Marketing, social and opinion research business in Africa may not have attained its desired position but at least it is heading to somewhere. The insights industry in Africa has approached the innovations going on in several parts of the world and has decided to embrace such innovations as they come with open minds.
Marketing research practice in Nigeria leaves a lot of positive impressions. A few decades ago, talking about the profession in Nigeria was like speaking the Italian language to a Nigerian who only understands English.
But today, the story has changed. There’s a whole lot of transition going on in the industry.
Procedure for data generation has gradually moved away from Pen and Paper Interview (PAPI) to Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) and Computer Aided Personal Interview (CAPI) platform.
It is also interesting to talk about the Deregulation going on in the industry with indigenous marketing research agencies doing business with foreign clients and the presence of a good number of foreign marketing research agencies in the country.
There’s also a growing consciousness on the relevance of marketing research as a profession in Nigeria and other African countries and this will continue to maintain an upward trend in the continent.
Thanks to the modern technological tools that enhance the operations in the industry.
However, practitioners in the industry in their bid to acquaint themselves with the goings on in the industry would have to cough out hard-earned foreign currencies to attend insights conferences in Europe, Asia and America. This poses a lot of challenges to many of the practitioners as only a few of them could afford the huge financial and logistic outlay attending such conferences entails. The position agitated some people’s mind and at the right time, what appeared to be an impossible task was made possible.
The year 2017 saw the launch of the much anticipated African Market Research Association (AMRA) in Johannesburg, South Africa on February 16 and 17 and ever since then marketing research business has taken a frenzied height in Africa.
At the Africa Forum 2017, the first of its kind in Africa, delegates from several countries across Africa gathered in Johannesburg to celebrate the African insights industry, challenge the status quo, share experiences and learn from thought leaders about research innovations that work in Africa.
Progressively, Africa Forum with its third edition holding in Lagos has become a rallying point for insights professionals in Africa as this is made by Africans for Africa. Nobody feels the pain better than the one having the sore. The era of prescriptive research for Africa is gone. We are now talking about the research that works. Africans understand Africa better!
As AMRA delegates converge on Lagos, Nigeria for the third edition of Africa Forum, what should be germane in their minds should be how to galvanize brains and the experiences that are not in short supply in the African insight industry in sync with the theme of the conference ‘Building Tomorrow –Africa Leading’.
There’s a great work that still has to be done inside. Governments and corporate bodies in Africa should be made to appreciate the value of research. The negligible three percent total volume of research done in Africa from the global perspective is a far cry considering the audacious ambition of AMRA to promote the African market through marketing, social and opinion research activities to the rest of the world.
Other national associations in the insight business should also be made to be vibrant as one Africa Forum event in a year may not be enough to talk about the dynamics that go on in the insights industry.