Marketing innovation and creativity in service sector can help in attracting new clients and retain the current clients which will finally result in achieving a competitive edge for the bank. Although the bank’s client and the bank’s staff views on those marketing innovation and creativity methods are different but both parties are important to the equation. This study illustrates the differences in perception of the role of marketing innovation and creativity in achieving a competitive edge for commercial banks between the bank’s staff and client’s in different aspects of the marketing innovation and creativity that concerns both the clients and the banks employees. The results of the study show the main differences in both the staff and the client’s perception and preferences and illustrate the reasons for those differences. And the study concluded that the bank’s staff increased perception in due to their experience in the banking sector and that the client’s opinions and preferences should be taken into account in order to gain a competitive edge.
Key words: Innovation and creativity perception, marketing innovation and creativity, Competitive edge, Commercial banks.
The coming twenty-first century is foreseen as the century of quality. It is evident that the momentum towards an increasingly open and globally competitive market has an unstoppable force, and that this will mean an enormous increase in the competitive pressure on almost all companies. It is clear that quality is the key to competitiveness and that it has become a fundamental way of managing any business anywhere for market growth and profitability. When quality is improved in creative ways, cost is reduced and productivity is raised   a quality-first philosophy and innovative efforts are indispensable and appropriate ways for enhancing corporate performance.
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Commercial banks now are facing extreme challenges in the current competitive environment because the changes and new services became the base of marketing and in order to face those challenges commercial banks started to go towards marketing invocation and creativity which includes marketing invocation and creativity in creating new services, marketing invocation and creativity in delivering bank services to customers and marketing invocation and creativity in promoting those services and delivering those services to customers in the right time and place since time and speed, became essential in the world of financial services, and depends on innovation in this competition in order to deliver the best products and services to achieve competitive advantage and gain customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The main objective of the research is to examine how marketing innovation and creativity perception varies between the banks staff and the bank’s clients.
2 Literature review
People in the marketing mix elements refer to ‘all of human actors who play a part in service delivery and thus influence the buyer’s perception; namely the firm’s personnel, the customer, and other customers in the service environment’ . The front-line employees and the personnel supporting them from back stage have considerable influence on the success of service organization.
2.1 Management Perception Role in innovation and creativity
An innovation strategy is a strategy that promotes the development and implementation of new products and services . Covey (1993)  claimed that the origin of creativity and innovation lies in a shared vision and mission, which are focused on the future. Furthermore, the vision and mission of a creative and innovative organization are also customer- and market-oriented, focusing on solving customers’ problems among other things .It is also important that employees should understand the vision and mission (which support creativity and innovation) and the gap between the current situation and the vision and mission to be able to act creatively and innovatively.
Judge et al. (1997) describe successful innovation as chaos within guidelines; in other words top management prescribes a set of strategic goals, but allows personnel great freedom within the context of the goals. Organizational goals and objectives reflect the priorities and values of organizations and as a result may promote or hinder innovation . Hall (cited in Arad et al., 1997) found that personal and organizational goals that emphasize quality rather than effectiveness improve the levels of innovation.
An organizational culture that promotes creativity and innovation should allow employees time to think creatively and experiment . In organizations where creativity and innovation are encouraged, personnel are, for example, allowed to spend 15 percent of their time on generating new ideas and working on their favorite projects. Emphasis on productivity and downsizing, which leads to more pressure on employees to work harder, is not conducive to creativity and innovation in organization .
2.2 Customer Perception of innovation and creativity
An innovation philosophy asserts that customers will prefer those products and services that provide the greatest quality, performance and features. Indeed this perspective has been promoted in both the management and academic literatures for many years .
(Kotler, 1983) Argues that innovation emerges not only from inside (e.g. strategy), but also from outside (e.g. consumers) the organization. Accordingly, several works have found consumers’ subjective assessment of the newness of an idea to be the most crucial aspect of innovation. For example, Rogers and Shoemaker (1971) define innovation as an idea or a practice perceived as new by the individual. Incorporating the customer’s input in new service development is crucial  and mirrors the concept of market orientation  .
Hogan et al. (2002)  suggest that customer orientation can enhance the contribution of service innovation programs towards customer lifetime value. Evaluating innovations from the customer’s view enables the firm to go beyond an operations management perspective and to embrace the marketing concept . Price and Brodie (2001) and Raju and Lonial (2001) suggest that an outside-in, rather than inside-out, approach to innovation is needed to dramatically improve process performance and customer satisfaction. Hence, a new service development process should be customer-oriented  and service firms must base the evaluation of innovation programs on customer attitude in addition to internal measures.
Deming (1989)  stated that product and service enhancement is based on the acceptance of the following obligations. First and foremost, innovating new products and services able to help people absolutely improve their lives and to have a market segment, new materials that are liable to be required in the future, new skills and changes in production methods and equipment; the second obligation is to invest in research and employees’ qualification resources, and the last obligation, to improve continuously product and service design. From this perspective, innovation has a two- dimensional aim with regard to quality improvement, reducing the gap between customer needs and process yield, and guessing customer’s future expectations.
The population targeted for the study was the adult (18 years and over) population residing in Amman whom are bank users or employees in the selected 15 Jordanian banks, The sample consists of the bank managers, branch managers, and Research and development mangers as well as the employees and the clients of the bank.
3.2 Sample type
The researcher chose a random sample of the population from the banks and their branches where 240 questioners were given for the bank clients as well as 240 questionnaires were given the bank managers and employees. 221 questionnaires were recovered from the banks clients and after auditing the sample 12 questionnaires were found unusable for the analysis and thus the used questionnaires recovered from Banks clients were (209) out of 240 which is %87.1.as for the questionnaires given to the banks managers and employees 227 were recovered and after auditing the sample 9 questionnaires were found unusable for the analysis and thus the used questionnaires from bank managers and employees were (218) out of 240 which is %90.1
3.3 Questionnaire and Pilot Testing
Data was collected through the use of a fully structured questionnaire. A pre-test of 5 to 10 representative respondents is usually sufficient to identify problems with a questionnaire  the questionnaire was pre-tested with 10 key informants from 5 different banks to validate the questionnaire before actual data collection process began. The pre-test respondents were sent the survey, completed it and were subsequently interviewed about the experience. The respondents were asked about clarity, ambiguous questions, bias and relevance to their business. They were also asked about the sequencing of questions, timing and wording. As a result of this pre-test, the survey was redesigned (visually), and more information was included for each question that used less academic terminology so as to aid the comprehension of the survey for practitioners.
Main Differences between the client’s answers and the bank staff answers.
The table below shows the main differences between the clients’ answers and the bank staff answers according to the respondents, and based on the survey conducted to measure the role of marketing innovation and creativity in achieving competitive advantage, the ranking system is based on the questionnaire analysis where 1 is the highest ranking.
First: The bank provides Debit cards for clients to perform various banking transactions through ATM network as well as withdraw cash and make balance inquiries statement came first for the clients in the creativity and innovation in services category and this shows the clients perception and understanding for the creativity and innovation in the bank services while the managers and employees sample the above statement cam e fifth, and The bank provides an overdraft service for the ATM and Credit cards came first for the managers and employees sample and fourth for the clients sample .
Second: The Bank provides Preferential Terms on Personal Loans with a lower interest rate statement came first for the clients in the creativity and innovation in pricing category and this shows the client’s perception and understanding for the creativity and innovation in the bank pricing strategy, but in the manager and employees sample answers this same statement was second.
Third: the statement the bank aims to make the client recognize the quality services provided by the bank was ranked first by the clients in the creativity and innovation in promotion category and this shows the client’s perception and understanding for the creativity and innovation in the bank promotion strategy, and the same applies for the bank managers and employees sample where the statement was also ranked first.
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Fourth: All the Bank Branches within the country are connected through a network which enables the client to conduct their transaction in any branch statement came first for the clients in the creativity and innovation in distribution category and this shows the clients perception and understanding for the creativity and innovation in the bank distribution, while the managers and employees sample this statement was second.
Fifth: The bank Management provides training for its staff to illustrate innovation and creativity statement came first for the clients in the management perception of creativity and innovation to serve the customers’ category and this shows the clients understanding for the management perception of creativity and innovation to serve the customers while the managers and employees sample this statement was second. And the statement the banks management gives incentives for its staff with creative ideas for the bank was ranked first by the bank managers and employees sample e and ranked third by the clients’ sample.
Sixth: The clients acknowledge and understand the innovations that the bank provides in order to facilitate the services such as ATMs, Internet banking, Phone Banking and Overdraft statement was ranked first by the clients sample and eighth by the bank managers and employees sample while the statement the client understand the importance of the Quick services that the bank provides was ranked first by the managers and employees sample and second by the clients sample.
Seventh: The Bank have databases about the other banks and their services statement was ranked first by the clients sample and this shows the clients understanding of the importance of this statement and this statement was ranked sixth by the employees and managers sample. While the statement The Bank have client databases about its clients marital and financial status was ranked first by the employees and manager sample and ranked and second by the clients sample.
Eighth: The bank staffs try to provide the bank service in the right way from the beginning to avoid making errors was ranked first by both the clients and the managers and employees sample which shows the importance of this statement for both parties.
Ninth: Technology innovations decreases the cost of providing the services statement was ranked first by the clients sample and that shows the importance in decreasing the service cost for the client through creativity and innovation and this statement was ranked third by the bank managers and employees sample. While the statement the innovative technology helps in increasing the staff productivity in providing the services to the client was ranked first by the bank managers and employees sample and ranked third by the clients sample.
Tenth: Innovation and creativity in the bank products give the credit and debit cards as well as the cheque books a higher quality and better size statement was ranked first by the clients’ sample and the same statement was ranked third by the bank managers and employees sample, while the statement Innovation and creativity improves the products and service quality through minimizing the errors by using the latest technologies was ranked first by the bank manager and employees sample and ranked second by the clients sample.
Eleventh: Innovation and creativity helps in increasing the bank profits by attracting more clients because of the quality services and products the bank provides statement was ranked first by both the clients sample and the bank managers and employees sample which shows both sides understanding and acknowledgment for the for the customer satisfaction in the banking sector.
The results of this study shows that they were differences in the way that the bank’s clients and the bank’s staff perceive banking innovation and creativity since each party looks at the way it may affect them, while keeping in mind that the banks staff are more experienced in the banking sector, as a result of working in a bank which increased their perception for the role of creativity and innovation in achieving competitive advantage, the client’s point of view is important since the aim of bank in gaining competitive advantage is attracting new clients while being able the retain the current clients.
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