Congrats to the SAMRA Annual Conference 2018 Winners!

Once a year, the research industry gathers to showcase the best of Southern African market research at the SAMRA Annual Conference. The conference is characterised by fierce competition between researchers for the coveted SAMRA Annual Conference Awards. Congratulations to all the winners at the SAMRA Annual Conference 2018 that was held in Umhlanga, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa on 12 and 13 June 2018.

From Left to Right Alexan Carrilho (SAMRA Chairman 2017/2018), Elsa Thirion-Venter and Jan Wegelin


Best Overall Paper Award (2018), and Kantar Innovation Award (2018): Dr. Petrus de Kock, Jan Wegelin and Dr. Elsa Thirion-Venter A social segmentation model of the diverse and complex South African society with broader implications for the research industry As a diverse nation, there are many attributes that shape and inform our behaviour daily, in very different ways. In a fast paced and dynamic society, South African citizens are exposed to continuous change. How are we influenced by these dynamics, and how does it shape our thoughts and actions? To develop deeper insight into the impact dynamics of change have on our society, Brand South Africa, African Response and MarkData embarked on a process of developing a tailored segmentation model of the South African society. As researchers, we are used to the broad segmentation profiles, or a combination thereof, such as race, age, gender and province which provide broad insights into different profiles of our society. But, essentially, these are tangible or genetic discriminatory principles. Added to this, we’ve seen the slow but definitive demise of the LSM segmentation model which has become less and less reliable and effective. To illustrate, LSM has no historical discriminatory component so whether one acquired a TV, for instance, fifteen years ago, it still counts as an indicator of living standards today. Furthermore, 80.8% of the South African society is classified as Black (StatsSA, 2017), is it acceptable or even reliable to consider or articulate that four out of five South Africans are in some or other way similar? The argument is not that race is void of any value as an identifier or indicator, but it should be used in the appropriate context and not stretched to reach specific behavioural or consumer conclusions. These types of segmentation strategies in a diverse and complex society with high unemployment, multi-linguistic and multi-cultural heritage, social grants and as one of the most urbanised countries in Africa (Edmunds, 2013) are simply not reliable enough to assume consistent behaviour across the basic tangible or genetic segmentation attributes. Added to the above are more complex notions such as racial integration, the need for economic growth and a more pronounced impact of education on society. With these influencers or challenges shaping the thoughts of South Africans daily, the segmentation debate has become more complex and intricate. For many years, different segmentation techniques have been developed and refined with the aim to define sub-parts of some total market (Claycamp and Massy, 1968). Some segmentation models are used globally, based on assumed universal truths of opinion or sentiment such as favourite or trusted, which in some cultures could be contradictory expressions when one is asked if a product or an entity can hold the same qualities as a person. From a different angle, quota samples are often used to research an identified group, which is essentially a predefined segment, and finding deeper engagement with that pocket of the population. The question remains, would it have been useful, in one of the most diverse and multi-cultural societies in the world, to first understand the population from a range of angles based on theoretical principles and then zoom in on each of the segments to identify behaviour, sentiment, intervention or communication strategies? Brand South Africa requires insights that transcend mere consumer behaviour based on broad segmentation practices. Thus, the segmentation model developed aims to encompass insight into attitudes, behaviours, and opinions regarding the South African Nation Brand as it manifests in the realms of politics and governance, business and economics as well as civil-society. In this paper, Brand South Africa, together with African Response and MarkData developed such a social segmentation model of the South African nation based on four constructs, National Identity, National Pride, Active Citizenship and Social Cohesion. These four constructs were explored theoretically and then used as a basis for segmenting society to evaluate a point-in-time assessment of the levels of integration, and how South Africans consider their role in society through anchor points. This paper is not so much about the findings of the research, but more about how it was developed and the implications of current and traditional research segmentation practices against a transition towards a more strategic research approach that continuously form the basis of future research to build a body of knowledge that informs and directs an understanding of the dynamics at play in any population or market.

First Time Speaker Award (2018): Sylwia Wierzbicki Beyond consumer consciousness: Taking nonconscious insights from hype to reality Decades of research have concluded that human behaviour is largely driven by nonconscious process – and yet, the market research industry predominantly focuses on insights gathered through surveys, focus groups, and other such self-report (and conscious) measures. At a global scale, nonconscious measurement is no longer just a “special occasion” consideration, with over 50% of research suppliers already using and engaging with methodologies in this space (GRIT report, 2017 Q3 – Q4). Neuro and biometric measures certainly present valuable data, however, various restrictions – most notably around cost, scalability and expertise – limit the application of these tools (specifically in the South African market). Subsequently, valuable nonconscious insights are not integrated with conscious data – and we rarely get the ‘full view’ or ‘complete picture’ of consumer behaviour. Nonconscious measurement does not only face challenges of practicality in application – a general lack of awareness / knowledge / understanding around nonconscious insight is also prevalent amongst the industry (applicable to both buyers and suppliers).

People’s Choice Award (2018): Jason Brownlee Segmentation Revival There has been a revival of interest in segmentation. A consolidated segmentation strategy requires the integration of 1st party data, 3rd party data and probabilistic data. Using “Marmite questions”, segmentation distinguishes between Fanatics, Enthusiasts, Casuals and Indifferents (F.E.C.I.), resulting in efficient, scalable and culturally localised segmentation. The best segmentations are predictive.

SAMRA Student Award (2018): Joint winners Nosimo Ndamane The 4th Industrial Revolution- In the context of a life, and Ibrahim Lo Land Expropriation