*CYBERTORIAL: SABC Radio has recently done in-depth research into its audience profile and African Language Service (ALS) stations, and looked at audience evolution of ALS, Fortune4 and MG5 audience groups. Maria Petousis drills down.
Ask Afrika’s primary objective when embarking on this research venture for SABC Radio was to use TGI to gain psychographic insights across SABC’s Radio offering and focus on understanding the listeners’ mind-sets.
SABC has segmented its radio portfolio based on the common psychographic thread and grouping. The African Language Services (ALS) Stations portfolio has eleven stations in the bouquet (uKhoziFM, Lesedi FM, uMhlobo Wenene FM, Thobela FM, iKwekwezi FM, Phalaphala FM, Ligwalagwala FM, Munghana-Lonene FM, TruFM, XK-FM and Motsweding FM) and serves the highly aspirational, connected, rooted, relevant , and evolving dominant market. The MG5 portfolio (MetroFM, GoodHope FM, and 5FM) mainly speaks to the youthful market. Fortune4 (2000FM, Lotus FM, SAFM, and Radio Sonder Grense – RSG), speaks to the matured, rooted, legacy-driven, and settled B2B audience.
The TGI research showed that ALS listeners remain optimistic, and motivated individuals are open to change. They tend to be highly ambitious, and are willing to take risks to get where they want to go. They are very concerned with image and appearance, and are avid consumers. ALS listeners are also less traditional than they used to be, thus less conservative than previously. However, tradition still drives the core life value of ALS listeners. They are also utopian, philanthropic and spiritual, but also welcome change and risk. They tend to be idealistic and have strong convictions, and tend to reject materialism. They expect people and organisations to behave ethically.
ALS listeners have balanced their outlook on life, with their home becoming increasingly relevant, as well as their focus on finances. Values are still highly relevant to the audience, and healthcare is becoming increasingly important. They are consistently proud to be South African and believe that AIDS is a serious threat to the economy. Employment creation, and addressing violence and crime concerns these listeners. Values, society and home matter most to ALS listeners, being motivated, they believe that nothing in life is for free. They have consistently shopped around for the best prices, but increasingly save up for something they want. Deciding what they want before they do their weekly shopping is not as relevant currently, and they are not as price conscious as they used to be, looking for the lowest possible prices. They also don’t bargain hunt as much as they used to.
MG5 listeners, similar to ALS listeners, have balanced their outlook on life, with their home having become their channel of expression, and where their heart is. Financial awareness is key to this audience, and they also believe that nothing in life is for free (which was not a main attitude previously). They shop around for the best prices, and are astute. Faith is important to the MG5 audience, more than it used to be, as is the audience’s entrepreneurial appetite. Quality resonates with this audience as well as healthcare elements of drinking water, and taking responsibility for healthcare going forward. They are also a motivated audience.
The Fortune 4 audience is concerned with societal issues of AIDS being a threat to the South African economy, as they are with their concern with violence and crime and of government’s role in creating employment. The home really resonates with the Fortune 4 audience, in being a comforting place full of memories, a castle to show off, and a place of function and organisation. Fortune 4 listeners consider their faith to be important to them, consistently. The environment concerns Fortune 4 listeners, in making an effort to save energy and electricity, and in being a responsible citizen. Fortune 4 listeners fear being indebted, and enjoy good service. They are highly valued individuals, and believe that it’s important to build lasting relationships with one person. Paying TV licenses is the right thing to do for this audience, and company ethics matter to them. They also try to welcome others as much as they can.
It is very important that media planning is done with a target audience in mind in terms of media behavior. It is important to know when audiences are listening to the radio versus other media channels, and what the target audiences preferred medium is for sourcing information. A TGI lifestyle statement may resonate with the brand and the audience, for example, ‘I listen to the radio to source information about clothing retailers’, which can be appropriate and customised, for specific contexts.
It is key to evaluate the audience’s behaviour, attitudes, and opinions when listening to the radio. For example, TGI can measure how many listeners always listen to the radio more intently when the news comes on, and prefer local radio because it covers local news. The TGI survey asks respondents if they listen to the radio every day, and if they like to listen to the news on the radio because it provides them with regular updates. It can be determined if listeners listen to the radio mainly for companionship, and whether those with cars always listen to the radio while driving. Particularly useful for media strategists and planners would be to find out how many listeners often notice advertisements on the radio, and how many pay more attention to advertising on radio, than on any other media.
Once statements like this are quantified using, Choices, TGI’s user friendly software, the demographic and psychographic profile of radio listeners of any particular station can be evaluated accurately to determine if it matches the target audience of the brand. Over and above this, media planners and strategists can ascertain preferences of specific radio audiences and align their campaigns accordingly. TGI has a sample size that is representative of the country as a whole (weighted to STATS SA data) so insights can be generalised.
TGI can identify radio audiences’ predominant attitudes towards life, finances, motivations, aspirations, shopping, consumer confidence, the environment, food, durables, society, and so many more options (590+ attitude statements). This type of in-depth knowledge of the audience can be considered when reviewing advertising content, to ensure that messaging is relevant to the target audience. It is vital when planning for specific radio stations to be responsive to the evolution they have experienced, and to the complexities of today’s consumer in South Africa.
People do not live in a vacuum, and the evolution of the global economy creates new expectations for consumers. TGI has access to global consumer trends that can be contextualised within the local framework so that one can really get into the psyche of an audience. Ask Afrika’s goal with TGI is to understand what the global and local consumer landscape means for media, brands, products, and services.
The good news is that consumer confidence is up, and it is backed by growing incomes. Having said this though, higher income does not necessarily translate into more disposable income as consumers are paying more for the cost of living.
Media content and planning needs to be relevant to local audiences, to garner maximum impact and traction. Media content and planning needs to talk to the evolution of the local consumers, and factor in their increased complexities and sophistication.
Maria Petousis is TGI Director at Ask Afrika
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