Academy of Marketing Studies Journal (Print ISSN: 1095-6298; Online ISSN: 1528-2678)

Research Article: 2020 Vol: 24 Issue: 1

Marketing Education, the Nigerian Experience: A Meta - Analysis

Adefulu Adesoga, Babcock University Ilishan Remo

Adebowale Ilesanmi Sunday, Babcock University


Marketing education has become a topical issue because of dwindling marketing students’ enrolment and offering Marketing task in organisations to graduates without marketing degree. The paper evaluated Nigerian experience of marketing education effectiveness in the light of the above. The methodology adopted was Meta-Analysis of primary studies. The population of study was the total numbers of quantitative and qualitative materials downloaded. Total enumeration method was used as sampling technique. Emerging data analysed showed that marketing education quality influenced the performance of marketing graduates (mean=3, 36/4.0). The teaching methods equally influenced marketing performance (mean=3, 21/4.0). For marketing education to serve marketing practice, marketing educator’s quality, learning environment quality and teaching methods quality must be enhanced. Marketing professionals must equally collaborate with marketing educators to improve marketing education. The paper concluded that quality of marketing education is an effective tool for organisational performance. The Marketing practitioners need to effectively collaborate with the marketing educators to make marketing education serves marketing practice. The paper recommended the adoption of new marketing DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) as a model for marketing education. Marketing educators needs to make marketing curricular responsive to the need and requirements of prospective employers of our products. A strong marketing education and industry linkage is equally recommended.


Marketing Education, Meta-Analysis, Nigerian Experience.


Marketing education is highly desirable for organisations and Nations alike to make a success of their endeavours. The different aspect of marketing education is all geared towards equipping the students and practitioners with the knowledge to drive the organisations to achieve set corporate objectives which could be to satisfy the customers or make profits. Marketing education to the Nations will command the branding of the nation in order to shape the reputation of the nation to make it attractive to visit, invest and live. Considering the centrality of Marketing to corporate existence, one would have expected Marketing Education, Marketing practice and Marketing educators to occupy a high place in the ranking of professions as we hear of accountants, Engineers and Medical doctors.

Contrary to this expectation, Marketing education in Nigeria is challenged by limited employment opportunities for graduates, very poorly defined professional status thereby creating morale problems among marketers, Marketing jobs are easily picked up by non- marketers especially in the banking sectors, Pharmaceutical companies and Insurance companies. Besides all the observable trends, marketing enrolment in school has gone down thereby indicating a wrong perception of the programme of marketing in the economy.

Despite the fact that marketing education has grown in principle, and professionalism in Nigeria, the multiple challenges confronting the program call for the attention of the marketing educators to ruminate on the ways to stem the tide and accord the profession the rightful place it belongs. In principle, an increasing number of universities at federal, state and even private universities offer marketing as a full-fledged course. As at August, 2018, there are one hundred and fifty-eight universities in Nigeria. Beside the University of Nigeria solely offering the course at the early age of the course, there are ample numbers of institutions taking the course. In practice the number of graduates joining the professional body is expanding while also the intensity of competition in the economy has raised the practice of marketing thereby requesting marketing managers and marketing executives to be involved in the marketing management and strategic marketing management of the company.

Another disturbing issue has to do with how we tell the story of a Nation without the involvement of a Marketer? This is the question begging for answers. Marketing as a program in the universities has lent itself to a lot of debate as to its relevance amongst other commercial discipline especially where the students will have to pay high fees to get such education. To diagnose issues with marketing education, we would have to examine the quality of marketing education offered whether it is able to fulfil the twenty first century demand of the industry to be able to effectively determine whether marketing educators through marketing education has effectively served marketing practice.

It is therefore the focus of this paper to evaluate the impacts of marketing education quality on its outputs (graduates) and by extension examine the teaching methods quality on the delivery of marketing education., perhaps if the marketing education quality is enhanced, the profession will equally be returned back to its former position while the practitioners having benefitted from the marketing educators think of effective collaboration to raise the place of marketing education. The paper also intends to uncover why the enrolment for marketing as a course is dwindling in universities.

Problem Statement

Various scholars (Ayozie & Ajibola, 2013; Effiong, 2016; Eke & Ozo, 2016; Ogwo, 2016 and Paul & Bev, 2011) have written on the challenges of marketing education from different perspectives ranging from the quality of marketing education, marketing practice and marketing educators but the outcome of the scholars have resulted in different approaches to solving the multiple challenges facing marketing education in Nigeria ranging from raising the place of marketing education and practice to arresting limited employment opportunities for marketing graduates as well as the dwindling marketing enrolments. Marketing education has been rated far below expectation when evaluated in terms of labour market absorption, employer assessment of graduate performance in relation to other graduates.

There is a total disconnect in the numbers of marketing graduates produced and the number of marketing jobs secured by marketing graduates in Nigeria. Marketing educators place too much emphasis on theory. The lopsided and imbalanced training to marketing graduates has led to the performance of marketing functions by non-marketing graduates in organisations. This is because most marketing graduates are academically sound but worth very little in practical relevance which is the basic skill employers look out for. Observation shows that over 65% of marketing managers in banking, pharmaceutical and hotel services are non- marketing graduates. It has become worrisome to note that it has become a culture in some organisations to leave marketing vacancies open for graduates in all disciplines. To complicate matters, most graduates of marketing can hardly justify their certificates in practice when employed. In many tertiary institutions, little or no attention is paid to the practical aspect.

In today’s globally competitive knowledge economy, organisation favour graduates that can produce results to the market place. Hence there is need to update marketing curricular to capture the existing gap. Further attention will be required on the quality of marketing educators, quality of learning environment and teaching methods. The inadequate performance of marketing education to serve marketing practice has affected the enrolment of students for marketing as a course of study. In my university for example, marketing enrolment dwindled from 2010/2011 academic session. This has been a serious issue for us as we battled to have students to teach. This statistics compared to other commercial courses like accounting, economics and business administration portends decreasing enrolment. The course is no longer a priority choice programme in the minds of prospective university students. The prospects perceived value of marketing in terms of employability which is dimming everyday has impacted enrolment. The enrolment Table 1 for Marketing as a discipline in relation to other commercial disciplines provides the evidence for the dwindling enrolment.

Table 1 Commercial Disciplines Provides the Evidence for the Dwindling Enrolment
Session Accounting Economics Business Adm. Marketing Total
2008/2009 500 448 323 176 5273
2009/2010 470 395 308 158 5515
2010/2011 735 610 456 182 6743
2011/2012 832 680 476 164 7470
2012/2013 766 649 490 123 7562
2013/2014 967 646 438 94 8090
Total 4270 3428 2491 897 40653

The problem of enrolment is ascertained by the statistics showing that other commercial courses recorded increasing Figure 1 except in a few years. The enrolment for marketing declined from 2011/2012 indicating the enrolment issue and the apathy for the course.

Figure 1 Model Marketing Education

Literature Review

This aspect of this presentation examines the conceptual, Theoretical and Empirical review on the study.

Conceptual Review

Marketing education emerges from two basic concepts: Marketing and Education. As Marketing educators and practitioners, Marketing has been defined from different perspectives. One common unique factor to all definitions is need identification and satisfying the need profitably. Education is viewed as a process through which knowledge is impacted to people. American Heritage School dictionary (1977) defined education as the process of impacting knowledge /skill from someone believed to have the knowledge/skill.

Marketing Education is the aspect of education that focuses on the process of obtaining knowledge or receiving formal instruction in the principles and techniques of marketing leading to an academic qualifications in marketing such as certificate, ordinary diploma, higher diploma, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate degree in Marketing. Alternatively, it can be viewed as the acquisition of knowledge, skills and experience that enables the individual to identify the needs of customers with a view to working towards meeting those needs to their satisfaction and at a profit. In my view, Marketing Education is the education that is provided to individual desirous of acquiring knowledge and understanding marketing concepts and basic marketing skills. Marketing education is a robust education to have because: it is the revenue earner of the organisation, it determines whether businesses are successful in achieving their objectives, it fosters organisational and customers’ relationship through customer centricity, it introduces the organisation and customers to each other. It provides coordination of the different functional units within the organisation.

The general objectives of Marketing education in Nigeria include the following: to provide a meaningful marketing educational knowledge and practice, give the student sufficient knowledge in marketing, sales, advertising to enable them secure employment or pursue higher studies in tertiary institutions, train managers who can establish on their own, equip students with fundamentals /advanced concept in marketing, promote marketing management effectively and to turn out qualified and competent marketing professional.

The effectiveness of marketing education will be determined investigating the perspective on the Quality of marketing education measured or indicated by the quality of marketing educators/academics, quality of teaching materials, quality of learning environment and the teaching methods adopted indicated by Classroom lectures, Case analysis, Discussion method, Group work, Seminars/Workshop and Industrial training.

Marketing educators are the originators of marketing concepts, principles and theories through research. They are saddled with the responsibility of educating, training and developing the marketing professional. They are to inculcate in the students the requisite knowledge/skill they must possess to become competent, effective and efficient in practical marketing. The marketing practitioners are those who know the art of putting theories, principles and concepts of marketing into operation. They are able to device practical and workable solutions to real life marketing problems. Actually they employ strategies that help to attain marketing objectives in organisation.

Marketing Education and Industry Linkage

The industries are involved in production of goods and services to meet specific needs. As long as there is need, the industries aspire to provide satisfaction or resolve the need level. Therefore the demand and satisfaction provides the first linkage. Secondly the marketing educators and practitioners are collaboratively expected to work together to strengthen marketing practice. The marketing educators are to undertake research to solve industry problems while the industry provides research support to the marketing educators. The linkages are equally desirable to solve marketing problems encountered in the industry. Many of the businesses have their products not accepted in the market while some have failed. The collaboration of the marketing educators and practitioners should help to address the problem of product failure.

Origin of Marketing Education in Nigeria

Fourty years ago, management education started in Nigeria and this gave rise to marketing education. University of Nigeria (UNN) pioneered management education by setting up a college of administration in 1961. From 1961-1974, marketing was not accorded a separate status but was with the Bsc program in Business administration (Nwokoye, 1989; Ayozie, 2006). Kaduna polytechnic established in 1968 offered OND courses in Marketing, Purchasing and Supply. The first HND graduands in Marketing were released in 1974. No other polytechnic offered full marketing programs before 1975. University of Lagos and Ahmadu Bello university, Zaria established in 1962 taught marketing courses within. From 1970 there was a rapid growth in marketing education in terms of institutions offering marketing and enrolment. The period witnessed the establishment of sixteen federal universities, four federal universities of technology, nine state universities and 23 polytechnics. The numbers have since changed with the federal, state and private individual being allowed to operate universities and polytechnics. As at August, 2018, the total number of federal universities, state universities and private universities is one hundred and fifty eight. Forty federal universities, forty-four State universities and Seventy-four Private universities approved by National universities commission (NUC).

The postgraduate program started very slowly. The following universities (UNN, UNILAG and ABU) were the earliest universities to offer MBA with marketing management options. However, MBA AND MSC are widely established in many universities.

The growth of marketing education is not limited to universities/Polytechnics, professional bodies like Nigerian institute of marketing management (NIMN), Nigerian institute of management (NIM), Advertising practitioners councils of Nigeria (APCON), to mention a few, offered specialised courses with marketing as part of the courses taught to the students. From the contributions of the higher institutions and professional bodies, marketing has grown in principle, practice and professionalism. In principle, the number of higher institutions offering marketing programs have increased at federal, state and private as against the sole offering of UNN. In practice, the intensity of competition in the economy has positioned marketing as an inevitable functional unit in organisations.

Theoretical Review

Two models are adopted to anchor the study. These are the SERVQUAL Model and Model of Theory Practice Synergy in marketing education.

The Servqual Model

This is popularly known as the gaps or RATER Model and was developed by a group of American authors (Parasuraman et al., 1985). The five dimensions of the model are: Reliability, Assurance, Tangibles, Empathy and Responsiveness. Reliability is the ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately. Assurance is the knowledge and courtesy of employees and the ability to convey trust and confidence. Tangibles are the appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel and communication materials. Empathy is the provision of caring and individualised attention to customers. Responsiveness is the willingness to help customers and to provide prompt service. The model features many times when discussing customer satisfaction and service quality. It was designed for use for service firms and retailers. One of the drivers for the development of the servqual model was the unique features of services as compared to physical products (intangibility and heterogeneity) which made it difficult for firm to objectively assess its quality level in contrast to a manufacturer who could inspect physical products. Each of the dimensions has the potentials to affect the quality of marketing education. Assurance refers to knowledge, trained professionals, curriculum content, faculty qualification and competencies. Tangibles relates to the quality of teaching environment and methods. The relevance of the model dimensions to marketing education is that it explains in clear term whether marketing as delivered by marketing educators improves the quality of the graduates and invariably satisfy them.

Model of Theory - Practice Synergy in Marketing Education

This model raises the fundamental question of whether marketing educators served the marketing practice through marketing education. The elements to consider are as follow:

Marketing institutions are the custodian of marketing education. The quality of marketing education impacts marketing practice as membership of professional practice emanates from the graduates of the different institutions. The quality of marketing education is influenced by quality of marketing educators, learning environment quality and teaching methods. All these determined the competence of marketing students/ graduates that enters into marketing organisation which invariably affect marketing performance. The model therefore portrays a linkage between marketing education and the industry.

Empirical Review

Agu et al. (2016) in a study of 151 respondents carried out among marketing educators, marketing students and industrial managers in the south east and south -south states of Nigeria, using survey method, the findings revealed that the theory –practice gap leads to very poor performance of marketing graduates in the marketplace. The study further opined that the quality of marketing education affected the performance of marketing graduates. The teaching method adopted was also shown to affect marketing performance. Gayanpfu (2013) in his study indicated a significant relationship between teaching methods and students’ academic performance. Trant, (2012) also found out that there is a positive relationship between teaching systems and graduate employability. He has further opined that the determinant of the variation in students learning at school is the quality of the lecturer. This view was supported by the study and findings of Higgin (2015) that students placed with high performing teachers will definitely progress three times better than students placed with low performing teachers. However, Nazi & Can (2010) in their study involving accounting students opined that there was no significant difference in the performance of students who were taught using different approaches. In the same vein, Lawrence (2012) concluded that there was no relationship between learning environment and quality of graduates produced.


To determine the challenges of marketing education in Nigeria, a Meta–analysis of prior studies on the challenges of marketing education was carried out. According to Junni et al. (2013), Meta-analysis is a statistical technique that can be used to summarise the results of multiple primary studies. The total population refers to the total numbers of relevant literature or articles gathered for the study under review. A total number of five and three quantitative materials accounted for the population. Total enumeration method was adopted as the sampling technique. The merit of using meta- analysis include the ability to summarize large bodies of literature, to examine relationships not investigated in the original primary studies, to correct for study artefacts, to test the effects of various moderators and to uncover not too visible trends that may not have been detected by other approaches to summarizing research findings (Hunter & Schmidt, 2004). The researcher used both electronic and manual searches to identify the relevant studies (Cooper, 2010). The electronic search was carried out through Goggle search and other data base. The various studies (quantitative and qualitative) were reviewed as long as they were all relevant contribution to the subject matter of marketing education. The emerging Meta –analytic database was classified in line with theory–practice synergy of marketing education. A descriptive analysis was adopted for the review of the emerging data.

Results and Discussion

On the scale of four points in Table 2, the quality of marketing education on the performance of marketing graduates in the organisation is clearly revealed in the set of data.89% of the respondents made of marketing educators, marketing final year students of institution offering marketing and marketing executives in selected companies rated quality of marketing education a serious factor in marketing education and performance of its graduates. Only 11% expressed a dissenting opinion. With the average mean score of 3.36 on a scale of four points, quality of marketing education is decision factor in marketing practice and organisational performance. The different elements of the quality of marketing education measured in terms of quality of marketing educators, quality of teaching methods and quality of learning environments affected marketing education performance in its own right as rated by the respondents. 93% of the respondents rated the quality of marketing educators (mean score 3.46) a serious issue in marketing education quality. The quality of teaching materials carried a mean score of 3.10 with 84% of the respondents rated teaching materials a critical factor in marketing education. 91% of the respondents indicated high effect of the quality of learning environment (mean score 3.50) on the quality of marketing education. The appearance of physical facilities/structures and availability of 24/7 internet facilities play vital role in creating conducive environment of learning. The mean score of the components of marketing education on marketing performance is 3.36.

Table 2 Marketing Education and Marketing Graduates Performance
QUALITY OF EDUCATORS 83 57 9 2 3.26 high
TOTAL 224 180 36 13 3.36 high
% 49% 40% 8% 3%   HIGH
Table 3 Teaching Method Adopted and Marketing Graduates Performance
OPTIONS V. high High Low V. low Mean score Result
Class room lectures 46 40 48 17 2.76 high
Case analysis 74 72 5 - 3.46 high
Discussion method 52 56 21 22 2.92 high
Group work 63 48 31 9 3.09 high
Seminars/workshop/excursions 88 52 11 - 3.51 high
High Industrial training 56 64 20 11 3.08 high
Participation 90 61 - - 3.59 High
TOTAL 469 393 136 59 3.21 high
% 44% 37% 13% 6% 3.21 high

Table 3 showed the rating of the respondents on teaching methods adopted on the performance of marketing education graduates. Seven components were rated with a mean score of 3.21 on a scale of four points. Participation in class was rated the highest with 100% of the respondents attaching tremendous effect of the teaching method in marketing education performance. This is closely followed by Seminars/workshops/Excursions with mean score of 3.51 with 93% of the respondents rated seminar a potent tool of teaching method. The least rated of the teaching methods was class room lectures with mean score of 2.76 with 57% of the respondents rating the method of teaching to have limited influence on marketing education performance. From emerging data, it can be submitted empirically that the quality of marketing education and the teaching methods adopted affected the marketing performance in terms of its marketing graduates. Studies by Agu et al. (2016), Gayanpfu (2013), Trant (2012) and Higgin, (2015) supported the views expressed on the interaction between marketing education quality and marketing performance in terms of its graduates.

The devastating effect of lack of quality marketing education has resulted in poor performance of marketing graduates which has explained the employability issue they faced. This has made the absorption rate of the marketing graduates to be slow, leading to limited employment

Other Challenges of Marketing Education

According to Nwokoye (1989) the challenges of marketing education are: limited employment opportunities, poorly defined professional status creating morale problems among marketers, scarcity of relevant books and teaching materials. In the views of Ayozie (2004) lack of closer and proper interaction between academicians and industry, poor remuneration and incentives for the educators thereby reducing their interest /commitment to research on marketing, empire building by the industry practitioner making it practically impossible for the educators to learn from them. Frequent closures of the universities and polytechnics occasioned by the constant strikes, lockout and closures by the lecturers and students, difficulties in graduating PhD holders on time in Nigerian universities.

Nigerian marketing lecturers relied on foreign textbooks that are in most cases marginally relevant to Nigerian peculiar environment. There is also a threat, where students depend on handouts. The problem of inadequate number of marketing educators accommodated teachers whose terminal qualifications are in areas other than Marketing leading to the issue of weakening the overall teaching effect due to confusion over appropriate subject matter in marketing theory and research. In addition most of the institutions cannot float doctoral programs in marketing because of poor staffing.

The professional status of marketing contributed to the problem plaguing marketing education. The National institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) has not been able to speak with one voice due to internal issue. The body has offered nothing intriguing to members who would want appellation of membership added to their name like in accounting /banking and finance or engineering. For an effective body, members should be able to attain professional recognitions and satisfactions they aspire by being a member of a professional body. Marketing education has failed to provide for students industrial attachment scheme and practical exposures in the industry.


Marketing education stakeholders needs to hold a summit to examine how the quality of marketing education will be primed in order to enhance organisational performance. The different components of the marketing education will have to be appraised. The Marketing practitioners or professionals need to effectively collaborate with the marketing educators to make marketing education serve marketing practice.


1. The adoption of new marketing DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) as a model for marketing education. Arising from the dis-connect between marketing education and marketing practice, the marketing educators must make the curricular to be responsive to the need and requirements of prospective employers. This is highly important considering the inextricable match of technology, increasing levels of globalisation and plethora of choice faced by consumers everywhere. The curricular of marketing education must be made to address the emerging economy. At the moment there is a shift from manufacturing to services oriented economy.

2. To foster marketing education and industry linkage, marketing practice or the professional institute could have vacancy service units where graduates can receive monthly or weekly listings of advertised marketing jobs. To give credibility to marketing, available vacancies should be filled through the collaboration of the marketing institutes. As part of improving linkages, there could be exchange programmes between lecturers and the companies, whereby the lecturers can spend short periods in the companies while also the company marketing executives can be in residence to give seminars in educational institutions. In order words, the Sabbatical leave of senior lecturers could be in the companies to observe and contribute to practical marketing assignments.

3. Marketing students should be required to acquire some practical experience before graduation. There is need for industrial visits to interact with industry practitioners in order to ask questions on practical things that might not be answered by textbooks and lecturers. As a matter of fact, they could be encouraged to go into freelance marketing/sales. Company could provide pocket expenses and access to its facilities and knowledge of their experienced sales /marketing staff.

4. To arouse early interest in marketing and equally to prevent marketing as a left- over course in higher institution of learning, marketing education stakeholders should present a position paper to teach Marketing as a subject at the secondary education like Government, Accounts and economics/Commerce. This is to provoke early interest in the teeming school leavers seeking admission in the university and polytechnic which is like to increase the priority choice of course in the higher institutions.

5. There is also the need for strong collaboration between marketing stakeholders and company marketing executives to ensure that marketing jobs are strictly reserved for marketers. This is highly prevalent in the banking sectors where the marketing jobs are for all-comers certificates. A phenomenon that is rare in accounting and economics as a discipline. Similar experience must be discouraged in the university and polytechnics where core business administration degree holders are teaching Marketing courses. The issue in the arrangement is the weakening of the overall teaching effect of what constitutes the appropriate subject matter of marketing theory and research by the non- marketing educators

6. A marketing project that will be bring the students of marketing together in a competition organised by marketing educators and professionals. The institution and student should be rewarded in order to deepen interest in the course.

7. Frequent access to internet must be provided for the marketing departments to enable the students keep themselves abreast of new knowledge that will impact the learning environment. Besides, marketing laboratory will also assist the students to simulate and effectively handles design of electronic marketing.

8. The different teaching methods should be made compulsory in order to provide effective teaching to the students. Classroom teaching which is dominant in the present scheme should be reviewed to make students to be exposed to the other modes of teaching.

9. Marketing educator’s quality will be enhanced when motivated and supported. Book allowance, research allowance and excess load allowance should be paid to marketing educators as incentives to do more.

10. Industrial training should be made compulsory for the marketing students before graduation inorder to balance the theory with practice. This will enhance the employability and prepare the students to meet the need of the Industry.


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