2020 was a very hard year all round when South Africa went into lockdown, and we at the Marketing Research Foundation (MRF) honestly believed that our chances of releasing the MAPS (Marketing All Product Survey) data was a pipe dream.
Fortunately, we are working with a research company that does not believe a pandemic should stop us from moving forward. Plus 94 Research continued with fieldwork once we came out of Level 5, and of course adhered to very strict protocols that ensured the safety of both fieldworkers and interviewees.
The results of the first 5 000 interviews were released at the end of 2020 and the first six months data was released at the end of March 2021, and the great news is that we have just released the third quarter.
Our research committee headed by Celia Collins carried out the scrutiny process meticulously on both sets of data and whilst there were a few niggles once these were ironed out the data was released.
MAPS will go back into field in July, and we will have a full year’s results in October this year. We’re excited to say (from a media agency point of view too) that for the first time in five years, the marketing and media industry will have demographic, intermedia, behavioural, product and brand data in one survey albeit that there is limited media data in the survey, but this will allow marketers and strategists to decide on the macro media types.
Single source research makes a lot of sense because while many advertisers, marketers and JICS have conducted their own in-house research, this is rarely consolidated into one useable offering unless the data can be fused together using ‘hooks’ or base demographic elements that are the same – but this process needs the co-operation of the different parties and can be costly.
Many of South Africa’s advertisers have and are giving MAPS their support.The research is designed for marketers and media planners independently from any commercial interests, is transparent and neutral. One of the big advantages of this data is the ability for marketers to inform their decision making by inputting questions that the data needs to answer.
Other benefits of the survey and the technology includes the use of geo-codable data, enabling a regional view.
I am extremely grateful that the MRF has a board that truly believes in the vision that the industry needs a central survey that can support media owner or JIC currency surveys. Without the tireless work, faith, and support of the Board I doubt we would be where we are today.
My sincere thanks to the team who has worked tirelessly on the project for the last year and thanks to the subscribers for supporting us in this very difficult time for believing in MAPS and the future of research. We’re extremely excited to enter this next ground-breaking stage of research in South Africa.
Virginia Hollis is chairperson at the Marketing Research Foundation.
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