South Africa’s largest urban community quantitative survey, ROOTS, is currently in field. ROOTS 2019 is set to launch in the first quarter of 2019. The new installment of the survey balances trendability while keeping up to date with current industry developments.

 “ROOTS 2019 shows what consumers look like, how they behave, where they shop, what media they consume and how they have changed over time,” says SPARK Media’s Jacqui Hansen. “At a local level and compared to ROOTS 2016, our new methodology incorporates both LSM and SEM descriptors, painting a more accurate picture of South African communities, as well as a more in depth look at the digital environment.”

Besides the usual datasets of demographics and general info, ROOTS digs deeply into categories like digital integration, activities, entertainment and many retail categories too.

“The 2019 ROOTS survey includes 20 new communities with 148 total areas across South Africa being interviewed, with a total sample of  26 000 decision makers in homes using the pure random sampling method,” she says. “We have increased the percentage of digital related questions and have adapted our methodology to test in real live environments concurrently with the main study in 2016 and 2019.”

“ROOTS 2019 has maintained the industry gold standard in terms of validated readership methodology, but has also included the digital versions of media platforms to provide a holistic view.”

Some of the questions in next year’s survey include asking which shopping centres are favoured by those living in the Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg and does selection differ depending on purpose?

The survey also explores how many people shop for food and groceries online, with who and how frequently; are people in the Western Cape interested in the same things as people in Johannesburg and Durban; which area is the healthiest in the country; are consumers more interested in local community news or current affairs, where do they go to get this information and importantly; do people still read their local community paper and how many use it to make shopping decisions.

 “ROOTS started in 1984,” says Gill Randall, Joint CEO of SPARK Media. “Since then close to 200 000 interviews have been conducted. In 2001 we partnered with TNS, ensuring that the past 18 years of data is consistent and trendable at a community level. This year we delve even more thoroughly into the digital and technology aspects that take up so much time and resources of a consumer’s daily life.”

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