Since the demise of AMPS, marketers and media agencies have been left with a void in marketing research. But the industry bodies who are involved with the South African Audience Research Foundation (SAARF) have been working on this problem and have a plan to implement a new research currency which will fill the gap and assist marketers and media agencies. Michael Bratt spoke to Greg Garden, CEO of the Marketing Association of South Africa (MA(SA)) and Virginia Hollis, chairman of SAARF, to find out more.
The project is a collaborative effort between MA(SA), the Advertising Media Forum (AMF), and the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA). “This initiative is in response to growing concerns from marketers and their agencies about the brand, product and intermedia usage research void that has occurred arising from the withdrawal from SAARF of the media owner associations, and the resulting lack of funding for such research,” Garden explains.
The reasoning behind the new research
The SAARF partners have over the past year had extensive engagements with a cross section of marketers to gauge the value of, need for, and possible ways of providing what Virginia Hollis describes as “new and improved independent and media neutral ongoing consumer focused research, which could be available to all marketers on an affordable basis”.
“We established that there is very definitely a strong appetite for a new research currency to replace AMPS and an acknowledgement that the only effective way that that could be done, would be to have a body managing it on behalf of marketers,” says Hollis.
While there is research through other industry bodies, it is not consumer centric which aids in the understanding of the customer journey through tracking and daily consumer behaviour, decision making and consumption.
Garden adds, “Of course the media owners are going to say that their credibility is at stake when they do their own research, that it needs to be credible. And we accept that and have no problem with any of the research that they are doing. But clearly there is a need for further independent research to supplement that and consolidate it through a consumer lens.”
He reckons there needs to be something that provides a benchmark, which AMPS previously did.
ES cannot replace AMPS
Despite the creation of an Establishment Survey (ES) by the media owners, Garden says this new research could never replace AMPS as “the research objectives of it are based on media owner requirements to enable the compatibility of the various individual media studies. Products, brands and category data are not measured in the ES. So by and large the vast bulk of what used to be in AMPS will no longer be available to marketers and their media agencies unless there is a substitute for it”.
All the details around the initiative will be revealed at a consultative event on 2 March 2017, 15:00 for 15:30 until 17:00, at The Country Club Johannesburg. The programme at this event will cover:
- The scope, content and outputs of the proposed new industry research initiative;
- The proposed funding model;
- The creation of a new research foundation, controlled by and for the benefit of marketers and their agents; and
- Questions, answers and inputs from the attendees.
All interested parties are encouraged to attend the event as their attendance and participation are vital to the success of this initiative. Hollis says, “This research will only go ahead if we get sufficient interest and buy in from the marketers and media agencies. We encourage everyone to attend and engage and give their input to shape this vital initiative”.
To register for the event e-mail your name, designation, company, and telephone no. to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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