The Covid-19 pandemic has been unprecedented, impacting markets around the world with profound market changes. During this period, consumer beliefs have shifted fundamentally with significant changes at both brand and retailer level. Successfully navigating through these myriad changes requires in-depth, insightful and current information. Data has become key to strategic decision-making.
To retain market share requires that brands put consumer’s front and centre, explains Ask Afrika founder and CEO Andrea Rademeyer. “In the battle for new and existing customers, brands are having to reposition themselves. Knowing where to reposition themselves requires that marketers, brand managers and agencies systematically monitor trends and indicators. More than that, however, they need to diagnostically understand how their brand personas have changed in the past few months and how they can meet their consumer’s needs.”
The post-Covid environment will require a deep recalibration of how customers make decisions and what matters to them, she adds. “Segmentation will require more than a nuanced approach. To succeed, marketers will have to have a granular understanding of where their target consumers are and whether their marketing investment is effective. Marketing strategies will need to be adapted to accommodate emerging trends and customer demands in the aftermath of the pandemic.”
Ask Afrika is the only research company in SA that has consistently tracked Covid-related fears, behaviours and beliefs with brand persona’s and psychographics since the beginning of the lockdown, allowing marketers to compare consumer attitudes during the different lockdown phases.
The company’s Target Group Index (TGI) survey – for which Ask Africa owns the South African rights – is a large-scale single source probability survey, which has a global geographic coverage of 70 markets measuring products, brands and media habits. TGI has been in South Africa since 2003, providing a stable and comparable measurement against a solid and reliable base. Locally, the index offers the most comprehensive database of products, brands and media habits in the country and is used by the majority of the largest 50 advertisers.
Including more than 8,000 brands in more than 570 different product categories and 19 different product sectors, TGI provides more than 400 attitude statements based on a solid methodology and national representatively, setting the industry standard for benchmarks. In 2018, Ask Afrika was awarded the Jenny Davis Award at the TGI Global Conference for the best data collection methodology.
TGI provides an array of local insights, enabling a holistic view of the products and brands purchased during the course of a week in the life of customers. Based on 24,000 interviews conducted on an annual basis, TGI provides an all-inclusive view of the marketplace, allowing business decision-makers to create meaningful strategies that speak authentically to both their customers and audience profiles. The information included in TGI supports marketers to systematically monitor indicators and trends and commit to bold changes in marketing strategies and marketing investment in order to build organisational resilience and agility in a rapidly changing marketplace.
As a tool for marketers, advertisers, advertising agencies and media owners TGI allows for market evaluation, more effective integration of media, customer profiling, competitor review, better strategies and targeted sponsorship campaigns.
In addition to providing more than two decades of brand intelligence, TGI data also includes both pre- and current Covid-19 data, which highlights the extent to which consumer spending and consumption patterns have changed since the beginning of South Africa’s lockdown earlier this year. Providing detailed analysis, it provides marketers with a better understanding of how consumer behaviour has changed in 2020, allowing for more effective diagnostic forecasting. “For marketers, comparing the 2019 TGI database to the 2020 TGI Covid-19 database is now a strategic imperative, particularly given that this is the only available database which integrates 8,000 brand behaviours with complete behavioural Covid-19 lockdown data,” says Rademeyer.
The data can also be reliably compared to the 2018 recession in order to provide an in-depth picture of how the market has changed in recent months from a behavioural, consumer and shopper dynamic, media, brand and psychographic perspective.
Ask Afrika clients who are using TGI data are almost universally impressed with the level of insights delivered. “Wow! I’m gobsmacked! I have just been re-born. My advertising briefs will never be the same again,” says Luvuyo Ngoma, marketing head for the consumer division at Aspen Pharmacare.
Dr Adri Drotskie, head of research and faculty development at Henley Africa, is equally impressed. “I’ve worked with Ask Afrika for many years in different capacities and will always go back to them and refer them to others due to the very relevant and recent research they embark on, keeping us informed through sound academic research, based on very well thought-through research questions and approaches. Thanks for the huge contribution you are making to research in Africa.”
Customer insights manager at The Foschini Group, Robyn Sartorius, is another satisfied client that highly recommends TGI and the associated Ask Afrika resources. “This data is very robust and we are able to trend customer behaviour over time. We have found TGI to be an invaluable tool within our team. If you are a business that wants to put the customer at the centre of all that you do, then TGI has a robust database which can help you achieve this. I highly recommend using TGI.”Offering flexible data solutions, including 24-hour database access for a full year, once-off interpreted reports including expert insights and once-off data runs, Ask Afrika is ensuring that its data and actionable insights are accessible to all industry stakeholders. Contact Maria Petousis for more information: az.oc.akirfaksa@sisuoteP.airaM or (012) 428 7400.About Ask AfrikaAsk Afrika is a decisioneering company. We support our clients’ decisions through facts. Typically, our clients’ require information around social research and philanthropy, experience measures and consulting, and brand dynamics.
Social research decisions are required around HIV/Aids and more recently, Covid-19. Educational and early childhood development, fair-trade shopping, media and financial research are some of the areas we love to work in. NGOs, public- and private sector clients choose to work with us to get the pulse of the nation.
Besides being decisioneers in brand and customer experience research, Ask Afrika is well known for creating some of the most useful, go-to industry benchmarks, including the Ask Afrika Orange Index®, the Ask Afrika Icon Brands®, the Ask Afrika Kasi Star Brands and the Target Group Index (TGI). Ask Afrika’s knowledge of brands is extensive. The Target Group Index (TGI) survey, which measures psychographics, service, products, media and brands, has been used by the majority of the top 50 advertisers and media owners in South Africa for nearly two decades.
Our clients operate across various industries, including retail, telecoms, finance, and the public sector. We offer tailor-made and ready-to-use offerings for all our clients regardless of the size of project.
In addition to being brave, agile, vibrant and experimental, we apply deep thinking to every research project. Our aim is to be great at everything we do and to make a meaningful impact.
Partner with Ask Afrika in order to confidently make game-changing business decisions that grow your business.www.askafrika.co.za | az.oc.akirfaksa@tcennoc