Ghana is a country very similar to Nigeria in many respects but they seem to share some distinctive lines on the way field work is done in the two countries. A market research executive from Nigeria went to the West African country for a field work and came back to make some remarks about market research practice in Ghana. That raised our curiosity to ask few questions on some aspects of market research practice in Ghana.
Unlike Ghana, Nigerian marketing research industry has developed in leaps and bounds and has become one of the most attracted markets in the West African sub-region. It can boast of a good number of indigenous professionals that know their onions in the business and can compete favorably with the expatriates. Some of them have even gone beyond the shores of Nigeria to have their imprints in the neighboring African countries and beyond.
In Ghana, the market research landscape, according to Charles Artson is dominated by the multinational players who leave little or nothing for few indigenous players.
The market research size in Ghana is also nothing to compare with Nigeria as people prefer to use other means of doing research in Ghana like the Google, online panel and the rest instead of commissioning an agency to carry a full fledge research.
Snippets from Ghana revealed that most people in Ghana don’t engage in market research full time because of paucity of jobs. This has actually affected the development of the business in the former Gold Coast country where
insecurity is nothing to worry about unlike Nigeria where fieldwork had been adversely affected by spates of bombing here and there in the north eastern part of Nigeria.
Market research as a discipline is a reflection of the overall society. Economies of the two West African countries are not in good shape and this has affected the business of market research adversely. In the two countries, inviting respondents for in-hall, focus group discussion is becoming difficult without adequate incentive to pay for respondents’ time. In fact nowadays respondents waste no time to ask for incentive that is commensurate for the time they will spend in the survey.
However payment of wages to field staff in Ghana gave us something to sheer about. Research Intelligence magazine search reveals that sometimes staff are paid 50 percent of their wage before fieldwork commences while the other half is paid at the completion of the project. People are not owed their wages longer than necessary in Ghana. This is an area Nigerian market research companies have to borrow a leaf from. In Nigeria, it is bad when a client delays in paying for service rendered. Some companies will also delay in paying their field team until whenever the client pays.
One area of challenge field team faces in Ghana is that some agencies don’t consider it important to issue interviewers with ID cards to work with. This can pose a security challenge sometimes.
Charles, worst experience in the field was when a microfinance bank engaged his agency to interview some respondents but they were to call up the respondents on phone first before the interview, instead of doing exactly that they went ahead to interview the respondents without having to call them up first.
For not following the instruction, he said the client refused to pay them. It was a bitter lesson but that tells how disciplined the society could be.