Marketing activities as critical success factors: The case of seed producer cooperatives in Ethiopia

Sisay, D.T.; Verhees, F.J.H.M.; Trijp, J.C.M. van


The purpose of this study is to identify the specific marketing activities that contribute most to the performance improvement of seed producer cooperatives (SPCs) in Ethiopia. Both quantitative and qualitative procedures were adopted to extract information from knowledgeable and experienced experts using structured questionnaires. Results indicate that clear differences exist between Ethiopian SPCs in their intensity and quality of execution of marketing activities, indicating that these activities are managed and controlled by SPCs themselves. However, the similarity in patterns of intensity and quality of execution of marketing activities shows that these effects cannot be disentangled in the Ethiopian SPCs context. Ethiopian SPCs performed well on marketing activities related to interfunctional coordination, but poorly on activities associated with competitor orientation. SPCs are likely to perform better when they use a variety of marketing activities including quality control of product (seed), product differentiation, managing customer and supplier relationships, responding to customers and competitors, customer and competitor assessment, leadership, integration of activities, and interconnections among committees and members. Hence, to provide value to customers SPCs need to have resources and the capabilities to coordinate these resources in order to execute marketing activities efficiently and effectively.