At the recent PRC Fusion 2018 launch, Nielsen’s global Data Science Lead for Watch, Jonathon Wells, and the Publisher Research Council’s Peter Langschmidt, did a most persuasive job of convincing the audience that the South African media research industry had caught up with global trends in delivering this first fusion project.
Research guru, Jos Kuper, added her endorsement to this, stressing that fusion was a more successful and wonderful technique than when she had first advocated its use in her recommendations for future-proofing SAARF.
It was mentioned in the presentations that, after the fusion process, a total of 1 816 brands were available in the new unified database; certainly, this sounded impressive. Indeed, when I sat down to undertake a preliminary exploration of the data for the first time, I felt a little like the proverbial kid in a sweet shop. I was faced with a dizzying array of products ranging from acne/antiseptic creams and air-fresheners, through to foot cream and fresh cream, and on to yeast and yoghurt (split into eating and drinking categories).
Taking note of the cautionary note that, “fused brand data is to be used for media planning purposes only and not for market measurement”, I decided to use my first foray into the data to see if I could detect any discernible differences between the brand purchasing preferences of Rooi Rose and Sarie readers.
While the editors of both magazines are likely to take exception to the point, I think many industry planners struggle to differentiate between the two publications. Rooi Rose deems its offering to be “stylvol, sinvol and propvol”, while Sarie offers its readers “Ons Inspirasie”. The latter has also managed to hold onto the circulation high ground, with an April to June 2018 ABC of 65 439 versus Rooi Rose’s 58 350. In the PAM survey, Sarie’s paper average issue readership is 648 000 versus Rooi Rose’s 593 000, and it remains ahead in the combined Paper AIR/ Online Past 7-day readership: 658 000 versus 617 000. The average age of the Sarie reader is 43 versus Rooi Rose’s 42; the former’s average household income is R 21 088 versus the latter’s R17 917.
In acknowledgement of multiplatform readership, I decided to use the combined Paper AIR/ Online Past 7-day readership figures as the basis for my comparison, and to look at their profiles in terms of brand usage across a random selection of categories. Readers of both titles are committed coffee drinkers, with nearly 95% of them having purchased instant coffee. Predictably, the most purchased brand across both readerships is Ricoffy. However, Sarie readers are 23% more likely than Rooi Rose readers to buy Frisco; by contrast, Rooi Rose are 35% more inclines to choose Jacobs and more than twice as likely to select a house-brand. (Admittedly, the proportion of house-brand users is small.)
Naturally, the readers of both magazines buy biscuits and tend to choose Bakers first. However, Rooi Rose readers seem more inclined to buy Provita and Rite brands, and to choose Cape Cookies. Nearly two thirds of both titles’ readers buy eating yoghurt, with Danone the most chosen brand. Once again, it is Rooi Rose’s readers who are more likely to select Dairybelle and Clover.
On the personal care front, the purchase of deodorant is fortunately nearly universal, with Shield the lead brand followed closely by Nivea. Rooi Rose readers show a greater inclination to buy Dove and Axe. Organics and Colgate are the most widely purchased shampoo brands across both readerships. Head & Shoulders, Pantene and TRESemmé are more likely to be purchased by Rooi Rose readers.
This title’s readers also show a greater inclination (17%) to purchase analgesics. Panado is their first choice, as it is for the readers of the competitive title; but Rooi Rose readers are significantly more likely to choose Grand Pa.
They are also more likely to purchase vitamins/supplements and show a notable inclination to buy brands that fall into the “other” category i.e. smaller niche brands. Rooi Rose has a higher proportion of readers who are single or unmarried and living with a partner as well as a higher proportion of readers who work part-time. These correlate with the readership’s lower average household income. Perhaps the greater purchase of analgesics and vitamins is understandable, whilst the choice of brands might reflect a canny approach to shopping.
My initial foray into the data was only brief, but it is clear to me that the publishers’ marketing intelligence departments have an impressive amount of data, from which to craft compelling stories.