Four media research experts share their views on the issues and the trends ahead for the media research sector in South Africa and Africa. Africa is ripe for growth. Bye bye AMPS, hello SELS. The shifts in TV. AVE is here to stay. Compiled by Glenda Nevill.
Africa, the global growth space
This has been an interesting year in market research. Google arrived in many markets (not yet in Africa) as a way to generate consumer surveys, and this poses a threat to many research businesses. The merger of TNS and Millward Brown saw further global consolidation. Budgetary constraints continued place pressure on suppliers.
Africa is increasingly viewed as the next global growth space for multi-nationals but a ‘copy and paste’ simply doesn’t work. Truworths and Sun International’s exit from Nigeria are an example, while Nestle and Unilever saw their share prices under pressure too. This strongly suggests the need for substantive and credible research in complex African markets.
Dashboard had a great year of innovation and development. We launched two apps – one for tracking on-line media consumption and one for out of home (OOH) audits using a crowd-sourcing approach. We were fortunate to present these results at the PAMRO 2016 conference.
Looking forward to 2017, there are a number of small start-ups, specialising in particular areas rather than offering a full-service solution. These are in the panel space or with specific data collection approaches or even suppliers of business intelligence. Clients are tempted to try these solutions, often with good results. But there is no substitute for a real research partnership that can deliver powerful insights and understand the clients’ business better.
Peter Searll is managing partner at Dashboard Marketing Intelligence
Bye bye AMPS, hello SEL segmentation
The big news of 2016 was the retirement of AMPS and the release of our first wave of RACS results. The implications of these watershed moments will only be fully understood in 2017- this is mostly typical of transformative events. Some implications will probably include awareness and acceptance of the need for a new Socio Economic Level framework in South Africa where income is no longer a suitable indicator of socio-economic profiling.
TGI has a globally established SEL segmentation which fills this gap. Sampling frames have to reflect commercial, as opposed to a socio-governmental, agenda. A 50% focus on LSM 5/6 is probably unhelpful for marketers, due to the relatively static incomes. The virtual halving of LSM 9-10 sample prevents crucial insights against affluent sectors and is unhelpful for understandings for digital marketing.
It is no wonder, then, that research in South Africa struggles to secure definitive answers in terms of the level of regular income in households across a broad spectrum of our landscape. Researchers typically receive responses on income for only a portion of the total respondent base and then model income profiles and average income from there. This is a global phenomenon but in South Africa income as a differentiator of socio-economic status is a fundamentally flawed approach for those seeking an authentic relationship between living standards, product consumption and increasingly polarised media behaviour.
Andrea Gevers is founder and CEO of AskAfrika.
Consumer control changing the business of TV
During the past two years, we have seen a change in linear TV viewing with greater consumer control now driving how, when and where content is viewed. This is fundamentally changing the business of TV, content, advertising and measurement. The shift can be attributed to the emergence of new viewing options, including connected TV technologies (like Apple TV), gaming consoles and digital devices, computers, tablets, smartphones and online and streaming-video content providers such as ShowMax, Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The onset of this phenomenon also presents complex challenges and opportunities for marketers and content providers, vying for consumer’s attention, to provide engaging and relevant content that is easily accessible across devices and channels. In turn, this has created the need for a far more inclusive measurement that will capture what the total audience thinks (sentiment) and does (engagement) because of that viewing.
2017 will see new solutions to move us closer to the concept of Total Audience Measurement. The first tool underpinned by this approach is Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) tool that will provide the media and marketing industry with transparent and actionable audience measurement of online and mobile digital campaigns, and for the first time will include overnight delivery and key demographic data.
Other key measurement metrics that we’re likely to see in the near future include Total Content Ratings and Total Ad Ratings.
Ailsa Wingfield is executive director of marketing and communications for Nielsen, Africa
Love it or hate it, AVE is here to stay
ROi Africa is known for doing things differently. Last year we successfully integrated all media types into one platform, being the first media monitoring organisation to offer a print, broadcast, online and social media in one place. This year saw ROi Africa put media intelligence at the forefront of media monitoring and introducing an interactive mobile app that delivers coverage instantly.
Clients are interested in what the clippings/inserts say, rather than just sifting through them, and that intelligence needs to be instant. Weekly statistics of major news and social media stories have highlighted how quickly the South African audience consumes stories and that they often suffer from a short attention span. The powerful dashboard analytics show what the messages mean.
These components mean we can assist with managing that speed and level of coverage giving our clients the opportunity to strategise correctly and measure success. Having triumphed against our competitors with over 60% more coverage in an independent case study, the next challenge is how to make sense of this media instantly.
Putting an accurate AVE measure on the coverage hampers all this advancement. Love it or hate it, AVE is here to stay and as there is no such thing as an online rate card, measuring ‘apples with apples’ remains one of the biggest challenges. ROi Africa is slowly moving to audience measurement in addition to AVE to improve this benchmark.
Tonya Khoury is managing director of ROi Africa.