The Zimbabwe All Media and Products Survey (ZAMPS) is a survey commissioned by the media, advertising, marketing and public relations industries who want to know more about about what people watch, read, listen and which products they buy. The survey is carried out each quarter and the results presented to the market via a Compact Disc sold at $50.
The major objective of the survey is to provide markets statistics covering the consumers of products and services so marketers can target them better in marketing campaigns.
A major component of the survey is one that provides statistics on the readership of print and online media as well as listener-ship and viewership of television channels and programs respectively. These results are published keenly by local media especially when the statistics show leadership in audience size.
According to the Zimbabwe Advertising and Research Foundation, funding for the survey comes from a 1.5% levy on all advertising placed in Zimbabwe. This money is paid by advertisers to their advertising agency, if they have one, or direct to the media, which universally agrees to reflect this on their rate cards. Both collect the money on behalf of ZARF and remit it to the Foundation monthly.
The Research Company
To select the company that conducts the survey the Zimbabwe Advertising Research Foundation publishes a tender, calling for proposals to undertake. The tenders are opened at a public meeting, to which all stakeholders are invited and assessed by ZARF’s technical committee.
The winner is published in national media, as is the original tender document.
ZAMPS is arguably the largest piece of research undertaken in Zimbabwe and not every research house has the capability to conduct 6,000 national, face-to-face interviews. To date, Probe Market Research and, latterly Research International, now Research Bureau International, have been awarded the tender.
The ZAMPS has been criticised by local media companies for showing incorrect statistics especially concerning readership of newspapers and online audiences. One large media company, Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), questioned the integrity of the ZAMPS results. In 2011 the AMH Chairman, Trevor Ncube, referred to the ranking of his company's Daily, NewsDay, behind the The Herald and The Daily News, as "fiction". AMH called for the independent verification of the ZAMPS results. Ncube announced that because of the lack of integrity his company was withdrawing its participation from the survey.
In defense of its methods at that time, ZARF, said that the research was very transparent as all tools used (including questionnaires) are available for anyone to see. They also argued that AMH itself has a seat on the ZARF board.
Dismissing the ZAMPS findings where the Daily News, only launched in March this year, has leapfrogged Newsday which has been publishing since June 2010, media practitioner, Panganayi Kahuni says it is a cheap marketing gimmick meant to create a make-believe scenario to the readers.
The ZBC article further blamed the questionable results on the foreign sponsorship of media houeses which led "he who pays the piper will always call the tune."
At the release of the ZAMPS results in September 2012, Ncube again questioned the results referring to the as "just disputable, but mythical”. "We pulled out when it became obvious that there is a cartel in the Zimbabwean market that is not interested in international best practice, but in maintaining the fiction around readership claims,” Ncube said.
Other publications also criticised the ZAMPS 2012 finding as inadequate citing research methods that don't measure internet audiences accurately.
- Zimbabwe All Media and Products’ Survey, Retrieved: 18 march 2014
- ZAMPS: there is method behind research, New Zimbabwe, Published:29 Sept 2011, Retrieved:18 March 2014
- Ndou Paul, NewsDay withdraws from Zamps after the latest readership survey, Bulawayo24, Published:29 September 2011, Retrieved:18 March 2014
- ZAMPS media survey questionable, ZBC, Published:30 September 2011, Retrieved:18 March 2014
- Zamps release “mythical” results yet again – AMH, Zimbabwe Independent, Published:27 September 2012, Retrieved:18 March 2014
- L.S.M Kabweza, Why the ZAMPS Internet usage survey results are inadequate - See more at: http://www.techzim.co.zw/2012/10/why-the-zamps-internet-usage-survey-results-inadequate/#sthash.b60uTGdT.dpuf, Techzim, Published:18 October 2012, Retrieved:18 March 2014