By bringing together the media research industry across African borders, the Pan African Media Research Organisation (PAMRO) aims to produce harmonised, compatible and comprehensive audience measurement data for the entire continent. By promoting media research in Africa, PAMRO aims to assist in uncovering the opportunities that exist for growth and development in all African countries. One of PAMRO's key vehicles for bringing people together from around the continent is its annual conference, the PAMRO All Africa Media Research Conference.
This year's event takes place at Lake Victoria, Uganda, from 26-29 August 2012 - delegates from across the continent come together to touch base at what is regarded as the premier event on the pan-African media research calendar.
"The PAMRO conference has grown into a remarkable networking and learning opportunity, and provides a valuable forum for intra-country communication and the exchange of ideas," says PAMRO president and MD of Telmar Media Systems, Jennifer Daniel.
Food for thought
From the measurement and status of radio, print, TV, internet and outdoor across Africa, to future trends and challenges in the media audience field, the programme for the 14th PAMRO Conference covers a range of media research topics, based around the theme "From Local to Global: Media Research in a Developing World".
Speakers from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa will be joined by experts from as far afield as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Switzerland.
Challenges of media research
Romi Hofer of GfK Switzerland will look at approaches to facing the challenges of media research. Thanks to digitalisation and advanced technologies, the media content available to consumers has become so comprehensive and multi-layered, and on such a variety of platforms, that traditional research approaches are no longer sufficient for providing planners and researchers with the correspondingly complex data they need. Hofer will outline how GfK is tackling these challenges, presenting the company's latest measurement approach being employed to meet the demands of an ever-changing media environment.
Perspectives on new media measurement
Keld Nielsen, global business development director of TNS Media Research, UK, and Laurence Chausson, marketing director of Kantar Media, UK, will give their perspectives on new media measurement.
In Africa, as in the rest of the world, media is becoming increasingly more important in the daily life of the consumer. Yet the time being allocated to read, watch or listen to one or various media seems ever more intertwined with time spent interacting with new or social media. In this global context of fast-evolving technology and behavioural evolution, media content providers and media researchers have to constantly look for the best current and future ways of understanding and measuring audiences.
Installation of peoplemeter panels
Looking specifically at television measurement, Craig Johnson and Candice Ulrich from Nielsen SA will explore the route to installing peoplemeter panels in Africa to measure television viewing. While low-tech television diaries are a good source for supplying TV currency data, electronic peoplemeter panels are able to deliver much richer forms of data to broadcasters and marketers. Johnson and Ulrich will explore the route to installing peoplemeter panels within the African context and look at the advantages for media stakeholders.
Into the realm of outdoor media, Mike Broom, CEO of Panel Services Africa, and Graham Tomes of Eagle Outdoor, will present "African Solutions to African Problems: Sun, Illumination, Jobs and Media Measurement".
This paper focuses on a new development in outdoor media that is currently being rolled out in South African townships, which incorporates solar-powered ambient lighting for the convenience of township dwellers, with employment for the custodians of the sites. Broom and Tomes will discuss the innovative media measurement methodology that is being piloted to measure the effect of this new media vehicle, and present preliminary findings.
James Fergusson, manager of TNS, Singapore, and Karin du Chenne, MD of TNS Johannesburg, will demonstrate the crucial role which mobile will play in how Africans access products and services, and will highlight the critical factors behind successfully utilising mobile as a marketing and communications channel.
Other confirmed speakers include Andrzej Suski of Millward Brown Africa and Middle East, who asks whether multi-channel campaigns in Africa can maximise return on investment.
Suski looks at whether some media are more effective than others in the African context, and if so, are they the most efficient in achieving brand-building goals? In markets which lack well-established media currencies or any formal (or even intuitive) understanding of media interactions, is spreading the marketing message across various touch points the right way to ensure brands get noticed, or would maximizing the weight behind one channel provide best impact for the campaign as a whole?
A number of other speakers will also be presenting at this year's conference, including Steve Garton, MD of Media for Greater China and global head of Media at Synovate, Hong Kong, Joe Otin of Ipsos Sub-Saharan Africa, and Adelaide McKelvey of Continental Outdoor Media, to name a few.
Finally, there will be updates on media audience research activities from PAMRO member countries across the continent.
When and where
The 14th PAMRO All Africa Media Research Conference runs from Sunday 26 August 2012 to Wednesday 29 August 2012, at the Speke Resort and Conference Centre in Munyonyo, Lake Victoria, Uganda.
The conference will start on Sunday, 26 August with registration in the late afternoon, and presentations and papers beginning on the Monday. The conference will end around midday on Wednesday, 29 August, after lunch.
Programme highlights include a dinner, a breakfast session, conference outing, and the Speciality Dinner where the Piet Smit Achiever Award will be awarded by the president of PAMRO. Named after PAMRO's late founder and honorary president, the Piet Smit Achiever Award is presented each year to the individual or group who has made a significant contribution to media research on the continent.
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