Ask Afrika, which turns 26 on 1 August 2021, continues to grow from strength to strength. Established at the dawn of South Africa's new democracy in 1995, Ask Afrika was founded by research psychologist, Andrea Rademeyer. From the outset Rademeyer has founded the company on ethical business principles with a mission to make a meaningful and positive impact on society.
“In the past 26 years Ask Afrika has made a significant and meaningful difference to the businesses of our clients,” says Rademeyer who is widely regarded as a business visionary and a highly respected leader in the research industry. “We have established a reputation for leadership, courage, integrity and care which has resulted in long-term client relationships. Similarly, the majority of our team have been with the company for many years. As we celebrate our 26th birthday we’re very excited to welcome two senior and highly experienced women to our leadership team to further bolster and grow our research capabilities,” says Rademeyer.
Simone Kakana joins Ask Afrika as Research Director. She will be responsible for large client services and advisory teams made up of social and statistical scientists.
“Simone’s experience in managing global brands research teams positions her well in her role as our newly appointed Research Director. Refilwe, on the other hand, has deep experience in Africa, which similarly supports our strategy to make our service and brand benchmarks available to African clients,” says Rademeyer, adding that a further senior appointment of a Strategic Business Development Manager will be announced shortly.
Refilwe Sathekge, previously the managing director of ITM Africa, has been appointed as Business Development Manager. She has extensive research industry experience having worked at Nielsen, Kantar and Ipsos Group as well as experience of the automotive and tobacco industries.
In the past 18 months the research firm has been hard at work innovating and revitalising its products and methodologies to allow their clients to adapt to post Covid consumer dynamics. Ask Afrika is the only company to have a complete behavioural insights, shopper dynamics, media, brand and psychographic tracker to have collected data on all lockdown levels, with the exception of level 5, through its Target Group Index (TGI) study. The TGI is the most comprehensive database on all products, brands and media habits in South Africa, allowing clients to segment and understand what drives their market, while at the same time catering to their marketing strategies on a tactical level. New data on the Icon Brands and Orange Index benchmarks will be released shortly.
All TGI data points can be reliably compared to data from the 2008 recession – or even just 2019 data. TGI data is trusted by the world’s most influential publishers, media owners, agencies, trading desks and advertisers. TGI operates in almost 70 markets worldwide, where it is the de facto local currency in the media buying and selling environments.
Recent innovations on TGI include the introduction of an online panel; shorter timelines which allows for quicker output to clients; and a robust new segmentation.
One of Ask Afrika’s most recent product innovations is the newly launched Ask Afrika Online Power Panel which amplifies citizen and consumer voices on topics such as products, services, government and social issues, to name a few. The Power Panel uses precisely targeted surveys to pre-profiled, responsive panellists, providing clients with fast, efficient and cost-effective insights. Customisable to any type of research study, budget and business question, the Power Panel enables quantitative and qualitative longitudinal studies as well as effective tracking to inform behavioural economics.
Since its inception, Ask Afrika has followed global best practices as far as its research methodologies are concerned. “Ethical guidelines and best practices are crucial to our reputation,” reveals Rademeyer. “We are active members of global organisations ESOMAR, PAMRA while locally we are members of SAMRA.”
With more than a quarter of century under its belt, Ask Afrika intends to continue delivering valuable insights to clients as it look forward to the next chapter.