Through their constituent bodies, advertisers, marketers and the media brief ZARF on what information they need and our technical committee crafts a questionnaire that is administered face to face with households selected on a Kish grid. Normally each interview with the head of the household lasts two and a half hours and the information is now captured electronically, to speed up the process and eliminate mistakes.
The marketing and media industries in Zimbabwe established ZARF in 1997 after 12 years of debate and discussion. To ensure that the data is comparable with that of other African media research, we used the South African Advertising Research Foundation’s questionnaire as a blueprint. It has been adjusted, altered and added to over the years to make it more relevant to the Zimbabwean market, without losing its ability to be compared with similar media research from countries like Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mauritius.
The Foundation’s principal objectives, as recorded in its Constitution, are:
- To promote, sponsor, arrange, authorise, commission, manage, control or cause to be arranged, organised, conducted, authorised or commissioned, the obtaining of all kinds of advertising research, media audience research, surveys, investigations and reports.
- Likewise to do all things and carry on any activities related or associated with the above areas, with power to act through its duly authorised agents, employees and contractors and other interested parties and to employ companies, firms and persons for such purposes and generally do all things necessary and incidental in order to give effect to any of the objectives of the Foundation.
Why media and product research?
- Maximise effective and accountable use of advertising that represents value for money, through informed planning and buying.
- Provide key data on audience behaviour, essential for the development and evaluation of the creative process of developing marketing programmes.
- Provide detailed viewing and listening behaviour patterns to inform scheduling and broader communications’ patterns.
- As the basis for negotiating sponsorship and programme “rights” based on actual audience and profile delivery.
- A uniform tool to judge the effectiveness of media campaigns.
- Provide an industry wide, single trading currency for advertisers, advertising agencies and media owners for the buying and selling of media space.
- As the basis for setting rate cards objectively and transparently and evaluating campaign performance by media within and across markets.
- As the tool for profiling target markets through detailed data on readership, listnening and viewing by media and by time of day.
ZARF’s board of directors represents its members—the Advertising and Media Association (AdMA), the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) and the Zimbabwe Advertising Agency Practitioners Association (ZAAPA). Major media houses—Alpha Media Holdings, Associated Newspapers Zimbabwe, ZiFMStereo, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Zimbabwe Newspapers—have individual seats on the board.
ZARF’s executive consists of three consultants, an executive chairman, an administrator and a public relations practitioner. Together with the research house, currently Topline Research Solutions, they attend all committee meetings but do not vote.
ZAMPS is funded by a 1.5% levy on all advertising placed in Zimbabwe. This was agreed 11 years ago by all stakeholders and it is an AdMA requirement that this levy is incorporated in all advertising rates relating to all media in this country. The levy is paid monthly in arrears to ZARF.