.

Yes No

2. What type of company are you? Please tick the answer(s) that apply.

Music producers Music distributors

Online marketers One stop shopping centre

Other……………………………………….

3. Your position in organisation. Please tick the answer that applies.

Marketing manager Finance manager

Chief executive officer Human resource manager

Other………………………………………………………

4. What type of music do you market? Please tick the answer(s) that apply.

Pop Hip-pop Hi-life Gospel

Traditional Classical Burger hi-life

Hip-life R&B

48
5. How do you use online marketing in your marketing-mix? Please rank each item
below in order of importance.

Not Of little Not certain some importance very importance


Important importance

Direct marketing

Sales promotion

Advertising

Distribution channel

Personal selling

Publicity

Product information

6. Who are your target markets? Please rank each item in order of importance.

Not Of little Not certain Some importance Very important


Important importance

Ghana

North America

Africa

Europe

Asia

49
7. Why do you target these markets? Please rank the answer(s) in order of importance.

Not Of little Not certain Some importance very important


Important importance

Fast internet connectivity

Profitable

Cultural connectivity

Market potential

Perceived high consumption

High Ghanaian population

Service quality

8. What is the age limit of target audience? Please rank the item(s) in order of
frequency. Number the most frequent1, the next 2 and so on.

Not Of little Not certain Some frequency Very frequent


frequent frequency

15-25

25-35

35-45

45-55

55-65

65-80

50
9. What percentage of sales does online marketing contribute to the overall sales
revenue? Please tick the category that applies in your situation.

0-9

10-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60 -100

10. Have your sales increased over the last year?

Yes No

If yes, please answer question 11.If No, please go to question 12.

11. By how many percent?

0-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49

50-59 60-70 70-80 80-90 90-100

12. What factors may have/not have influence these increase or otherwise in sales?
Please respond in your own words.

51
13. What are the challenges you encounter in offering online marketing services?
Please tick the box that matches your view most closely.

Agree it is a Uncertain Disagree this is a


key challenge of the challenge challenge

Lack of expertise

Slowness of system

Expensive to maintain

Frequent power cuts

Low patronage

Low profitability

New competition

14. What are the future prospects of music online marketing in Ghana?

Excellent Good Reasonable Poor

15. Please give reason(s) in response of question 13 in your own words.

Thank you.

52
Tables

Table 1.Do you offer online music marketing?

Answer Yes No
No. of responses 10 0
Total % 100 0

The above table shows the responses received .All the organisations were engaged in
online music marketing.

53
Table 2: What type of company are you?

Answer Music Online Music One stop


producers marketers distributors shopping
centre
No. of 1 3 5 1
responses
Total % 10 30 50 10

The table illustrates the attributes of the various organisations which participated in
the research.

54
Table 3: Your position in the organisation.

Answer Human Financial Marketing Chief


resource manager manager executive
manager officer
No. of 2 0 6 2
responses
Total % 20 0 60 20

The table above depicts the personnel who were engaged in answering the research
questions.

55
Table 4: What type of music do you market?

Answer Pop Hip- Hip- Gospel Traditional Classical Burger Hip- R&B
hop life hi-life life

No. of 6 6 10 10 10 4 10 10 7
responses

Total % 60% 60% 100% 100% 100% 40% 100% 100% 70%

56
Table5: How do you use online marketing in your marketing –mix?

Item Not Of little Not certain Some Very


important importance importance important
Direct - - - 60 % 40%
marketing
Sales - - - 60% 40%
promotion
Advertising - - - - 100%
Distribution - - - 10% 90%
channel
Personal - - - 40% 60%
selling
Publicity - - - 30% 70%
Product - - - 60% 40%
information

57
Table6: Who are your target markets?

Item Not Of little Not certain Some Very


important important importance important
Ghana - 20% - - -
Europe - - - - 100%
Asia 10% 70% 20% - -
North - - - - 100%
America
Africa - - - - -

58
Table 7: Why do you target these markets?

Item Not Of little Not certain Some Very


important importance importance importance
Fast internet - - - 20 % 80%
connectivity
Profitability - - - - 100%
Cultural - - - 20 % 80%
connectivity
Market - - - 30% 70%
potential
Perceived - - - 20% 80%
high
consumption
High - - - 20% 80%
Ghanaian
population
Service - - - 20% 80%
quality

59
Table 8: What is the age limit of target audience?

Item Not Of little Not certain Some Very


frequent frequency frequency frequent
15-25 - - - 40% 60%
25-35 - - - - 100%
35-45 - 40% - 30% 30%
45-55 30% 70% - - -
55-65 70% 30% -- --- --
65-80 - - - - -

60
Table 9: What percentage of sales does online marketing contribute to the overall
sales revenue?

Answer 0-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-100


No. of 0 2 1 4 0 0 3
responses
Total % 0 20 10 40 0 0 30

61
Table 10: Have your sales increase over the last year?

Answer Yes No
No. of responses 10 0
Total % 100 0

62
Table11: By how many percent?

Answer 0-9 10- 20- 30- 40- 50- 60- 70- 80- 90-
19 29 39 49 59 69 79 89 100
No. of 0 2 3 3 1 1 0 0 0 0
responses
Total % 0 20 30 30 10 10 0 0 0 0

63
Table 12.What factors may have/not have influence these increase or otherwise in
sales.

Responses Frequency
Improved supply chain 2
Having well stocked CDs 3
Excellent services 6
Wide range of music products 4
Improved services 3
Offering value for money 4
Have right stuff at the right time 4
Better service quality 6
Quality of goods 4
Increased product range 4
Having required range of products 4
available

64
Table 13: What are the challenges you encounter in offering online marketing
services?

Item Agree it is a key Uncertain of the Disagree this is a


challenge challenge challenge
Lack of expertise 20% 80% -
Slowness of system 100% - -
Expensive to 20% 50% 30%
maintain
Frequent power 100% - -
cuts
Low patronage 10% 60% 30%
Low profitability 10% 60% 30%
New competition 10% 70% 20%

65
Table 14: What are the future prospects of online music marketing in Ghana?

Answer Excellent Good Reasonable Poor


No. of 1 9 0 0
responses
Total % 10 90 0 0

66
Table 15: Please give reason(s) in response of question 14 in your own words.

Responses Frequency
Online music buying is catching up with 1
Ghanaians
It offers convenience to our customers 7
Increased awareness of online purchases 4
Its an emergent market 1
Online services are improving 2
Ghanaians are appreciating the value of 2
online marketing
Comfortability of shopping at home 6
Most Ghanaians living abroad are 4
internet literates
Online marketing is gaining awareness 2
with the general populace
There is trust between providers and 5
clients

67
68