Finweek English Edition - - Advertising & Marketing -

ASK AFRIKA, a lead­ing South African-owned re­search house, has taken a con­trol­ling in­ter­est in the lo­cal li­censee of Tar­get Group In­dex (TGI), a global mar­ket­ing and me­dia re­search tool. Re­search in­dus­try stal­warts Bar­bara Cooke and Tim Bester in­tro­duced it into SA (its 50th coun­try) six years ago, and its ac­claimed method­ol­ogy has gained ac­cep­tance from up­wards of 50 clients. The ac­qui­si­tion is through the for­ma­tion of a new com­pany – TGI SA – which is ma­jor­ity owned by Ask Afrika, while Cooke and Bester re­tain a mi­nor­ity hold­ing.

Af­ter its found­ing 13 years ago by An­drea Rade­meyer, Ask Afrika ini­tially de­vel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion for fast turn­around cell­phone-based re­search but has be­come a com­pre­hen­sive ser­vice provider with a turnover of around R50m/year.

TGI was the first data­base in SA to of­fer

data link­ing brand us­age to con­sumer de­mo­graph­ics and me­dia con­sump­tion: “An act of faith to meet the mar­ket’s need for glob­ally proven in­for­ma­tion-gath­er­ing and an­a­lytic meth­ods af­ter years of iso­la­tion,” says Cooke. Later it was fol­lowed by the SA Ad­ver­tis­ing Re­search Foun­da­tion’s “branded Amps” data.

The new part­ner­ship will com­bine Bester’s and Cooke’s ex­per­tise in brand­ing, me­dia and ad­ver­tis­ing with Ask Afrika’s mar­ket­ing re­search and sta­tis­ti­cal skills. Rade­meyer says Ask Afrika’s in­fra­struc­ture will re­lieve them of mun­dane man­age­ment tasks, free them to use their ex­per­tise in brand­ing, me­dia and ad­ver­tis­ing and al­low TGI to broaden its ser­vice of­fer­ings.

“It also gives us an en­trée to global clients and the sup­port of the KMR Group, the world’s largest re­search com­pany,” says Rade­meyer.

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