SAMRA was established in 1963 as a voluntary association of marketing researchers. Marketing research as an identified, delineated discipline and profession was relatively new, and there was a need to ensure professionalism amongst researchers (incl. sharing ideas and new developments), and to promote the effective use of marketing research by decision-makers.

SAMRA is a non-profit, voluntary association of research organisations and researchers in the data, research and insights industry. The organisation is managed by a Board of Directors in ten representative seats, most of whom are elected by the members at the Annual General Meeting. The SAMRA Office are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the association. SAMRA members are required to adhere to the SAMRA Memorandum of Incorporation and Company Rules, which govern the organisation’s operations. Also see the SAMRA Public Access to Information Act (PAIA) Manual.


1. Grow the data, research and insights industry

Objective 1: Proactively market, advocate for and lobby on behalf of the industry

Objective 2: Strategically manage talent at industry level to meet demand

2. Enhance quality and professionalism

Objective 3: Promote the professional development of practitioners

Objective 4: Provide industry-specific input into the Southern African learning system

Objective 5: Protect the public, and monitor and self-regulate ethics in the industry

3. Deliver stakeholder value

Objective 6: Offer value-adding products and services to the industry

Objective 7: Ensure adequate representation of the industry with government

Objective 8: Maintain effective systems and processes to manage operations

Our stakeholders include members of the public, suppliers and clients/users of research (including our members), the media, legislators, related industries and associations, and education and training providers.


SAMRA Membership requires adherence to the internationally accepted Code of Conduct. In this regard, SAMRA is the ethics watchdog for Southern Africa, and deals with complaints, enquiries and other issues pertaining to the Code of Conduct. There are three types of SAMRA Membership: Organisation Membership, Associate Membership and Independent Membership.

Members who achieve a certain level of competence and standing in the industry are awarded various forms of Professional Recognition (e.g. accreditation, inclusion on the SAMRA Honour Roll, awards at Conference, etc.).

The SAMRA Research Participant Verification Database is an online database service that tracks research participation nationally and allows subscribers to verify if a person has participated in research within the 6 months preceding the date of verification. This service requires annual licensing. The purpose of the service is to root out fraudulent, unethical and poor quality research participant recruiting.

Publications include Industry Research; the SAMRA Yearbook  that contains important documents relating to SAMRA and research practice, including information regarding members; the Newsletter (SAMRA Update) distributed electronically to members; the SAMRA Journal, distributed to members and containing technical research articles and discussion relevant to the industry; the SAMRA Annual Conference publication which is a digest of all papers presented at the conference. SAMRA Salary Survey that tracks remuneration and HR practice in market research in South Africa; SAMRA Annual Market Research Industry Size Survey (only available to participants). All publications are available from the SAMRA office.

SAMRA hosts an Annual Conference, with eminent speakers from SA and abroad. Other Professional Development Events include webinars, seminars, workshops and meetings where issues pertinent to the profession are discussed, hosted at local level.

Advertising and Sponsorship Opportunities are available in our publications, on our website, and at our events (e.g. registration area, venue, catering, presentation area, gifts, etc.). These opportunities and are available to organisations that do and use market research, have positions available in market research, offer industry-relevant training courses and other learning opportunities, and supply research-relevant goods or services to the industry (e.g. focus group discussion venues, IT, freelancers). For advertising rates: SAMRA Advertising.

A number of Interest Groups have formed to discuss common interests, learn, network, share resources, etc. For example: Research Supplier (previously known as SAMRA Corporate), Research User, Field Management, Research Interviewer, Research Participant Recruitment, Small Businesses and Freelancer, Research in Africa, Academia, Students, Employment Equity, and Qualitative Research interest groups.

SAMRA Transformation Policy Statement 1 Nov 2017