Serge Mumbu: “AMRA aims at qualitative and quantitative increase of African market research industry”
Target would like to become a member of market research African organization which has just been set up. This organization aims at promoting good practices as regards market research throughout the continent. Serge Mumbu, Target General Manager, attended the launching meeting of this organization. He explains the interest of this gathering for an African Market Research industry and what Target would like to bring. Interview
At Africa Forum 2017, AMRA, the market research African organization has been launched. How participants of this Forum did welcome this new organization?
This organization was welcomed with a great enthusiasm by participants since Africa could not keep on staying the back in terms of a specific organization dealing with this market research field. Several professionals coming from around the world (Asia-Pacific, Latin America,…) already gathered to promote good practices in market research within their respective regions and it was more than time for Africa to establish an appropriate mechanism, to organize itself all the more that it is a region of the world that increasingly attracts investors and multinationals mostly due to positive growth and strong demography thus offering a huge potential market.
What is the purpose of this organization?
First of all, AMRA aims at promoting high quality market research in Africa, a market research for Africa and conducted from Africa in line with international standards. AMRA would like to be the main channel, the mirror and reference for professionals and users of market research, social surveys and opinion poll in Africa. AMRA shall truly reach its objective if we can witness within the next years a qualitative as well as quantitative increase of market research industry in Africa, especially thanks to strong national organization throughout Africa.
What contribution Target will provide for the success of AMRA assignment?
Two years ago at Dublin, we attended ESOMAR (World Organization of Market Research professionals) Conference, a series of meeting on the project of launching an African organization in market research field and today, we are indeed satisfied to witness the realization of this project. First and mainly, AMRA is composed of national organizations of market research and our challenge for the coming days shall be to convince professionals as regards market research in Central Africa, generally speaking and especially in DR Congo to create a national organization of market research professionals in each country. It is through national organization that a country will be able to become AMRA member. Professionals of the following countries (South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Morocco) are already gathered in national organizations and members of AMRA. We hope to see Central Africa countries falling in behind this example very soon.
What current challenges African market research agencies are to deal with?
First of all there is uniqueness challenge. There exists realities that are unique and specific for Africa (mind-set, culture, habits, conceptions…) which, most of time, are not considered during international researches and even while interpreting results. What should be taken into account in Europa, America or Asia, is not necessarily to be considered into Africa. African diversity is famous, it is about more than 50 countries and often experiencing different realities in each one. Often, African agencies have to fight in order to prevent research sponsors (most of time from None – African) from falling in the trap of generalization and globalization. There is also financial challenges (investment in software, training…) to remain up-to-date as regards technological development.
How AMRA will help its members respond to all these challenges?
It is firstly through the creation and/or strengthening market research national organizations. The stronger and well – structured national organizations we have, the better our ability to discuss and solve issues and difficulties faced by the market research industry in Africa. AMRA will bring a backup to different national organizations with the help of partner such as ESOMAR that since its creation, never ceased to promote and support market research industry throughout the world.
During this forum, you also participated into a workshop on Mystery Shopping organized by MSPA EUROPA. What importance is Target granting to this type of research?
Target is noting an increase among the rate of companies using Mystery Shopping to improve their client experience and it was important for us to meet professionals of that sector, exchange with them and even learning from them on new progress in that field. Mystery shopping industry is experiencing a significant increase in Africa and Target must also progressively develop its specific offers to meet each one its clients’ needs.
What are the great lessons did you learn from your participation into that workshop?
We should more and more diversify our Mystery Shopping offers (not only as Mystery visits) and extend our customer database (not only towards banks and mobile telecom companies). Another challenge we have to respond to, is specific training for our teams and we will see how to cover this in partnership with MSPA which is the world organization of Mystery Shopping researches providers. It is in this context that we purchased two new reference books (Guide Mystery Shopping for employees and The Book about Mystery Shopping) written by Veronica Boxberg Karlsson (one of the speakers in workshop and founder of MSPA Europa). These books will be subjected to vulgarization within our teams.