NAB-ROOTS-Understanding South African buyers

ROOTS is research commissioned by Caxton Printers & Publishers and conducted by TNS Research Surveys. It is aimed at assisting marketers in understanding South Africa’s urban buyers. The following article on ROOTS 2013 research was initially submitted to Marketingsite. We reproduce a summarised version for readers’ interest.

The tool

The latest round of ROOTS 2013 research went into the field earlier this year and will continue until November ahead of its March 2013 launch. The study, which is the only one of its kind in the country, is gathered at community level and is an invaluable tool for understanding South Africa’s urban buyers.

Sample size increase

“To enable trendable data, we’ve used the same methodology as previous ROOTS surveys,” says Jacqui Tanton, Manager at NAB* (Newspaper Advertising Bureau) and Caxton’s CIS (Central Intelligence Unit), “but in terms of sample size we’ve increased our total interviews of PDMs (Purchase Decision Makers) from the last survey’s 23 000 to just under 30 000.”

Geographic spread

ROOTS 2013 will also see data incorporated from areas never included before including the South West Cape, Limpopo, the Vaal and the North West province. “As demand for the survey increases, along with the availability of more formal housing, so will our ability to increase the number of PDMs interviewed and the data collected,” says Jacqui.

Mobile component separated

For the first time, ROOTS 2013 will separate the mobile component from the PC / Laptop category to confirm how, if and why, PDM’s are using these platforms differently from each other.

“The digital section of the questionnaire will provide insight into how consumers are integrating digital technology into their daily lives,” she says. “We know that technology has a massive impact on our everyday lives but we need to drill down into what our PDM’s are doing with technology, where, when and how.”

Demographics change

Roots 2010 clearly showed the importance of geography from a marketing point of view and showed that areas are different and constantly changing. NAB expects to see shifts in demographic profiles to continue as population migration to suburbs continues, albeit at a slower rate.

The ongoing cocooning trend identified by the NAB team has led to the company including a section in the research which looks at the level of community involvement and participation experienced by participants.

Determining shopper behaviour

Looking at the broader project John Bowles, Joint MD of NAB says that what makes the latest round of research especially exciting is the insights that it’ll glean. “We believe we’re going to see a much more settled, conservative consumer displaying markedly different purchase behaviour – looking for value and carefully considering their purchases. ROOTS will help us get a view on what retail destinations are top of mind when buyers go shopping.

ROOTS research is conducted every three years.

*The Newspaper Advertising Bureau (NAB) – a division of Caxton & CTP Publishers & Printers – is responsible for the advertising, sales and marketing and administration of 150 community newspapers in South Africa. NAB deals predominately with national advertising clients, acting as a centralised division for ad agencies and clients wishing to use a multitude of Caxton community papers.

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