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Congrats to the SAMRA Annual Conference 2017 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 2017 that was held in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa on 17 and 18 May 2017. 

And the winners are…

From left to right
Back Jeannie Schreuder, Adré Schreuder, Elna Pretorius, Natalie Botha
Front Arné Schreuder, Saiesh Ajudhiya


Best Overall Paper Award (2017): Adré Schreuder, Arné Schreuder and Jeannie Schreuder for Customer Centric Artificial Intelligence – Using Text and Sentiment Analysis & Deep Neural Network Learning to make Chatbots Reply in a more Customer Centric Fashion The increase of different customer feedback channels, sentiment analysis and deep neural network learning has become one of the biggest trends of the world. The aim of this study was to better understand the views, opinions and perceptions towards the advancements that have been made in market research tools and information technology innovations today. The key findings of the study included that respondents are aware of Artificial Intelligence and the definition thereof. Most of the respondents indicated that they prefer human interactions compared to automated feedback communications and the source of interaction in important. Simple criteria were proposed that could be used to ultimately assign a Customer Centricity Score (CCS) to chatbots responses. It was found that an ANN could be used to learn the hypothetical function that would lead to an accurate CCS. This model could be used to guide AI Chatbots to be more customer centric in customer feedback.

First Time Speaker Award (2017): Saiesh Ajudhiya and Natalie Botha for Untold Emotions: Future-proofing adverts by understanding non-verbal responses from consumers Emotion in advertising is not a novel concept, however, measurement has been limited to self-reporting. With significant advances in neuroscience, it is possible to measure in-the-moment emotional responses. One way this is being done is through facial coding. We analysed facial coding data from middle class South Africans, who were exposed to FMCG television adverts. The results indicate that spontaneous emotions (as interpreted from facial expressions) give brands a nuanced understanding of how people feel about content. Furthermore, if the overall experience of the advert is positive, the brand is more likely to succeed in market.

People’s Choice Award (2017): Elna Pretorius for What people think I do for a living This presentation featured an examination of how society perceives market researchers. Elna spoke with friends, family and children of market researchers to explain what their spouse/child/parent/friend/sibling does for a living. She included a short survey with the general public. The aim of the presentation was to shed light on how the industry is perceived and how we can market our profession better to attract talent to the industry. How can we better market market research?

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