At this year’s 16th annual Pamro conference, which broke its attendance record, the organisation unveiled its new Harmonised Questionnaire. Although it has been in development since 2005, the Pamro conference was the first time delegates had eyes on it. Michael Bratt spoke to Janet Proudfoot, general manager of group research and audience strategy at e.tv, to find out more about the new data gathering tool.
The aim of the questionnaire is to create an African audience measurement and research tool, which looks at product and media consumption habits, with the results being plugged into a database that is comparable between different countries on the continent.
“In most African countries, out of South Africa there is no or very limited media research at all,” Proudfoot explained, underlining the need for it. “Thus the media owners, agencies and marketers have very little knowledge of who they are targeting and what media their customers are exposed to, are consuming and what media dominates in each territory.”
The survey is based on population estimates and will demographically profile the audience including factors such as levels of education, standard of living and inter-media consumption. Revealing more about these factors “will enable marketers to determine the power of say, broadcast media over print”, Proudfoot says.
In developing the questionnaire, the Pamro South African sub-committee took a lot away from the South African Establishment Survey, essentially AMPS. The survey is made up of seven main sections: Demographics, which looks at factors such as age, income, education, work status; A new cell phone section, that takes into account the rapid advancement of mobile across the continent; media equipment section, which looks at the use of personal laptops; online section; media access and consumption section, which includes questions about TV, radio, cinema, print, out of home; commuting section; and a lifestyle activities section.
Proudfoot says the main benefit of the questionnaire is that, “It is standard across territories so that one can analyse and trend data across territories. The only thing each country would add is their own list of media including print titles, radio stations and TV channels.”
The one drawback is that each country has to print and distribute their own questionnaires and would have to employ a research house at a country level to sample and weight the population correctly. Proudfoot says the one way to overcome this is if media owners and marketers work together to share the costs and effort. Once the data has been collected, the country who implemented the questionnaire would own that data and they can choose who to share it with.
Proudfoot went on to add that, “The questionnaire has been developed for use by PAMRO members at no charge and is one of the added benefits of belonging to this organisation.”
The questionnaire is currently being translated into French with a possibility into Arabic. A mobile phone version has also been developed.
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