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AMRA seeks better tomorrow for Africa through research

Joy

To promote African market through marketing of social and opinion research activities to the rest of the world, the African Marketing Research Association (AMRA), in conjunction with Nigerian Marketing Research Association (NiMRA), is set to hold the third edition of its yearly Africa Forum in Lagos.

The forum provides opportunity for business moguls and brands in Africa seeking relevance and more shelf spaces.

The event, themed Building Tomorrow; Africa Leading would hold at Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos from April 15 through 17 2019.

It would highlight futuristic thinking and focus on great and innovative things happening on the continent that affect marketing and marketing research in the African market.

Speaking recently with The Guardian on the upcoming event, Chairperson, local organising Committee and president of NiMRA, Joy Uyanwune in company of Secretary General NiMRA, Paul Nnanwobu and Action Plan International Limited Project Comptroller, Yemisi Faleye said the platform would help in building a confident Africa for tomorrow.

According to her, “Researchers in the local market guide and shape the entry, sustenance and growth of the myriads of brands and services that typically impact on people’s comfort and lifestyles.”

With headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, AMRA, the first two editions held in Johannesburg and Nairobi respectively. The event she said would feature workshop, exhibition and an award night.

Uyanwune stressed that, “Whereas research for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) constitutes a very high proportion of research focus in the continent, researchers that are fundamental to growth in other areas of the economy are not as common.

She further noted that, “Marketing researchers can help the governments of Africa to develop systems that work for the countries, we can offer information and data that help governments to make good decisions in health care, agriculture, crime reduction, electricity and other areas. We are asking marketing and social researchers to rise up to the occasion and take the bull by the horn, to develop Africa, using the knowledge and professional skills to develop Africa, and African forum is the coming together of minds to learn, connect and to move forward.”

Speaking on why opinion polling does not work in Africa/Nigeria, Nnanwobu was quick to state that it was due to leadership, stressing, “leaders define the road, and if a government is not interested in it, there is no way it would work. For instance, if the president decides that Nigeria will be number five in technologically developed countries in Africa, all citizens would key into this.”

Also, Uyanwune said while some African countries were recording increase in government impact with improved private businesses and support for fresh talents and entrepreneurial drive, others are leaving their countries in search of a better life with better infrastructures and social systems that encourage individual development in western countries.

Adding, “Governments in Africa do not have the dependency on data to enable them to move the farthest that they can move, and a lot of businesses do not appreciate marketing research, yet they could do so well with help from researchers; they are always on the defensive, saying, ‘we are selling well’.

“It is important for brands to understand how information can give companies a sense of direction, and also helping them avoid costly mistakes, and if Africa is to lead in building our tomorrows, the market research industry would need to rise up to exploit its posture as a change agent.”

While responding to what the average life span of a given research is, considering the era of quick shift in consumer behavior, Uyanwune said it was dependent on the product and services as some have shorter life span.

She said establishing the average life span of a research depends on certain variables and factors; like the life style of the people.

She pointed out that several enquiries and participation interests have been received from over 30 countries across the globe, to converge on Nigeria to learn about Africa.

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