"The ROOTS survey is one of South Africa’s largest and longest running consumer behaviour surveys. It is conducted every three years, in over 120 communities across the country," says Debbie McIntyre, marketing services and research director, SPARK Media. "We asked a few influential people in the media industry what their thoughts are of #ROOTS2019 and what they are looking forward to."

Here's what they had to say:

Chris Botha, group managing director at Park Advertising, says, "One of the most critical aspects of any media campaign is knowing your target market. We know and understand that people are different everywhere but these differences are even more pronounced in local communities across South Africa."

"It’s this granular detail that I always look forward to in all the ROOTS surveys. Besides the additional areas and categories covered, I’m pleased with the inclusion of new metrics like SEMs, and I’m looking forward to insights like how many consumers are using Uber (and where), among others," Botha adds.

Merissa Himraj, chief strategy officer at Wavemaker, says, "I am looking forward to #ROOTS2019 and am curious to see whether the consumption of media through digital channels has impacted reading habits of community papers, in which segment/audience this is happening and where the consumption growth is coming from. We now have a lot of data that can provide a snapshot of 20 years, showing that as people’s life stages change from single to young families so do their media consumption habits."

The ROOTS data aims to provide marketers with demographic and behavioural information at a local, regional and national level.

"The local community newspaper amplifies the heartbeat of any community. People are creatures of habit and also have a need to stay close to home — especially in the current political environment, with crime, load shedding and many other issues that plague the ever-burdened consumer," says Tish Ronge, head of media buying at MediaCom Johannesburg.

"Geographically, each area also has its own unique socio-economic need — no matter how affluent. In my opinion, it is only the local community newspaper that is tailored to fit this part of the media mix, especially for retailers," Ronge adds.

The survey will aim to provide the marketing, media and advertising industry a national snapshot, at a local level. With new categories, added areas and an in-depth questionnaire that includes digital, this year’s ROOTS survey aims be one of biggest and most robust.

"It is exciting to see all the components being put together and what will be revealed about the local consumer in their local environments," concludes Debbie.
"Watch this space, #ROOTS2019 is coming."

For more information, visit www.sparkmedia.co.za. You can also follow SPARK Media on Facebook.