Research Interview South Africa

New study aimed at assessing damage caused to market by pandemic

Percy Shangase, founder of Amashuku Marketing Solutions recently announced that the company will undertake a study to help brands, schools and companies get an aerial shot of the market, assess the damage caused by the pandemic and align their brands, product offerings and services accordingly in the consumer headspace.
Percy Shangase, founder of Amashuku Marketing Solutions.
Percy Shangase, founder of Amashuku Marketing Solutions.

He's called upon strategic partners to buy into this by funding the project, and he anticipates conducting a total of 100 group and mini discussions and paired interviews. The project will advance to a quantitative phase once all the nuances and granular attributes have been obtained and finetuned.

I caught up with Shangase and asked him to explain the significance of the study and what they’d need from potential partners or investors to get the ball rolling.

Provide a bit of background on the study and elaborate on the aim and significance of such a study.

South Africa has undergone a myriad of metamorphosis:

First, it was the unbanning of political parties, which saw SA being recognised on a global stage and became an active economic partner with the global world. The changes brought about a unique breed of consumers that were and still very relenting in their pursuit for excellence in as far as the rending of services is concerned, they have less tolerance for failure, seizing opportunities never imagined before, demand good value for money, and do not respond well to messages that treat them as outsiders to their own country.

Unemployment has been a bane to the governing party and it has been a mountainous task to climb with rocketing corruption robbing people of service delivery. Now, the Covid-19 which saw the economic shutdown in SA, businesses closing down, product lines discontinued, unemployment reaching unprecedented levels, hiking of price of petrol and electricity, and the gap ever-increasing of the marginalised communities.

Brands, manufacturers, retail, FMCG, Travel & Tourism have found themselves at a cross-road. I aim to give our strategic partners a macro outlook in the market, from a diverse, unique and well-populated set of practical insights that we can help them distil and apply to their specific micro-level.

We want to save them the headache of having to move from one supplier to the next getting different nuggets of information and piecing different sources of information is laborious and frustrating at times, and time is the luxury they do not have. I want to introduce economies of scale by buying into a big pool of information that touches different Hot Buttons that would add value to the business.

A lot of the so-called strategic planners are making moves that promise them turn-around strategies – those turnaround strategies are worthless without effective research. Times like this call for a collaborated effort that will look at each sector and also learn from other sectors how to effectively move forward in an informed fashion. There has never been a time in which research is so critical in the life of brands and the business landscape like now.

We want to help our potential strategic partners to effectively streamline their efforts in the right direction first time through an effective SWOT analysis of each sector and how it is affected by other sectors.

The qualitative approach that we have adopted helps to use laddering techniques and an opportunity to follow up, by asking the why behind the answer. This will be an informed build-up to the quantitative phase and also determine the extent Brand Distancing has had an effect on their bottom line and what is the way forward.

Take us through what sectors you'll be targeting.

The sectors that we aim to focus on are many and varied and will also be determined by the appetite of our sponsors, however, we intend coving but not limited to the following sectors:

  • Retail (Food, clothing, hair care, furniture) – low and high involvement
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Manufacturing
  • Banking
  • Aviation (ACSA)
  • FMCG
  • Media Consumption patterns (Changes that have taken place from different segments)
  • Social Media Patterns
  • Advertising – Hits and misses
  • Fragmentation of the segments in the market (Has it become schizophrenic?)
  • Segments (we take a look at how the different segments have responded to the pandemic in terms of their consumption patterns)
  • Service delivery – local and national government
  • Employee satisfaction survey of the different sector
  • Any other segments will be populated as per the needs of our strategic partners

What would you need from potential partners and investors?

We want our strategic investors to be active participants in the process. For their sector, we would hold a proper briefing with them to get an understanding of what is important to them and what would they like us to focus on and how that relates to the whole study.

To provide theories related to their respective sector that they would like to test. To provide objectives and things that are of great concern for them in the new normal. To commit (financially) to sponsor at least between 2 -5 group discussions at the stipulated costs – economies of scale will be applicable the higher the number of groups sponsored.

The stipulated number of groups, paired interviews etc is not cast in stone we can adjust accordingly depending on the demand and the number of sectors that are coming to the fore.

Sponsorship for a car, accommodation and food as there would be a lot of travel to all nine provinces and talking to different segments of the market. We also need radio and television sponsors who will be a part of this gigantic venture aimed at aiding and preventing brands and companies from making costly mistakes.

We would also provide weekly updates as to how far we are going through the media sponsors.

Anything else you'd like to add?

  • This is a groundbreaking survey that will bring a lot of synergies between and amongst different players in the economic sector at large. It will not be decorated by fancy words but rather a differentiated approach as to how these are intertwined if at all.
  • Provide strategic direction on how to position their brands and grow from the pandemic.

For more information, contact Shangase via email or you can call him on +27 73 089 1581. You can also connect with him on Linkedin.

About Juanita Pienaar

Juanita is the editor of the marketing & media portal on the Bizcommunity website. She is also a contributing writer.
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