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Exploring social media, mobile and radio in Africa

The theme for this year's Pan African Market Research Organisation (PAMRO) conference is "Africa Media Research in a Globally Connected World", a response to the growing dominance of mobile and digital usage across the continent and the implications this has for media research across Africa.
Exploring social media, mobile and radio in AfricaBelow are synopses of three of the papers that will be presented in Zimbabwe in August:

Augmenting media data with mobile behaviour


Peter Searll, managing partner of Dashboard Marketing Intelligence, tackles this theme with a paper entitled ‘Augmenting media data with mobile behaviour’. Given the dominance of mobile as an internet platform in Africa, he notes that incorporating accurate and detailed data from this platform into a holistic media perspective just makes sense. 

Dashboard Marketing Intelligence has therefore developed and deployed a mobile app that tracks all aspects of mobile behaviour, as well as website and app usage. Using their panel in Zambia, they recruited 50 users for a pilot to assess the effectiveness of this tool to generate meaningful data and insights.

Drawing in this, Searll’s paper aims to show how actual behavioural data from mobile phones can be successfully collected and integrated into an all-inclusive view of media consumption.

Reaching African audiences through online, mobile and social media


Then, ‘Reaching African audiences through online, mobile and social media: Which measurements really matter?’ asksWaithera Kabiru, digital manager of integrated, marketing and communication for Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa.

Kabiru notes that advertiser spending still lags behind on online, mobile and social media when compared to traditional media, even as more African consumers spend increasing amounts of time online - possibly due to the lack of attribution of digital media to transactional value.

Kabiru argues that the marketer’s role is deliver appropriate messaging at every stage of the consumer journey, from awareness, demand, acquisition, transaction and retention; and that consumer behavior needs to be measured throughout, capturing “real business outcomes across the consumer journey, whilst measuring incremental lift and attribution”.

His paper seeks to explore the opportunities for audience measurement and to investigate which measurements really matter, given the emergence of digital media, and the rise of online consumption in Africa. Which measurements not only translate to brand love, but into value?

Creating an audience ratings system for radio in South Sudan


Hayley Umayam and Natalie Forcier, managing partner of the Forcier Consulting Group, look at the creation of an audience ratings system for radio in the war-torn South Sudan. Forcier Consulting is developing the first ever audience ratings system (ARS) in this country, with a long-term goal of promoting freer and fairer media for the sector as a whole.

Their presentation highlights the process of creating an ARS for radio, including the trials and triumphs of developing a validated and sustainable methodology in a tough research environment, grappling with a fragmented media sector, and establishing credibility and buy-in among stakeholders and end users. 

These are only a few of a challenging series of papers set to be presented at this year’s conference. The 17th PAMRO meeting and All Africa Media Research Conference will take place from 21st August to 24th August 2016 at the Elephant Hills Resort in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
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