Up-to-date data on what Zimbabweans read, watch, listen to and buy will be released next month. The fourth quarter Zimbabwe All Media and Products Survey (ZAMPS) research was completed last year and the data is now being analyzed and tabulated ready for release.
The advertising, communications and marketing industries are eagerly awaiting the latest information, which will show how many people in which income brackets access what media and demonstrate which products and services proved most popular in the last quarter of 2012.
"This is a national survey, taking in urban, peri-urban and rural communities and capturing the views of men and women over 15," said Major Tikiwa, chairman of the Zimbabwe Advertising Research Foundation (ZARF), which commissions the research undertaken in the country annually.
Normally ZARF conducts four surveys a year: due to financial constraints it did two last year and the latest available data is from the urban-only research undertaken in the third quarter of 2012, the first survey of that year.Competition for most read paper
Harare now offers five daily papers, a thrice-weekly one and five weekly ones and the competition for the most read paper is keen.
"We survey readership, not print runs, because this is the information that our advertisers want," Tikiwa said, adding that ZARF has been in contact with the Audit Bureau of Circulation in South Africa with a view to re-introducing ABC accreditation for local publications. Only The Zimbabwean
is currently registered with this international body.
Two new radio stations, StarFM and ZiFM, came on air during the last survey and achieved significant market penetration. The industries are eager to know how many listeners they have, in which income groups and areas and this information will be available once the first 2013 ZAMPS is released.
ZARF consists of representatives of the print and electronic media, marketers and advertisers. Collectively they decide what information they want to get from ZAMPS and the technical committee develops an appropriate questionnaire. The research is funded by a 1.5% levy on all advertising placed in Zimbabwe.
ZARF goes out to tender every two years for a research house to undertake the survey. It has been done by Research Bureau International for the past decade.