All is now set for the African Market Research Association (AMRA) conference called Africa Forum 2019, billed to hold at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos from April 15-17 as local organizing committee members of AMRA and hosting association, the Nigerian Marketing Research Association (NiMRA) fast-forward processes to make the 3rd edition of its forum being organized in Nigeria, the best ever.
The need to form a pan-African association became inevitable as the market research landscape itself has witnessed so many changes in recent times. With new methodologies, modalities and technologies showing intriguing possibilities for research, the market research landscape has in recent times witnessed some phenomenal changes.
The birth of mobile which is the most used, needed, and obsessive of all the digital platforms has given way to a lot of innovations in the market research world.
On its part, the internet has also enabled the uptake of online surveys which many market research pundits avow is the way market research should go in the nearest future. The internet platform in turn has accelerated the development of social media platforms which at the moment appears to be the most sought after in online skillset.
Presently, having a space in the research toolkit is neuroscience which promoters have said plays a key role in measuring brand equity and affinity.
Furthermore, taking the market research world by the storm is yet a new innovation called Artificial Intelligence (AI) which promoters claim is capable of doing away with human efforts with time.
Apart from new innovations especially in the area of technology that has continued to enhance seamless delivery of operations in the industry, so many other factors have continued to redefining the market research industry. Coming on the heels of technology, Big Data has made its impact with a bang and in some quarters has been looked at with skepticism while we know truly that the impact of Big Data cannot be wished away in a hurry. In fact the Big Data has been seen as a great game changer and a phenomenon viewed by many as a major threat to market research.
Of course the new developments in market research are not without implications. Clients and their research agencies are increasingly abandoning traditional models of working and old divides in favour of more open alternatives that add a new layer of value and invention to research work.
The expectations of the research buyer have also changed even as competition is becoming stiffer.
To find a way of remaining relevant in a fast market research changing world, what today is known as AMRA started in 2012 at the ESOMAR Annual Conference in Atlanta where the delegates from Africa formed a pan-African network of market research businesses for the purpose of collaboration and joint business venture across the continent . Then in Dublin , September 2015, the African delegates at the ESOMAR Congress decided to form a pan-African market, social and opinion polling research professional association , with no commercial interest as the driving force to make Africa voice heard in the global industry.
On October 22, 2015, an online meeting of all interested parties was held to discuss the way forward and an interim Management Committee was appointed by these stakeholders .
At the Maghreb Africa Market Research summit at the end of January 2016, the formation of African Market Research Association was announced for the first time.
The primary purpose of the association is to promote the African market through marketing, social and opinion research activities to the rest of the world.
Indeed Africa will not continue to lag behind in the scheme of things. The volume of research from Africa is nothing to compare with those coming from Europe , America and Asia yet there are great potentials for research growth in Africa . Africa provides great opportunities for numerous products and brands seeking relevance and more shelf spaces. There’s therefore the need for researchers in the local market to guide and shape the entry, and the growth of all the myriads of brands /products and services that typically impact on people’s convenience, lifestyles and general living standards and to be able to do this very well is to form a common front.
The president of Nigerian Marketing Research Association (NiMRA) / chairperson Local Organising Committee AMRA AF 2019, Joy Uyanwune explained this vividly when she mentioned that “ Market researchers are in the best position to guide entrance into our market and therefore it is an opportunity for those in Africa who provide the services to make the most use of those opportunities .
“When we say Building Tomorrow: Africa Leading, we are actually looking at those things from the perspective of first of all our own African brands . The products and services we generate from our continent need to compete globally with those products/services from other countries of the world. For us to do so, researchers stand in a position to do the guidance through high quality and well-designed research –those are the explanations that help insight,” she said.
We can help the government of African countries to develop systems that work such as in healthcare, education, agriculture, utilities and so forth such that Africa can do more with help from research.
This edition of the magazine, Research Intelligence is dedicated to AMRA Africa Forum 2019 and has sought the views of practitioners in the industry on how best to better market research practice on the continent and other sundry issues.
We wish delegates to the AMRA conference fruitful deliberations and a memorable visit to Nigeria.