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The Market Research Sector in South Africa
While the global revenue of the market research industry increased by 2.3% in 2016 to exceed US$44.5bn or approximately R560bn, the African market research industry demonstrated net growth of 22.7%. In the same year, data from the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR) indicated year-on-year growth of 17.3% for the South African market research industry, signalling an upward growth trend for the first time in five years. Despite micro and small enterprises making up 70% of the domestic sector, they generate only 20% of industry turnover.
A Lack of Transformation
The market research industry continues to be dominated by global players and a few local operators who together account for between 55% and 60% of industry turnover. Role players believe that one of the problems regarding transformation is that large multinationals are able to exploit B-BBEE legislation to achieve better B-BBEE scores. Companies focus on establishing Public Benefit Organisations and trust companies to improve their B-BBEE scores but overall there has been very little real transformation. Most companies in the sector are Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and more than 75% of South African Market Research Association (SAMRA) members have an annual turnover of less than R10m making them Exempt Micro Enterprises in terms of the B-BBEE Act.
The report on the South African market research sector focuses on conditions and recent developments in the sector, the growing importance of digital technologies and other factors influencing the success of the industry. Profiles for 24 South African-based companies are provided, ranging from multinational, Kantar TNS South Africa and its local subsidiaries, Kantar Insight, Kantar Millward Brown and The Added Value Group, to local black-owned companies Plus 94 Research (Pty) Ltd, Mictert Marketing Research CC and Quest Research.