The Publisher Research Council (PRC), Nielsen and the Interactive Advertising Bureau of South Africa (IAB SA) are to fuse their data-sets.
The PAMS (Publisher Audience Measurement Survey) research, the CPS (Consumer Panel) data, and Effective Measure (now known as Narratiive) data are to be combined, which will bring consumption data to manufacturers, media agencies and publishers.
“Single source research in today’s market with fragmentation and ‘time is money’ doesn’t work. That’s why they’re not doing it anywhere else in the world. You get much better data from taking Effective Measure data and through fusion,” says PRC consultant Peter Langschmidt explaining the reasons behind the move.
Duplication of brands and products research
Since the demise of the South African Audience Research Foundation and the last release of All Media and Product Survey (AMPS) data back in 2015, marketers have had to rely on old data or in-house research.
But now two research data-sets have emerged to fill the void which measure almost exactly the same thing, says Langschmidt: The PRC/Nielsen/IAB SA’s research, and the proposed research by the Marketing Research Foundation, which has just concluded its funding collection stage.
“This is the crazy thing, we’ve had no brands and products research and now we’re going to have different sets measuring fast moving consumer goods. They’re just using different methodologies,” says Langschmidt.
15 times cheaper
But despite measuring the same thing, Langschmidt believes there are significant differences between the two sets. The most noticeable is the funding required for the research. The PRC/Nielsen/IAB SA consumer research is already paid for as it has been going for 20 years. “Because the Nielsen data is already paid for, it is 15 times cheaper for marketers than any other consumer research method, costing R1.5 million as opposed to R25 million – R35 million,” Langschmidt says. The PRC is fully funding the first set of PRC/Nielsen/IAB SA fused data, but from next year, marketers and manufacturers will share the R1.5 million cost.
More in-depth insights
Another difference Langschmidt points to is the in-depth quality of the data collected by the PRC, Nielsen and IAB SA. He says it reveals far more than the MRF set will as “it tracks the movement off the shelves of every supermarket, right down to the spaza shops”. He referred to this as “real, audited purchases” due to Nielsen’s research methodology of barcode scanning, and physical Nielsen dustbins where consumers throw away their products which are then audited.
Behind this research is a panel of 4 000 households (Nielsen’s Consumer Panel), which tells a manufacturer why their market share has changed at certain supermarkets.
“It’s actual behaviour, not claimed behaviour, and it’s ongoing month after month. The other ones are old-fashioned paper diaries which consumers fill in, mostly ten minutes before the researcher comes back a week later … There’s no verification, barcodes and it’s all based on the memory of the consumer,” he explains.
Time of the week trends, seasonal purchases, purchase cycles, and tying products to actual supermarkets are just some of the things that the Nielsen/PRC/IAB SA data reveals, which Langschmidt claims is not possible with other research due to the use of paper diaries.
Langschmidt reveals that one of the MRF’s arguments is that the PRC research is not independent, because it is conducted by media owners who have a vested interest, but he counters this with, “That goes out the window, because the Nielsen panel is completely independent. It’s been run by a market research company, not a media owner, for the past 20 years.”
Collaboration in the marketing industry
Langschmidt stresses that with South Africa being such a small country, there shouldn’t be the need for multiple research data-sets measuring the same thing. “Why are we empire building? We should sit down with the manufacturers, and the AMF and choose one methodology and do what’s best for the manufacturers, the brands and for the industry, not making a name for ourselves,” he says.
He reveals that the PRC offered the MRF a chance to partner on their consumer and brands panel, but says, “They want to go back to the old days of AMPS and single source. They said they don’t want to share the stage with us and they want to go ahead and go back to the way they’ve always done it… They want to bring back AMPS, basically”.
“Why reinvent the wheel? Langschmidt asks. “Nielsen consumer and brand data has been going for 20 years, and it has better information… It’s real purchases, it’s not memory-dependant, claimed purchases… If they go with the MRF they will pay R25 million– R35 million to get less information. Why would you pay 15 times more for worse data?”
The MRF was approached for a response to this story and Langschmidt’s comments, but declined, informing The Media Online that they would rather have a separate interview to discuss the progress made with their research. This article will be up on the site in the coming days.