Caxton’s much anticipated research, ROOTS 2016, South Africa’s largest urban community survey, has been launched across the country by SPARK Media.

The research provides marketers, advertisers, media and creative agencies with the intelligence and insights into the consumer’s media, shopping, tech and leisure habits, to name a few, at a local community level.

“Globally and in South Africa, we’re facing increasing economic headwinds such as increasing unemployment, the falling Rand and increased inflation rates,” says SPARK Media CEO Gill Randall. “This has all had an impact on consumer spend and confidence. Add digitisation and media fragmentation to the equation and what you have is a shortage of time and money. This has a huge implication for marketers.”

“ROOTS has given us powerful insights into consumers at a local level,” she says. “With the data in hand, it’s crucial that marketers decide how best to use that information within a broader framework of globally proven consumer behaviour laws.” To this end, a few tools were identified to marketers, namely; continuity of exposure, leveraging a brand’s distinctive assets and achieving mass reach of a category.

Some insights from ROOTS 2016 include that on average every issue of Caxton’s local newspapers reaches 63% of urban South Africa and 83% of readers confirm they use advertising within these papers to shop.

ROOTS 2016 reveals that the durable category has recovered since the 2012 recession. Audio visual is up from 17% in 2013 to 20% in 2016 and small appliances shows a growth of 5% since 2013. Purchasing of computers has increased by 4%, but the pressure is still on as can been seen in the insurance sector. Most insurance products have shown a decline. Homeowner insurance is down from 14% in 2013 to 10% in 2016 and household contents insurance decreased by 2% from 2013 to 2016. The only insurance showing an increase is funeral cover.

Consumers are still spending, however, they are opting for instant gratification, convenience and connection rather than financial security. Take-away purchases have grown from 78% to 81%, mobile phone purchases have increased from 42% to 75% and internet connectivity has almost doubled from 36% to 60% since 2013.

ROOTS 2016 data is available on Telmar, Nielsen, and 80/20 with top line research results on

For more information about ROOTS 2016, contact Samu Makhathini, Research Manager ( at SPARK Media. Or connect on Twitter @sparkmediasa #ROOTS2016 or find us on Facebook at SPARK Media.

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